Remembrances of the Past
Tahiri was in the past.
She was there to watch. To watch the beginning of the end. To watch the pinnacle of her life. She watched that moment in time which was the climax of her life. She watched the moment, the heartbeat, in which her entire existence had changed.
For the worse.
Every second, every moment since that single tick of time had steadily gotten worse. Every day after that moment was literally the worst day of her life.
Tahiri watched the past; with silent sobs, she watched both her highest moment; and the moment in which she lost everything.
She watched the death of Anakin Solo.
For the fifteenth time.
She squeezed her eyes shut, struggling to keep the tears from falling. She knew, even as she made the attempt, that she was failing. No matter how many times she watched, she always suffered the same pain. It was an open wound, one which she refused to quit picking at. One which she refused to let heal.
She opened her eyes again, and saw Anakin starting to glow as he channeled the Force through him. There. Right then. That was the moment in time in which he was about to die. It was now that she had to save him.
She knew that Jacen had told her that she wasn't really changing the past with these little trips. That all they did was create new memories for those on the strike team.
But Jacen had been a Sith. He had dealt in lies, and he wouldn't have wanted Anakin back as Anakin would have been able to stop him.
She knew that Jacen had lied to her. There was no other way around it. She could believe nothing else. She had to try for herself.
She stepped forward, closer to Anakin and the grotto where he fought, and saw Nom Anor run way. This is it!
She bolted forward, becoming more and more in tune with the time plane as she rushed towards Anakin. As he fell to the ground unconscious, she grabbed his arm and began dragging him away from the blast radius of the thermal detonator. Quickly, she looked around and found that there was no-one close enough to stop her, so she squatted into the dust and heaved him up onto her shoulders in a rescue carry. Then she ran off into the warrens, in the direction which she knew the rest of the strike team had disappeared to after all, she had traveled that path in her mind every night for nearly fifteen years.
As she neared the hovel in which the strike team had hidden, she dropped Anakin and then threw some stones against the coral walls, and then allowed the Flow to dislodge her from the time plane. The door was flung open, and as she was swept forward in time, she heard her younger self call out Anakin's name.
She dropped back into the present, her breathing coming in great gasps. New memories slammed into her; a life she had never had, an existence she had only dreamed of. Anakin helping fight the ending of the war. Anakin on Zonoma Sekot with her after the war. Their wedding. The birth of her first child three years ago, a daughter. The birth of their second just a few months ago, this time a son.
An entire life that she had never known, but had always dreamed about was created fully in her mind in a heartbeat.
She curled herself around her legs, tears flowing down her face, even as the sobs shook her body. She raised herself up on her hands and knees, her tears still falling into the dirt around her as she began to laugh. "I knew it. I knew he was lying to me. He never tried to bring Anakin back, but I did it."
She straightened herself and rushed towards her ship; wanting desperately to get home to her husband. Wanting nothing more than to see him again.
Two days later her starship was landing on one of the landing areas situated around the Jedi Temple on Ossus. This was where they had made their home after they were married. She glanced towards the right and saw a battered old transport. It was a CEC Y-2700, and its mere presence made her smile. That was his ship.
She rushed down the gangplank and thundered into the Temple itself, brushing past the younger trainees and Masters alike.
Finally she stood before the entrance to their apartment within the Temple. Hesitantly, she reached out and touched the activation plate to the room. With a subtle hiss, the door slid open and Tahiri stepped into the room.
A room she did not recognize.
Her mouth hung open as she looked around the room. The east wall should have had an image of the Juundland Wastes at second sunset that Anakin had bought her for their fourth anniversary, but it was blank, empty. As was the rest of the room. No couches, no mementos of their life together. Just bare floors and empty walls. She wandered through the apartment, a growing sense of disconnect as she stopped and looked into each of the empty rooms. The first was her daughter's room. She remembered it being filled with brightly-colored stuffed animals; mostly gifts from Han and Lando. The next room was the nursery; there should have been decorations of stylized banthas on the wall painted in a light blue rather than their antiseptic white.
She screwed a fist against one of her eyes, as the tears slashed down her face.
Then the door to the apartment opened again.
She spun around and darted into the hallway, calling out, "Anakin!"
As she came into view of the door, she pulled up short, a frown flickering over her face. Standing there was Luke Skywalker, and a few steps behind him, his son and apprentice, Ben.
Luke took a step forward, as she fell back a step, her hands snapped to her face, covering her mouth. "Tahiri? What's wrong?"
She dropped her hands, and grabbed the door frame to her daughter's empty room. "Where are they? Where's my husband? My children? Where are Illis and Lani?"
Ben answered her. "'Ri, you're not married."
Anger clenched at her heart. "Don't call me 'Ri!" She snarled at Ben. "That's his nickname for me."
She saw them share a glance between each other. Screaming inarticulately, she spun around and ran away from them, deeper into the apartment, heading towards the one room she hadn't looked into yet. The bedroom she had shared with him.
She burst through the door into the empty room. Slowing down, she continued forward until she stood in the center of the room. Slowly she spun in a circle; surveying the room. Lost in its emptiness. An emptiness which echoed in her heart.
There wasn't even a bed.
The room felt cold and disused in the Force as if no one lived here.
Or had ever lived there.
She dropped to her knees, curling her body over them as she broke down in tears.
She felt a hand press gently against her shoulder. Lifting her eyes, she could just barely make out Ben through the blur of her tears.
"Tahiri, are you okay?" His voice was hesitant, and she could feel his concern for her in the Force. It stung.
"Where are they Ben? Where's my family?"
He shook his head. "I don't know what you're talking about 'Ri."
She shifted her gaze, facing Luke. "Where are they Luke? Where's Anakin?"
He frowned for a moment, and then shook his head. "Anakin's dead Tahiri. He's been dead for years. We burned his body on Hapes, remember?"
"Yes, no!" She shook her head violently from side-to-side. "No! He didn't die! I, I saved him! Y-you're lying! We got married! We had kids! You were there for their Naming Day!"
She dropped her face back to her knees, as more tears came, and found she was unable to stop her body from shaking.
Then the door opened once again, and she stretched out with the Force. He felt familiar and comfortable. Hope flaring in her chest, she was on her feet in an instant. She had moved so quickly, that she startled Luke and Ben as she pushed past them. As she rounded the corner from the bedroom into the hall, she called out, "Anakin!"
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