What I Am (edited for possible contest entry)

Fiction By Damaris Ann // 3/1/2017

"So that's what you are,"

He whispered in awe.

"Yes, that is what I am; no more, no less. So take me as I am, or leave me. All I ask is that you decide quickly, and spare me the pain of waiting."

Her soft voice came in halts, strangely foreign to her normally smooth tones. It barely sounded above the pouring rain.

He watched the water drip through her eyelashes and slowly roll down the bridge of her nose while he prepared his answer.

***

He watched her walk down the street. She was different; this girl. And it wasn't her dusky skin and black ringlets contrasting against the backdrop of Swedish townspeople that made her stand out. No, it wasn't even the black eyes that flashed with smiles or passion: it was the aura of quiet peace that she carried with her.

He liked her. He couldn't explain why, he just knew he did.

But she never spoke to him. He just watched her live. And she was good. She was kind. She treated people well, yes, even the people that treated her like dirt. And it was different.

He lived in a normal town. A small town. A nice town. A town where everyone knew everyone else, but everyone did not like everyone else. There were outcasts. People of shame. Hurt. There was so much hurt underneath the pale exteriors and behind the sky-blue eyes.

But he stayed. Not because he was popular, not because all of the townspeople looked up to him as the son of the Prime Minister of Sweden, and not because he liked it there in the little town of Hensvick. He stayed simply because she was there.

He didn't know when she first arrived there in Hensvick. All he knew was that he saw her in the market one day, and he liked how she smiled at the poor old lady who sold handmade candles on the second corner. She held compassion and love in her eyes.

Instead of talking to her he talked to the people that were around her day to day. And he liked what he heard. She was kind. She was gentle. She was good.

The elderly lady she boarded with had only good to speak of her. She could not give high enough praise.

He liked her, but he wondered, "Does my best friend know her?"

He asked his friend, but his friend would never give an answer.

So he waited. While he was waiting he talked to his friend about her.

One day it was rumored that there were plans for Tariq Ademar, the the most famous rogue of all Sweden, to murder Edelhard Baldrick, the Prime Minister. Edelhard laughed it off.

"This is not the first time that such a rumor has spread," He waived off Elof's worry. "I will be fine, my son. Elof. Look at your father and believe."

Elof looked into his father's eyes and saw peace. He was satisfied.

It was dark. The rain poured down in torrents around the Baldricks' abode. Lightning flashed eerily across the sky. Elof peered out of his window, and gasped. He saw the dark outline of a long, hooded cloak join itself to the shadows of the ivy covered wall below his father's bedchamber. He called on one of the private guards and they made a quick plan.

Elof and the guard sped down a corridor that ended where the ivy wall began.

As Elof made his way around the edge of a stone partition he screamed in terror and rage. A small crack sounded before the bullet hit its mark above the window casement of his father's bedchamber, and a body thudded as it fell from the second story window to the ground.

Elof pinned the hooded figure to the paved walk, though they did not struggle at all. He wished he could see the fiend's face. A voice sounded behind Elof, and he froze in place.

"Elof! Stop and do not harm one hair of her head!"

"Father?!"

A flood of light streamed the walk next to the ivy wall as the Prime Minister appeared with a lantern in hand.

"Thank God I caught you. Is Kaarina hurt?"

"Kaarina?"

His father pointed to the hooded figure and gave a simple answer.

"Her."

Elof let her go. She pulled the hood off of her face. Elof gasped.

"Father, please explain what is going on."

"Elof, my son, this is Kaarina Sigrun, the adopted daughter of my dearest and oldest friend. My friend taught Kaarina from a young age to be a 'quiet guard' for she was raised in a rough neighborhood where many sinful men committed dark crimes and treated the women in an unkind manner. When my dear friend heard of the fiend that planned to kill me in my sleep he requested that I let his daughter keep silent guard and kill the villain, once and for all. I had a hope that you would meet Kaarina, and like her. Her father and I have talked of a future marriage between the families if all was desirable."

Rain dripped slowly through the ivy walls, and thunder slowly sounded far across the hills outside of Hensvick. Lightning chased the raindrops through clouds and down to earth. It illuminated Kaarina's dusky face for a brief moment before burning out.

Elof was speechless. Kaarina spoke.

"Arranged marriages are not looked upon with favor among the youth of this age. I have no wish to force myself upon you, undesired. I wish to honor my father, and to honor your father, but above all I wish to honor our Heavenly Father. I am different; I am not a common girl. Many laugh at my dark skin, and many more laugh at my beliefs. Though rare they are not forgotten by all. I am not the only follower of Christ."

"So that's what you are," He whispered in awe.

"Yes, that is what I am; no more, no less. So take me as I am, or leave me. All I ask is that you decide quickly, and spare me the pain of waiting."

Her soft voice came in halts, strangely foreign to her normally smooth tones. It barely sounded above the pouring rain.

He watched the water drip through her eyelashes and slowly roll down the bridge of her nose while he prepared his answer.

"Kaarina, I have been watching you over these past few months. I have noticed that you were different from the people around you. I have wondered if you followed the same King that I do, but could not tell for certain. Some have high standards simply to earn righteousness. I see now that your standards are high because you live for the Righteous One. Kaarina, if you will have me I will gladly take you to be my bride."

Kaarina bowed her head in thankfulness.

"It is not because of what I am: it is because of who He is in me."

"You do know her, Friend."

And he had his answer.

Comments

:)

This is really beautiful, and well written. You'll have to let us know how the contest goes!!

Sarah Liz | Sat, 03/04/2017

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." ~ Anonymous

Thank you!! I'll definitely

Thank you!! I'll definitely let y'all know. :)

Damaris Ann | Sat, 03/04/2017

I am an overcomer through Christ alone, for the glory of God alone.

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