Project of the day..well one of!

 

This is something I am working on. I am currently editing a finished project but needed to set it aside. I found myself getting restless and just frustrated. In order to calm myself I ended up writing this. Now, I have no idea where to take it. I hope you enjoy what I have so far and if you like it let me know. Let me know if you have any suggestions as well, I’d love some feedback!
I hope you enjoy what I have so far.
(Oh and I should mention that this is a bit jumbled. the line breaks indicate a new section/chapter)

*Note: As a Catholic I am intrigued by the history of the Crusaders. I do not condone or praise any wrong doing the Crusaders had done. My only interest in the Crusaders has to do with the history of my religion and how I can learn from them and from their mistakes. Please do not take any offense of my subject matter it is not meant to be malicious or cruel! Thank you!

Image is from http://geeknation.com/history-channel-to-air-four-hour-miniseries-about-the-knights-templar/

 

Love that can last centuries? Impossible. I never really gave much thought into how I would fall in love or even if I wanted to. I always figured if love were to happen there was nothing I could do to prevent it. So why go looking for it?
The trees passed by in a blur as I zipped along the wet Interstate 5 through Seattle.  My mind was busy with wandering thoughts. I had no idea why I was going to this stupid school function. My students were graduating, sure that is something to celebrate but I didn’t need to be there. I was not personally involved in their achievement. I was a junior professor at a small college in Vancouver.
 I looked quickly over my shoulder making sure my path was clear then changed lanes. My exit was coming up, I had only a few more miles till I reached my destination.
I hated functions, I hate being in a crowd and I hate strangers. I was sure administrators would be there wanting to chit chat about things going on in the English Department. I would have to remind them I was not the head of the department, merely just a simple colleague who wanted to blend into the background. As much as I adored literature I was not someone who wanted to be involved in the politics of academia. In fact I hardly knew anyone in my department. Sure we talked occasionally and passed pleasant salutations to each other every morning but that was all the involvement I allowed.
I didn’t have time for silly things such as close work friends, or plain friends for that matter. People always leave. At least in my case they did. I did not have anyone readily involved in my life, my longest relationship was with my cat.

 

 

