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Mourning of Him
I am sitting alone, you can imagine it. I'm sure, we've all been alone before. I tap my foot without even noticing it. My name is Calpurnia, the year is forty-four bc. And the day? The fifteenth of March. My husband has left our home to his meeting of the Senate at the Curia of Pompey of the Theatre of Pompey in Rome and I am left to wait in worry of him.
My husband is a handsome man, his features look at me strong when he turns his head my way in loving response to my curious questions. His nose bubbles at the end and it presses kindly into my face as he leaves sweet kisses on my cheek. His rough hand feels my soft face and I am happy, entranced, and in love. His hair falls softly upon his head and adjusts itself when he rises, his chin prickles my neck with it’s growing back shaved hairs as he hugs me strongly. My husband loves me and I love him.
My head sits in my hands, cupping my eyes softly. With my eyes closed, I pray for my husband’s safety. I begin to notice the echoing of my sandaled foot on the concrete covered brick flooring of our humble abode.
I remember now, the day I first looked into his dark eyes and dreamed in the face of his tanned skin. Our marriage was arranged by my father, whom I cherish deeply, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus. We were arranged in a political fashion, to which I have not much clue on such the political portion but I was ecstatic nonetheless.
Nobel women are strong, and shall remain strong for their reputation and for the reputation of their husbands, but I found myself crying. A tear fell down my warm face, escaping my cupped hand and landing on my layered, colored chiton. Coming from a strong family and marrying into a stronger one, I must become better. My foot stops tapping, I rise. Dizzy, faltering, walking to pour myself a cup of cool water from the amphora upon the counter top. I remember our morning.
When I awoke, I found my husband already sitting at the end of our bed, half asleep, starting to prepare himself for this important day. I reach out to tap on his back as the amber light of the sun hits my eyes, I smile, he turns around and smiles back to me. He must've been sure I didn’t see, but in the moments he turned and before his smile ensued, a worried expression painted his then cold face. He fixed himself for me, but I didn’t notice it then.
My dream the night before still flashed clearly in my mind in those seconds but I did not plan to express my worry to my husband for at least another moment. Could I not just appreciate my husband’s gaze forevermore?
I can hardly recollect my dream as of now but my husband’s image still shows clear to me. He was to die today. Dead in my own arms nonetheless, as the citizens he so loved bathed and washed their dirty hands in his still warm blood. I weep, and he lay dead. My soft hands gripped his skin as it began to grow colder.
I grip my own arm now, in the same way I held my husband’s. He will return to me. My husband will come home. I sip my water.
I pulled our linen sheets up to my chest and moved towards my husband, still sitting on the edge of our bed beginning to tie his sandals, I set my chin on his shoulder and he whispered into my ear his love and I exchanged my own.
He began to stand up and I reached up to him, trying to pull him back to our bed. I had a bad feeling of today, as did my husband’s soothsayer. He ignored their warning, why would he agree to mine? But I’ll still try, I will do my best. My husband’s life depends on it.
He turned back around to me, wanting to move forward but listened tentatively awaiting my worryful words. I had told myself it was possible to convince him and I again reminded myself.
“You must stay with me today, my love, I worry your safety if you are to attend your meeting.” I speak softly to him with concern on my tongue.
He responds, just as softly, but with lesser of my tone, “You know I cannot.”
This meeting was important, but he was more so. Was it so shameful of a wife to beg for her husband to live?
I beg more, he doesn't like my pleas but he listens. I told him of my dream, I remembered him telling me of the soothsayer that told him similar to what I told him then. No coincidence could be so strong. I convinced him. He agreed to stay. I sighed in relief.
We shared a kiss and he removed his sandals to stay.
Decimus Junius Brutus came to our door, he knocked and we greeted him, bringing him inside. He is a great friend of my husband and I get along well with him. He convinced my husband to attend his meeting, promising me that he would keep him safe. But now I sit here in worry for my love’s life.
My foot begins tapping again as I finish my water. The front door snaps open, I drop my cup and it shatters on the floor. I didn't notice. The news the new guest brought concerned me far more. Twenty three times..- twenty three times, my husband was stabbed twenty three times by the men of the senate. I told him not to go. Why did he go? Why couldn't I stop him? I press my back to the wall and slide down it with tears in my eyes.
My husband, Gaius Julius Caesar, Dictator of Rome, is dead and it is my fault.