Decima's death, I ask for forgiveness, In the the moment when you are sure about your life, news from Rome, something happens., when everything is going the way you wish, when you're lucky and sorrow-free
Julia didn’t give the impression of having had a similar experience of inconvenience or incommodity. Still, she didn’t complain at all. He respected her for this attitude. She wasn’t one of the cheeky little misses Marcus Lucius knew from some parties organised by his mother and the Roman elite and where he was supposed to find his future wife. Nobody expected that he would choose a girl from an unknown, socially worthless family. It didn’t fit into the concept. Not only his mother was singled out by his decision. What Marcus Lucius didn’t know, the whole society isolated Decima, because she wasn’t part of it. The aristocrats perceived her as a virus, like a small infectious agent with the ability to replicate inside the living cells of any kind of organism. They wanted to stay immune and didn’t invite Decima to any event. They avoided her on the streets and other public places. Decima didn’t tend to enter this strange world either, so the both existed apart. Marcus Lucius didn’t have any idea about it. He never had the time or even will to analyse it. Decima never complained. And his mother never told him anything, either, as if already talking about Decima would spread or activate a kind of virus.
Staying for a longer while with a girl, Marcus Lucius thought about the women in his life. He never had enough possibilities to observe them and their behaviour. He had only spent a limited amount of hours with women until then. From his childhood he remembered some of his mother’s habits. From the womaniser’s period, he knew how to touch women and how to let them melt in his hands. During his marriage, he spent some hours with his wife, who mostly didn’t talk much. They spent hot nights together, he remembered passionate kisses and deep affection. There was small talk, there were many smiles and his new plans to settle down and have a real family with children. There was no laughter, but no special seriousness either. He became very aware of the common laugh he had just heard. He used to laugh with his friends, with soldiers, but not with women. It was new to him and appreciated it. Therefore, he laughed further. It made him somewhat free and it felt natural as breathing.
-Do I snore? – Marcus Lucius asked seriously after some minutes of joy. The memory of Decima kept changing his mood continuously. He wondered that he didn’t think about her as a part of his past. Maybe he unconsciously tried to isolate himself from the bitter truth. He rather imagined Decima being somewhere over the rainbow than on the other side of life. He was confused and unsettled, even though nobody around him could notice it. To the world, he looked like the pure calmness. Inside, he wasn’t able to switch off the river of thoughts. Additionally, he needed a change to avoid falling back into his depression. However, he didn’t intend to be totally serious again. He liked the relieving laughter. Therefore, he waited impatiently for Julia’s answer.
-A little, just when you sleep deeply. – Her voice trembled, but a kind of joy stayed captured in it. – At the beginning, you snored a lot, because you were wounded so heavily. We were afraid, you’ll die. – Suddenly, Julia sounded sad.
Marcus Lucius didn’t respond to Julia’s statement. Death was the last thing he wanted to discuss. He looked at the snoring Nerva and smiled.
-I know how he feels. I had a long trip behind me and didn’t get the opportunity to rest.
Then, he reminded the circumstances of his trip and he stopped talking. The girl didn’t know why he ignored her remark and why he didn’t finish his story. However, she decided to continue the topic as he already started it.
-When did it happen? – She asked.
Marcus Lucius moved unsettled as if he remembered bad memories. She noticed it, even though his facial expression didn’t change a bit. Strangely enough, it gave her more power to support him in that moment. She leant on the wall and listened to his heartbeat. It was so loud that she could easily hear it. The tempo increased and it meant that Marcus Lucius got nervous with the time. Her hand came out of the blanket and landed on Marcus Lucius’s shoulder. It wasn’t a sexual, but a friendly gesture. He didn’t object. He trembled a little in the moment she touched him, and then kept silent. He kept silent so long that Julia gave up hoping for an answer. Suddenly, she moved her head away from his shoulder.
-I ask for forgiveness. – She added quickly, ashamed, after she had put together the pieces of information she had about Marcus Lucius. He used to call her “Decima” while he was in fever. He blew the secret about Decima being dead and it was confirmed later by news from Rome. Appius had sent his scouts to Rome to check this and they returned with bad news. Appius had written about it, although he kept the rumours and dubious assumptions hidden referring to who had killed Marcus Lucius’s wife and why. The only certain fact was Decima’s death. The circumstances and the reasons were not known. Julia was already informed what had happened, even if she didn’t have any idea how the reality looked like in detail. In the moment, she thought about it, she heard how Marcus Lucius started whispering:
-In the the moment when you are sure about your life, when everything is going the way you wish, when you’re lucky and sorrow-free, something happens. The man you believed to be your friend, becomes your worst enemy. This is even the more humiliating than any attack by a known enemy, because your so-called friends exactly know your weaknesses. Unknown people try to hurt you and they might be lucky with is. They can be prepared and well-informed, but you know that you can expect inimical attitude. – His voice was marked with tragedy, deep reflection, and betrayed that he was occupied with the topic for more than the last minutes. His flood of thoughts was ordered straight and analytical.