________________________________________________________________________________
Jon stood silently in the back of my lecture hall with his hands deep in his pockets. His mouth was set in a hard line as he watched me move around the podium while I lectured. I loved English and I wanted to make it fascinating for all of my students. What normally felt like second nature to me suddenly felt uncomfortable. I felt ungraceful in front of Jon, as though I was trying too hard to impress him. Though I was sure I was not. I had this feeling deep in my gut that I needed his approval. Sure he was held in very high esteem by his colleagues and he was loved by all of his students. Though I was sure more of his admiring students were that of the female species.
Trying to ignore him I held my gaze firmly on the front row. The students there seemed amused by me. I suddenly felt the urge to address Jon. I would need to let him know that his presence was not appreciated. 
As I spoke to my class the room suddenly became too warm. The lights were too bright and my voice was too annoyingly loud.  My mind was frustratingly sluggish, not to mention it was wanting to bring forth thoughts of Jon.
I dared to look at the back of the hall, just to catch a glimpse of him. He was wearing a dark shirt and a blazer over some light colored jeans. His arms folded across his chest and though I couldn’t quite see his face I thought I saw a smirk.
This made me a bit irritated.
Was he making fun of me? What did he find amusing about my lecture?
______________________________________________________________
I was not quite sure what I was looking at. The drawing had to be extremely old or perhaps it had been dipped in some dark tea. But the parchment was like nothing I had ever held or seen before. There was something odd about the subject as well. She had large eyes like mine, dark wavy hair like me. Her face could have been mine but that was not possible. I was not that old, I mean I was not born during the middle ages and I was sure I was not the subject of this piece.
Yet, the more I stared at it the more I felt as though I began to remember things I knew I had never experienced.
Cool air kissed my cheeks blowing my hair behind my shoulders. My middle felt tight as though I had something bound around me. I could feel my back stiff straight and my neck held gracefully, like a lady. I could almost smell lavender in the air and the subtle smell of Mulled wine. No, vin  chaud, that is what it is called. I could smell and taste the cloves, and feel the warmth fill me from within.
“Who is this?” I murmured.
Jon answered low, suprising me that he heard me.  
I nearly jumped three feet out of my own skin. When I turned to look at him he was looking at me with a look of complete admiration. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and my skin tingled. I was not sure I was prepared for the smile that appeared on his face or the look of utter fear in his eyes.
“I don’t understand.” I said pretending I had not heard a word he had said. Truthfully he had uttered it so low I could have missed it. Though I was sure I had understood completely what he had said to me.
“It is complicated.”
The confusion I felt spread to my face.
“So explain.” Now I was feeling a bit angry. Was he some kind of stalker? How did I allow him to lure me into his home? This is how ever rape story began. First the perpetrator gains trust, then he lures you into his nest or where he wants to do the deed. Finally he reveals his plans before he rips your clothing off with such rage that you cannot help but scream. Only the scream won’t come, for it is lost in your throat, strangled by the very breath you are depending on.
He cleared his throat and I took a step back. My fingers gripping the picture in my hands. I was sure the frame would snap under the pressure.
“Look.” He took a deep breath. “You might want to take a seat.” He gestured towards the sitting chair in front of the fireplace.
I shook my head, no what I needed was to stand. I did not want to be stuck in a position that I could not get out of.
“Ok.” He said placing his hands in his pockets. “That is a drawing of you.” He said matter-of-factly.
I understood what he said, the words slowly churned in my mind. My body however, was not so relaxed about it. My knees tried to buckle, my skin tingled and my breath rushed out of my lungs.  The world around me seemed to run passed my eyes in a blur, as though I was on a rollercoaster.
“I think you should sit down.” He repeated.
Again I shook my head.  At times I could be stubborn, even in the wrong situations. This was one of those times where my imagination was running away from me and I was powerless to stop it. I was seeing things I had never experienced. Cannons being fired around me, men shouting at me in a dialect of French I was not familiar with.  My stomach once again felt constricted, my lungs grudgingly held on to my breath. Warm breath tickled the skin of my neck and I heard clear as day the words “Run” whispered in my ear. The voice sounded right next to me and so lifelike that I actually turned around to see if someone was there besides me.
Jon was still standing a good distance away from me. His expression was now one of concern. I swallowed so hard my eyes watered.
“When was this drawn?” I asked when I found my voice.
“When I first met you.”
“That was a week ago, and this paper looks really old. Some of the pencil marks are faded, unless you aged this I am not sure that was possible.” was what I wanted to say. “Why would you draw this?” I asked harshly.
“I..” he began but thought better of it. He ran his hand roughly through his hair and began to pace in front of me. “I wanted to remember you.”
“What?” I snapped. “You and I work at the same college! We just met why would you want to draw a picture of me.”
“That was not drawn a week ago.” he pointed out.
There is was, what I was afraid of. he had been stalking me, and I was about to hear something I really did not want to hear.
“I drew it when I met you,” he took a deep breath, “the first time.”  
“I’m sorry.” I hissed. I could not hold on to the drawing anymore. I dropped it on the couch as though it burned my fingers. “You and I only met a week ago in Seattle. There was not another time.”
“Yes, there was.”
“I’m leaving.” I said as I stepped past him to the door. I was not going to stay here, serving myself on a silver platter to this psycho. Though I never made it to the door. Everything around me grew quite, even the lights grew dim. I was not sure what was happening but all I could hear and focus on was Jon’s voice.
“We met in 1147 before I left to Jerusalem .”
It was through the floor felt from underneath me. Everything began to crash at once. First my sight went funny again. All I could make out were rolling hills of the greenest grass I had ever seen, the smell of hay and sour grapes filled my nose. I was suddenly cold and tried to reach for my sweater that was already on me but I felt something different.  I felt rough wool around my shoulders and again my stomach felt constricted and my back stiff straight.
“That is not possible.” I muttered though I wasn’t sure it was my voice. I could hear the words but had I not heard the words in my head I would have been sure someone else spoke.
“Darling it is.” his French accent becoming more noticeable.
I reached out to the door handle.
“I am not that old, I was born in 79. I have parents, I never lived in Europe. I have only lived here.”
His soft hand reached out and grabbed my hand. I wanted to flinch and pull my hand away from him, but I didn’t. I needed the warmth of his touch. I needed the feel of him and probably feel of his arms around me.
“I need to go.” I said before he could say anything else to confuse me.  
“Perhaps you should calm down first.”
I shook my head. “I need to go.”
“Let me explain some more.”
“I don’t want to hear anymore of your made up stories. I just need to leave.”
Then he let go of me. I felt lost for a just a moment, then the world as I knew came back to me. Before he or I could utter another word I ran out of his house and to my car as fast as I could. I didn’t catch my breath until I pulled into my own driveway.
There was no way I could have been the subject of his drawing, well not from 1147. He was messing with me, that was all. He simply drew the picture from the time we meet now in 2015. The truth of the matter was that he was crazy and this was his way of illustrating that. Satisfied with my theory I went inside my house. Once I was in bed and covered with blankets up to my eyes did I feel warm and safe. Nothing could get to me here.

 

