by Dandy

SR Sept 22

Sam stood in the exact spot he stopped every year on this day. He held the red book almost reverently in his hands. I will not lose you, Mr. Frodo. That is what he had been told when the promise had been made. The skies were not quite so blue anymore. Sam searched them. Nothing was as blue as the memory of those eyes. Sam smelled again the wood smoke from fireplaces under one of the nearby hobbit homes. Apple wood, surely that was. The old tree had split during the summer thunderstorm. Frodo smelled of apples, he remembered, like hot apple cider on a wintery day. But that was because of his fondness for them.

I wonder if they have apples where he is at?
I will not lose you.
These were the thoughts that worked their way through Sam's head. And yet he had.

He missed Frodo. There was no denying that. Each day was an eternity to wait. Yes, he had Rosie and the children. But his heart ached when he thought about what Frodo and he had endured together. They had both been taken apart and left shattered on the edge of ruin. They each had sought healing in their own way. Seperately. But in the end, there was no healing left in The Shire for either of the ones who had saved it. At least, not seperately.

I will not lose you.

The cornfield was still a brilliant green. Even though the last of the corn had been harvested and tomorrow would come the day of the autumn feast. Even though the ones that they celebrated for no longer resided in the Shire, still the younger hobbits continued to celebrate their birthday. Sam had begun the tradition much as Frodo had done for Bilbo. Drinking a toast at the end of the day and wishing them both a happy birthday.

Sam smiled.

His hand absentmindedly stroked one of the leaves of corn. He had thought that perhaps one day he would pass again the furthest point from home. "I made a promise not to lose you, Mr Frodo." he whispered. "And I still don't mean to.."

He took a step.