An adult speculative Christian post-armegeddon fiction
Dilemma of Dreams
Chapter Three: Complete
Life with a Man
I found the streets as chaotic and frightening as I thought them to be from my views through the windows of the convent. Peralte’s hand sometimes gripped mine very tightly, but I found myself glad that he was so concerned with keeping me at his side. As we moved through streets through areas that I had no knowledge of, I found myself trusting him, so at a pause for some monks of a different religious order than my own to pass I asked a question.
“Who is Dimerkess?”
Peralte proved that he had completely read my report as he replied, “He was not your father. I was surprised that you formed any such idea of the man. He was your boss.”
“Yes, as much as we have bosses. He also enjoys stability, so I can see that the two of you probably got along. He has been worried about you.” Peralte smiled at me, then knelt before me to look me in the eyes as he said more. “It is strange to find you like this. Only his women have secured themselves in a life. Of his men, some have managed to find the ways of wandering, but many have become lost.” Peralte actually hugged me, then added, “I promised Dimerkess that I had not lost you, although he has been riding my case for the last number of years. He will be glad to see you,” Peralte hugged me again before saying, “although might not believe this to be you.”
The monks had moved off, but I looked about and felt a need to ask, “Where are you taking me?”
“Honestly, nowhere. My present agenda is to see just how much you can remember.”
Thinking of my training, I asked, “Why don’t you take me home?”
“My home? No. I did say that it was an option for you, but I also told you that you and I were never friends. Before I introduce you to my ladies, I would rather introduce you to other possibilities for life.”
Letting him know that I was listening, I asked, “You have a wife?”
“Wife? I would not call them wives. They are like your present position with me, I own them. However, just like you, I do treat them well and do not hear them complain about my presence.”
I found no problem between my thoughts and my training, so asked, “Isn’t the relationship of husband and wife the best for a man and woman?”
“For you, it probably is. I enjoy my freedom. Not just my freedom to purchase you and do with you as I would, but the freedom simply to be out here without any concern for my ladies. They have food, and I do what is necessary to keep that reality stable, and I do spend time with them. There is a lot more to my life however, and I do not limit myself to paths that would accommodate them.”
Feeling that I found fault with his words, I said, “Are you going to limit yourself to paths that will accommodate me?”
“No. Mesapher was not a girl, not even female, and you need to come to terms with your history. Not just for yourself, but for others that you will meet – including Dimerkess. Truthfully, Vetacha, I will be taking you along paths that I feel that I would enjoy. I believe that the two of us could do well getting to know about each other. I have worked to learn things about you, so now it is time for you to learn about me.”
Those words troubled me, and drawing from my training I had to ask, “Was I married?”
“No. At least, not officially. I always thought of you as homosexual. Whatever, that is something you are going to have to come to terms with yourself about. Anyway, no, nothing that I know about you says that you were ever married.”
I saw a look of exasperation like that of many of the elders that had to face my questions over the years. “Listen, Vetacha, I have said this before and will now say it one more time: you and I were not friends. We did not work together, and rarely spoke more than a few words to each other when we met. We were not enemies, but not friends. I thus know very little about you from personal experience. I don’t trust what I read in the files, so I won’t repeat that, unless you go spouting off things that I feel could use some support or challenge.”
Those words actually hurt me. I was with a man that I only knew from vague memories dredged up from my training in the convent. I was out in a part of town that I did not know far from the place that had been my home. I needed some security, although with all the people around me I felt very alone. I looked to Peralte, and thought of the only thing I could think of to improve my mentality.
“Can we become friends now?”
He smiled, took out a linen cloth to wipe my face, then asked, “And how do we do that?”
I told him to hold out his hand. He did so, and allowed me to intertwine our fingers together. Peralte had rather thin fingers that I felt made them appear longer than they truly were. He did not appear fat at all, but his face had a fullness letting me know that he ate well. With our hands together properly, I had him repeat some words after which I put my arms around his neck while letting him know what had occurred.
“We are now friends.”
“Okay, we are now friends. Just remember that you did this.” He saw my questioning gaze, so explained, “Strong relationships are built in levels. We were associates, and now friends, and soon maybe even closer. Remember that you are the one that had us move one step closer.”
