Water day

I was not much raised to thoughts of good and evil. I was raised to piety, and filial piety, but that is obedience, body, mind and soul, to a higher purpose. Disobedience is sin. Questions were not encouraged. Even now, I find it difficult to ask my betters questions, and I find those who casually question others impertinent at best and frightfully rude at worst.

“Well, what do you think?” Sev asked me. He was fifteen at the time, and we were watching it rain on the koi pond. He was telling me about an argument his mother had become entangled in with his tutor, about philosophy.

“I’m not quite sure,” I answered, studying his expression for a clue. At that age I was very eager to find the right answer to every question put to me.

He swore at me.

“How am I supposed to talk to someone who doesn’t think?” He asked, expression scornful. “You’re as bad as trying to draw out a servant, I swear.”

“Don’t swear,” I said, looking at the rain.

We were silent for a few minutes.

“Why not?” Sev asked softly.

The rain was very blue that day, the pond a touch of green. It was summer, and the lilypads were in flower, white flowers. I could see a darting orange fish. The sound of it drowned out our conversation and our breathing, making sure that the servants could not overhear us. We were sitting like matching statues in a round window, looking out beneath the wooden roof of the porch.

“It is disrespectful of the gods. Of the brother, your patron.”

“I don’t think they’re real,” he said.

“I do.”

That was one of the calmer moments of that year. Sev took being fifteen as a personal affront, and tended to take it out on everyone around him. I seldom put up with it for long, often absenting myself to my own lessons or the kitchen, where the cook taught me a great deal that was of more use, as the years drifted by.

Nima gave me my half of her commission for that bit of sewing I finished. I have, however unlikely this seems to me, engaged in work.

Comments (2)

M.E. TraylorFebruary 8th, 2011 at 10:58 am

“I have, however unlikely this seems to me, engaged in work.”


Beautiful imagery in the flashback.

adminFebruary 8th, 2011 at 11:02 am

Thank you! I have a lot of fun with the flashbacks.

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