I was ten years old. I run. Yes I was running on the path and through fields to join my home. I run to flee the humiliation I have endured. My heart is full of anger and sorrow. Some tears run along my cheeks but I didn’t care. I run, ignoring the worried calls of Nanni in passing in front of my home. I didn’t want she saw me like this. I had my pride.
I run again and again until, exhausted, I fell on my knees. Unable to make a pace anymore. My heart beat in my chest like if it was ready to explode. I panted, trying to find my breath. But, the pain of breathing couldn’t erase the pain of my heart.
I didn’t understand why this boy hated me so much. At school, him and his band bullied me. Each time I fought harder than the previous time. But each time he beat me again. Each time they mocked me and said that I was weak, that I fought like a girl. I sweared I will show them that I was not weak, that I was not a girl, that I could beat him. I will have my revenge. I will never allow anybody to beat me again.
I stood up and leaded to a little house close from my place. A man was there, working. I sat on the stone bench placed side by side to the wall. The man said nothing he continued to work a time and stopped. He took a tissue and wiped his hand with, in looking at me in silence. He threw the tissue on a wood table near. Then, coming close to me, he took my chin in his big and rough hand. Looking at the bruises on my eyes and body, the blood of my lips, he just said :
« Again ? »
I just nodded to answer. He sighed.
« Ok ! You win. I will teach you. But I prevent you, I am not tender. You have to be disciplined and serious. I don’t like shirker. If your father agree you will live with me during your training. »
I nodded in response looking with gratitude Tyndare. I knew his lessons will be tough. But father said to me that he was the best professor he has never had. He was Spartan. Despite his age, he was so strong yet. I always had some admiration for him. The man was built like a bull. Father said he saw him fought in battle long time ago, his big stature frightening his foes. Father said he was so strong than he could lift up a man with one hand.
So I start my training. Tyndare was right, he was not tender. After training with him, I was sure I could endure anything. Some months later, I return to school, the boy and his band attacked me again. But this time things had changed. I was not weak anymore. I was prepared. This time I beat him. The other boys was so shocked they stayed silent while I left letting my enemy on the ground. After that nobody dared to call me a girl again.
Some days later, I was on my way home when I heard a noise in the trees along the path. I stopped to look. To my surprise it was the boy. He came close to me and looked at me without a word. In front of his odd attitude, I asked :
« What do you want ? »
He never answered, he took my head between his hands and kissed me hard on the lips. Taken by surprise by his boldness I dealt with him. My brain was frozen, I couldn’t react. As soon as the kiss was over he fled. I could feel the red on my cheeks, the blood’s beat of my lips under my fingers. It was my first kiss and the last bruise he gave to me. But a pleasant one. Three years older than me he left the village to join the army. After this kiss, I never saw him again.
Until today !
Sat at my desk, I try to hide my surprise in looking at the man standing in front of me : The boy. This one is not a boy anymore. He became a handsome man, who reminded me Tyndare in a way. On his face some scars, but these ones add some charm and increase his virility.
Unconsciously, mirroring the last time we met, I ask :
« What do you want ? »
To my shame, I can’t help myself to blush in saying that. I curse myself to react like a woman. So I lower my head to avoid his gaze but not fast enough. I can saw a smile on his lips. He too remember. I tighten my lips with irritation. Generally I never show any weakness in front of my men. So certainly not with him.
« Général Cleitos sends you a message. »
He holds out the letter to me. I take it, read and write my answer. I hold out the letter to the man. In taking the letter, he strokes my fingers with his owns. I swallow in feeling the heat of his skin on mine. I don’t look at him. To hide my trouble as soon as he has the letter, I pretend to work on my papers in saying :
« Bring my answer to Général Cleitos. »
And without waiting an answer, I concentrate on my works erasing this moment from my memory. Some minutes pass in silence, when I feel a presence close to me. A hand lift up my chin. Surprised by the gesture, I just look at him with questioning.
« You’re the only one who never beat me. And you’re the only one with whom I never fall in love. »
He bows to me and stoles me a kiss again. This time it is not the kiss of a boy. He forces my mouth to open for him. Crossing the gate of my lips, he enters and invades me with his tongue. For a time intoxicated with his male smell, I surrender. Letting him savor and take all he wants. Feeling my body react shamelessly. But with a burst of conscious, I fight back and free myself, panting. Looking at him with anger. As if it was nothing, he smiles to me and says :
« When you will be tired of Alexander, I shall be there. »
Then he leaves the room. Alone, I can’t help myself to smile in front of his boldness and arrogance. And from the back of my brain a little voice says :
« Why not ! »