Wandering Poet: Just Hair

It is just hair.

Tegil stared out across the lush foliage and sighed. They would reach the city tomorrow, and he was running out of time. The oddly green robe adorning his shoulders was easy to adjust to, but this was a much more difficult thing to do. He repeated the reassurance over and over in his mind, until it nearly became a mantra…but it did nothing to ease his disquiet.

It is just hair.

It really is just hair.

It will grow back.

How much danger was he walking into? That was irrelevant to his mind, in truth. He had grown to like his traveling companions – those he did not know previously – and whatever adventures they would find could do nothing but enrich his life. The left corner of his mouth twitched up in an amused smirk; he had already been kidnapped once…what was one more time, if it came down to it? This was his life to live, and one never learned all there was to learn by staying home.

Yet from the moment he entered into Gondor’s lands, thoughts of his family came to him often. It was to be expected, of course – he loved his family dearly, and it was difficult to not separate from his group of friends to head off to Minas Tirith.

As he watched the sun peek from behind the nearby mountains, Tegil finally admitted to himself that it was mostly guilt which spurred his longing to return to the White City; he had not been able to travel in time to properly attend to his brother’s funeral, and it was a deep sorrow. He frowned as he thought of young Arassiel, bereft of a father so young… It would take resolve of the utmost steel to keep from remaining for her sake.

Upon further reflection, he decided that it was better to remain with the group packing up their horses. Nallo and Tinuvist seemed unconcerned about the idea of being known as whom they were, but there was something in Cirieldis’s demeanor when the group spoke in Morlad that caused unease to settle across his shoulders.

The suggestion that whatever it is they may be doing could somehow be traced back to his family…the thought had never occurred to him. It was, indeed, his own life to live, but not one of his kin deserved to have their lives affected by his actions.

It is just hair. It will grow back.

Black strands danced in the air as Tegil finished wrapping up his sleeping roll and properly stored it. Only hair though it was, still it remained a large part of his identity. His hair had been longer even as a boy and this would be the first time in his life that it would be shorn short.

How lucky my life is, that this is such a dilemma! It is just hair.

Warm light caught the button on his sleeve, blinding him for a moment. Blue-grey eyes instinctively blinked away, and looked eastward. The sun’s rays would be first glowing upon the white stone of Minas Tirith at this exact moment, as well.

There was no doubt in his mind that his beloved mother was already awake and reading a book in the morning dew on the balcony. For years, the other noblewomen told her that she would catch cold from such an insanely flighty practice, but she had thus far proven them wrong. Arassiel would rise shortly and run to find her grandmother, awaiting the morning’s lesson.

If – if – anything were to happen to them because of him, Tegil would never forgive himself. The mere thought of that possibility caused his heart to fill with dread. He would gladly lay down his life to protect them, what little good his prowess in battle would win for them…

…And what was his own life next to hair?

It is just hair.

Shoulders squared, Tegil marched over to the tall elf setting his own gear aright. “Kemendin, if you have time before we set off for the day, I would be appreciative if you could cut my hair to a much shorter length.”

Was this supposed to be so worrisome, even now? The decision was made, so why was his stomach in knots? He took a stabilizing breath and answered the question to which he had no real answer.

“To be honest, I do not know what will be acceptable. It has never been short, and I will be unable to see my hair; I leave its fate entirely to those who can see.”

His eyes involuntarily closed before the blades could slice through years of identity and self-awareness.

It is just hair.

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