I woke up in my new chamber, feeling unwell. Slowly, I sat up and tried to get my mantle. However, I had to rush to the privy – I felt so sick!
I must have sat in the privy for hours, keeping my hair away from my face. I had never felt this awful in all my life. From the other side of the door, I could hear the footsteps of a servant bringing me my morning food. Such delicacies did not appeal to me. All I wanted to do was crawl back into bed and sleep.
I managed to find the strength to get back up and dress into something proper. It took me over an hour to be fully suitable for the public eye. At first, I began to suspect that the sweat had returned, but the thought of a possible child made me grow even more confident. After eating a few pieces of fruit, I decided I was in need of some fresh air. I decided to keep away from my husband's study and our chamber, since I was in no mood to talk with him. Yet, as I walked down the long corridor, I heard the voices of men coming from the sitting room. Boldly, I stood close to the closed door to see if I could make out what was being said.
"I do not need your advice," I heard Denethor say. "She is my wife and I will act as I please around her."
"Son," Ecthelion replied, "I fear you will push her away from you. What has she done to make you so angry?"
I felt my heart starting to beat fast. I knew that I should not be listening in on their conversation, yet it concerned me, and I wanted to know what Denethor had to say.
"She has done nothing," Denethor said somberly. "She is a kind woman. The only thing Finduilas has done to displease me is act against my wishes."
"She has a free mind," Ecthelion replied. "All of Adrahil's children have free minds. He has raised Finduilas to have her own opinions."
"I suppose you are suggesting that I should accept her opinions?" Denethor asked.
"Yes," Ecthelion said. "You need to respect her."
"I do respect her!" Denethor said loudly. "I have always loved and respected her. But her opinions sway her away from the other women of the court."
"Denethor," Ecthelion said sternly, "If you do not heed my words of advice, Finduilas may... stop loving you."
I heard Denethor let out a large sigh. "I will do what I can to please her."
"Have faith," Ecthelion replied. "You have married a remarkable woman. Be proud of your marriage. Did you know Adrahil had plans to marry Finduilas to another man?"
"No," Denethor replied. "Why was I not informed of this plan?"
"Because Adrahil changed his mind," Ecthelion replied, "and you have me to thank for that. I proposed for Finduilas to come into this family with a far less dowry than the other man's family expected."
"Who was this man?" Denethor asked.
"I cannot remember his name," Ecthelion replied, "but he was one of the Commanders of the Navy."
I put my hand over my mouth. It could not have been him! His name was Agoron and I had loved him so dearly that I had told my father that I wished to marry him. Of course, my father had informed me that such a marriage was impossible, as he was from a family of high expectations with marriage.
Sadly, I started to walk away from the door, remembering the long argument I had with my father. I had begged him to allow the dowry they required of me. I had told my family that I would do anything to be Agoron's wife. I had loved Agoron for many, many years. The two of us would take walks on the beach and he would take me out sailing and have romantic evenings out at sea. He would touch me where other men had never touched before, though we never consummated our love.
I felt a tear fall down my cheek. I wondered how my life would have turned out if my marriage to Agoron had gone through. I would have been far happier with him, and I would be by the sea still and close to my family. I wondered, if I wrote to him, would he reply? When my betrothal to Denethor was made public in Dol Amroth, I remembered the look of shock and disappointment on Agoron's face. He never stayed for the celebration. That was the last time I ever saw him.
I walked into the library and over to a desk. I decided I must write to Agoron and ask for his forgiveness. After scrunching up several pieces of paper, I finally had a letter ready to send.
It has been over two years since our last acquaintance. I must ask how your health is, and how your life is treating you. My life here in Minas Tirith is not how I expected it to be. Life is far busier, and the shadow of Mordor has started to frighten me. I honestly do not understand how the people can live so close to the Dark Lord. I am having nightmares, and I know it is because of Mordor. I am so afraid, so very afraid.
How is Dol Amroth? I heard the Sweating illness has made its presence in the city. How badly has it affected the coast? Please inform me that you are well. I would be greatly devastated if something has happened to you.
After everything that we have meant to each other, I would hate for you to despise me for marrying Denethor. It was my father and Lord Ecthelion who arranged the marriage. I had nothing to do with the agreement.
Only today did I discover that my father had made an agreement with your family for a possible marriage between you and me. Did you know of this? If so, why did you not tell me? My life would have been far more exciting if I was your wife. Denethor is not like you. He is not a sailor, a soldier, or anything that is very thrilling. He spends most of his time in his study, pouring over documents and making military decisions without ever setting foot on the battlefield. I thought I loved him – during the early days of our marriage. Now, I have seen him for what he really is. His moods changes consistently, and I never know what to expect from him. Lately, all he and I have done is argue. It started when the sweating illness came. My handmaiden became ill and Denethor would not allow me to help her. Sadly, she died, and I too caught the sweat.
I am well now, and I have reason to suspect that I could be with-child. I do hope that I am, and that I am carrying a boy. I have no desire to share a chamber with Denethor for a long time. For now, all I want to do is take care of myself.
If you will accept my forgiveness, I wish to see you sometime in the near future. I miss you.
With my love,
I placed the letter into an envelope, sealing it closed with the seal of the House of Stewards. I kissed the letter before having it sent away.
Dinner that evening turned out to be quite uncomfortable. Denethor kept his eyes on his plate and refused to make eye contact with anybody.
"Well," Ecthelion said, "I have a desire to ride to Osgiliath tomorrow. Would either of you care to join me?"
"No," I replied politely. "I would like to stay in the citadel for some time."
"That is a shame," Ecthelion replied. "Denethor?"
"I suppose a ride couldn't hurt," Denethor said.
"Excellent," Ecthelion said. "Captain Thorongil will be joining us."
Denethor looked at his father sharply. "Why is he joining us?"
"Because, it was Thorongil's idea," Ecthelion replied.
Denethor stood up and left the dining hall. Ecthelion sighed. "I have tried to reason with him."
"Your words did not comfort him?" I asked.
"No," Ecthelion replied. "Perhaps yours may."
"Perhaps," I replied. "But, I do not think he is willing to heed my words."
"Hmm. How are you feeling?" he asked.
"Better," I replied. "However, I was a little ill this morning."
"More reason for you to suspect that you are with-child," Ecthelion said, smiling.
"I believe I will go and speak to a physician tomorrow if I am sick once more in the morning," I said.
"I shall have a physician come and check on you when you wake up," he replied. "I would like the woman who is carrying my grandchild to be greatly looked after."
I smiled warmly. "Thank you, Ecthelion. I believe I shall retire now."
Ecthelion nodded. "I shall see you late tomorrow afternoon after I have returned from Osgiliath. I hope you will have confirmation on your possible condition."
"I hope so too," I replied. "I shall see you in the morning."
I walked out of the dining room with a smile on my face. Tomorrow everything would change.