“I love you Sam”
Sam blushed. She loved hearing it when people told her this, when people called her nice things like “you’re beautiful”, or when people praised her honey.
“I can’t wait for everyone to meet you. They’ll love your honey.”
Sam looked at him and asked, “Do you really think so?” her fragile ego absorbing everything like a hungry sponge. “Do you really think they’ll love me?”
“Oh yes.” the Fox said. “They’ll love your honey. They won’t be able to get enough of you.”
Sam could feel butterflies in her stomach. Despite the uneasiness of having left the path, of having abandoned David, the idea of being loved, of her honey being praised, thrilled her.
Thrill is a deceiving feeling.
“You really like my honey don’t you, David?” Sam asked, forgetting that she was talking to the Fox.
“David?!!” the Fox angrily shot back. “Forget about him. That liar promised you a quest and look where he took you? Don’t you remember how bad and hungry you were felt with him?”
“I’m sorry sir Fox. I slipped.” Sam embarrassingly apologised.
With a stern gaze the Fox looked at her, “You’ve been thinking about him haven’t you?”
“I haven’t been thinking about him at all!” Sam lied.
“Good. I’m the one taking you to an amazing feast NOT David. I’m the one introducing the world to you and you to the world. I’m not taking you on some dead-end quest. I’m going to make you famous. I’m going to make your honey famous. People will respect you.”
A feast. The world. Fame. Respect. These sounded all so beautiful to her.
“You don’t need David, Sam. Hear me? Forget about him.” The Fox emphasized this conviction in her mind.
“I don’t need him.” Sam said. “I don’t need David.” still lying but this time to herself.
“I don’t need him.”
Yet even as she deceived her mind she could not stop her heart’s inquiry with her, “I wonder how you are David. I wonder if you’re safe. I wonder if you hate me, hate me for leaving you. I hope you understand…
… I wonder if you still think my eyes are pretty.”
She felt the Fox staring at her.
“I don’t need him.” she said out loud.
The Fox smiled slyly.
“My beautiful princess.” He told her soothingly.
Sam bent low beside the Fox and let him brush his tail on her cheek. It was reassuring to her, to feel affection, she enjoyed affection no matter how fleeting.
“My beautiful princess. I’ll take care of you. You will never suffer again.”
“I trust you sir Fox.” Sam said. “I trust you.”
She had chosen to believe the beauty of his words. She embraced his promises.
“I trust you.”
On the way to the feast Sam let go, of her journey, of her best friend, of Abe’s destination, that place who knows where? Ahead of her was a bright new adventure with this most charming, romantic of guides, and the Fox was beautiful. He had promised her a feast and had assured her he would take care of her and that the world would love her, the Fox’s world would.
Maybe ten steps from the first step away from David, Sam could have turned. Of course she could have turned still, and on many occasions later, but people are like boats on the ocean, both either sailing in the same direction or drifting away, far away from each other pulled by the tides.
So on the way to the feast Sam chose, for everything we do is a choice, to let go.