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Strangeness abounds at the Darkmoon Faire.  From the glowing eye at the gate to the dangerous woods beyond the fences; from the curious personages at each booth to the gigantic beasts in their pens; from the games of skill and luck to the booths of deep-fried everything – most things at the Faire bear a passing resemblance to everyday items and occurrences, but it’s as if they are turned ninety degrees into shadow and given a coat of glitter to make them shine in the dark.

And yet somehow the strangest thing at the Faire this week was something utterly normal by most standards.  A family, by all appearances; a mother and a father and three daughters, enjoying the sights and sounds and tastes of the Faire.  But ‘normal’ is something I’ve never been and have only rarely felt, and as I walked beside Westel and shared a lemonade with him and watched our girls squeal over the pony rides, it felt strange to be so normal.  To not have to deal with demons, or elementals, or Alliance soldiers.

The evening was mundane.  We admired the animals.  We played some games.  We ate… I don’t even know.  It was breaded.  Yes, we rode the ponies.  And… it was beautiful.

Once during the night, when Kuvasei hoisted a giggling Laurelia onto her shoulders, a pang of sadness struck me as I thought to myself, this is what Bareris is missing.  Then I felt a hand on mine, and turned to see Westel smiling at me, Anais tugging on his other hand.  And I remembered.

I never would have had this with Bareris.  Bareris couldn’t do simple.  For all that he insisted he wanted a normal family life… he couldn’t handle it.  That was one thing when I thought I couldn’t handle it either — when I thought I didn’t want it… but I do.  I do want peace, and I do want happiness.  And in the end, Bareris made his choice… and whether it makes him happy or not is no longer any concern of mine. Meanwhile, I have the chance for my own happiness standing before me — just as Westel has stood by my side for months now.  And the only choices that matter now are entirely mine to make.

I smiled back at Westel.  Then I slipped my hand into his, and we followed our girls through the Faire.