Ian: You have something to say.
Elizabeth: Why you? Why does it have to be you?
Ian: You chose me for this. I should be asking you, “Why me?”
Elizabeth says nothing and stares out the window into the rain.
“I want to be back in Ireland,” I said, and just like that, I was back in my cottage, staring out in the rain. The fire place was rolling over the peat logs and Ian was standing beside me as I gazed out the window into the night rain.
“Why here, huh?” he asked.
“You feel threatened then?”
And the rain fell.
“He found me,” I said and Ian shifted his hand on the pummel of his sword. He kicked at the grains in the wood floor.
“I want others to know. To warn them. I want him in jail. To die in prison.”
“Why?” Ian asked.
“Because that’s what he deserves.”
“Why are we really here, Angela?”
I looked at Bergen.
“The masks are gone,” he said. “I am Bergen. Not Ian. You are no longer Elizabeth. Everyone knows, Angela.”
I sighed and stared back at the rain.
“I spoke to Judith on Thursday.”
“I told her, I don’t want to be afraid anymore.” Bergen stared at his hands upon his pummel. “I told her I didn’t want to fear. That I was tired of being afraid. Of hiding.” Thick tears burned my eyes and fell as I looked at Bergen. “I don’t want to be weak,” I said. “I don’t want to be small or vulnerable anymore. I’m tired of hiding.”
“What can he do to you?” Bergen asked.
“He can…” I shook my head. “Nothing now.”
“Then why are you scared?”
“He…” I bit my lip as I forced down a knot that closed my throat. “He has a way of talking. A way that makes me… so small. He controls me. He has a way of making me feel like a child all over again. And I’m young again. Too weak to fight him… And the way he spoke, it made me feel like I was the adult and the pedophile preying upon a small boy.”
“But you’re no longer a child with a wooden sword.”
I looked at him.
“You are stronger, older, wiser. Your sword is steel and sharp. You can wield it now like the proper warrior you’ve become. You’re not the same.”
I dropped my face to my hands and cried.
“What is it you always said, Angela?”
I stopped crying as I remembered, and spoke:
“I have always taken delight in conversing with learned persons. Whenever I see someone who shows some power of the mind, who…, who can do or say something better than others, I am compelled to fall in love with him.”
“And wasn’t that Erik, and Isaac…”
“And Raven,” I whispered, remembering. “Oh, how much I miss Raven.”
“I thought you didn’t love him.”
“Maybe. Maybe I just loved the idea of him. And maybe I loved who he was. Maybe I loved who he is. Maybe I loved who he wanted to be, the part he buried deep, the part only I could see. His gentle heart.”
“What do you want, Angela?”
“Please call me Elizabeth.”
“It’s a mask.”
“It is. And it’s easier.”
“Alright, Elizabeth. What do you want?”
“I want… I want to not be scared anymore. I want to not be afraid. I want to be strong enough to confront my past, to confront the day, and people. I want to be strong enough to live and laugh…”
I heard the match and smelled the sweet pipe leaf. I looked at Bergen who held the long pipe to his mouth as he worked to light the dried leaf in the bowl.
“I want to be strong enough to love.