Rey sat with her back to him, watching the red fireball sun sink into the sea. Luke could tell by the way she hunched her shoulders that she was trying to fold in on herself, to retreat from the world. She went to ground like this any time a vision came to her, and they came with greater frequency now that he’d taught her to meditate. She was ready for that crucial step in her training, but he wished she hadn’t been.
He pulled his hood up against the stiffening breeze that buffeted the island crags. “Do you want to talk about it?” he asked his young padawan, dreading the conversation that would come next.
She didn’t answer at once but hugged her knees to her chest. After a moment, she said in a small voice, “I saw him again.”
Luke pushed back against the ache in his heart, but it would never let him go. He always knew the object of her visions before she ever said a word. He could deal with her despair at being abandoned on Jakku as a child – and all the pent up bitter questions – better than he could with the shadow that lurked in her tattered memories.
“The boy,” he acknowledged flatly, folding his arms into his robes.
She nodded without turning around.
The boy was no longer faceless to her. She could see his features now, although they still meant nothing to her. He was long and lanky, maybe about fourteen in the vision – although it was hard to tell with boys – with a long nose and a tousle of black hair that hid his large ears. She couldn’t decide on the color of his eyes. Sometimes they were the earthy brown of peat, but more often they reflected the churning greens and grays of the sea.
“What about him?” Luke nudged. He was getting too old for this, he told himself.
Rey still didn’t turn around. “I saw him so clearly this time. It was like he was right in front of me. He kept breaking things…sort of. Well, he didn’t mean to….” Her voice trailed off. She knew she was rambling. Actually, she didn’t what she was saying. She took a deep breath. “He was with some kids playing hoverball, only he wasn’t playing. He was just leaning against an old stone wall. He wasn’t even watching them. All of a sudden, this dark cloud spread over the field. One of the kids told him to go back inside so the sun would come out.
“Then he was in a class, I think, looking at star charts through a holo projector. It started going crazy, spinning faster and faster, until all the kids were laughing. The teacher told him to step back, but it wouldn’t stop. Finally, she took him out of the room.”
She fell silent for such a long while that Luke thought she had finished and had slipped back into a meditative state. He started to move off toward the stone huts that were their home when her quiet voice brought him up short. He turned.
“He was doing dishes when a cup just shattered in his hand. And then another. There was blood everywhere.”
Rey got to her feet and turned to face her mentor. “You were there,” she told him in an accusatory tone. “You bandaged his hands.” She gave him a hard look. “And I was too. I found him sitting against the wall. There were vines hanging all around him, and I swear they grew while he sat there. He looked so lost and alone, I…I just went up to him.”
Luke watched as her gaze turned inward and sad.
“I just stood there looking at him, not knowing what to do,” she went on after a hard swallow. “I must have been really small because he was a lot bigger than me. He glared at me at first. He said, ‘What do you want, Rags?’”
Luke winced at the childhood nickname. It wouldn’t be long now before Rey started to remember everything…every painful detail he’d hoped to spare his padawan.
“I plucked a moonflower from the vines and held it out to him,” she continued after a moment. “’To give you this,’ I said. He took it. He didn’t say anything, but the anger went out of him.”
Her gaze shifted to meet the old hermit’s eyes. “Who is he? Who was he to me?”
Luke didn’t answer.
@MyKyloRen 19 March 2016