What does Love mean to you?
Kissing my Cousin is Love
I was somehow drawn to Findekano right from the beginning. His birth made quite an impact on me, because he was the first of our cousins to be born and he was the first newborn that I had seen or held. Amme was pregnant with Tyelkormo at the time, as I recall (or was to become so not long after), and when Macalaure was born I was really too young to notice him much as a baby.
My friendship with Findekano began I suppose as a kind of babysitter. I'm not sure if it was Amme's idea or Anaire's but it was suggested when Findekano was still young that he would benefit from socialising with other children, since at the time his younger siblings were not yet born. As the eldest, I was given the responsibility of keeping the younger ones out of trouble.
Right from the start, even though Tyelkormo and Findekano were the same age (or near enough), they were very different. Turco was always happy to find something to do on his own, and Macalaure was much the same. Kano on the other hand was a very demanding child. He always wanted to play and never on his own, and I suppose I was there so I was it. Truthfuly though, I enjoyed the time I spent with him; aside from being an excuse to avoid working in the forge, he was always such joyful company. As he got older he showed a very adventurous streak, and he loved to do anything that was exciting, dangerous or adventurous. Amme and Atar, and his parents also encouraged me to keep company with him, at least to begin with, in the view that I being virtually adult by then, would keep him safe and out of mischief.
Secretly, I enjoyed doing all those things too, whether it was climbing cliffs or diving from them, swimming off the shore or racing horses down the beach, or any number of other crazy stunts. So I encouraged him, though his safety was always my main concern. In the end though if anyone got into difficulty it was usually me. Let's just say that Thangorodrim was not the first, or even the second, occasion on which he had literally saved my life.
I'm not quite sure when our friendship became something more. Looking back I realise now that I was in love with him early on, though I did not understand it at the time. I would think about him all the time and mope when he wasn't able to visit. When he did visit I wished with all my heart that he would not have to go again. I did not understand what it meant, when all the time my parents were encouraging me to make friends with girls and think about taking a wife, and it did not interest me because I only wanted to spend my time with Findekano.
So, yes I think I loved him a lot earlier than I thought I did. He was still quite beneath the age of majority when he kissed me for the first time - or at least the first time it was a proper kiss, and not just a friendly childish peck. I was surprised but at the same time, not surprised at all, and it seemed perfectly natural that I returned the kiss in kind. After that, things moved rather quickly - there was no lingering courtship, just a clumsy and hungry first time, when neither of us really knew what we were doing. We... er... practised hard, after that. *grin*
It's a little strange really, that as a child Findekano was much more forward than I, and as he got older he became much less so. I wonder what would have happened if he'd been less forward then, and had not had the nerve to kiss me that first time. I wonder if I'd ever have had the nerve to kiss him instead, and I think perhaps not. We might never have come together at all, except just as cousins.
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