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 Post subject: Jessica Dashwood
PostPosted: Aug 14th, '09, 03:06 
Twilight Council
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Joined: Nov 24th, '04, 20:55
Posts: 422
Location: Something serious.
My mother always did right by me. I wasn’t an easy child to raise, after all. I’d always end up at home, covered in dirt and blaming her for the ridicule I suffered from the other children. I would ask her why she couldn’t be like all the other mothers, why she dressed like a Solinarian when we were in B’Ahal, why she couldn't have given me a B'Ahali name, why she couldn’t find someone to marry her.
Back then I didn’t understand how hard it was for her. She had to watch me go out every day, learning beliefs she didn’t believe, participating in games she’d rather I not play. She was mortified when I insisted on having my trial in the desert, like every other twelve-year-old. It was dangerous, she said. I threw a tantrum until I got my way.
Looking back, I can see how much I must have hurt her. I disrespected her pale skin, her lighter hair and eyes. Perhaps I disliked her so much because she reminded me of what I so hated. That I didn’t fit in.
After my trial, more issues arose. Most girls in respectable families were already betrothed for their arranged marriages. Some were even picked by the Maharaja to live in his palace. As soon as they were old enough, they would become one of his concubines or wives. I admit, I was jealous of their marital confidence. I’m not, and never will be beautiful. The most I could hope for was “pretty.” And yet this would not have been an issue if I had a father…even a step-father. A father was in charge of making alliances with suitable families. Without one, I was adrift. A bastard child of a Solinarian mother could never hope to have felicity in marriage. Again, I blamed her.
I began to spend more and more time out of the house. I would travel into the desert, learning the scope of the land from traveling caravans; where the quick sand lay in wait, what sort of scorpions were more poisonous than others, how to find an oasis. By the age of sixteen, I was able to confidently travel into the deep desert.
I believe that’s when my mother realized she was really losing me. Our arguments had turned into stony silences whenever I was at home. We discussed nothing. She learned nothing, and neither did I.
When I turned eighteen, she signed me up for the Starseer Academy. I didn’t complain. I had always liked learning and this seemed like the perfect way to continue my studies, and there was nothing to keep me. My mother probably thought that by sending me somewhere that was more familiar to her, she would be closer to me. Perhaps that’s so. I’ve certainly come to understand her better.
At the Academy my horizons broadened. I was able to discover not only B’Ahal, but also Nheraz’Kharr, Elmensfaar, Westport, and Solinar. Each was fascinating in its own way. The cultures were as diverse as the people, and yet oddly similar in some respects. People would always be people.
I go back to visit my mother during the holidays and we have conversations rather than fights. For my nineteenth birthday, she gave me a double bladed scimitar. It wasn’t any great weapon. The gold hilt studded with rubies spoke more of its ornamental value. But she said that my father had given it to her, and so I gladly accepted it. I use it mostly as decoration.
And now what? I’ve nearly completed my time at the Academy and my future is uncertain. Though I suppose that’s the case for most, it’s still unnerving. I have no wish to seek great adventures like most of my peers and I cannot settle down quietly like others. I do not want to live with my mother. I have no wish to step backwards rather than forwards.
I will write three more words: time will tell.

_________________
"I see,"
said the blind man
to his deaf daughter.


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