Disclaimer: This is number twenty-three of the Journal Series. Ex-Guards who are soon to be the "Bard's Village", you are all the best! Thank you all for your support. Deb! Love Ya! Thank you to my beta team: Becky Lovall, Sue Rice, and Cindy (ForevaXena). Song lyrics by Rick Astley. First poem by Elizabeth. Second by Inspiried Lor :). More Fluff! Something to make you think. I hope! Thank you again to LJ Maas for the name of Brianna.
She's taken my time, Convinced me she's fine
But when she leaves, I'm not so sure
It's always the same, She's playing her game
And when she goes, I feel to blame
Why won't she say she needs me, I know she's not as strong as she seems
Why don't I see a cry for help, Why don't I feel a cry for help
Why don't I hear her cry for help
I wandered around the streets of this town, Trying to find sense in it all,
The rain on my face, It covers the trace of all the tears I've had to waste,
Why must we hide emotions
Why must we never break down and cry
All that I need is to cry for help,
Somebody please hear me cry for help,
No need to feel ashamed, Release the pain and cry for help
Cry for help, It's all I need, All I need, Is a cry for help
Why must we hide emotions, Why must we never break down and cry
No need to feel ashamed, Come on and release the pain
Now put your trust in me, My love will set you free
Hello. Today was a trying day for Xena and I. First we received word from Xena's mother that a friend of my wife's had committed suicide. It hit my wife really hard. Sarah was the only person in Amphipolis who had accepted Xena other then Lyceus. Made me sad.
We started off on a good note. We were playing a name game seeing what the meanings were behind them while waiting for our meal to be ready. We were on our way to the Amazons to get a little rest. Never works out.
Xena, a 2-syllable girl's name of Greek origin, means: One who is hospitable to strangers. That made my wife's eye's roll. Mine on the other hand, made her smile. Gabrielle, a 3-syllable girl's name of Hebrew/French origin, means: God is my strength. Then the name we had talked about a few times, if we have a daughter, Brianna. Xena loves that name. She picked it. Brianna, a 3-syllable girl's name of Celtic origin, means: Strength. That made us both smile. A kid from both of us truly would be very strong, in many ways.
That's when the messenger approached us. I could feel with every fiber of my being that she wanted to break down and just cry. All those years of being a warrior, she had just turned that emotion right off. She just clenched her jaw tight and got very quiet. I asked her if she wanted to go home, but she declined. So we ate our meal in silence. She mostly pushed her food around and was heavy in thought.
It wasn't until later in the day Xena was able to tell me a bit about Sarah. When Xena was child, she was tall for her age. The other children made fun of her. One day a new girl came to town. Much to my wifes surprise, Sarah was just as tall. They bonded quickly, and kicked the butts of every kid that messed with them. I guess even Lyceus had a crush on Sarah.
Then, with all the hardship concerning Cortese, Xena changed. Her heart was now hardened; her kinsman no longer welcomed her. Amphipolis was now strange and hostile. Xena felt so lost; no family or home. The only light she remembered was that before she left town Sarah had come to her. Sarah did not blame her and knew Xena fought for Amphipolis' greater good. My wife felt like she had a tiny hold on the past, before she became the great Warrior Princess.
I just sat quietly and let Xena talk. With all her traveling and wars, Xena still managed to keep in touch with Sarah. From what my wife knew, Sarahs father had arranged for her to be married. It was a bad marriage. Xena just didnt know how bad it was. When we were home last time she ran into Sarah. Xena noticed that the woman who always sparkled was now gaunt and had dark circles under her eyes, like her life was being forced out of her. It took Xena time but her friend finally confided in her about her marriage and the abuse.
Sarah begged Xena not to do anything to her husband. She loved him and she would work it out. Xena agreed on one condition, the next time we came into town if things werent better she would get to use her husband for Chakram practice. Xena was very uneasy but she tried to have some faith. She even asked her mother before we left to keep us posted on Sarah. Cyrene was worried about the young woman also. She had come into the tavern a few times with bruises. Anytime Cyrene would question Sarah, she would say she was clumsy.
