Growing up on Ka Surya, my mother the queen once revealed to me in a moment of weakness, how she had fallen in love at sixteen, with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. She had loved him with all the passion of a first infatuation—it was clear she had never got over him. “Why did you not marry him?” I asked. She laughed “I had a duty to wed well and produce heirs for the throne....” her voice tapered off. Now with the threat of Shaitan’s invasion hanging over us, I wondered if she was thinking the same thing. Was the sacrifice really worth it when she could lose the very kingdom she had sacrificed so much for?
|Had loved you|
“I don’t regret it. If I had not followed my heart I would have never known how it was to love someone so much that..that.. when I left him, I was convinced I would die. It was real, the pain, and I had never felt more alive. Never felt that way since... well not counting giving birth” she smiled. I couldn’t understand what she meant at that time. Why fall in love with someone only to leave him? It seemed like an awfully painful way of discovering that you were real. “It’s better to have loved than not...” my mother explained somewhat unconvincingly. Ha! Here I was, twelve years later, in almost the same situation. Perhaps destiny like history does repeat itself? Except, nothing had stopped me from following my heart. Only myself. Rai had been right, I was my own worst enemy. I didn’t really know what I wanted, did I? “I love you” he had said. Those three words which every girl wants to hear. Did I? “Stay with me” he said. And I had run away from him, from everything I knew, from my life as it was. Because that life was not for me. Was it? Oh! I did love him alright, in my own way. But I couldn’t stay. I knew what I didn’t want. Maybe it was because somewhere deep inside I knew he would always love me. Ah! So, he would cheat on you, but he still loves you? It did sound strange when I said it aloud that way.
|I am my own knight in shining armor|
But did I feel for him as much as I had felt for Egreog? I had known Egreog for but a few days. Yudi, I had known all my life. He was my first, the boy who made me feel a woman, when those strange innocent feelings shivered up my spine embracing my heart, before flowering my face. The boy had been innocent, his heart on his sleeve, true feelings for me glowing in his eyes. The man he had become was tougher, harder, with a mean streak running through him. More like his father every day. I shivered in premonition and clutched my trusted sword where it lay in front of me next to the control panel of Artemis. The hard feel of the cold metal brought me back to the present. Best to move forward onward to my destination where the Seven Islands awaited.