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undeserved of your sympathy

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You're crying. You don't know when it started and you don't really care, not anymore, not now that she's gone.

You're leaning against the side of your bed, clutching the blanket that she would always take (It's borrowing, Glinda, I'll give it back, I promise) and hoping, praying, that you'll wake up and find it's all been a dream and she's right there next to you and you can give her a hug before she leaves again (I'm only going to be gone for a day, Glinda, you don't need to act like I'm dying) except this time she is.

And you can see her smile, the gentle one she would only put on when she was really happy (You're smiling, Elphie, what's the special occasion?) and the way she would get so passionate about Animal rights (They're just as intelligent as we are, Glinda, why doesn't anybody understand that?) and equality (Nobody deserves to die, Glinda, and we can help save them!) except this time you were supposed to save her and you couldn't.

You couldn't save her, you never could, she was always the one saving you and him and everybody else and you fell deeper into her every day that passed.

She was the person you could never be, the daughter everyone had always wanted even though she wasn't very good socially and you knew if anyone who knew the two of you compared you and her, side by side, she would be the better person by a million miles.

Except nobody knew her, nobody at first, not you, not her sister, not Fiyero. Nobody could look past the green skin and the antisocial tendencies and the fire to see what was the fuel.

You did, eventually, after she got you into that magic class, and you stopped being quite so much of a jerk, and you think it might well be the highest accomplishment of your life to say that you got to know her, you knew her.

You think that you love loved her more than you ever loved Fiyero.

And then she left.

And you know she was saving herself, the one time she ever did, instead of saving everybody else and taking the pain with her head held high, but this one time when you were supposed to save her, help her save herself, and you did nothing and you dithered and you let her save you once more as she was saving herself and you hate yourself for it.

But not as much as you hate yourself for not saving her the time it counted, the time it really mattered and once more you sat and did nothing and watched as she sacrificed herself again for the good of others.

You were right there, you know, right behind the curtain, watching as the people you have to praise killed the woman you loved.

And you could have saved her. You could have saved the person you loved more than the world but you watched and you worried and you didn't.

And you never told her, you never told her that you loved her more than the world but somehow you could never bring yourself to choose her over them because you love yourself most and you hate yourself for that.

And you hate yourself for everything. Letting her go in the first place, without you. Choosing them over her. Choosing yourself over her.

You both did, in the end.

But her decision was selfless and strong and everything she always was that you never were, and yours was thoughtless and selfish and so much less than she deserved.

And you hate yourself, more every day that you spend dwelling on this.

The crowd thinks you're grieving for Fiyero, that you're sad your fiance was a traitor.

You think you would rather them know the truth, and hate you like you hate yourself, because you deserve it.

You deserve it so much more than Elphie did.

But she got the hatred, and you got the love, and now your arm shakes when you're holding your wand because of the unfairness of it all.

And now you stare at the knife in front of you, wondering whether it will make you feel better if you're closer to where she is.

And now she's gone.