Title: First Steps Characters: New OC Cypress Eli Genre: angst, drama Summary: teenage daughter of Lens and Kayla Eli grieves over the betrayal of her ex-boyfriend. A/N: This fic is part of the Create a New OC minichallenge in the Bring Back the OC Revolution thread. First Steps It had been six months since Devin Smalls had broken Cypress Eli’s heart. Six months of grieving and working through the visceral pain of his betrayal. Six months of wondering why she had not been good enough for him. Why he had to find what he was looking for somewhere else. What had he been looking for? The answer to that was obvious enough, and the rotten root of her pain. She would not give it to him. She was raised to value it and to give it only to the man she would marry. There was no question that keeping that promise, to her parents and to herself, was harder than any physical or emotional task she had ever undertaken. It had cost her Devin. It had driven him into the arms of someone who would give him what he wanted. Cypress sat on a precipice of outstretched rock some 200 kilometers from the Jedi Temple. It over looked a lush valley divided by a fast running creek which seemed to be fed directly from mountain snow. She loved being in nature and felt great comfort, in the Force, when she was close to it. As she meditated, she attempted to release his hold on her. Her head said to forgive him, to let go of the pain, but her heart would not listen so the stalemate persisted. After so many months, she hated the melancholy which hung on her like a cloud following her wherever she went. But, she must somehow relish the pain and anger more. She knew the pitfalls of anger and pride and could cite many examples of powerful beings who were brought low by them, but she was a just a girl; a girl questioning her worth. Not just to a boy, but to her family and to the Order. Her mother was well aware of the break up and the toll it had taken on her. She had tried to reach out, but Cypress had been cradling her anger at that point, feeding it like a newborn babe. She had even lashed out at her mother, questioning her understanding of such heartbreak. Her mother had conceded the point and retreated. Her father, on the other hand, had not allowed her outburst to dissuade him. Though not by a woman’s betrayal, he had experienced a different kind of pain. He would not allow her to dismiss him and would not consent to her wallowing. He shared his childhood abandonment as well as the subsequent bullying he experienced as a result. Cypress listened, but it wasn’t the same. He had never been betrayed by her Uncle Ben or her mother. He had not felt the blistering heat of seeing the boy she loved with someone else. He listened to her rebuttals and responded that she was right. However, he made it clear that he knew very well how it felt to question his worth. Abandonment in a relationship or abandonment by a parent is still abandonment. She gave a weak smile through her tears and he hugged her tightly before leaving her alone. As the breeze picked up, Cypress closed her eyes and reached out with the Force. She breathed deeply and touched the Devin sized ball of anger in her heart. He had been so cold when he ended it, so arrogant and selfish. He had belittled her for not giving herself to him. Well, for not giving her body to him. She felt the ball grow inside her, but she would not allow it. Her exhale was labored and she began to choke. She could feel the thing in her throat. It burned and scratched as it surfaced. Though she could not breathe, she sat still maintaining her openness to the Force. The ball popped from her throat into her mouth, a foul and pestilent mass. She spit it out and watched as ball of bright red energy faded to pink and the to nothing. Cypress took another deep breath and exhaled freely. She felt suddenly lighter, as if the load stones in her backpack had been removed. The melancholy she had carried for so long was gone and she could see through the fog to the joy of the Force. She took a couple of more breaths before trying to touch the Devin place again. The anger was gone. The ball of dark side energy had been expelled. She touched the place in her heart but the surge of fury she used to feel was gone. In its place was a scar. A fresh scar. A scar that was a sign of healing. I forgive you, Devin. Not for you. For me.