7. An Education
The car pulled into Morgan’s driveway, and then stopped. Turning off the ignition, Morgan turned to look at Boromir. His face was that of pure gladness.
“The snow has melted,” Boromir observed, still sitting in the car, making no motion to leave.
“The spring thaw,” Morgan explained, looking at the soggy turf herself. “I hate this time of year. So muddy.”
“Do you? Oh, it is my favourite. The worst is now over, and one can now enjoy all that life has to offer.”
Morgan looked at him. She wasn’t sure if he was referring to winter or the sanitarium, but knew it didn’t really matter. Opening her door she said, “C’mon. I’ll show you around inside; you never really got to see it last time.”
Boromir got out and followed her. His hands were free, as he was possession-less, and strode through the open doorway. There he met Moglie who jumped up excitedly, licking his face. “You recognize me, do you?” Boromir asked the black dog, and patted his head. “Aye, it is good to see you, too.”
Morgan shut the door, and an awkward silence ensued. “Well, uh, shall I show you around? I want you to feel comfortable here.”
“I thank you, Morgan. You are a good woman. I swear I shall not intrude upon your kindness long...”
“Where are you going?”
“Why, home! This land is not for one of my kind. When I was imprisoned, I swore that should I ever escape, I would return to Gondor.”
“So, you don’t really have amnesia. ‘Boromir’ wasn’t just a name you gave yourself because you couldn’t remember, was it? You really believe you are from another world...”
“I do not believe it, Morgan. I know it! If you could but see into my memory, know the things that I know, you would not doubt me. I have now seen the life you live, the world in which you live in, and it is not the same as mine own. I have no sanity in this land, and there are certainly none here believe me to have any. Yet, I do not lie.”
“Not even to Dr. Larkin?” Morgan asked, knowing he was full of shit. Boromir’s temper heated within a flash, but even then, she wasn’t afraid.
“If I were to tell you what I was forced to endure in that place, you would not reproach me as you do now! Never would I condemn a dog to such an existence. There was no other way, Morgan! Never would they have let me go; I know it! I would have done anything, said anything to escape that misery, and I will not beg pardon for it, not even from you!”
Morgan was about to speak, but promptly shut her mouth. Sane or not, there could be no denying that he had truly suffered at the mental hospital, and nothing appeared to have changed. He was still the same old Boromir, with the same old ideas. It had all been for nothing.
She wanted to believe him, but ‘reason, logic, truth’, the battle-cry words her college philosophy professor had drummed into his students’ heads continued to resound.
And yet, Boromir wasn’t psychotic. Not technically, anyway. He had been tested and retested. Dr. Larkin told her so. So, if he wasn’t crazy, was he telling the truth? ‘Reason, logic, truth’; she couldn’t get the words out of her head. What was she to believe?
Boromir, meanwhile, had been eyeing her in a state of abstruseness. She appeared to be struggling against some inner turmoil, but when at last she looked at him, her face had not changed, and he could only assume that whatever unrest had been in her mind was not appeased.
“Well, while you’re here,” Morgan said, brushing off their previous conversation as if she were swatting a fly, “you may as well know how to get about. So, first things first: the kitchen.” She led him into the kitchen, and Boromir gazed at the intimidating artifices surrounding him. “Stove, dishwasher, fridge...” she said, pointing as she spoke, but Boromir appeared lost. He’s either the best actor in the world, Morgan thought, or else he really is clueless.
“Let’s start with something easy. The fridge,” she said, opening the door. Boromir gaped and gazed at its various contents. “This is where we keep things that can go bad. Milk, cheese, butter, you get the idea. Just make sure you put it back in right away, and that the door shuts. Got it?”
“I believe so,” he said, obviously struggling to remember every instruction.
“Now, up here is the freezer,” she said, opening the smaller door. “This is where all the frozen food is kept.”
“Why, it feels as though winter were in there!” Boromir said, reaching his hand in.
“Yes, it’s cold, so make sure the door stays shut, alright?”
“Now, the dishwasher. This is where we put the dirty dishes, but don’t put the pots or pans in there.” She stopped a moment. “Do you know what pots and pans are?”
Boromir looked incredulously at her. “I am not such a dullard! Aye, I know of pots and pans!”
“Alright! No offence! Just asking...I’ll teach you later how it works, alright? Just fill it with your dishes, and I’ll turn it on.”
Aye,” Boromir said, eyeing the machine’s various knobs and buttons with wariness. “And what does it do?”
“It...washes the dishes.”
