Just who you want to be.
There was a dull pain within Abalia's chest, not unlike the hurt that came moments before the body fully realized the gravity of a wound. She stared at Ulv for a moment, then two, and it was as though any light in her eyes had simply been snuffed out. If there had been the faintest hint of a smile upon her lips, it was long gone now, replaced only with a thin, unhappy line. When she spoke, there was not a single trace of emotion within her voice, as if it had simply been wiped away entirely.
“Yes, I suppose that is the case. The people do not much wish to associate with someone so very cold, now do they? They wish for someone who might show them all the extremes life can contain, who can whisk them away to parts unknown, be it literally or metaphorically, and change their lives. They are not after some dull attendant of the law, who gives them little more than a smile and what support she can, who feels so very little outside of satisfaction at a job well done.”
The longer Abalia went on, the more weight seemed to fill the room, and seemed to loom behind her words. They were still passionless, still lacking in anything one could call energy. It was not as though a great fire had been lit inside her, far from it, in fact. Far more applicable would be an iceberg which had broken away from its glacier, and slowly but surely moved forward unperturbed. Her every word was all too clearly spoken with every bit of emotion Abalia could muster. And, perhaps, that simply made things all the sadder.
“You say things as if they are so very black and white. I am clearly not unhappy, and so I must be happy with this place, yes? Or if not that, content? To live in this never-changing quietude, where no matter the event I can scarcely conjure much more feeling for it than a faint self-approval, where my every action is taken for the good of bettering the lives of others.
“You are right, Ulv. The people of the world do need so much more than what I have to experience a happy life. They require those feelings I have never known, those joys and sorrows that, no matter what has occurred in my life, have never struck me for my own sake. I have cried for those I failed to save. I have smiled for those I brought happiness. Yet I have never truly felt what I suspect is happiness, nor what one would call sadness. I am but a shell who performs her duty not simply for its own sake, but in the knowledge that it is the only thing which brings me anything resembling those feelings.”
Abalia was not angry. She did not get angry when it came to herself. But it was clear from her tone that she considered Ulv's words all too incorrect, not simply a minor misstep but a grave error that had been made.
“I dare say that you were the first person I ever knew to make me feel something more than that. I have never had a friend before you. I would ask if I told you, if you remembered such a thing, but I suspect you already would have been able to tell that simply from who I am. And to say that what you brought me resembled everything I know of happiness would not be a lie. Yet here you are, now, saying that you can do nothing to help me, that I live in an empty world of my own choosing.”
Her eyes changed ever so slightly, then, and her lips seemed to tremble just the faintest bit. The silver-haired maiden's brow creased, her grip tightened upon nothing, and all at once Abalia turned away from Ulv entirely, looking instead toward one of the windows.
“And now, I think, you have brought me what I suspect is sadness.”