Chapter 9: Letters and Ideas
Two months… it was difficult to appreciate just how long a month was until you had to wait anxiously through two of them. The New Year had come and now the second month of it was nearly over. Spring break was only a couple of weeks away and Sarah had no idea how she was going to spend it. Originally she had planned to stay on campus and spend as much time with Jareth as possible, but now that it had been two months since they'd seen each other with only one letter of reassurance from him, she wasn't sure.
The letter had come in the middle of January tied with a ribbon around a single red rose. Sarah opened her desk drawer and took the letter out just then. It was worn and creased from how many times she'd unfolded it, read it, caressed the words 'I love you' at the bottom, and then re-folded it only to repeat the process about four more times a day. His flowing script helped to sooth her and give her courage until he could be there again, but that didn't stop her from worrying a million times a day about him while she was in class. The image of him exhausted and weak, leaning against her front door the last time she'd seen him haunted her and she hoped that he'd kept his word to not take the revitalization potion again.
She sighed as she traced the script at the bottom once more. "I love you too, Jareth," she whispered. She looked up at the small mirror above her desk. Her reflection showed a lined face and sad eyes. She chuckled a little; Vivienne was right, she looked like a lost puppy dog. The amusement didn't last long though and her face was right back to the sad puppy dog look. "Hoggle… I need you," she whispered against hope to the mirror.
It had been so long since she'd called on any of her friends, that she was afraid they wouldn't answer. Silence filled the room and she sighed in defeat after a few minutes and dropped her head to her arms on the desk. However just then the sound of someone clearing their throat could be heard and Sarah's head snapped back up. The familiar visage of Hoggle could be seen in the mirror now, lined face, white hair under a skull cap, bulbous nose, and bright blue eyes. He looked worried though. "Hoggle…" Sarah whispered.
"Hi, missy…" he replied fidgeting. "I was going ta tell ya off fer not callin' on me sooner, buts I can see that you be needin' something else now."
"I do, Hoggle. I need a friend."
Hoggle smiled a little. "Well I thinks I can helps ya out there."
Sarah smiled as well. "Thanks, Hoggle."
"Now, what has you so down in the dumps, eh?"
"You're not gonna like it…"
He waved a hand unconcerned. "Don't matter… I's here fer you. What's wrong?"
"I miss him… terribly."
"Him? His Majesty?"
Sarah looked up at Hoggle who didn't look surprised in the least. "Yes, I take it you know about us then?"
Hoggle chuckled, his blue eyes twinkling. "Nearly everyone in the kingdom can see that rat is smitten with someone. But I'm pretty sure I be the only one who knows who he's smitten with." A deep blush covered Sarah's face. "Now, talks to me," he coaxed.
Sarah let out a sigh before continuing. "I miss him. It just feels like there's this hole inside of me and only he can fill it. I know he's busy, and there's some serious stuff going on down there, but would it be too selfish of me to want him to come here, even if just for a few minutes?"
Hoggle shook his head. "Nah… believe it or not, missy, but I knows what yer talkin' about."
Sarah raised an eyebrow and waited for him to continue.
"It was a long time ago… before I moved to the Goblin Kingdom. I was living in the Dwarf Kingdom making my way as a food gatherer, cuz ya see, being as the Dwarf Kingdom is mostly underground, they needs peoples to gather food from the surface. However that was a dangerous job seein' as the surface is home to the trolls who eat us dwarfs." He shuddered slightly before continuing. "Anyways, I mets a girl one day and we had lots in common and liked to talk down by the underground lake away from the rest of the village. The problem was, she was of the nobility, and being seen with the likes o' me wouldn't have been good, so the times we were together were few and far between."
Hoggle stopped talking and seemed to be examining his shoes. "What happened, Hoggle?" Sarah asked, wanting to place a hand on his shoulder.
"She chose her duty over me. Her father married her off to some Lord who was too old fer her, and she went willingly so as ter not shame her family." He let out another long sigh and looked back up at Sarah whose sad face was now for him instead of herself. "It was shortly before their marriage that I moved here ter the Goblin Kingdom."
"Oh, Hoggle… I'm so sorry. That's horrible."
He waved a hand at her. "It happened a long time ago."
"That doesn't mean it hurts any less."
Hoggle's eyes met Sarah's and he nodded. "Yer right… it don't."
They were quiet for a while, sharing each other's misery until Sarah asked, "So, could you tell me what's going on down there that's keeping him away?"
Hoggle ran a weathered hand over the back of his neck. "I don't think that's a good idea…" he said slowly.
"Cuz I'm pretty sure that since you doesn't know already, he don't want ya to know."
Sarah frowned. Hoggle was much more perceptive than she cared for at the moment. "But he said he would tell me… eventually."
"Well I's gonna let him tell ya."
Sarah let out a groan. "Not even a hint?"
"Well can you at least deliver something for me?"
Hoggle seemed to consider it then nodded. "I's can do that fer ya, missy."
"Thank you, Hoggle. Just hang on a second and I'll write it out."
Hoggle nodded and watched as Sarah pulled out a notebook and a pen. It didn't take her very long for her to write it, even though the letter turned out to be two whole pages front and back. She simply poured out all she'd been feeling and how she'd managed to get through the days without him and how she wished he could be here with her now. Once she was done, she folded the two pages into fourths and stuck them in an envelope, addressing it to His Majesty, King Jareth.
She held the sealed envelope up. "How…?"
"Just hand it right through the mirror."
"I can do that?"
Hoggle shrugged. "Yer the one who opened the portal, don't see why not."
Sarah hesitantly pushed the envelope towards the mirror; it slid through as though nothing was there. The mirror felt like cool water against her skin, but when she pulled her hand back after Hoggle took the letter, her skin was dry. She stared in wonder at the mirror. "Wow…"
Hoggle just grinned. "I'll get this to him as soon as I can, missy."
"Thanks, Hoggle. I really appreciate this."
His cheeks turned a ruddy color and he cleared his throat. "I has to go now, but feel free to call on me when ya need me."
Sarah nodded and smiled at her old friend and the mirror shimmered and was suddenly reflecting her own image back at her. Rising from her desk to go meet Vivienne in the dinning hall, an idea hit her. Her mouth fell open and her eyes widened. Why didn't she think of this before? Probably because she hadn't called on Hoggle for so long… that's why. A grin crept across her face as she started to formulate a plan. If she could pass a letter through the mirror, why couldn't she pass her entire body through? It would have to be during spring break. That left two weeks to plan it out, because Hoggle wouldn't like this at all. She'd have to call on him, and then just hop through before he could do anything about it.
Sarah went to dinner that night about one hundred percent happier than she'd been in two months. Two more weeks couldn't pass soon enough for her.