Lyn seeks out the Chaplain for advice.
Location: Chapel - Vanguard
Related Scenes: None
Scene Number: 1041
It's a fairly quiet afternoon in the chapel. With no services to be performed, and no missions to go on (at least for the chaplain), Aldrich has settled in on the front pew, across from the altar. The main lights are off, with only candles to provide some illumination, along with the starlight from the viewport. One might assume he'd be praying, but he just so happens to be eating a sandwich as he watches the view. Apparently chaplains have to eat, too.
Lyn Arda isn't someone who attends chapel regularly. But at the moment, she needs to figure some things out that she just can't seem to do on her own. The marine steps inside, squinting in the relative dark, and it takes her a minute for her eyes to focus. "Chaplain?" she asks, quietly, pensively. "Do you have some time to talk?" She's in sweats and her tee and tank combo, one hand pressed against something on a chain under the tee.
Aldrich looks up, and twists just a little in the pew. He looks a bit stiff, but his welcoming smile is genuine. "Oh, hello. Come in, join me," he offers, gesturing to the empty space on the pew next to him. "I was just having a late lunch, but I was about finished, anyway," he explains, already wrapping up the leftover sandwich.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt," Lyn apologizes. She takes the seat though, heavily. She looks tired, no, weary is a better term. World weary. "I wanted to talk about something personal I'm struggling with. If that's not something Chaplain's do, I understand and I'll get out of your hair," she offers.
"You aren't interrupting," Aldrich reassures, gently, and brushes the last of the crumbs off his hands, so that he can turn his full attention to Lyn. He actually chuckles a little at that, "It just so happens that chaplains are champion listeners. So what's going on?"
"You saw what happened on that demo mission down on Canceron," Lyn says, her hand still pressed to whatever is under her shirt. "Ingvar and I have history. Long history, back on Aquaria. We were in a relationship. Then the planet fell and I disappeared on him. I panicked. I was a coward, and I had to know that hope was something I was allowed to have. My dad was killed in the attack on Heim, and he was the toughest man I knew. The thought of Jonas being killed by those damned toasters made me lose my mind. So, I left, and signed up to do long recon missions for survivors on Aquaria. I was looking for his family. He thought I'd left because I didn't care." She swallows.
Aldrich reaches over to put a hand on Lyn's arm, brows lifted as he says, gently, "There are no cowards in the Timber Wolves." With that assertion made, he squeezes her arm, then lets her go and folds his hands on his knee. "Have you talked to him about what happened?" he wonders.
Lyn snorts softly. "You could say that. He came to see me when I was trying to avoid him and it went, poorly." She looks at Aldrich miserably. "He told me I hurt him, and that I was not the same person he'd loved anymore. But what he doesn't understand is, I'm not the same person because I was only that person because he was in my life. He made me a better person. The woman he loved is still there, she's just buried deep."
She runs a hand through her hair. "I couldn't find his family, I failed. I couldn't tell him, I couldn't take the last of his hope away, or even face him after that, and that was selfish and stupid and cowardly. And when he found me the other night he wanted me to tell him I didn't love him anymore, so he could move on. He wanted me to say that, while he stood there, in the slippers I gave him years ago, after telling me he'd actually bought me a ring and had been planning to propose. He'd been lying to me all along that he 'wasn't the marrying type' all that while."
She clenches her fist at her chest. "So I lied too, and I told him I don't love him anymore, so he can move on. And he left me with this," she draws out the chain from her tee, and on it is a snowflake shaped engagement ring. "Said it was bad luck to give it to another woman so it was mine."
Aldrich listens to all of this, with a gentle expression of sympathy on his face. He eyes drop to the ring for a moment, then back to Lyn's face. For a long moment he remains silent, wheels turning, but then he asks an only slightly pointed question. "What did you /want/ to say?"
Lyn's eyes actually well up with tears. "I wanted to give him the letters I'd written him; the ones I never sent him because I was so ashamed that I failed to find his brother and sisters. I wanted to tell him I'd give anything to be able to find that woman I used to be; the happy one, who wasn't afraid to let people in, have friends, be in love. I wanted to tell him that he's been in my thoughts every day and that I haven't had a single relationship since I left him, and that I don't think I ever could be with someone else. They could never fit the same, make me want to be better." She wipes at her eyes angrily. "But I want him to be happy and I looked in his eyes and all I saw was pain. Pain I caused him. Pain I couldn't undo. So I lied. I told him I didn't love him and he was free. Then I got blackout drunk and apparently his new beautiful young blonde friend cleaned me up."
Aldrich scoots a little closer and puts a hand on Lyn's arm again, a comforting gesture. "You seem like a really smart woman," he offers, gently. "But I think you might be a little too close to this. Are you so sure that he'll be happier without you? Are you so sure he wasn't hoping that you might say exactly that?"
Tears leak out of Lyn's eyes and she flinches just a moment at the touch of Aldrich's hand. "I haven't been sure of anything since my father was killed. He was Aquarian militia, brilliant, bigger than life. I thought he was invincible. Then he wasn't, and something in me broke, Chaplain." She shakes her head. "I thought he wanted closure, rather than truth."
Aldrich nods a little, and smiles faintly. "Grief does funny things to people," he agrees, quietly. "That isn't a reflection on you. It's part of the human condition... No one who truly loves you would expect you to be entirely yourself after such a trauma. But it sounds like you both went through a similar event at the same time... So you weren't able to help each other the way you would have liked to. That isn't your fault. It isn't anyone's fault."
"So what do I do now?" Lyn asks, wiping her eyes again, wiping the wet side of her hand on her sweats. "Do I just leave him be and smile while I'm dying inside? Or do I tell him the truth? Is it just shifting the burden from me to him, being self-absorbed like he accused me, if I tell him the truth?"
Aldrich glances toward the viewport, taking a moment to consider his answer to that. "The bad news," he says, slowly, "Is that only you can answer that question. But I can say this from the male perspective. We very rarely actually know what we want." He smiles, and adds, "And I don't think that someone truly looking for closure shows up wearing the slippers you gave them. But that's just a hunch on my part."
Lyn sits for a long time, digesting his words. She clears her throat. "Thank you, Chaplain. You've helped, a lot." The slippers, the damned walrus slippers. If he wanted her out of his life, why would he still even have them, let alone be wearing them unless he wanted her to see them. Right?
She stands up and reaches for Aldrich's hand to shake it. "I think I have some soul searching to do, but I think I'll be all right now. I owe you."
Aldrich shakes Lyn's hand and gives it a bit of a gentle pat. "Excuse me if I don't stand up. I'm a little sore from that mission... But whatever happens, I'll be praying for you," he promises. "For /both/ of you."
"Thanks, Chaplain. And I'll always have your back out there," Lyn promises, before she drifts out.