Burning, bleeding, the younger sun pursued his sibling across the sky. The wily old star fled for the hills and safety, but it was his fate never to rest again. For the younger brother had only exposed his face. The elder had exposed his failure.
But I can’t afford to react to things as Obi-Wan Kenobi anymore. I won’t be able to turn on my lightsaber without screaming “Jedi Knight” to everyone around.
Yes, I expect things will be slower. I’ll be far from anywhere, and alone, with nothing but my regrets to keep me company.
But he was certainly failing at shooing away interest. The man looked … well, sad whenever he thought she wasn’t looking.
You look sad when you think he can't see you. ----Molly
She studied him closely. Pleasant on the outside, torn up on the inside? Many of the people in her life were the opposite—you had to get through layers of abrasiveness to find the niceness in them, if it existed at all.
Maybe this was the key to the man. “Did … something happen to you, Ben?” “No,” he said, looking at the dish. Almost under his breath he added: “Not to me.” Abruptly, he turned away—and began wiping off the tables they’d sat at.
Anakin could have used a bit of that. We were all impressed with what he could do. But he was impressed, too—and not in the least thankful for it. No, not near the end. I have his lightsaber, you know. It’s right here, sitting in my hands. Some nights, like this, I just sit and stare at it, wondering what I could have done to help him.
I look, and I look, for answers. Then I put it away in the trunk, and try to forget. It’s impossible, of course. Maybe if he’d grown older—had been able to grow older—he’d have gotten some perspective. But that just wasn’t to be. If only he’d listened to reason, hadn’t forced me to do what I had to do, then I wouldn’t be here, now, feeling like a— No. Good night, Qui-Gon.
“Someone like you—you ought to be doing something.” She paused, before going ahead with the impetuous addition: “Or you ought to have a family to watch over.” Ben paused. He looked over his shoulder at her, the little smile back on his face. “Well, you never know. Perhaps I already have a family to watch over.” Annileen rolled her eyes. She turned and climbed onto her speeder bike.
Annileen smiled. Ben’s reluctance was almost charming—the man, she suspected, simply didn’t want to be in anyone’s debt. She’d just have to convince him it wasn’t a concern. “The clan has spoken,” she said. “You’d better come along.” Ben responded with a pained smile.
“Five hours,” she said. “Take your hood off. You’re in a civilized place now.” Ben complied. “I was worried when you didn’t come back to the store,” she said. “It’s been a long time.” “Ah. Yes, I’ve been busy,” he said, raising his glass to drink. “With?” “Things.” “Things,” she said, unbelieving. It was amazing how the man could use something as small as a cup to hide behind. Seemingly sensing her frustration, he set the drink down and grinned. “You’ve seen the grounds of my palace. I’m still working through the junk that might be toxic.”
He might stop runaway dewbacks and talk to Tuskens, but Ben Kenobi was on completely foreign territory when it came to discussing matters of the heart
Crazy Old Ben的经点隐藏信息式的谈话：
Ben shrugged. “It’s your life. Every individual decides his or her own fate—” Annileen groaned. “Everything’s an adage with you. Ben, are you telling me you’ve never had to deal with a real-life situation? Where you had to make a decision about someone else?” Finally seeming to sense her frustration, Ben looked away. “I’m human,” he said. “There was someone, once. It wasn’t to be.” “And you gave up and moved to the Jundland Wastes?” She laughed. “I’d say you didn’t find the right person.” “Perhaps I did,” Ben said, looking back at her from beneath his hood. “But I wasn’t the right person.” “More double-talk from Crazy Ben,” Annileen said. Feeling her confidence grow, she took a step toward him, cutting the space between them in half.
she touched his arm—less insistently this time. “Wait,” she said. “You’re not going to get away that easily. This isn’t just about me,” she said. “This is about you.” He put up his hand again. “I told you, I not looking for a—” “No,” Annileen said. “Not that. I asked you outside the Claim that day if something bad had happened to you. You said it happened to someone else.” “Yes.” She grabbed his wrist. “You’re a liar.” “Excuse me?” “You’re lying to yourself. This thing, this bad thing—it may have happened to someone else. Someone you cared about, I’m guessing. And that means it happened to you, too.” Ben resisted. “I don’t—” “Yes, you do. Something horrible happened, Ben, and it’s ripping you apart. Maybe it’s why you’re here. But you’re trying to go on like you didn’t care, like you weren’t—” She paused. His hands back on the railing, he looked up at her.
“You were there,” Annileen whispered. “Weren’t you? When this bad thing happened,” she mouthed. “You were there.” Ben closed his eyes and nodded. “It didn’t just happen,” he said, hardly breathing. “I caused it.” Annileen’s mind raced. Raced and veered into dark imaginings that she wanted to dismiss. But Ben was serious about whatever it was, and she had to be, too. “You … you hurt someone?” “They hurt themselves,” Ben said. “I came along at the end—the very end. But I was also there at the beginning. I should have stopped it.” She shook her head. “You’re just one man.” “I should have stopped it!” The railing shook. “I failed! It was on me to stop it, and I didn’t. And I will have that on my conscience forever.” Annileen’s eyes looked left and right. The fence quaked so hard under his hands that she thought the very posts might fly out of the ground. “Ben, you can’t blame—” “You can’t know.” He turned and clutched at her shoulders, surprising her. “I failed everyone. Do you have any idea how many people have paid for that? Do you know how many people are paying, right now?” “I only know one,” she said. Ben let go of her. His arms wilted. She had never seen such anguish in anyone’s eyes before. What had he been through? What had he done? What did he think he had done? So many theories about his past had coalesced and dispersed since she’d known him. Annileen struggled to run through them now. Had there been a domestic tragedy? Had he been a soldier, whose actions had cost his platoon? An executive, whose negligence had wiped out his corporation? Her thoughts ranged from the small to the improbably large, before determining that it didn’t matter. Hurt was hurt. And whether Ben had harmed someone before, she judged him to be no danger now. Except, perhaps to his own happiness. Every human instinct told her to embrace him. But something else, somewhere, told her to step back. Which she did. “Ben, I think I understand. You’re out here, I guess, to atone. Maybe more than that—I don’t know. But that’s part of it. If talking about things would help—” Ben shook his head. “It won’t.” He glanced at the setting suns, then took a deep breath. His body straightened. “I’m sorry. I do thank you for the day out, but you should get home while there’s still light.” Annileen watched as he turned back to his house. The familiar reserve had returned. She had gotten in for a moment; she could tell that for sure. But she saw she would get no farther. Not today.
You know I’m failing again—this time, at being a hermit. Obi-Wan keeps taking charge of Ben Kenobi’s life. We’re one and the same, of course. But the Obi-Wan part of me wants to help someone, to do something right. To be a Jedi! Only then will I feel that I am able to live in peace while others are suffering. I’ve had such trouble, reconciling it all. How can Ben exist if Obi-Wan won’t let him?
“I think … I think maybe Ben’s doing the same thing,” Annileen said. “He’s not staying on Tatooine because he wants to. I think he thinks he has to. Maybe somebody entrusted him with something, something he feels he has no right to abandon. Someone else’s dream, maybe—like Dannar and the store.”
I did my time,” she said. “Ben hasn’t, yet. But who knows? Maybe in five or ten or twenty years, he’ll have done his time, too.” Her children at her side, she looked down from space as the ship’s engines revved up. “Good-bye, Ben,” Annileen whispered. And thank you. Outside, the world blurred and vanished.
They’re safe, above. Luke is safe, below. And I will be … okay. It’s a long way back to the house, Qui-Gon. May the Force be with you. It’s time for me to go home.
But I’ll leave the shadow one day.