I knew where Xena was heading with all this. She felt guilty for not punching Sarah's husbands clock when she had the chance. More guilt for a person who will not forgive herself no matter how many good deeds she does. She fights for redemption, but will never forgive herself.
Cyrene's note explained that Sarah had finally bore him a child, a son for her husband. The child was still born. He blamed her for being so barren. I guess she couldnt take his abuse anymore and needed the hurt to stop. Thats where Xena got up and walked off into the woods.
I am trying to remember a poem my grandmother told me when I was young. It was about a rose and I think it went like this:
A lovely rose with petals soft
A scent so sweet and light
So beautiful a flower
With colors shining bright.
But something not so savory
About the fragrant rose -
The thorns, so sharp upon the stem,
That sharpen as it grows.
Yet still lovely is the flower
Despite the thorns that prick
Just as life and love are sweet
They too have thorns that stick.
But do not fear to live or love,
Life's not exempt from pain -
So pick a rose, you may get hurt,
But you will also gain!
When I was going through all the pain with Hope, I was so close to that darkness. I just wanted it all to end. Something inside of me would not let me stop. I knew deep inside my light was still there. Thank the Gods I hung on. In about a candlemarks time, Xena was back and we were on our way to the Amazons. We exchanged glances with no words. I just need to give her some time. I will be here when she is ready.
We made it there just in time to see the new arrivals to our village, new children. Some were by birth, others by adoption. That day Xena and I ran into those kids at Solstice, we decided that instead of our Amazons going out for breeding only. These children would have a home. The girls went to the Amazons and the boys to the Centaurs, Melosa and Tyldus agreed. I am so glad Ephiny kept this going after Melosa passed.
Our visit was going well until I noticed one child not playing. What made me notice more was the frown on Xena's face. The little girl was tall, but young. The other girls would not let her play. What made Xena jump into action was when one of the shorter girls made fun of the tall one. I watched as Xena went right up to the tall girl and talked. In no time Xena had the child smiling. My wife held out her hand and escorted this young girl towards me.
I asked her what her name was. She said "Cara" very shyly. Under the very watchful eyes of jealous youngsters, The Warrior Princess and the Amazon Queen were playing with this child. The children in the village are always in awe of Xena when were here.
It was so fun to see Xena act like a kid. We played tag. She did flips with Cara in her arms. It was wonderful. Then one of the other girls came to see if she could play. Xena asked Cara to fetch her a drink then turned and knelt down beside the child. My wife asked this one what her name was. She stuck her little chest out and said, "Raven".
That is when I heard "Gabrielle." I walked over to see what she was plotting. "Do you think we should let her play?" I smiled then replied, "I am not sure, she was awfully mean to our friend Cara." Xena scratched her chin. This is where the child starts to beg. Then we sit all of the girls down and explain to them it is not right to pick on someone because they are different from them. We are all different from one another, but we are all humans. We had a group of sad little girls. Then with a huge smile and a battle cry the playing began again.
Soon my wife was tired out by the group of little Amazons and said she would tickle me for candlemarks if I told anyone. So I sat in her arms and we watched them continue to play. Cara was so happy to be accepted. I think Xena thought I was asleep, but I heard her whisper. "For you Sarah."
I have said this in many journals. It is so wonderful to see Xena and not the warrior at times. Now my poor achy wife is snoring away. I do hope and wish there will be a time when we all can accept each other no matter what our flaws are. It is a persons heart that truly matters. My final thought will be with Sarah. I say thanks to you for giving my wife acceptance when she needed it most and pray that you found some peace. I do not like the way you did it, but I wish peace for you and acceptance.
The world is a wondrous place.
Full of everything imaginable.
People of every size, shape and color.
Each with their own personal beliefs.
As well as a distinct spirit to call their own.
Neighbors often as different as night and day.
The tall ones are as loveable as the shorter.
The slower are as generous as the faster.
And red haired as forgiving as the blondes.
Beauty does not determine the person you really are.
The understanding and love in your heart will.
The world is a better place due to our differences.
One way is not the only possible way.
Our differences should be embraced, not feared.
Ones beliefs should not be forced upon another.
Yet ones belief and style cant infringe on others.
We need to live as a community of diverse humans.
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