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You And Me Could Write A Better Romance

You And Me Could Write A Better Romance published on 18 Comments on You And Me Could Write A Better Romance

Strip #1000. The one-thousandth entry. The big One-Oh-Oh-Oh.

Also, a solid week’s worth of panels, packed into a single post. Took a while just to come up with a topic that would be worth the space.

On to the next thousand! (And, given my ten-year goal, the at-least-one-more-thousand after that.)


Leif: Thorn . . .

Thorn: Hm?

Leif: What’s your experience with real dating like? When we met, you thought you didn’t want to do any for as long as you were a knight . . . How much did you get to do before that?

Because if you meet another person that you want to . . . Well, I hope you won’t think you have to hold back on my account.

Thorn: . . . If that happens, I’ll talk to you about it. But I don’t want you to worry. I can give you my whole story of dating in two minutes.

There was a boy when I was 13 . . . it was very cute.

Leif: Aww, I bet!

Thorn: Then his family moved out of town, and that ended that.

A few years later, another classmate. He told amazing stories about his life — it felt like he could do anything. Most of it was totally made up. But I was madly in love, and so I fell for all of it.

When the problems in his stories started to get too big to miss, it was very hard for me. He was just a dumb teenager, he probably grew out of it, but it felt very serious at the time.

Then my mom died, and I went from “loving audience” to “person who needs support” . . . so he ended it.

Leif: Did he say that to you?!

Thorn: Gosh, no.

He said he “already stopped loving me a long time ago.”

That’s worse!!

The death meant I wasn’t ready to love anyone for a long time after anyway. Then I went into the military training . . . and I believed that meant I couldn’t have a serious romance. I tried to date a few guys in a not-serious way. It didn’t make me happy.

So from then on I turned down anyone who asked, and I didn’t ask anyone, either.

Until you.

. . . How about you, Leif? What’s your story of dating?

Leif: Well, I never dated anyone at school! If you’re a kid, they don’t kick you out and throw you straight into servitude. They’re not monsters. But people knew what happened.

Nobody even wanted to play with me, much less eventually go out with me.

Thorn: Aww, that’s —

Leif: It’s fine! Once I got to the job, I could start dating other servants.

There’s been, ah . . . a lot of those. Mostly people whose debts were paid off within a few months, and they wanted a quick fling to help pass the time. People with short-term contracts don’t get sent out here, though. It’s not worth the travel expense.

Maybe “dating” isn’t the right word.

Thorn: Why? Is that reserved for “citizens”?

Leif: No, but — Do you know if Ceanska has a translation of “friends with benefits”?

Thorn: Ohhhh. . . . I don’t want you to feel like you have to stop doing that on my account, either.

Leif: Mmkay.

I haven’t had one since you transferred to the Embassy. Just so you know.

I wish . . .

I wish I had been there when you were a kid.

Thorn: Yeah . . . me too.

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18 Comments

on the one hand: Final Panel Is Adorable.
on the other: Panel 10 is heartbreaking in a way I wasn’t expecting. I almost feel like Leif going into servitude immediately would have been less heartbreaking. at least then he would not have 1: Presumably had the Sword hanging over his head of “hit legal labor age and INTO SERVITUDE YOU GO”, 2: if Sønheim DID make him a servant that young, they’d concentrate the kids in the same boat as a makeshift accidental support group, or failing that, he wouldn’t be persona non grata for being a servant-to-be.

Why? Better to break them early and make them more pliable. After all, if you join them together, you allow them to commiserate and join together. Best to let them suffer alone and let social norms do the work instead.

On a happier note, happy 1000 boss! Can’t wait to see what #2000 brings!

Flyboy might have point, however I would have nicer explanation: the combination of kids and live-long contracts doesn’t happen so often. As a general rule, it should be better to leave the kids in their existing social group – sure, they will be socially disadvantaged, but there are lot of kids disadvantaged by other way so it’s not fatal, and their existing friends may support them. Leif got hit so hard not because of the servitude, but because it was obvious he have zero chance of ever getting out of it … and, possibly, because he was very young when it happened or didn’t have any friends yet.

Hmmm … is the person on panel 11 man, woman, or deliberately vague to save another panel?

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