Frodo stood on the shores of the Grey Havens, looking out to the sea beyond. To him it seemed as if the dark blue ocean went on forever. He sighed, feeling a bittersweet feeling of closure. Here he was, standing on the edges of Middle-earth, the end of everything he had ever knownand yet the beginning of an unknown future. He gave a wistful half-smile, and felt old memories come flooding back. His carefree first years, the moment his parents died, his mischievous tweens, his first visit to Bag End, the departure of Bilbo, and receiving the ring. He sat down, contemplating his decision.
"But should I go," he murmured. "Or should I stay?" The sea sighed in response. "I shouldnt. Sam needs me and I him. He's done so much for me, how could I just up and leave him behind?"
"It's for the best," a voice whispered in his head. "You've been through too much and seen too many awful things.
The Undying Lands will heal both your body and mind." He rested his head on his hands, and closed his eyes, trying not to let his tears fall.
"It takes a brave person to leave what they know." Gandalf's words echoed through his mind.
"You have sacrificed too much of yourself, Frodo." Now he could hear Elrond's last words to him. "You have done everything you could for your land, perhaps now you should leave it be. Remember my daughter's gift to you, one day you may feel the need to use it." Frodo stood up, feeling a new sense of resolve.
"I must," he said, touching the white jewel that hung around his neck. "My final destiny." He walked slowly, letting himself absorb the last sights of Middle-earth. He saw a band of elves walking towards him. As they neared closer, he saw that among them were Gandalf, Sam, Merry and Pippin.
"Hullo Frodo!" Pippin called out. "So this is it, the end?"
"Yes, Pippin," Frodo replied. "But not for you. You all have lives and places back home in the Shire. You will be what I was not, and do what I never did." He offered a smile, but it was far from genuine. He could not bring himself to say the endless dialogue running through his head, even though there wouldnt be another day in which to say it. "Goodbye, my friends," was all he could muster. Galadriel came up from behind him and gently touched his shoulder.
"Come, Ringbearer. Your time here is complete."
With Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond and Bilbo he boarded the fair ship. He waved one last goodbye to his friends, and then sat in silence. No one there said much, and he was left alone to think. His thoughts ran in a continuous pattern, always coming back to the same idea.
Never again would he laugh at Pippin's playful antics.
Never again would he sit under the Party tree, thinking of days now lost.
Never again would he breathe the sweet summer air of the Shire.
Never again would he look into the shy, intense eyes of his Sam Gamgee.
Never again would he walk through the halls of Bag End.
Never again would he taste Farmer Maggots delicious mushrooms.
Never again would he be the same Frodo Baggins who left Bag End on a September night several years ago.
Now Frodo could see a green land on the horizon through a silver mist. He was reminded of a dream from long ago. He looked ahead, as if turning his back on his old life, all of the memories, good experiences and bad. He sighed deeply, at last feeling the conclusion to his journey.
"Never again," he whispered.