?

Log in

 
 
07 June 2011 @ 07:16 pm
Marriage  
"What are you crying for now, Violet?"

I shuddered and tried to look through the tears. My arm burned from Ben hitting it with his practice sword. My father glowered down at me, waiting for my four-year-old mind to pull into the impassiveness that a graduate could maintain.

"Ben--he--hit me." I shuddered. Three times.

"So?"

"It hurts."

"She was pestering me to see my sword!" Ben argued. "It was my sword!"

He frowned at me. "Don't pester your brother, Violet. You'll get your own sword in four years."

"I just wanted to see it."

"That's enough, Violet. I don't want to hear another word. Go set the table, since your mother is obviously too incompetent to do it." He added as an afterthought. "Just like everything else in this house."

***


The ground hit me--hard. The pain seemed to almost overwhelm me that, for a moment, I felt like crying aloud. But that wouldn't do me any good. Father came home thirty minutes ago, which meant that there was bound to be an argument in progress. They probably wouldn't even hear me, and if they did, they'd just tell me to stop crying.

With a shudder, I pushed myself up. Cradling my twisted arm, I made my way through the back door. Sure enough, my father's voice roared in much the same way he would roar orders and my mother answered in the same, shrill reply. I stood in the doorway, quietly studying the pattern in the wood, and waiting until they finished.

Someone ran into me in a rush to get out of the house. I fell again and an involuntary cry escaped my throat as my arm hit the floor.

"Shut up, Violet!" my father yelled from inside the house.

"Be careful where you stand. You almost made me break my neck running out of the house. Don't you have better things to do than to stand in the doorway like some dumb girl," my mother snapped.

"Well, if she's dumb, it sure doesn't come from my side," my father snapped back.

"Your whole family is some of the worst Waenx I have ever seen!"

I pulled myself up and walked out of the doorway as they argued over which of my obvious flaws were whose fault. I could get to the doctor myself, since even my six-year-old head could tell I needed that much. I just didn't expect them not to notice my cast for two weeks.

***


"Violet! Get over here," my father snapped.

I discarded my jumprope and came. 'Yes, sir?"

"Your mother is out to market?" I could smell a hint of perfume in the air, not quite on my father but almost.

"Yes, sir." It was always my mother. Never just Mother.

"Then you listen to be careful. Watch for her to come and knock on my door when you see her, then distract her for three minutes. This is an order."

As a seven-year-old, I knew better than to ignore an order. I nodded slightly. "Yes, sir."

As I sat outside the house, I could hear the laughter of a woman I didn't knew. Even as I detained my mother, I knew it was merely for Father to sneak his lover outside the backdoor. He demanded that I do that over twenty times until I finally could be granted early admittance into training. My mother did it twice.

***


My mind flashed through all of these memories and more. The time when my father actually had been caught, and they made me their liaison for all of their brutal messages for a week, then finding out three weeks later that he still expected me to guard for him. The occasional lunch with either one of my parents that consisted mainly of the parent listing the other parent's faults. The time when my parents finally decided separate, unofficially, because it would look bad, but permanently, because they could not stand each other. The many times they dragged me to the doctor because one of them had stormed out and the other one needed to have attention and they couldn't leave me alone. Then the accidental hits that were meant for one of them, but landed on me instead, and the curses that followed it because I had gotten in the way of yet another argument.

Séamus wanted all that. He wanted to be trapped like that. To be stuck in a situation that meant we would, someday, fight each other, hit each other, cheat on each other and, after years of struggling to live together, separate from each other.

One thing I could never understand was how--when they made the same promise that every couple made on a wedding--they could go back on their word so quickly. I couldn't understand how they could be so dishonorable. The only way i could figure it out would be that the ceremony forced them to say it. Marriage was an intentional trap, designed only to hurt those involved.

Oh, I knew of other families, other trainees who would say that their parents were happy. But those trainees came from poorer classes and poorer circumstances. Anyone I married would be just as harsh as my father, make me just as bitter as my mother, permit any older sibling to beat on the younger ones and hurt all children we might have.

My only solution was to circumvent the marriage system. If we could say what we would do to each other, in our own time, and our own way, then our word would stand and it would mean more. That was the only way I would marry a man. If we promised each other, apart from anyone else's control, anything that we would do for the other, that was my kind of marriage, and the only way I would agree.

So that night of graduation, when Séamus promised me all those things, we were married in my mind.
 
 
 
Alyssa: Merlin - Morgana and Gwenmidenianscholar on June 8th, 2011 12:38 am (UTC)
Aww. Poor her. :(