“Bonjoun!” my father shouted from across the field.
I hadn’t seen him since last night right before I went to bed. He was one to wake up before the moon went down. In order to get all of his chores done he said he needed to be up before the world.
He was handsome for a man his age. His hair thinning on the top, his shirt loose on his thin frame. Though he was healthy, and he fed his family.
The day was warm, though the night would bring a fridet cold. My father had a thin sheet of sweat covering his forehead. He had been working hard. Around the neck of his shirt was a soaken dark ring of sweat.
I smiled and handed him a small loaf of bread and the jug of wine I brought with me.
“Bonjoun, papà.”
He smiled then looked at his hands. A crease formed in the middle of his sweaty brow.
“Where is the cheese?”
I smiled back at him, mainly because it felt good. He had been angry with me lately. I was glad that my little teasing joke had not backfired on me.
“I have it here.” I laughed.
He took the cheese and quickly sunk his teeth into it. “Delicious.” he smiled.
Though I came to the field to talk to him, I did not want to ruin the mood. The morning and afternoon had been good to him. the sun was sinking down and the air was cooling down. He had gotten a lot done since the sun rose, the cows seemed happy as they ate the unwanted weeds.
“I still do not approve.” he said after a gulp of wine.
“I’m not asking you to.” I replied though I wish i hadn’t. He was my father not some stranger. I had to respect him and right now I was not.
“A soldier? You know the life you lead if you marry a soldier.” he hissed. “I promised you to a farmer.”
I sat down hoping the tall blades of grass would hide me. He had promised me, against my will. something he had never done before. My sister had married who she wanted, why can’t I?
“He is not allowed to take a wife.” my father hissed. “You know this, he isn’t even allowed to speak to his own mother.”
I signed, we had this conversation before. “I told you he is going to leave the Order.”
My father shook his head and did the sign of the cross along his chest. We were devoted Catholics and we didn’t do things to upset God. I was sure my relationship with a Knights Templar was not my father’s version of being a good Catholic.
“You will not marry him!” his face turned as red as strawberry.
I stood up from the ground, wiped the loose grass off of my shirt. Talking to him was a waste of time. I looked him square into the eye and took a deep breath.
“I’m not asking.”
“I will disown you! What then? When he is in Jerusalem and you are here how will you survive? What if he dies? Or what if the other Templars kill him for treason?”
“Papa, I told you. We told you, I will be with his family in Rochefort-en-Terre. I will be fine.” i tried to smile but the look on his face quickly made that feeling go away.
“I will not allow this! Where will you get the money to travel? How will you get there? Your Templar has no money! And what if his family does not want you! I refuse to listen to anymore of this, you are not going to marry Jon.”
Before I could say anything else my father held up his hand.  The discussion was over and I was not to bring it up again. He began to return to his work, having lost his appetite.
I walked slowly back to the house with my eyes to the ground. I was ashamed of myself. What if my father was right?
“ISABÈL. Isabḗl….”
I turned to find Jon leaning against the barn.
“What are you doing here?” I hissed.
“I needed to see you.” His tunic flapped in the wind reminding me that he was indeed a man of the cross and because of me he was committing a sin. I took a step back away from him, but he refused the space by pulling me to him. His chest was solid muscle and his arms were as strong as the horses my father used to plow the fields.  
I pressed my hands against him in a fruitless effort. He would not let me escape.
“Nothing has changed.” he said firmly. “Nothing will change.”
“Please let me go.”
He refused, instead he pulled me into the barn. His lips crashed into mine before the door fully closed. His fingers dug into my forearms as his kiss grew greedier and more urgent. I met him with the same passion. We both knew, we had to know, this was the end.
“My darling.” he breathed heavily in my ear. “ I will never let you go. I don’t care if I upset the world or God.”
“Jon.” I pleaded but he refused to let me go. He refused to listen to a word I had to say.
“If God did not want me to love you he would have allowed the mere presence of you to fill me with such joy. The loneliness that I felt before you would have lifted without you. God knew my life was nothing before you, I needed a mate and he sent me you.”
“I’m not for you.” I murmured.
“Why?” he angrily stepped away from me. “Because your father says so? God sent me to you, he said so in a dream. He spoke to my heart Isabḗl. the love I feel for you can not be wrong. My soul can not be wrong!”
“I believe you.” I said after a moment. “But your vows? Perhaps this is a mere test. Perhaps you should go to Jerusalem and when you get back we can try again.”
He vehemently shook his head. “No, I will marry you before I go to Jerusalem! I will send you to my family as we planned. I will not leave without marring you!”
“I’m not asking you to, I am asking you to think! If this is God’s plan then we shall fulfill it after you return.”   
Jon began to pace in front of me, his arms across his chest hardly covering the red cross that glowed against the white of his tunic.
“I will just have to speak Henri.”
I panicked, my arms flailing about until I was able to grab hold of his arm. “NO!”
I was not sure what punishment he would have to endure nor  did I not want him to be punished.
So I did what I felt would save him from that.
“We will elope! Tell no one, I will stay here and pretend as though we are separated. You will go to Jerusalem and return to me where we will announce our marriage.”
He kissed me roughly on the mouth again, his eager hands pressed me firmly against his hard body.
“I will arrange it.”

 

I sat bolt up in bed with sweat dripping down my back and mouth dry. The dream had been so real I could smell the fields and feel Jon’s arms around me. I shuddered with fear. What if he had been telling the truth?

The minute the thought came to me I quickly dispelled it. He merely planted the thoughts in my mind and I was dreaming them. The picture was not me from 1147, I am an American!
_________________________________________________________________________

*Note: As a Catholic I am intrigued by the history of the Crusaders. I do not condone or praise any wrong doing the Crusaders had done. My only interest in the Crusaders has to do with the history of my religion and how I can learn from them and from their mistakes. Please do not take any offense of my subject matter it is not meant to be malicious or cruel! Thank you!

Comment if you please...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s