As I open the door, a beam of light falls into your chamber. You are already asleep, Anakin, a small pillow-clutching body curled up in a bed built for a grown-up. Only your head is visible from underneath the blankets.
I had hoped to find you still awake, hoped that somehow I could ease the tension between us.
Whoever arranged these quarters for our arrival has also been kind enough to provide us with food supplies. Searching the kitchen shelves for something that you might like I ended up with milk and some kind of biscuits that have a spicy-sweet, strangely comforting smell.
The plate and the glass that I carry were meant to be amends. I didn't want our first day on this planet to end in quarrel and anger; I only noticed that you were shivering. Out there on the balcony, you looked frozen and exhausted.
"Quit staring into the skies and come back inside," I asked you , "It's late." You did not listen. "Anakin, please. You will catch a cold." And finally, much harsher than needed, "Why do I always have to call three times before you listen to anything I say? Now, just do as you are told, boy."
Is this the only thing we have learned in the weeks since we left Naboo together? How easy it is to maneuver ourselves into such a trap and how hard to get out again? Please believe me, I didn't intend to punish you or teach you a lesson. I simply was worried.
I didn't realize that you had reasons for your gaze - an understandable pine for the home you were used to, a boy's natural yearn for his mother. How do I know where to draw the line between Anakin Skywalker, the Chosen One, and Anakin Skywalker, the nine-year old child?
We are only a few steps apart, here in this room. I could easily touch your shoulder or whisper your name. But if I disturbed your sleep right at this moment, you would probably just feel offended. Just like you were offended and angry with me, when I had to summon whatever authority I posses to make you finally come inside.
I know Qui-Gon would have chosen a different path, one that would have been wiser. But I wasn't able to follow it though it lay before me, so easy and simple. All I had to do was to spread my own robe over your shoulders. I could have shared the warmth of my body, talked to you, and consoled you until your shivers and loneliness would finally have ceased. Padawan, come closer. You must be freezing?
But closeness has never been easy for me.
That I'm fully aware of my failings makes them all the more painful. I feel like crying though I know that I must not. After the last month's chaos you need peace and stability, not a master who wraps himself in grief and despair.
With every single breath I miss Qui-Gon.
You can't know this yet, but apart from the connection to the all-pervasive, all-nourishing Force, the relationship between Master and Padawan is the most intimate, most meaningful bond that a Jedi will ever possess. We are supposed to choose each other mutually, one soul completing the other, teaching it how to understand, how to learn and to grow.
You, however, are my promise to a dead man. Regardless how much I hope that I am wrong, Anakin, the flicker in your eyes is revealing. You have already discovered what secret is lying between us, the bitter truth we don't speak of, since even the silent knowledge hurts more than we can possibly bear.
If my master were still with us, I'd probably not even deign to look at you in my haughtiness. But his ashes have been carried away by the winds and rivers of Naboo; I cradled his dying body as it lay outstretched on the floor. During his last moments his thoughts were with you, Anakin. You are Qui-Gon's legacy. And my trial.
I am not ready to face you. When I dreamt of the future, the images arising were those of an adventurous young knight traveling the galaxy. Or an older, hopefully wiser Obi-Wan in the temple cr?che. Instead of focusing on a single Padawan, I always pictured myself as being surrounded by a whole crowd of younglings, telling them of the Force's true greatness and beauty, guiding them carefully through their first meditations.
Doing that demands a wider, more abstract kind of love; one that seems to be so much easier, Ani, than everything you need and deserve. I can only cling to the faith that we'll find our own way as time passes. If only I knew where to begin.
Would you like me to leave the plate at your bedside? I'm afraid the milk won't stay fresh overnight, but tomorrow you will wake up to the smell of biscuits and see that I'm trying.
Oh Padawan, please forgive me.
I'm doing my best.
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