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Love Letters: Lady Mareena Chapter Four

April 9, 2013

It is has been a while since I last wrote a Lady Mareena post, and, due to several circumstances in my life, I feel like that time has come again.  I was hesitant about posting this, not least because I fear the judgement not only of you internet viewers, but even more so of my best friends, the naughty princesses.  However, this blog is built on honesty- on revealing the tough spots and the surprises our twenty-something life can throw at us- so, it is in that spirit that I write this post today.

As always, names and facts have been altered to protect the identity of those involved from internet stalkers.

Chapter Four

When we left Lady Mareena, she was crying, broken-hearted over the betrayal of Herman.  He had shown his true colours, and those were of a low and short sided man.  So Lady Mareena had written him a letter- a harsh letter- telling him that things were over, no more would they be friends or walk the halls of the castle together.  Now, it has been months.  Mareena has hardly seen Herman in passing, and her once poignant grief has melted away and slowly her spirit has regained strength.  Instead of living under the shadow of Herman, and her dreams of him, she has become her own person again, one living her own life.

Yet in the background, a friendship was developing.  A year ago Lady Mareena had met the young son an Earl who was visiting her father at their castle.  They had become fast friends, even though Lady Mareena was often distracted by Herman, and her feelings for him, from really paying attention to this new friend, Percival.  And then, alas, last summer the time had come, and the visit of the Earl was now to end, and he was taking his son back home, to their castle in Lombardy.  Lady Mareena was sad; she honestly had believed that she would never see Percival again.

Yet fate had something else in store.  Less than a month after Percival went back to Lombardy, a letter arrived via pigeon post, addressed to Lady Mareena herself.   Mareena tore it open, inside was the pages covered with a curling lomardian script.  Percival had written her!  Over the next months they exchanged many letters, talking of their lives, of their hopes and fears.

Now it is the spring.  It has been months since Mareena gave Herman that letter, and nearly a year since Percival returned to his castle in far-off Lombardy.  One morning, while sitting in the crisp sunlight in the garden, Mareena is greeted by a servant carrying a new letter.  Mareena is no longer surprised that it is from Percival.  However, this letter contains something new.  Inside, Percival tells her that his father is ready to send him abroad, to learn about new cultures and work to cultivate good relations with his allies.  He has given Percival two choices of where he might go: he may go to Rome, capital of the known world, and serve at the feet of the Emperor himself, or he can go back, to Mareena’s little country, and live there in a castle by the sea.  The first job has more honor, it would be good for Lomardy and good for Percival himself, as he would get to see many new things and cultures.  Mareena is happy Percival but also a little sad as she his words, would it not be so great if her good friend lived closer to her?  But as she keeps reading in the letter, she comes upon these words: ‘Mareena, I think I may choose your country, it seems the better place.’

Mareena is scared, she doesn’t know what to do.  She would love for Percival to come here- to be close to her- but she wonders why he is making this choice.   Truly, all things seem in favour of him choosing Rome.  It makes her wonder in her heart: is Percival making this decision for me? This thought scars Mareena.  She is scared because although she likes Percival and he is her best friend, she knows that he follows the customs of Lomardy and does not worship her God.  This is important to Mareena.  So important that she knows she must tell Percival before he makes his decision.

So the day has come.  Lady Mareena has to gird herself with courage to do what she knows she must do.  She pulls out her quill and writes to Percival.  She is honest, she tells him exactly how she feels.  ‘Percival,’ she writes, ‘I am worried about this decision you are about to make.  I am worried it is, on some level, about me.  But I have to tell you- as much as it hurts me- that at the end of all things I don’t see us together.  I worship the high and Almighty God.  I do not think I can share my life with someone who does not believe and does not love what is most important to me.  So, I needed to warn you, you needed to know the truth before you make a decision like this- as much as doing so pains me, you needed to know.’  She signs the letter, seals it, and sends it off.

Days later a reply arrives from Percival.  She is hesitant even to open it.  She does not know what it will say or what she wants it to say.  Slowly however she pulls off f the wax.  Inside was a letter, most beautiful she had ever read.

‘I understand what you said,’ he wrote, ‘I understand that living with me would be like only living with a part of yourself.  I understand that although I would go to the cathedral with you, and stand by your side, that my joy would not be your joy.  It would be joy in being with you.  It is not right for me to ask you to accept this.

Still, in the evening, I like to dream and believe something can change.  That I can change.  In the evening, after seeing you and talking with you, I want to believe something can change.  In the evening I would choose your country.  With all my self.  With all my hope.  Probably with too much hope, overflowing into selfishness.  Choosing your country would mean, for me, to believe something beautiful can happen.

Then comes the morning.  This horrible time when all the dreams of the evening fade away and reason holds sway.  The reason the annihilates everything.  In the morning the reason underlines how unsolvable the problem of believing is and it warns me I shouldn’t deceive my self and, more importantly, you.  On this last point reason is totally right.  I can spend my time and my hope but I do not want to waste yours.  Bettter for me is that far place in Rome.

I would like to keep hoping but I don’t want to do it at your expense.  I don’t want to press you into believing something which could never be.  I don’t want your hope to turn into a bitter source of unhappiness. 

This problem is so painful.  How I would like I could solve it just by my will.  But I can not do it… I can not promise I will do it… I can not forsee if I will ever be able to do it.  If I could choose whether to believe or not like souls in Plato’s rebulic choose their own destiny- I would choose to believe without a second thought.

I do not want you to change.  I am the only one who can do it, and I will not lie or pretend- that will never be a solution.  The chances feel so small. I want to believe it is possible.  I would like you to believe but I am not asking you to.  How can I look into your eyes if, after all the time you invested and after all the prayers you prayed I still do not believe.  I am afraid I may never be able to believe… I am afraid I can not see Providence… I am afraid I may end up believing by deceiving even myself,  just to be with you.

I would like to believe I am right, then there is not and there has never been any hope.  But, if you are right, then there must be a answer.  I must believe that God would not have left this problem without a solution.

I would like to come to your country, but I worry this choice puts pressure on you.  For me, my choice would mean kindling a hope.  Can I ask you to believe in the possibility that one day I will believe?  Can I ask you to believe this thing that is on the brink of hopeless.  How can I ask it of you?’

What then did Lady Mareena reply?  I am leaving you in suspense until next time. 

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2013 9:25 am

    I’m so proud of Percival and Mareena’s communication skills! That takes some serious medieval balls (the good kind-not the dancing ones).

  2. April 22, 2013 1:54 am

    Seriously. Percival and Mareena have an epic kind of letter-writing romance going on. Can’t wait for the next installment!

  3. April 22, 2013 1:55 am

    AND no more Herman! Cause Herman’s a poo-head.

    • thelittlemerskank permalink*
      April 22, 2013 3:02 am

      True that! I haven’t talked to Herman in months, but I keep waiting for him to poke his head out of his hole again and make a fuss. However, if it happens, you’ll probably get to hear about it.

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