Gabrielle’s Answer

by Catherine M. Wilson

This is Gabrielle’s response to the events of the story, Wedding Night. You should read Wedding Night first, if you haven’t already, or this won’t make much sense.

I love you. I have loved you, I think, all my life. You were the one I looked for when I hardly knew what I was seeking. You were the one who came for me and I recognized you the moment I saw you. You were the one who waited for me every time I left you. You were the one who returned for me. You were the one who called me back.

I loved you without knowing that I loved you or what it meant. I loved you when I lay in my husband’s arms. I loved you every time I left you, and I never understood why leaving you could hurt so much. I love you now.

Perdicus made me feel loved. Please don’t turn away. Please hear me. I wanted your love without knowing what I wanted. You never offered it and I didn’t know how to ask. I knew that he loved me. I knew that he would let me know. He made me feel loved. He made me feel safe. With you I was never safe, but it was not the danger that I loved. It was you that I loved.

And I feared you. If I had not, I might have given you my heart, even not knowing what I meant by it. But I turned away from you when you needed me. I chose instead something I thought I needed for myself. When I had it, I knew I had made a mistake. For a while I would have lied to myself. Then I would have run to you. Perhaps you can’t believe that, but it’s true.

If you had shown me your heart, I might have understood my own. And at last you did show me. You showed me a depth of pain that I could not have imagined until you made me feel it. You showed me a love so dark it frightened me and a passion so bright it blinded me. You showed me what it would mean to love you.

Perdicus held me as a man holds a treasure that he can’t believe is his. You held me as a woman holds onto her own soul when she fears that the loss of it will condemn her to the dark.

I knew that I could be what he needed me to be. I could be the girl he loved at home. I could be his wife and the mother to his children. I could be his life’s companion. I could be everything he expected me to be.

How can I be what you expect of me? I don’t know what you need or if I have it to give you. I want to love you, but I’m afraid to fail. How can I be the person that a warrior clings to? How can I be strong enough? How can I be big enough to fill the emptiness I feel within you?

I knew what Perdicus would take from me. He would take what I could easily have given. He wanted me by his side. As much as love, he wanted a companion, a wife. You want my soul.

Have you seen yourself? Have you seen your own eyes? I have seen in your beautiful eyes the life you turned away from come back to haunt you, time after time. And when I tried to reach you, you turned away. I wanted to love you, but you turned me away.

Sometimes your eyes go dark. I have seen the danger of the dark in you. It frightened me. I wanted to love you, but I was afraid to love the dark. Now here we are, together, deep in the dark.

You want me to help you find your way, but I am lost too. I am lost beyond the boundaries of the life I understand. I am no more safe for you than you are safe for me. I am not brave enough for this. I do not have your courage or your desperation. I could belong to ordinary life again, but you never can. If I don’t awaken from this dark dream and follow some innocent love into the light of day, I will stay here in the dark with you and that will be my life.

I know what it will mean to love you. You who have never loved yourself will take everything I am and it will never be enough. You will demand of me things that I can never give you. You will take me as you did tonight. You will consume me as the flame consumes the candle.

I know what it will mean not to love you. You who already have my heart will call me back to you no matter how far I run. I don’t know why I tried. Perhaps I needed to discover if it was possible not to love you. Now I have my answer.

How powerful is love? I used to believe that love would shine even into the darkest places and chase away the shadows of your dark dreams. But love is more powerful than that. Because I love you I will walk into the dark.