The Other Side

Christopher Adkins
aka Mordavian

The woman doting on her child across the room was still recognisable as the bully from her time at the academy. She had been relentless in her teasing of Darpisys. No one was happy that a Half Elf had been accepted, but Liawynn was worse than most. The irony that they now sat across from each other with their daughters wasn’t lost on anyone.

Darpisys had little time to reflect on her past though. She was looking in disappointment at her daughter who had been sent to the headmaster for bullying. Her target, Liawynn’s daughter, was the bottom of her class and, according to rumor, only in the academy because of increasingly generous donations from her parents.

The Academy of the Arcane Arts in Mela Edhil was the best in the entire kingdom. Everyone who wanted to study magic applied here first. The competition between the students was fierce but for the most part good natured. Because of the reputation that the academy had, bullying and pranks were strictly forbidden.

After talking with the Headmistress, the girls were sent back to their classes and the mothers left walking awkwardly next to each other. They were both lost in their own thoughts, but still aware that the other was there. As they make it to the entrance Liawynn grabs her arm and turns to look her in the eye. Her eyes are red and she looks to be on the verge of tears. There is a confusing mix of anger and regret on her face. Even though she seems set on saying something, she doesn’t seem to know yet what it is.

Darpisys stares at her, giving Liawynn time to organizer her thoughts. Finally, Liawynn breaks down in tears and hugs her. The warmth of the embrace surprises Darpisys, but after a short moment she hugs her back. The two mothers stand in the entrance embracing each other

“You stole Orithana’s spot at the Academy…” said Liawynn.

Several more moments pass as Darpisys tries to figure out what she is talking about. Finally, Liawynn explains.

“My twin sister was supposed to go to the Academy. My parents always talked about her losing her spot to a Half Elf. She managed to get into the Academy in Ilren Thalas, but it just wasn’t the same.” She pauses for a moment, tears filling her eyes again. “After the first day of classes she went for a walk in the woods. No one had told her that Orcs had been sighted. No one warned her no to go wandering off alone. If I had been there, or if she had been here, she wouldn’t have been alone…”

“I’m so sorry…” was all that Darpisys could muster. The hatred that she had always felt from Liawynn now made sense. She had been blamed for something that she had no control over.

“I don’t know what the orphanage did to get me accepted to the Academy” explained Darpisys. “With their help I applied and was accepted. If I stole a spot from someone I never knew. I just knew I wanted to come here because it is where my mother studied.”

After hearing the story, Darpisys felt terrible. She had known about the bullying, but had never said anything to discourage her daughter. She knew the girl that was being harassed was her harassers daughter and the irony was just too sweet to ignore. She hadn’t outright encouraged it, but had subtley relished the tidbits that she heard as her daughter was talking to friends. If they had only talked. All those years ago. All this pain. All those lonely nights for all of them. If the had only talked.