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Waiting for Fate

They would come. Each passing day brought her closer to her fate. She knew they would find her eventually. She jumped when a noise was audible. She sat, frozen stiff, and stared into the blank space ahead of her. Her eyes, once called the jewels of Italy, were glazed and had not closed for nights. Her once famous figure was now frightfully thin and exhausted from fleeing. Her once silken hair was tangled and covered with dirt. And yet, despite these things she was still majestically beautiful. The common nature of the room simply intensified her beauty. She wished she had been born plain, for then she would have perhaps been spared her fate. The mother had left her baby girl with a merchant who she herself had known as a child. Along with the child she had left a simple golden band. She had instructed the merchant to give the ring to the child on her sixteenth birthday, and to send the child to The Seraph’s Wing in Messina when she was of age. The artist, who ran The Seraph’s Wing, would give her child further directions on how to find her grandparents and claim the treasure her husband had discovered. Her hand felt bare without her simple golden band, which symbolized her struggle to save the man she truly loved. At a mere age of fifteen she had married into the most powerful family in Florence, the Medicis, who had paid a pretty penny to marry the most beautiful girl in Italy. Her parents were overjoyed that there daughter had gained such stature and that they had greatly increased their wealth. Her husband had showered her in silk and jewels and boasted of her beauty to all who would listen to him. She had disliked him from the start. He was old enough to be her father. She had endured this for three years until Stefan’s visit had changed everything.
Stefan was a rising artist who her husband had paid to paint his portrait and that of his wife. Her husband adored Stefan and he became a permanent member of the household. She had even been ordered by her husband to learn the art of painting from Stefan. He was so vain that he never once suspected that his wife could love anyone other than him. Their love affair had lasted for months. They knew the dangers, but their love was so great it quite almost drove them mad. The relationship between the two was hard to hide, so many of those working in the household knew of it. But her husband adored Stefan and was so vain that the love affair lasted almost a year before it was discovered. Her husband had brought a sculptor into the household. This sculptor envied the adoration his master had for Stefan and began to fill his master’s mind with doubts about his wife’s loyalty. The full poisoning of her husband took months until he fully realized what had been going on. Her husband was so enraged that he had thrown her and Stefan in the dungeon. They had been placed in cells at opposite ends of the dungeon. She had, however, been released after a week. Stefan had remained in the dungeon. Her husband had triumphantly told her that he had been run through with a sword when he tried to escape. She had known that this bloody tale had been meant to terrorize and hurt her, but somehow she kept the torrent of tears at bay until she was dismissed. She was desperate to somehow escape, but was under lock and key for her so-called betrayal. Her husband, desperate to teach his wife a lesson, did not beat her for fear of tarnishing her beauty so he beat her with words and threats instead. In public they were the perfect couple, but in private he bombarded her with hateful words. Her skin remained perfect and unblemished, but her soul was bruised black and blue. No one save for the household workers knew of the affair. Her husband had ensured that it remain a secret by threatening all he knew because he did not wish to ruin his idealized marriage as his wife’s beauty increased his power. Months passed and she realized that she was with child. Despite the fact that she knew the father to have been Stefan, she told her husband that it was his child. Her husband was delighted and all suspicion he had of her vanished. Her room was unlocked, he guards dismissed, and she was once again showered with gifts. He planned for a son, though she knew in her heart that it would be a girl. The news was celebrated with a huge ball and all were overjoyed at the happiness of the ideal couple. She faked fatigue so that she could escape the horridness of it all. A few weeks before the child was due, she slipped out under the cover of night for she knew that her husband would eventually see the visage of Stefan in her child. She fled for the safety of her child not in fear of her own life, but that of her child. She had birthed the child in the house of a merchant, who had welcomed her with welcome arms. She named the child Juliet and the merchant and his wife promised to treat her as their own daughter. Juliet seemed to realize the seriousness of the situation and only cried when her mother left her. She then fled as far from her child as she could, so that her husband would not discover the child’s whereabouts. She paid for a room in an inn located in the slums of Florence.
She thought of Stefan and how he had cried her name as they took her away from him, “Gisele.” And how in that one word he had cried all the sorrow and love he ever could. She thought of how painful it had been when Stefan had painted her as she sat stiff while her husband observed Stefan’s work. She thought of her child and how Juliet would never know the love of true mother and father. She wondered what her husband would do to her when she was discovered. She planned to offer any explanation. Her husband would most likely say that the baby had died and hold a grand funeral for someone else’s dead child. All would be deeply saddened and send their condolences to the sad couple. He would once again be furious with her and she would be imprisoned in her rooms again. She wished and prayed that she may become ugly so that her husband would not let her live. For she would rather die and join Stefan than spend the rest of her life with her husband. She knew that he prized her and would therefore never kill her. She could not bring herself to mark her face so she continued to hope and dream of ugly faces. She suddenly thought to cut her beautiful locks to mar her beauty. She stood up and slowly meandered to the dresser where a pair of scissors lay. She took the scissors in her hand and raised it to her head, but before she could clamp the blades over her hair she thought of Juliet. She thought of the possibility of her every seeing her dear Juliet again. A wave of realization hit her, and she concluded to live in the hope of seeing her daughter one day. She sat back down in her chair and thought of how each moment brought her closer to when she could be reunited with her daughter. Footsteps on the stairs interrupted her trance. They became louder and louder. She knew that those were not the footsteps of the innkeeper or his wife. They were the sharp pounding of heavy boots. The footsteps stopped and she heard the clinking of keys. She wanted to scream to high heaven, but found that no sound came out when she opened her mouth. The rebel in her was gone. She would suffer all punishment and live with her husband if it meant that she could see Juliet again. This thought alone kept her silent. She heard the protest of the innkeeper as the key turned in the lock and the doorknob turned. Gisele simply sat and waited.




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thatgirl99This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Aug. 2, 2012 at 8:18 pm:
The first sentence immediately captures my attention.  This piece conveys the emotion that this young woman would feel at this moment.  Well done!
 
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writer3499 said...
Jul. 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm:
awesome!! Great peice and I loved the story line and how everything was worded.  Would you mind comenting on some of my work? But your story was fantastic!
 
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