NOTE: Devin has just recieved a letter from her mother saying she is betrothed. That is all it said.
HOW THEY FELL IN LOVE
Devin Jaketsa jin Tourakimea
Today was Lupercalia! The festivities were wonderful, the decorations beautiful, the food delicious, all of Corus decorated
in red and white … and I, I was miserable. I've never been to a celebration of Lupercalia before, at least, not one
of such ... size ... and I had all the makings to enjoy it.
Lianne had new dresses made for us all. I had had a dress prepared for me - despite being simple, it was absolutely lovely.
It was made of a plain white cloth, with a bell neck and red sash. All of us girls did our hair up with red and white flowers.
Mine had ribbons streaming out of the bun at the nape of my neck. If I may say so, and since it's my diary I think I may,
I think I looked quite nice.
But even my dress could not lift my awful mood.
When Leniesa, Elesi, Adi, and Lianne all came and practically demanded that I come with them, I did, but I didn't join in
the spirited chatter on the way to the city, where the festivities were held, nor did I squeal with delight at the sight of
the decorated city like some did - cough, Elesi.
There were all sorts of games for young women to see who their husband would be. I admit, I tried a few of them, but I don't
believe any of them worked. There was one where you would look in a mirror behind you to see your husband, and at first I
thought I saw someone, but it just turned out to be a black and blue blob.
And I still can't believe I let Elesi talk me into participating in one of those games where you draw a name and have to kiss
someone. I suppose I was only making a desperate hope of who it might be, and Elesi was trying to cheer me up, though it didn't
work. I had to kiss a rowdy young rogue! But it's okay, because when he tried to do something more - I won't elaborate - I
knocked his head into a wall. His friends thought that was absolutely hysterical, and so did I. I found myself smiling for
We played Drop the Handkerchief a lot, because Elesi and Lianne missed the first couple games. (Adi and Leniesa didn't mind.)
Lianne had to leave us for a bit in the beginning, because her brothers were with her parents and she had to go talk with
them. Elesi went with her, insisting that we stay and keep playing.
Anyway, in Drop the Handkerchief, one player walks around the circle holding a handkerchief. They drop the handkerchief in
someone's lap and then race around the circle once before sitting down in the other person's seat. The person has to try and
catch the runner. If they do, they get to sit back down and the runner has to be the runner again. If they don't, they become
the runner. If a boy catches a girl, he gets to kiss her.
At first, I hardly ever got caught, but then some older boys joined and I got caught nearly every time. It was odd. I was
there, kissing all these boys - most of which were very good looking - and all I could think about was Jasson. I hadn't seen
him yet, and I was hoping dearly that I would. I hadn't told him my awful news yet, and though I knew I had to tell him, I
was dreading it almost as much as my pending wedding.
After we got tired of playing Drop the Handkerchief, we played another game. In this one, everyone covers their eyes with
a blind fold. Then everyone runs around, trying not to get caught. If you do, then you have to kiss your "captor." As you
can imagine, there's a lot of cheating. I'm not much for running blindfolded, so I was walking slowly around, my hands held
in front of me. Then I heard a voice that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up and sent shivers up and down my spine.
"Fancy seeing you here," the soft voice said in my ear. I spun around, yanking off the blindfold in one motion. In front of
me stood Jasson, a big smile on his face and a beautiful rose in his hand. "Do you want to take a walk?" he asked me, looking
"I'd ... I'd love to." I smiled back. "Just a moment." He nodded. "Elesi, Adi, Niesa, I got caught! I'm taking a break!" I
yelled loudly. They - and everyone else - would laugh loudly when they heard, guessing correctly that I was "taking a break"
with the person who'd caught me. Let them think it.
I turned back around to face Jasson. He grinned and extended an arm, which I politely took. We walked away from the game-ground,
dodging a blindfolded Elesi who was running around, frantically waving her arms in an exact mimicry of a walking windmill.
"I've been looking for you everywhere," Jasson said, smiling again. My heart nearly stopped. "I was with my parents and you
know how they are."
He gave me the rose, which I tucked into my hair. We laughed and talked merrily as we strolled through gardens, past games,
and stopped once or twice for a sweet morsel.
I was dazzled by Jasson. He looked better than I had ever seen him look before. His hair was completely mussed, but it looked
great. He was wearing a vibrant sapphire blue tunic, which made his eyes stand out beautifully. Every time he smiled, my heart
missed a beat. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world to be just walking with him.
