November 16, 2016

In Which Nearina Doesn't Notice the Lack

February 26, 1203

Was it a mercy or a tragedy, the fact that Nearina's younger daughter had no idea what a father was and wouldn't understand the concept for some time yet? If she didn't know what a father was, then she didn't know what she was missing and wouldn't ache over it. If she didn't know what a father was, then she'd never have the chance to learn firsthand, not unless Nearina remarried well before she thought she'd be ready to do so--if she ever was. Holladrin, at least, had had that couple of months to memorize Oswald's face, to associate it with love and comfort and a strong pair of arms to protect her.

Nanalie wouldn't get that chance.

Poor baby. Wispy brown hair, maybe dark like her mother's or maybe light like her sister's, but with no evidence of her father's golden blond beyond what she'd learn when she was old enough to ask. No hazel eyes, even. Not even teal green, like her sister's. Pale grey.

Like that man's...

Nearina shook her head before the thought could conclude. She'd been in such a fog in those days after Oswald's death that she couldn't even be sure that had happened. If it had, surely she would have had some feeling or another as evidence. If she'd wanted it, she'd have had relief, catharsis. If she hadn't, she would have had those raw wounds on top of those of widowhood and her despair would have compounded. She'd had neither response. She'd neither wanted it nor not wanted it. The fact that it had happened, if it had happened, had made no difference. Perhaps she'd imagined the whole thing, like she still imagined Oswald's form on the other side of the bed.

She lifted Nanalie to her shoulder and kissed that soft, tiny cheek. She had to be Oswald's. That calming presence was Holladrin's, was Oswald's. She was Oswald's, in spirit at least. And of course she was Oswald's in every other way too.

How could she have been anyone else's? She didn't know if she could distinguish the air of Oswald's plane-defying love for this new baby, but she surely would have noticed the lack of it, like some missing mystery spice in her favorite of her mother's recipes. Oswald, wherever he was, must have been happy. Surely he wouldn't have been, if her baby wasn't his child?

"Your papa loves you, baby. Wherever he is, he loves you."

Quite a few of Oswald's cousins had grey eyes, after all.


1 comment:

Van said...

Yes, I know that real life baby eyes can be inconsistent and take a while to settle on a permanent color, but since Sim baby eyes don't work like that, I've chalked it up in my head to a quirk of the Dovian genome. *shrug*

Baby Nanalie, at least, should be safe from widespread speculation about her paternity. Apart from Nearina, the only people who have any reason to suspect that Nanalie isn't Oswald's are Celina (who would prefer it if Nanalie was at least thought to be Oswald's), Dani (who has no reason to want life to be any more difficult for Nearina than it already is), and possibly Aydelle (who might not have even met Nearina and generally has no interest in spreading rumors about people she doesn't know and has nothing against).