There are things that you need and there are things that you want. You need the Force. You need commitment. You need to do your duty.
Love is a wanted thing. You don't need it. You have what you need, Obi-Wan. Love, family, those are things that inspire fear of loss. They would get in your way.
There was a hole in Obi-Wan's life that did not need to be filled. Never needed. He would not allow himself to feel a need for it. Sometimes, though, he would permit himself to want that place in his heart filled. And when he wanted love, he always ended up cursing himself for his weakness. Many a night he sat up disgustedly in the dark, dressed himself quietly as not to wake his padawan, and walked out into the cold, halfway hoping the frigid air could seep into his chest and numb the dull throb of loneliness that rested there.
He walked tonight.
The rooftop plateaus of Coruscant were a sterility of catwalks and landing platforms. There was nothing to stop the wind from scouring the metal and stone world. Obi-Wan's robes fluttered in the breeze and his long hair blew across his face. He blurred his eyes against the steady stream of ships that single-filed through the night sky. The flight lanes began to look like solid streaks of light, crossing the sky like multi-colored optic cables, connecting horizons. He let his mind wander.
He found himself at the East Park Annex, a sprawling artificial wilderness landscaped above the rooftops on a massive elevated platform. The park was one of the few vestiges of nature on Coruscant. The lake, streams, thick forest and brush were a welcome respite. Obi-Wan often gravitated to the Annex when his heart and brow were heavy. He walked up the stone steps and entered the park, smiling a little at the swaying trees and the fragrance of living things. He listened to the sound the trees made when wind passed through their branches and leaves. It was like an undulating static, a white noise current pushing the forest into a near instrumental communication.
He closed his eyes and reached out with the Force, breathing deeply, feeling blissful and unthinking life around him. His mind swept about the Annex, a little living world within itself. The soil was a void like space, full of small and twinkling lives. He touched the grass and the trees, chafing against the lifeless rocks that were a dark nothing in the Park world, and moved towards the water. His consciousness rested on the tiny waves of the lake flowing again to shore, and slowly back into Obi-Wan.
He opened his eyes and walked the stone paths that webbed the Annex. He stopped, turned, and left the path, making his way to a rushing stream beyond a dense cluster of trees. He sat on a large rock and stared at the flowing water.
The young knight smiled. Even though he had never seen him, Obi-Wan sometimes heard the voice of his master behind his eyes. "Master," he said softly.
"Look to your right, Obi-Wan. What do you see?"
He shifted on the rock and turned to look. Downstream was a girl sitting on the bank, staring at the water. It was dark and she faced the other way, steeped in shadow, feminine silhouette, a sweet mystery, alone like him in the night. Obi-Wan was surprised he hadn't noticed her before.
"She can't see or hear us right now. Not until after we've talked a moment and you've made your choice."
"What do you mean, Qui-Gon? What choice?"
"I have been watching this moment in time. This night is important, even critical. You have reached a crossroad of destiny, Obi-Wan, and I'm here to help you make the right decision. You see, that girl is the one for you, my friend. One of your destinies lies with her."
"I'm destined to be with that girl?" Obi-Wan asked, surprised.
"If you approach her, speak with her, you will fall in love with her. A love like none you have ever imagined. You will be happy for the rest of your life and you will have no regrets. You will never be lonely again. But you will no longer be a Jedi. You will give up the order and Anakin for her, and rightfully so, because she is remarkable."
"I don't believe it!" The young Jedi exclaimed. "How do you know all this?"
"The future I described to you is the easy one to see, like an open and very happy book. Your other choice, however, is clouded and difficult to define."
"I don't know. All I know is that your other destiny offers no love or peace. It's dark and it's painful, but it is the way of a Jedi knight. But there is no wrong answer here, my friend. The Force sometimes gives choices, and this is one of them. Love or duty. Both right. I can say no more."
Obi-Wan felt his master leave him and he turned again to look at the girl. His heart constricted in his chest and a painful look passed over his face. Love and happiness was downstream and all he had to do was take it. Tears began to well up in his eyes, tears of pain and frustration. He ran his fist into the rock, breaking two of his fingers.
The girl turned at the sound and all she saw was a shadow retreating into the swaying trees.
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