During the ambush, she wished to be killed when she realised that there were chances to die quickly, easily. She could pretend to be the happy wife as she did during the last weeks. She had become a professional liar. With every day, that passed, it was easier to smile politely and to pretend being the proud Roman woman everyone wanted to see. Even if her internal state got worse with every further heartbeat, it didn’t influence her visibly. However, she started losing her internal colours. The process of fading out was already progressed so far that she didn’t care about staying alive anymore. Earlier, she didn’t want to die and every thought about death was scary. After half a year of a socially successful marriage, her heart was empty and doomed. The worst thing about it was that she didn’t care. She wasn’t scared anymore. The whole world became irrelevant.
A kind of recovery happened in the moment, when Julia noticed Maxentius’s evanescent look in the eyes and the sliding walk to the other side of the life. It was a revival for Julia. The lesser life was in Maxentius’s body, the more power she got. As she saw his dead body, her whole plan changed into one big question mark. She was relieved when Appius ordered her to play the game, because she could pretend everything she wanted. She became the great simulator. She was adult and marked by life experience already.
While she took care of Marcus Lucius, she was satisfied and happy about his unconsciousness. She even liked the situations, when he didn’t recognize her or called her Decima. It was unimportant as long as she felt safe. She had started living on the reduced level compared to how vivid she used to be until her marriage. However, the amount of power and willingness to live after the ambush was incredibly high compared to the almost dashed off remains of resources she deployed as wife. She discovered a new goal in her life and she was happy as long as she could take care of the wounded man.
She didn’t notice when the situation changed rapidly. She was a victim of her phobia, again. As Marcus Lucius helped her stand the journey on the ship, she discovered that he actually cared about her. He didn’t hurt her, even when he had the chance. He was supportive, cautious, nice. She didn’t expect him to be this way. She was sure that all men were bastards without respect for beings weaker than themselves.
Analysing Marcus Lucius wasn’t easy. There were so many aspects that could influence his behaviour crucially. He could feel forced to stay straightforward, uncomplicated, truthful so that she was convinced about his good intentions. He could also respect her the way he treated his wife, because he loved Decima. Furthermore, he could act the way he did all his life, because he was that kind of person being really nice and supportive to others. Julia was occupied by the contingency analysis of how much all these possible aspects could have an effect on her situation. She tried to believe in Marcus Lucius’s good intentions, but she was too deeply hurt to be able to trust anyone. If the innocence is stolen once, it can’t be given back by anyone. It’s like a jug that fell on the floor and crushed into millions of pieces. Even by gluing all pieces together again, the jug will never be the same as before. Julia’s heart was overexerted and she wasn’t able to switch back to the safety modus anymore. A shadow of insecurity would always exist in her internal, emotional space until the day she would die. However, by noticing the good in Marcus Lucius, she took giant leap forward for herself.