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5th August, 2013
Lo and Li
[The Beach] The beach has a special way of smoothing even the most ragged edges
Looking back, Toph can see the irony. It wasn't always as clear, but then again, she did have an extremely skewed perspective; the type of vision that came with growing up sheltered, growing up isolated. After all, she had dedicated much of her childhood to her bending, to prove both she and the rock were indestructible and strong. How wrong she was.
She couldn't see it at the time, but wasn't that the point? No-one ever realises, and in hindsight she could see how stupid, how ignorant and naïve it was to assume she was any different.
There were numerous reasons she could use. They were in the middle of a war. They were too different. They had separate purposes and responsibilities. It just wouldn't work. It's was only years later that Toph could see how futile the excuses were—for they were excuses. Fake reasons to justify her own cowardice. Since when did she allow anything, even her own mind, get the better of her?
Toph can still imagine her twelve-year-old self, so outgoing and confident and yet terrified of what he would say. Even now, she is scared, although with just cause.
When they were young, the constant threat of death should have been enough to sway her, but it wasn't. She knew what it she was scared of: rejection. A justifiable fear, to be sure, but unfounded. He had never rejected her before; not when she ran away, or was most desperate for a friend. He protected her when there was no-one else to, and he gave up—threw away—his most prized possessions to save her. The realisation gave her the strength to hold on, and the courage to tell him.
But, by then it was too late. He had found hope and love and happiness with someone else. Toph couldn't be angry, she couldn't be upset, because he was happy. After all, one of them deserved it.
And so Toph sits at the waters edge. The beautiful water that she once believed only had the power to drown her or keep her afloat in its tumultuous waves. Toph knows now that it did neither. She realises now that when rock meets water, gently bumps next to it and lives in tandem harmony, it is the rock that slowly gives. Inch by subtle inch it erodes, until there is nothing left. And she hates herself for it.
Notes: angst!!! :D Finally. I hope you liked it. I don't know about tomorrow, but the last day will also be angst. Just so y'know.
For the collective works of the author, go here.