“Ok, next is the stove. Now, I’m going to ask that you be careful,” Morgan said seriously, which caused Boromir to unwittingly take a step back. “We don’t want a fire.”
“We do not want a fire?”
“No! No fires!”
“Then, how is one to cook anything?”
“It will cook. The element will get really hot. We just don’t want an open flame. Open flame is bad.” She sighed. It was worse than explaining to a child. “Look,” Morgan continued. “You press this button to turn on the oven, and then this button to turn the temperature up; this button to turn it down. This button turns the oven off. Alright?”
Boromir had been paying close attention, but so many buttons for so many reasons only confused him. He shook his head. “Nay, I’ll not be using that device!”
“Well, if you have to cook, use either the wood stove or the barbeque outside.” Boromir nodded his head at that. Worried that she would only offend his sensibilities again, Morgan had to assume that he would know how to make a fire. “Should I even bother showing you the microwave?” she said, pointing at it. “It also has buttons...”
“Nay, I think not,” Boromir said, looking at it with much misgiving.
“Alrighty, then. I think that’s it. Oh, well, there’s the washer and dryer.” Boromir looked at her blankly, hoping she would explain in greater detail. “For your clothes...” she continued. “They wash and...dry your clothes...”
“But, I have no other clothes.”
“Oh, right!” Morgan said, looking down at his outfit, the same clothes he was wearing when she found him all those months ago.
“I wore a horrible spotted suit at the hospital. Upon my leaving, they returned these to me.”
“Right. Yeah, we maybe should get you some more. May help you blend in...”
Morgan took a moment, thinking about everything that she owned that Boromir wouldn’t know how to use. The TV and DVD player? Somehow she doubted that he’d be that interested in watching her 7 seasons of ‘Buffy’. Her computer? Who would he have to email? Camera? No way! He’d just see the half naked pictures of himself, and think her a pervert. “I think that’s it. Dinner’s not going to be for another hour or so. What would you like to do in the meanwhile?”
“If you do not terribly mind, I wish to boil some hot water for a bath,” Boromir said, blushing slightly.
“Oh, you don’t need to do that.”
“Nay, I rather believe I do. At the hospital, they only allowed us to wash once a week, and it was with an odd, rain-like device.”
“Once a week? Really? Ew. No, I only meant that we don’t need to boil any water. Here, let me show you,” she said, taking him to the bathroom. It would be much easier to show him than tell him.
They stepped into the bathroom. A deep soaker tub sat to their right, surrounded in crisp, white tile, and pale green paint on the walls.
These bathing rooms seem strange, Boromir thought, quite unlike the washing rooms of Gondor. There, one had to sit in a cold metal basin, and have a servant bring an endless supply of hot water if one wanted to get clean.
Morgan stooped down to the faucet, and turned the sparkling chrome knob. A gush of water flowed from the spigot, and Boromir smiled and said, “I cannot believe it! That is incredible!”
“Put your hand under it; it’s hot.”
Reaching down, Boromir stuck his hand neath the flow of water, and could scarcely regard his own senses. Hot water pouring from nowhere! Now he had seen everything that could be seen!
“There are towels in the cupboard, and there’s the shampoo and conditioner. For your hair...” Morgan added, thinking that more detail was better than not enough. She then closed the door, and left Boromir to enjoy his bath.
She thought women took long baths, but it was nothing to Boromir! He seemed fascinated with the faucet, and refilled the tub after twenty minutes. She could hear him splashing about, humming some unknown tune.
“Would you like a clean t-shirt?” she said through the closed bathroom door. “I don’t have any pants that would fit you, but I have some too big for me t-shirts.”
“Aye, I thank you,” Boromir replied.
Dinner in the oven and Boromir in the bath, Morgan began to rummage through her wardrobe, trying to find a shirt that would fit a big man like Boromir.
At last, she could hear the vacuum of the water being sucked down the drain, and knew that Boromir had finished his bath. She heard the flush of the toilet; she cursed herself. She had forgotten to mention what it was for, or how to use it. He strode out of the steamy bathroom shirtless, dressed only in his black pants; his hair wet and sexy.
Damn he was foxy, she thought, and could not help but smile in a completely girlish way. The sight was nothing new to her, as she had seen more of his manly figure when she was nursing him back to health. But now, slightly damp and half naked, he looked better than Jude Law in a towel.
“Um, here’s the shirt,” she said, handing over a black T with a picture of Black Sabbath on the front.