Wanting him to feel that I was wise in making the action, I said, “You purchased me.”
“Yes, but that was business. Now, what happens between us is not strictly business.”
I really did not know how to reply, but I did say something that I believed. “I trust you.”
“Yes, you really should do that. If you believe that I am doing something wrong, you should also come and talk to me about it. Arresting me is not a solution.”
He did not give me a chance to respond. Peralte stood, then took my hand and started back to walking. I did have to move to keep up with him, but he did not walk fast. He stood almost twice as high as me, but I found myself moving with him without any problem except for steps to avoid others also moving about. Several times I found myself glad to have his hand, as if I had been moving behind him as taught he could have well moved off leaving me behind as I maneuvered my own route through some crowds. Sooner than expected, he however stopped and looked to me in what I expected to be more than just a chance for me to catch my breath.
“Good, it is not yet six.”
I was actually feeling hungry, so asked, “Why is that?”
“Because I need to buy some things for you.”
The teachers in the convent stressed that we were not to burden our husbands with demands requiring him to spend money. We were to share his life, which meant an acceptance of what he had to provide. The man had to face the troubles of the world, and we were to do what we could to relieve him of those burdens when he came home. I accepted that Peralte had already spent a good amount simply to gain possession of me, and the school had put me in a good dress with some nice accessories. I thus felt it best not to speak of needing anything. I knew that I wore a lot of second-hand clothes in the convent, but found the reason as the basic items to clothe and care for me totaled a large sum of money.
We brought the boxes and bags to an elaborate building that I learned was a guest house. The butler that opened the door was introduced to me with Peralte stressing that I belonged to him. The words made me feel as if I were only an object, but the demeanor of the servant told me that I suddenly gained great value in his eyes. Peralte then had the butler to call servants to bring the belongings on up to his room only to escort me outside near a large pool.
As I sat next to him at a table with a large umbrella to block the sun, I kept looking to the water. Nothing around me made sense, but I tried to associate things with what I knew. Peralte watched me, so I finally turned to him to ask about an assumption.
“Are we to take a bath?”
“Well, later, why?”
“That is a bath.”
He did not laugh, but only smiled before softly saying, “No, Vetacha, it is simply for swimming – for enjoying the water. Truthfully, there are chemicals in the water to keep it clear, so you don’t get truly clean. After swimming, it is best if you take a quick shower to wash off the chemicals.”
“Can we go swimming? I do enjoy being in the water.”
“I believe that. Still, we will need to purchase a swimming suit for you. I however do not remember you enjoying being on the water, as on a boat.”
I heard the words about having to purchase a swimming suit for me, so softly replied, “It is well. You have done enough for me today.”
Peralte grabbed my face and looked into my eyes. He then looked at the rest of my head, even turning my jaw to look at my ears. Letting go of my head, he ran his hand through my hair then around my throat. I was slightly scared, mostly puzzled, although a little annoyed. I still stayed silent until he stopped to again look into my eyes.
“Okay.” I was about to make some simple reply when he added, “Oh, just to let you know, you are pretty.”
I honestly felt my world shatter at that instant. I had never really thought of myself as pretty. I had no seniority in the convent. I was young, so was picked on by the older girls. To be with a man as his property, then have him tell me that I was pretty, caused me to realize that I was somewhere that I had never been before.
“Am I really?”
“Yes. It does not really show. I almost want to take you to my home so my ladies can bring out your looks. The light-brown hair almost appears as an extension of your head, and your light-brown eyes seem to also fade to make you appear simple. Just a little bit of color could however separate everything allowing all the parts to declare that you are one wonderful complete package.”
Not wanting to impose any more purchases on my behalf, I softly spoke a fact. “I don’t know anything of makeup. The ladies at the convent spoke against it.”
“I don’t know anything about it either. I will however purchase some for you, and let you decide whether or not to try it.”
I stood, then moved to kneel on the tiled ground beside his legs. Peralte did not stop me, but simply watched. I laid my head on his knee as I spoke of my words.
“You have spent enough on me today.”
A hand moved to my back as he said, “The money is not a problem. You are the problem.” When I lifted my eyes to look at him, he added, “I am really interested in if you will wear makeup.”
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market. "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.