Tree day

Nov 20, 2008

Pen spent much of today angry with me, to the extent her father took her aside. After that she was quiet and angry with me, which was at least more restful.

This, however, is what I want to remember from today.

I invited Heiye to what is becoming my sewing room, Nima’s old room. He’s not very good with a needle, but one project involved tearing out old seams and making them anew, and that he could do once I showed him how.

“What was it like, when you stayed in the market?” I asked.

“I was treated well.”

“You’re a good boy.”

“Yes, lady.”

“Were other people treated less well?”

“Yes.”

I don’t think I know what he was thinking, there.

He continued, “You called us people, mistress.”

“Of course.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Why not?”

“We are slaves.”

“Slaves are people.”

He looked at me. I found myself uncomfortable meeting his gaze. I studied my sewing.

I continued, “Do you know the concept of fate?”

“Yes, mistress. We all have fates decreed by the gods.”

He pays attention in his lessons. I like that.

“Exactly. Some say… some say the gods give you your fate at birth, and that is what you must do. You follow your father. If I am being – fair – I must admit my husband disagrees. He thinks you cannot know the fate gods have given you, so you might as well go find out. That is how he puts it.”

“Lord Uru is very wise.”

“I think so. Wise but proud.”

“Yes, mistress,” he said in a kind tone. I glanced up fast enough that I saw a smile being hidden. Carefully tucked away, to be brought out for another time, I think. Such is how we are around our lords and ladies. He reminds me of myself.

“Slaves are people with a particular fate. That’s all.”

“If you say so, mistress.”

He would not speak more on the subject afterwards. Again I fail somehow, though I know not quite how. Well, I have hold of the problem now. I shall not let go again.

I shall think on why the way he looked at me made me uncomfortable. It reminded me of Sev asking me to justify my thoughts, too often and too pointedly. I should not be uncomfortable if I am right. I see no fault in my logic, but I feel uneasy.

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