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Old 07-02-2010, 08:35 PM   #13
Tysyacha
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kirkwall/The Free Marches
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At dinner, Auldric grew livid as usual, but this time I saw more than rage behind his eyes. I saw an emotion that I thought someone like him had almost forgotten how to feel: fear.

“Have you taken a glance in the looking-glass lately?!” he snorted. “What have you done?”

“I have,” I replied, trying to be nonchalant. “I needed my hair cut. It was bothering me.”

“Bothering you?” My stepfather sounded like he couldn't believe what he was hearing. “You've cut off all your hair so that you look like a boy! Why would you do such a thing?”

“I had Caroline do it, and the reason is simple: Now I'm hideous, and you won't marry me.”

“A-ha!” He stood up from the table, pointing his finger in the air. “Au contraire, ma fille, that makes me all the more determined to make you my bride! I shall insist you wear a kerchief at our wedding.” He gave me a wicked, laughing smile. “Answer me this: If I had tried to hold your hand at luncheon instead of stroke your hair, would you have cut it off instead?”

“Don't be ridiculous! If I had, with what would I write songs, stories, and poetry? I don't write very well with my left hand. My script looks like gibberish when I do.” I winked.

“You'd best watch your tongue. My dear girl, no matter how your hair looks, you are still a young woman in the end. God created you as such, and it is time you learned your proper place in this world. Men are meant to strive, women to serve. Men are meant to make something of themselves and their lives, and women to make homes for them. Most of all, men are meant to rule, and women to obey. You've known this since you were a child. You were meek enough toward your father and mother. Why can't you be meek toward me?”

At first, I thought of saying that he did not deserve my obedience, or my meekness, but then I decided to try a different tactic: “You say that God created me as a woman, which is quite true, but does not the Bible also tell us that in Christ, there is neither male nor female, slave nor free, Jew nor Greek? It seems to me that our Lord loves equality, not favoritism.”

Auldric scowled. “All the same, there is a place for male and female, Adam and Eve. Before the Bible was written—nay, before Christ ever came down to this Earth!—God first created Man, and then formed Woman out of a rib from his side. Eve was to be a helpmeet for him, not a ruler or an equal. That is how God designed the sacred relationship between l'homme et la femme. Does not Saint Paul say that as Christ is the head of the Church, the husband is the head of the wife? I'll hear no more of this egalite nonsense from you, Remy Aurore.”

“Very well,” I replied. “You are not my husband, however, and so I fail to see your point.”

“Devil take you!” The veins on his forehead were starting to pulse. “Even so, as long as you live under my roof, you live under my authority and by my largesse! I could have thrown you and your sister out on the streets as soon as your mother died, but being the kind-hearted man that I was, I took you in and have kept you here! This is how you repay me?”

“You were a kind-hearted man once,” I said softly, after a long while. “Now, you are not.”

I thought Auldric would resume bellowing at me, but instead, my stepfather sat down and folded his hands in front of him at the table. “I have learned that sometimes it is better to be feared than loved, or even respected. I will marry you, ma belle-fille, with hair or no hair, conditions or no conditions! I don't care if you're fat, ugly, and quarrelsome. All I care about is that in two days, you shall be mine. Then you'll be forced to obey me, Remy!”

Despite myself, another tear dripped down my right cheek. “Husbands, love your wives...”

“Ferme la bouche, putain!” He pounded his fist on the table, spilling his full mug of ale.

“Stepfather!” Elise startled me, shouting as loudly as Auldric had. “Don't call her that!” She dashed over to me, grasping me in a tight hug. “La gagnante,” she said. “You have won...”

And that is why Auldric sneers and calls me “Gagnante”, or winner, everywhere I go!

Last edited by Tysyacha; 08-19-2010 at 02:54 PM.
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