She knew she could only ever love one man.
She just wasn’t sure who he was yet.
In her mind,
they would cross paths.
And immediately recognize each other.
He would pull her gently into a warm embrace.
Then kiss her on the forehead and say
‘You’ve done well.’
She would silently start to cry.
Knowing that all her suffering was worth it.
The triad leader had been calling out to her.
He promised that she would be the only one he’ll ever love.
He would keep her safe forever.
And give her everything she’s ever wanted.
His only caveat,
was that she had to stay in the dark.
That she could not question his authority.
And that she never betray him.
She blindly followed him home.
Because she had so much love to give.
She wanted to make him happy.
And start a family.
He did questionable things.
And told her to turn a blind eye.
To keep her ears shut.
Because he did it all for her.
He did it all for us.
At first she lived in blissful ignorance.
And catered to his every need.
Whenever he was around.
Which wasn’t very often.
She was his only light in the darkness.
But she started to miss her friends and family.
She wanted to touch the sunlight again.
To feel the breeze and smell the flowers.
So she decided to sneak outside one day.
When she was home alone.
She found a war torn freedom fighter out in the fields.
He was unconscious and bleeding profusely.
Not being able to let someone die in front of her,
she gathered water from a nearby creek.
And ripped the hem of her dress to bandage his wounds.
She stayed with him until he awoke.
And continued to take care of him.
Day after day.
She thought it was okay.
Her man was on an extended hunt to pillage another gang far away.
The freedom fighter told her many stories.
Of his homeland.
About the struggles and oppression of his people.
His mission was valiant.
He seemed to be an honourable man.
He started to convince her to leave with him.
That someone like her belonged only with him and not with such an evil man.
She had a healing energy.
And could help so many people.
He packed up her things and she reluctantly followed him.
They arrived at the encampment.
There was pain and suffering everywhere.
The people looked so weary.
She felt compelled to help.
And decided her decision to come was justified.
The freedom fighter was actually the leader.
He’d go to neighbouring villages to recruit more fighters.
His people loved and followed him.
But his intentions were to annihilate the enemy.
To weed them out and uproot them completely.
She spent her days caring for the wounded.
And her nights telling tales of peace and eternal love.
The people started to revere her as a living goddess.
She felt that maybe she had found her true calling.
But she was feeling more and more drained with each passing day.
The men brought back a slave one day.
A hired assassin sent from the enemy.
There had been no one to help her collect the herbs and plants.
His new role was to serve only her.
She was happy to finally have some real company.
He was rude and standoffish.
But she didn’t care.
She continued to tell him stories of her past as they worked.
And the names and purpose of each plant they collected.
Her secret hopes and dreams.
No one had ever bothered to ask her about herself.
She was tired of feeling so lonely.
His silence, to her, was permission to continue speaking.
And she tried repeatedly to learn more about her living diary.
He started to give one word answers instead of only nods and blank stares.
Bit by bit, she learned that he was an orphan brought up by an assassin family.
They raised him to be the bodyguard of the heir.
He was a weak and sickly child.
But trained hard every day to fulfill his purpose and repay his benefactors.
He and the heir were as close as brothers.
Until the day his skill surpassed his master.
The family had started to suspect that he’d betray them.
And take over as the new patriarch.
He decided to leave quietly.
Not wanting to sow seeds of discord with his surrogate family.
He began to take more of an interest in the work they did.
They would spend days up in the mountains.
By then, she’d already taken off his chains and shackles.
He never once tried to run away.
They started to share a silent mutual understanding.
He’d teach her his sword dances.
And recite the most eloquent poetry.
Her heart was stirring wildly.
Her body burned with an intense desire she’d never felt before.
But he had never once tried to touch or claim her.
She would wonder about the intentions of this man.
Whether he had any at all.
She got increasingly sad that her feelings would not be returned.
Her first instinct was to withdraw and retreat.
But she wanted nothing else in the world than to be close to him.
Her frustration grew to a boiling point one day.
She was absentmindedly picking flowers.
Not noticing that she was dangerously close to the edge of the cliff.
She slipped and fell.
And he leaped after her without a second thought.
That was when she finally knew.
If the Gods will it.
And they survive the fall.
Never would she leave again.
She will follow this man forever.