Ombra mai fu

A/N: This drabble was inspired by Handel’s gorgeous aria, Ombra Mai Fu. It is meant to convey a feeling that we all get one day, when we’re grown up but wish that we weren’t.

He needed this. It felt as if the entire world and its expecations were crushing in on him at once. Oxford was his childhood home, but he hadn’t been back in years. As he wandered the wooded paths on the outskirts of town, he waited for the familiarity to comfort him.

He had grown up here, played in these woods as a child. Made friends of wayward cows from nearby farms. Pretended to be a knight, and then a dragon, then a knight again. All of that was gone from him now. On and on he walked, through raspberry fields, along the murmuring Thames, willing that same peace to return. Those golden days he spent as a child, letting the long summer days and his imagination lead him. His heart desperately wished to return to that simplicity, and if there were anywhere he could achieve it, it was in these woods.

The sun began to set and he realised that though the surroundings had barely changed, he had. The pleasures of an endless, empty day for him to fill with adventures was no longer within reach. His sense of wonder had faded to grey, and he was just tired. Tired of responsibility, tired of keeping up an image. Tired of the can’ts and shouldn’ts and ought to’s. But there was nothing to be done but return to his regular life, aching with the memory of the idyllic childhood dreamland he could no longer seem to find his way back to.

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