The Undying Lands Disclaimer:
I don't own nor claim to any any of the people (or hobbits) or places in the following. This is all for the enjoyment of others.
She saw him often. And what a strange looking sight he made, with curly black hair on his head and on his feet, wearing the clothes of a retired English gentleman. But he had never heard of England and she had never seen anybody like him back on Earth.
He called to her something in her, this strange hobbit person. Like her, he was one of a kind in that gentle land, alone even though he had kin near him. And like her he missed those he’d left behind, so much so that her heart broke with each one of his tears.
They became travelling companions. They often walked for miles before dinner. The solitude comforted them both. Elves were like herd creatures, she reflected, but neither of them were part of the herd and that rankled both. They rarely spoke on these walks. There were no secrets in the Undying Lands, so each knew the others stories. There was no need for questions. Though that didn’t mean they didn’t have any. And so if Tara wondered who Frodo missed so much he wept, she never asked. And if Frodo was curious as to her odd speaking habits and her friend Willow - who it seemed to him to be more than a friend - he never let on about his suspicions.
When they did speak it was in common vein. For while they had both been invited, made uncommon guests of and by the Elves, still both felt out of place. They comforted each other: the wisdom of the Elves, they said in turn, was unparalleled. And as such it was implied that their hospitality was unquestionably right and just.
Still Frodo worried about what taint had been left on his soul by the One Ring and the more physical mark of the Witch Kings sword and Tara feared that she would forever be waiting to greet her love. Because she somehow knew that something had gone wrong the moment she died. She was not meant to have ended up in Undying Lands and yet she did. It was something that worried her often. But she pushed those thoughts aside, more often than not, to comfort the hobbit who had become her uncommon companion.
“You and he were never that alike Frodo.” Tara told the little hobbit gently during their latest talk. “You both came to the ring by chance. You chose to take the ring, to destroy it. Smeagól stole the ring, killed for it. He was more consumed by his need for the ring from the beginning than you ever were.”
“And yet the ring did consume me,” he said. “Faced with the fires of Mount Doom, with the ring in my hand and Sam at my back, urging me to let it go and I couldn’t raise my hand to release it from my grasp.” His eyes were haunted by his past. “I chose the ring, and evil, over my own friends.”
“I said you were less consumed by the ring, not untouched.” She sighed. “I guess what we have to remember is that we are fallible. We make bad decisions and mistakes. Our friends forgive us and love us despite this.” Frodo nodded at this truth. Sam had helped carry him out of the volcano despite his betrayal. “But in the end, we have to learn to forgive ourselves. Until we do, it’s not over. And if you don’t let it go, leave it behind you, then he’s won.”
They were silent. The quiet of the glade pervaded their senses and as the wind rushed down from the mountain, sighing through the golden trees, it washed away the gloom of their earlier words and gave Frodo new strength.
“The girl you speak of, Willow, was she your…” Words failed him and he felt hot under the doe-eyes scrutiny of the blonde. She smiled.
“Yes,” Tara said softly. “She was mine.”
It was easy enough, then, under the dappled sunshine, under trees that had stood for longer than either could contemplate, to leave it there. To gently and softly free themselves of the memories of another life, lives filled with more pain than any girl, man or hobbit should bear solely.
And Arda embraced them, embraced their rested spirits. And, Tara reflected, maybe that was why they were there in the first place. To find the solace neither would have found elsewhere.