And - I didn't know if this was just me being odd - but other people seemed to stare at us as well. We would walk by, and
people would look up at Jasson and me. I thought it was odd, but didn't care. I was deliriously joyous. I felt so happy, I
even forgot about what I had to tell him.
We had a grand time. I don't think I've ever had more fun in my entire life. Jasson had me laughing the entire time, with
his jokes and laid-back humor. Everything was going perfect until we passed a large tent with the Royal crest on it. Looking
over his shoulder, Jasson pulled me inside the tent.
"Jasson!" I gasped, shocked. "We shouldn't be in here! This is the royal tent!" I pulled my hand away. I hadn't marked Jasson
as the type to try something as risky as this.
"Shhh! It's okay, Devin, don't worry. We won't get in trouble," he assured me, taking my hand again.
I wasn't so easily placated, but followed him warily into the tent.
"Jasson, what are we doing in here?" I asked hesitantly, watching the tent's flap, expecting it to open at any moment.
"I wanted to give you something" he said, his blue eyes twinkling. He walked towards me, very close to me. "You look beautiful,"
he whispered. My happiness vanished as his mouth came close to my ear. I looked up at him, tears almost brimming in my eyes.
I knew what I had to say.
"Jasson, I can't -"
I tried to speak but he shook his head and put a finger to my lips. Then, he slowly lowered his head, his face coming closer
and closer to mine. I stood on tip-toe. Our lips had almost met when there was a loud noise and light flooded into the tent.
I jumped back from Jasson as I saw Elesi and Lianne enter the tent, laughing. The moment they saw us, they immediately stopped
laughing. Elesi stared, blinked, and stared some more. Lianne recovered relatively quickly. "Well, Devin, it seems you've
met my brother," Lianne said. She and Elesi exchanged glances and started laughing again.
I turned a bright red, unable to believe it. I looked at Jasson, hoping he wouldn't confirm it, but he just looked at me in
distress. I stood there, my stomach churning, my heart beating fast; I could hear the blood rushing to my ears.
He had betrayed me.
I ran past Elesi and out of the tent, sobbing. I blindly stumbled down a path, and found myself in one of the gardens. As
I ran, I passed couples strolling through the gardens, happily chatting and sharing kisses. Finally I found an empty corner,
where there was a small stone bench. I threw myself down on it and cried. It was all too much. My betrothal, Jasson …
I couldn't stand it. I noticed noises coming from the bush next to me. I pointed at the bush. Green fire shot out of my hand
and I heard yelps from two young lovers who'd definitely chosen the wrong bush.
I don't know how long I was there before someone walked into my small little corner. I looked up and saw Jasson. I wanted
to run, but couldn't. He sat down next to me and brushed a lock of hair out of my face.
"Devin," he began, his voice hoarse. "I'm sorry. I should have told you before." I continued to cry. "I'm sorry." I couldn't
bring myself to tell him. "But Devin…I love you."
I looked up at him. I had to do it now. Now or never. "No, Jasson, you can't. You can't love me, no matter how much I may
love you, you cannot love me. Jasson … I'm betrothed."
He just shook his head. "Shh, it doesn't matter, Devin." I looked at him. I had been expecting a bigger reaction.
"How many have you loved before me?"
"And how many will you love after me?"
"No!" I protested, glad despite myself that he gave the wrong answer. "You're a prince. You have to marry who they choose
for you. You're a prince!"
I shook my head, tears still streaming from my eyes.
"But Devin, I want to marry you!" Jasson protested. "I-"
"You can't, Jasson!" I cried. "You're a prince! And I'm betrothed!" I buried my head in his chest as sobs racked my body.
"Devin, you're betrothed to me!"
My tears stopped. I looked at him. "What?" I whispered.
"Yes, you're betrothed," he said. "To me." His eyes softened. "Devin, we can marry. We can love. Together."
I threw my arms around him and buried my head in his chest.
"I love you Jasson," I whispered. I know he heard me. He just stroked my hair. It was ironic. Just like I had seen him comfort
a scared child the first time I met him - the defining mark that made me fall hopelessly in love with him - he was now comforting
me. I raised my head to look at him, to study the man who I was to spend the rest of my life with.
He smiled at me, took his hand and cupped my chin in it. "I love you, too." He gently kissed me.