this, your eyes as soft as p e t a l s;
all the p a i n hidden behind your joy
has caused y o u to be kind to others
a floating island in the middle of the universe and the only place you set your sights on was the sky. the town was nice, but the skyfarers that frequently stopped by to refuel and exchange goods where what really drew his attention. the talk of far off islands, fantastical monsters, travelling among the stars. that was what you wanted. that was what you needed to thrive.
and yet you were just the son of the local tavern owner, a simple boy meant for simple things and that was nothing like what you wanted. you wanted to fly, you wanted to wield weapons against the primal beasts of old that you heard tales about. but you were just a young tavern boy, not a skyfarer like the men who sat at the bar and traded stories and scars. you wanted a life like that, but it was unattainable, wasn't it?
you grew up looking to the stars for guidance - they were the comfort you needed whenever life was boring. you didn't want to settle for being a tavern worker, you wanted more. you needed more. you weren't content sitting around cleaning glasses and attending to the fires. you wanted to explore, you wanted glory.
you wouldn't find that in port breeze.
your hands are not made of hard lines,
there are calluses
from the g r i e f you carried
they aren’t smooth
even as our palms catch
( against each o t h e r )
you're ten when you find it.
the ship. it's abandoned and broken and you swear you can hear it calling out in pain. but maybe that's your own mind weeping at the thought of this ship never sailing. the thought that you'd never be on it.
it's beautiful. and it takes your breath away. you're not sure what to do with it, but you swear one day you're going to get it in the air again. you're going to be the captain of this ship whether you're twenty or fifty or a hundred. one day this ship will be yours and it will fly.
you sit atop the bow and gaze at the sky. your heart fills with sorrow every time you try to get the ship in the air and it just sputters briefly to life before dying again. the stars will you with hope, but there's only so much hope that a young boy can have before his dreams are crushed.
it doesn't help that the skyfarers stop coming, that they stop coming by port breeze and you're sure that the profession is a thing of the past. do they even exist anymore now that the astrals are gone and the primal beasts are tamed? you're not sure, but after a year of trying and failing to get the ship to fly, you're doubtful that you'll ever be a helmsman now. not when the people of the sky are returning to land under the command of the erste empire.
it's one night when you've been on the ship all day and you've grown frustrated when you see it.
a falling star. a wishing star, as your mother calls it. and you do wish.
you wish that something will happen so that your life will change. so that you'll be able to leave port breeze because it has nothing to offer to you.
but it's not a star. it's a boy. he's the one you saw falling from the sky. is he a skyfarer? he doesn't look like any of the ones you've seen before. he looks like he's your age, maybe a little bit older. but he looks lonely and your open heart can't stop you from offering him some help.
s t a r s on your shoulder,
along your collarbones
i kiss each one while counting
the constellations in the sky;
deeming them unimpressive
in comparison to y o u r skin
that's what he tells you is his name is. that's all you can really get out of him at first, but then he tells you about your ship.
really, it's his ship.
he teaches you about the right type of wood to repair the ship. grandcypher. that's what he calls it. it's a beautiful name for the ship that he says it can be yours. he doesn't want to fly it. it's a generous gift from the boy that used to be a stranger.
though as he continued to stay in your house and you continued to grow up and spend time with him, he didn't really feel like a stranger anymore. he was a friend and he was your only friend. the two of you were inseparable and you never wanted to leave his side. noa was your favorite person in the world.
and then he was leaving.
he said he had to.
but didn't everyone have a choice? he could stay, he didn't have to leave. he was choosing to leave. he was choosing them over you and it hurt. you had never experienced hurt in this way and it hit you in the deepest parts of your body that you didn't even think were possible.
you were nineteen and you cried over him. you cried and you couldn't remember ever crying over something so.... so.. trivial. that's what it was after all. it was a matter of a yes or no and he hadn't chosen your side. so much for being best friends, right?
after he left, you lost sight of your goals. your dreams fell through your open fingers that were trying to grasp him and pull him back and yet catching nothing but air.
there was no point in being a helmsmen any more, even if you were already trained. skyfarers were a thing of your past as was noa. you couldn't let a boy who didn't care for you hold you back. and yet that's all you did.
you worked in the tavern instead of working on your flying. you stayed inside and hide yourself from the gaze of the stars because they did nothing but remind you of the times that you could only revisit in your dreams. you wanted things to change, but you couldn't. you couldn't pretend that noa was still there, that the grancypher would fly again. those were the dreams of a child. a boy. you were no longer a boy.
the ribs under my finger t i p s
outline the edges of the universe
where they bend,
combining your gasps
with your s o r r o w s
and producing something h o l y
you were found by some travelers, they said they needed a helmsman to take them on their journey. their journey to find the primal beasts and their masters, the astrals. you're against it at first, but after seeing their leader fight against the empire and stand up for the underdog. you find yourself with some similar ideals and feel compelled to help them.
plus, it can help you forget. forget port breeze and forget him.
that would make everything better, wouldn't it? it should, that's what you tell yourself at least. and it seems like you're finally achieving your dream of being a skyfarer, even if it's not the same way you'd imagine it when you were younger.
but you're flying and you're exploring the sky and it's every thing you wanted. and yet it's not nearly enough either. you know things are missing, that every thing isn't supposed to be this way. you miss him. you don't want to admit it, but you do. being on grandcypher isn't the same without him.
sure, you're distracted by the quest and the adventure. every place you visit has primal beast that the team encounters and pieces of the map to the island of the astrals. but it's not enough. you know it's not, but you can't do anything to change it.
and then.... things do change.
you find him again.
er, well, really he finds you. not even that he finds you, he finds his ship and in return finds you. he'd always said he'd be able to find you if he ever left and you'd doubted that. though it seems you were wrong to do so.
doubt is an evil thing and you let it ruin something great. you let it enter your heart and cloud your mind, tainting everything that you thought you'd enjoyed. flying had become unbearable, thinking about him had been something you didn't think you'd be able to do. you'd fought through that, but it still changed your heart.
you weren't the small, gentle, open young boy you'd used to be.
you were harsher, strong, and closed off now. you didn't let others get too close, didn't tell them most of your story until they asked and only then you only gave them some of the story.
but with noa back, everything changed. you were angry, sure. but you found yourself smiling more, at least you thought that you were.
he'd asked you specifically if it was alright for him to join the party, but you told him it wasn't your decision. you were just the helmsman after all, you weren't the leader. but you wouldn't admit that you wanted him to stay. that you didn't want to lose your best friend again. you didn't say that though. you kept your mouth shut and stayed away from him because it hurt too much still.
and then he was gone again. you were on some other island. the clouds had covered your vision for a second and the next thing you know, grandcypher was shuddering and landing into the sand of this strange island. you weren't sure if there were any primal beasts here, you're sure there are, but you hate the sand. and there's nothing here to help you rebuild grandcypher. again.
so you leave, you need the money to keep him afloat and you need to find the materials. but you won't find that where you landed. and you try not to focus on the fact that you've lost him once more.