A Matter of Who I Am: Cp 30

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A Matter of Who I Am
Chapter Thirty


I sensed something different among the men. While I could not recognize anything in their actions, they displayed more confidence as they went through their routines. For all I knew, their behavior could have been due to some minor event during the night, so might have lost its importance as the day progressed. What was apparent in me was the change in my daughter, and I turned as she realized something about her regular early morning discomfort.

“Namill, am I pregnant?”

I had to admit, “I believe so, Ulemai.”

“It doesn’t matter, Namill. I will be a part of this journey.”

Understanding things, I controlled my speech as I replied, “I cannot stop you.”

“You don’t want me to?”

I started working with my daughter’s hair while softly admitting, “Marekel and I made a promise that day when he claimed you. I promised that I would raise you in a manner that would promote your love and devotion to him. I promised him that you would grow up to accept him as your husband. He promised that he would provide a fine home for you, and be a husband of honor. That promise ends when you provide him with a child.”

“Why would it end, Namill? I love you. You do not serve as a slave. You could leave at any time, but you can also stay. I will always love and care for you, Namill.”

“Trust me, Ulemai. Marekel is telling me the same.”

My daughter’s hair became a cloud of dark strands as she rushed through camp to demand, “Marekel, tell Namill that she does not need to go.”

While he grabbed his wife, Marekel looked to me as he replied, “I cannot tell her that, Ulemai. Namill will even have my blessing should she feel it better to go in anger.”

“I love her, Marekel!”

Now he looked at her. “And you should, Ulemai. Namill has never done you wrong. She has been closer to you than I ever really expected. Honestly, she has been close to me. Still, I have not and will not do anything wrong to Namill as long as she maintains her honor to us.”

As he held his sobbing wife, I saw him look around. I believe he suddenly realized something about the mornings with his wife. His embrace of his wife strengthened as he asked the question I wished had not been discovered to be asked.

“Ulemai, are you pregnant?”

I saw the nod of the head more than heard the soft answer, “I do believe so.”

“That is blessed news. What really makes it pleasing is that this mission should be long resolved by then. The issues that now trouble Namill should be put to rest by then. At the moment we can continue to have the support of Namill, so should not have our own lives disrupted.”

Ulemai broke from her husband to turn to me and say, “Yes, as she said the promise would hold until I had the child.”

I held my place as I replied, “Assuming I do not break the promise before then.”

“Why would you break it, Namill? I love you. You cannot break it. I will release you from it.” I saw her close her eyes and lower her face as she said, “Go, Namill. Before we face even more evils, go. Go with my love. Take the buggy. We’re not using it.”

Marekel did not say anything, but simply stepped up to place himself directly behind his wife. I did not think of leaving. My thoughts were on assuring a win. I needed Marekel to understand that I would subjugate him. What bothered me was however that Ulemai did love him. I had kept my promise, but so had Marekel. My daughter was not simply telling me to go, but stating that she would stay with the one who had come so close to defeating me. It however pained me to admit that she would have gone to someone. To have her with someone who did love her, support her, and provide for her was what a mother should want for her child. The thoughts troubled me, but I stepped up determined to say something to keep our truce going.

“I am not going, Ulemai. Marekel and I will resolve our agreement in our own way. Don’t let it trouble you.”

She turned to her husband, and after seeing him nod she rushed to me. I did not doubt her love for me. I could feel that her emotions were honest. The fact she sought his approval before coming to me however seethed in my mind, and I could not help but consider that I needed to assert my authority in her life.

What troubled me was that Marekel was a good husband to my daughter. He was everything a lady could want. I had done well in allowing Marekel to claim my daughter. I found myself wishing I could leave. Knowing that we would however meet again where our conflict began was what troubled me.

I said, “Let us finishing packing, Ulemai. We have many more miles to go.”

“Why, Namill?” she asked. “Why did you make a promise like that?”

It was Marekel that answered, “Because we did not know, Ulemai. We both had our own reasons for being there. The fact there was a child was only a complication, but it was something we could agree on. You being present enabled Namill and me to come to a decision about each other.”

