(Numerous entries appear in Lem’s Journal between the battle with the Owlbear and the fourth annual Founder’s Day celebration. Most of these entries detail the ups and downs of Lem’s evolving relationship with Nina, though there are some more serious entries related to Gideon and Marcelina’s wedding, his studies of Iomedae’s code, frustration and idleness, and concerns for the Kingdom’s growth.)
Yesterday we celebrated the end of Urusundova’s fourth year. This year we were able to do it down on the waterfront, beneath the memorials we erected for Sasha and Dyimi during the winter. Gideon said a very nice benediction beneath the statues as a dedication, and then Jacek got up on the dais to give the ceremonial speech. Katya asked me before the event if I would like to give a speech as well, but I deferred for fear that I’d break down in tears, start swearing, or do something equally stupid. Instead, I just stood up there in my chainmail trying to look my best.
Afterwards there was singing and dancing, then lots of food and ale, and then more of all of the above. I made a dedicated effort to stay at Nina’s side throughout the event, and was rewarded with more than my fair share of dances with her. She was stolen away by Nesime and Leilania a couple of times for ‘girl stuff’, but she always came back afterwards. There were also a few other men that asked to dance with her, including young Corvin and some creepy elf named Phaereth. I did my best not to act jealous. That was a tricky thing indeed.
So I’m pretty sure at this point I’m in love with Nina, but I was pretty sure I was in love with Katya and we know how that turned out…
No, wait, that’s not what I want to say. Let’s try that again.
I’m in love with Nina.
There, it’s down on paper. I can’t take it back, can’t deny it, can’t pretend that it isn’t the way I feel. I’m in love with her. That’s that.
Nina’s the most intriguing, complicated, beguiling girl I’ve ever met. She’s beautiful, clever, and earnest in everything she does. But I think what I like most about her is that she’s honest. I need an honest girl. I need someone who will call me out on my bullshit and flat out tell me she’s thinking. I love her for the fact that she knows who she is and isn’t afraid of it. I wish I was as courageous as she is.
Now comes the hard part—figuring out what to do next. I want to tell her how I feel, I want to spill it all out like a breaking dam. But I don’t think she’d react well to that. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’d be the fastest way to scare her off. There’s something guarded at the center of Nina, something she doesn’t want me or anyone else to see. Maybe she’s spent too much of her life alone, or maybe someone hurt her badly when she was young. All I know is that she doesn’t trust anyone with the whole of who she is. She’s locked a part of herself away where it can’t be touched.
I think that opening that lock is the key to winning her heart. If I can find a way to lower the last of her defenses and let me in, then I can tell her how I really feel. And maybe she can tell me she feels the same way. Maybe…
Listen to me journal, pining away like some kind of lovesick teen. I’m sorta proud of myself.
You know journal, as party died down at the end of Founder’s Day, I decided that I should go see Sasha and the others…you know, for old times sake. I went down beneath the castle with a bottle, and tried talking to them like I used to. Weird thing was, it didn’t work. I didn’t feel them there with me. I didn’t know whether to be upset or relieved. I guess they’re really gone. I’m still trying to figure out what that means to me. Maybe it’s not all bad.
We’ll talk more later journal. Until then, keep my secrets safe for me.