So I've done this with some other things on here link and link so I thought I'd take a crack at one of the less loved characters in the fandom. Of course we know considerably less about Milah then we do Regina or Swanfire so I did take some liberties in the details. Anyway this is meant to be Milah's side of the story illustrating why I find her so interesting and shine a light on the complexities and admirable qualities of the character particularly her bravery and spirited independence.
Once upon a time in a land very unlike our own there lived a girl that much like many girls in this land was in love with the idea of love.
Although she was not educated or well traveled she knew one thing to be true. That love was all you needed to be happy as long as you had the courage to take the leap.
She lived in a very small village on the coast and was considered quite comely by the boys of the town. They pursued her hoping to make her their wife yet she showed little interests in them. Instead she set her sights on a boy who although not unattractive was ignored by the other girls because of his father who had been a coward and a thief. The girl however saw him for who he was kind and loving and brave and she decided that of all the boys in town it was he that would understand her dreams and treasure her spirit above her looks. He would be her happy ending. She just had to take the leap.
Against her families wishes they were married and they were happy. She loved him and he loved her and although they had little else besides that love it was enough, just as she had always known. It was not however enough for him. The boy, now a man, was still scared by the reputation his father had left him with. He needed to prove that he was not a coward as his father had been.
When a letter arrived calling him to fight in the Ogre Wars he saw it as an opportunity to gain the respect he felt he needed to be truly happy. The girl, now a woman, told him that he had her respect and that - as well as respect he had for himself was all he needed. Still he insisted and she respected his decition as well as the courage it took to peruse what he desired even if it meant loosing him. She sent him off with her love.
When they were together the magic of their love had turned their hovel into a palace and their meager possession into the greatest of treasures, but without him near her the wretchedness of her existence became reality.
He had not loved her enough to stay but he had left her two gifts. Just as he has predicted his position as a soldier in the kings army had erased the blemish passed down by his father. The woman was no longer the disgraced wife of a coward but the honorable wife of a hero. The people of the town no longer spoke down to her and for the first time in years her family looked at her with pride.
This first gift would prove to be her saving boon when she discovered the second gift he had left her. A child was growing inside her and the help she received from the villagers during her pregnancy may well have saved her life and the life of her child. She gave birth to a beautiful baby boy while her husband was far away. The child was the spiting image of his father, his kind eyes, his roughish smile. Each moment of joy he brought her would be followed by the desire to share this moment with her husband.
As time passed and more and more men and boys returned from the war, their lifeless bodies covered in the silky shrouds awarded to those that fought bravely and gave their all for the king. She began to come to terms with the idea that her son would never meet his father.
"but at least" she thought "he will be the son of a hero."
Although her love would not live to enjoy the reputation he had fought so hard to gain at least he had freed his son from the fate that had made him incapable of loving her the way she had him.
Then one day news came from the front that her love was being sent home due to injures. This had never happened before. When an ogre got to you they tore you apart. They took no prisoners and they left no injured. Rumors began circulated around town. What had the cowards son done to escape the fate that had befallen all the other men? The most persistent rumor was that he had done it to himself so that he would not have to face another day on the battlefield. The woman knew that this was false and she held her head high even as the other villagers cast disapproving glanced down on her and her son.
Then the day came when her love was to return. She was sure that it would be the happiest day of her life, but as he limped into the room it was instantly clear that this was not an injury given to him by an ogre. She had seen enough mangled copses to know. The rumor was true. He had done it to himself. He was truly the coward everyone said he was. She had been delusional to see anything else in him. He had not been brave enough to trust in their love and he had not been brave enough to follow though on the dream that he had valued above that love.
As he tried to explain to her why he had done what he did all she saw was the act of a selfish man who loved no one as much as himself. He had never loved her. That was clear now or else why would he have left and despite what he said he did not love their son. If he did he would have died rather then curse his son with the reputation of a coward.
With the illusion shattered and the love she had thought they shared gone as well as the respect of the village the woman's life became what her family had told her it would be when she choose to marry the son of a coward. Occasionally she would catch a glimpse of the man she had fallen in love with inside the broken miserable man she know lived with. It was then that she would beg him to leave with her and find a place where they could start over but he had lost all respect for himself and did not feel that he deserved a fresh start... or else he was just afraid.
When her pleas fell on deaf ears she would go into town and wait for him to come for her, for him to prove that he still loved her. She flirted with other men hoping that he would build up the courage to take her back… but he never did.
Then one day she met a man. A gentleman pirate with daring tales of far of lands. Who listened to her as if her troubles were the most urgent thing in the world. He gave her not only love but passion. Then one night he asked her to run away with him. She realized that she loved him and remembered the one truth she had believed in so passionately as a child: That love was all you needed to be happy as long as you had the courage to take the leap.
Still, she could not just leave her husband so she and her lover concocted a plan. On last test to prove his love. To prove that he was still the man she had once loved. If he fought for her she would return to him. If not she would leave. Her lover played out her final test as she watched and the man that has once been her lover failed. She knew then that the love was gone... if it had never been there at all.
The more complicated issue was was to do with her child. She loved him but the best thing she could do for him was put those feelings aside and decide which life would be his best chance.
The pirate had told her the dangers of this life and although it was something she was willing to risk for herself she could not in good conscience put the life of her young child at peril. It would be best to leave him with his father, who although he was a coward did care deeply for the child. She did however make her lover promise that when the boy was old enough to protect himself they would return and take him away from this place and the reputation he was cursed with. In the mean time she would let her ex-husband enjoy the happiness that the boys uncompromised love would surely bring him.