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Chapter 2

My father was a merchant, we were on the lower side of the high class, but as I grew into a woman our position in society rose. Thankfully my father adored me and never tried to force me to marry or I would have been married at 13 or 14 and my story would have been over. Since that age I had been paraded through society by my mother who believed my beauty would "save us all" meaning make her and my father rich enough so they would never have to work again.

I hated being used like a talisman or some cheap get rich plan- I couldn't understand how my own mother could used me like that I tried to run away, I tried to escape from it all but someone always recognized me, always stopped me from getting away thinking they were saving me from getting lost or something stupid like that. My beauty betrayed me; it imprisoned me in a cage of admirers and schemers keeping me from the only things I wanted. They kept me away from the world I dreamed of, the world where looks didn't mean anything and a person had to work to get anywhere- all my life I had been given everything. I wanted too test myself, I wanted to see if I really was worth something, would I be able to survive and take care of myself without my looks? Would anyone ever love me for who I truly was? I was worried that maybe I wasn't anything else but a beautiful face- what if that really was all I had? I was always afraid that maybe they were right, maybe my beauty was the only thing that set me apart, maybe I just thought I was smart enough to do fine with out it- that was my worst fear, to find out I was nothing more then some trophy, just a beautiful girl.

That was my life until I met him.

It was just another day, not especially lovely nor was it foreboding. I was having tea at some elegant mansion, I don't remember who's it was- just another rich puppet, their name meaningless. But I do remember the peacocks, we were having tea on a large balcony overlooking their main garden and as everyone was chatting quietly when all there sudden there was this explosion of noise and I almost fell out of my seat because I was so startled. I looked towards the noise like everyone else and saw a flock of peacocks charging into the garden, when they reached the middle they stopped and turned fanning out their gorgeous tails. I watched in awe as the fox whole had been chasing them stopped dead like he was paralyzed by their beauty. Then he started to back up as the peacocks shook their tails and screeched at him- I had never seen anything like it before. After a few minutes everyone continued talking and eating but I couldn't help watching them, for some reason it fascinated me.

Later the same day, I was sitting in the courtyard surrounded by a host of men, all trying to get my attention- even if only for a moment. I smiled at them, but really I was disgusted- they were so weak and easily persuaded. Everyone of them would have tried to kill the others if I told him to, it was ridiculous really; every moment dragged by and I felt as if I was slowly being tortured to death. I hated them all.

Part of me wanted to dash their hopes and dreams- to tell them how I loathed them. To tell them that they were all sheep and I wanted a lion. I wanted someone I would have to fight for, some one who wouldn't fall at my feet like a slaughtered lamb.

But I couldn't, it would be too cruel, beyond cruel to toss them aside like that. They were stupid, they didn't understand, I felt that maybe it was my duty to care for them- to spare them the pain. Did my beauty have some purpose? Could I use it to make them better people? Could I use the power they gave me to change the world? I sighed again, although they worshipped me they didn't hear what I said. Well they heard me, but they didn't listen unless it pertained to something meaningless. I mean if I said I liked a kind man they would go give tons of money to charities but that was the extent of it, they really didn't change the way the acted. So I just kept a smile on my face and tried to be kind and patient, I tired to be a good person...but it backfired on me.

One kind word was taken as a proclamation of love, being polite turned to flirting in their eyes. The only way I could rid myself of them was to be utterly and completely horrible, that was the only way to make them understand how I felt but I couldn't do it. I don't know why I couldn't bring myself to harm them, I was imprisoned by my conscience and an endless wall of mindless admirers. It just hurt me and made me feel so horrible to be mean to them, it was like I has striking a baby or something horrible like that- I made me feel so guilty.

Even the most learned and brilliant men turned to fools, they felt that beauty and intelligence could not mix. They treated me as a stupid child, spoke in short sentences and used small words. Talking of nothing of any meaning, complementing me; talking for what seemed like hours on the effect the sun had on my hair or how the colors of my eyes changed. And most of all they spoke of love, if love was what they felt for me then I wanted none of it. I would try to remind them I was just as intelligent as them but using large words and refering to great works of literature or anything just to show I was educated too but it was as if they heard nothing I said. Their love was fickle and shallow, they never praised my intelligence, kindness, humor, or character, only my beauty. Because that's all they knew, they refused to see anything else; they didn't even try to find out WHO I was. They were content just to look at me. To stare.

All this to say that each and every day was a struggle to control my growing anger, a struggle to keep up the pretence that everything was perfect, that I was content with life, that I really cared about the people around me. I didn't know what else to do, I had no friends to advise me, not really talked to me. So that was my life until that day.

I saw him standing across the courtyard by a tree, I remember it perfectly. I was surprised to see him there since all the unmarried men…and most of the married ones were near me. That's was the first thing that told me he was different. The moment I saw him I knew that he was different, that he was the one, that he would change everything. Has that ever happened to you? You see someone for the first time and something about them just strikes you, something paralyzes you for a moment.

He was not beautiful, not strikingly handsome. You had to really look at him to see it, his large eyes that were somewhere between green and blue, his hair dark, his skin light brown and golden, the strong line of his jaw. He was tall and thin, but muscular. He was nothing compared to many of the men who followed me around like puppies but he drew me. He drew me to him like a mouth to a flame- I was oblivious to the danger.
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