Knowing that neither Marekel nor I could say much more, I commanded, “Come on, Ulemai.”

“No,” she replied. “No. This does not make sense. It would only make sense if…”

Marekel did not speak. I could not fault him for saying anything or doing anything. I want to say that the same was true with me. I neither did nor said anything different than I had in all the previous years. Even so, I felt Marekel understood the situation as much as I did.

Ulemai stated, “You’re my mother, Namill. That would be the only reason for an agreement like that.”

Hoping to put off the inevitable, I said, “The situation is more complicated than that, Ulemai.”

“Marekel, can you explain it?”

“No,” he answered. “Our love and acceptance of Namill should weigh more heavily than anything. Whatever the reason for your love of Namill, the fact that she is loved should be what matters.”

I stressed what I felt was important. “It’s more complicated than that.”

My daughter asked, “Why is it more complicated than that, Namill… Mother?” Before I could form a reply, she said, “You put me in the flower. Why? As a lure?”

“No one was supposed to see you.”

I felt it. The promise had been broken. The fact that I was the one to do it was meaningless. It would have been more pleasurable for it to have been Marekel, but I knew that the facts would have to come to light. Ulemai would learn the truth. I felt the bonds I made to assure that I would not be at fault for breaking the promise no longer holding me, and realized that a decision needed to be made.

It could not be helped. My body began to expand as I felt my legs begin to divide and multiply. What I feared Ulemai realizing all these years I found a part of me agreeing with the words from Marekel.

“She is your daughter, Namill! Why can’t you continue to stay in her life? That will be your grandchild. Namill, you are not returning to your power, but leaving your greatness behind.”

I replied, “I am immortal as well, Marekel. I can have more children.”

“No. You might could convince yourself to have more offspring, but you will not have another like Ulemai. Look at her. She’s a blessing to your life, Namill. You raised her in love. She loves me, and she loves you. If you leave, you will not ever have that again.”

Jelnaya announced, “Especially since I will kill you!”

“No, Jelnaya. At the moment there is still hope for Namill. She has been a blessing even to you. She has shown that she is not necessarily a creature of evil. At this moment, you would be in the wrong to kill her.”

My daughter looked at me and asked, “Mother, you’re a spider? Am I truly a spider?”

“No, she was once human, and it was with a human that she joined to make you.”

I had to say, “Listen to Marekel. He kept the promise just as I did. He said that he would love and adore you, and be a proper husband. He has, and I believe he will continue to bless your life. I however knew then what I was, what I had become, and I knew my love for you would not last.”

Ulemai asked, “Why not?”

Marekel supported his wife by asking, “Yes, Namill, why not?”

I had to admit, “I made other promises. They were not negated that day, and they are bound upon things deeper in me. Turning Marekel would have solved a number of problems, but he did not. In all the situations he was put in, he held true. Still, he is correct. You were raised to know love. Marekel loves you, Ulemai. If you stay with him, he will not fail you.”

My daughter asked, “Why can’t you continue to love me, Mother?”

I could not answer, although the words from Marekel burned inside me. “That is what we are fighting for, Ulemai. We are going to be fighting for your mother’s love. She does love you. Do not doubt that. I do not doubt that. She has even shown respect and concern for me, so I feel at some level even loves me. To kill her now would be wrong. There are monsters ahead. What is sending them is not her. She might be hearing their call. She might even be directing them, but she has been with us, loving us, for the last many years. Maybe in going to the call of the monsters, she will feel out of place and remember that she has a place with us.”

“Yes, Mother.”

I knew better than to attack. There however was no desire to stay. Leaving my daughter did pain me, but a desire to reassert my place came over me that washed away any other emotion or decision. I rushed away not really knowing where to go. While I did not feel in charge of my life, I knew that presently I had a better life somewhere else.

It had been many years since I took on a conflict with someone else. Marekel definitely had the advantage due to continuing to face threats. I however found myself recalling certain strategies and wielding certain powers. Feeling that I would quickly regain my mastery, I went off in search of prey.

And decisions need to be made now that things have changed.