“What is a ‘Black Sabbath’?” Boromir said before climbing into the shirt. It was old, and well shrunk. Morgan would have been swimming in it, but as it was, it was snug on Boromir, just enough to show of his goods.
“Oh, just a band from my younger days. Are you hungry? Dinner’s almost ready.”
They dug into the cheesy pasta bake that Morgan had made. She couldn’t be confident that Boromir liked it. He did comment that it was better than the hospital food that he had been receiving, yet, Morgan wasn’t sure how much of a compliment that was.
“Tell me about your family,” Morgan said, crackling open a bottle of white wine. “What’s your home life like?”
Boromir smiled at first, and then it faded. “Like any others, I would assume.”
“No, no. You’re the only guy I know from Gondor. C’mon! What’s it like? What is your brother like?”
“My brother...” Boromir faltered. “He is a good man. A soldier, like myself. He is talented with words and learned in folklore. While I am here, he will have a very difficult time, I think. You see, our father favours me.”
“Oh!” Morgan said, her dislike immediate. “That’s not right! You’re both his sons. What’s your brother’s name? Faramir? Well, you said he’s good, right? What makes you the favourite?”
“I know not. First born, perhaps. Maybe that I am a stronger soldier than he; I know not the reason. All that I know is that they must think me dead, and poor Faramir will have to suffer for it.”
Seeing that all this talk was bringing Boromir down, Morgan smiled and said, “Change of subject! What do you do in Gondor to pass the time?”
“Tell stories, sing songs, drink ale...”
“Well, we have the ale. How about a movie? Have you ever seen one?”
They moved from the kitchen to the living room, and Boromir sat down on the long bench. “The moving picture box? Aye, I saw one at the hospital. A most strange device. At first, I thought there were little people inside, and then I recalled what you had told me of the radio in your Honda. I did not care much for what I had seen...”
“What was it?”
“I know not. It seemed too confusing. A ship, it seemed, though not a ship on the seas, but in the heavens! And strange creatures, it was very bizarre...”
“Star Trek. Don’t worry. I won’t show you anything beyond your comfort zone.” Morgan surveyed the shelves of movies. ‘Jaws’? It might make him reconsider that boat trip he was planning... ‘Harry Potter’? Too many modern things, even for muggles... ‘Braveheart’? Perfect!
“I think you’ll like this one, Boromir,” Morgan said, taking the disk out of the case and setting into the DVD player. “It’s a story that took place a long time ago, when things were...simpler. Well, sort of simpler.”
When the film was finally done and Mel Gibson had spouted, “Freedom” for the umpteenth time, Morgan wished that she had rethought her selection. Boromir didn’t seem disturbed by the ‘little people in the moving picture box’ anymore. He seemed familiar with their clothes (although he thought it funny that all the men wore ‘frocks’), and appeared comfortable with their rustic way of life. It was the storyline that impassioned him. When the evil King Edward declared Prima Nocta, and that all Scottish brides would be raped on their wedding night, Morgan was startled when Boromir jumped up, shouting at the screen, “Dastardly villain! I shall run you through before one maiden is harmed!” On several occasions, Morgan’s attempts to pacify the distressed Boromir proved fruitless.
During the lovemaking scenes, Boromir turned quite pink, and clasped his large hand over Morgan’s eyes, and averted his own. Despite her protests, Boromir declared, “That is not for a maiden’s eyes...”
The movie finally over, Boromir growled, “That coward! That villain! I shall kill him...”
“Don’t stress on it, Boromir. He’s dead.”
“Looong dead. By, like, seven hundred years, or something. Don’t worry. They abolished laws like that a long time ago. No one needs to be killed.”
Boromir nodded, and once again grew calm. Morgan made the mental note to be very picky of the movies she’d show him from now on. ‘Rob Roy’ was definitely out.
“I hope you do not think me discourteous, Morgan, but my day has been a long one. Would you think me impudent if I retired for the night?”
“No, not at all. Go and rest up. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Boromir took a few steps, and then turned back to face her, his face gentle and pensive. “I wish I...” He paused, searching for the correct words. Such phrases did not come easily to his lips. “You know not what tormented thoughts overpowered me when I was taken that day. My greatest fear was that they had captured you as well. I lived those months imagining you harrowed, and tortured. Witless as I am with words, I cannot tell you how relieved I am to find you thus. Thank you once more for coming to my aid,” he said before briskly escaping to the sanctuary of his bedchamber.
Author's Note: hope you liked this one. It was kind of a transition chapter. Let me know what you think! Also, I've added a discussion forum, so be sure to check it out, and we can chat there!