Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chapter Seventy-Seven

It was too much yet I had no choice but to accept it.  Those before me would not lie; certainly Nat would not; not even to protect what most would call my sensibilities.  But then that niggling doubt, caused by the words of the old man, tried to worm its way inside my thoughts.  I slammed my mental heel down on the vermin and put it to a well-deserved death.

I stood up and slowly walked to the window, looked out and saw that the day was setting yet again.  I'd had no sleep but I knew that for a while at least sleep would be an elusive beast for me to hunt.

I gathered my shredded nerves and in the silence of the room said, "Or perhaps I am being melodramatic to take it so personally.  If indeed our family was conspired against for generations I cannot be the sole object involved here."

I heard approval from one of the Elders as he said, "Very good my Child, very good.  Shocked you may be but you are still willing to use logic to avoid the hysterics.  And the answer to that is yes, you are not the sole target that was sought; but, being the last Harper able to begat ... or at least the last to carry the name Harper able to do so as you do have cousins on the paternal side though distant in relation ... you are the current focus, much more narrowed down since you are the last."

Slowly I nodded.  "So, we know that the Waverly family ... or at least Rom's father ... had some reason to do what he did.  Do we know why?"

"Status.  Power.  What else?  He has been ... questioned ... by a Church inquisitor and it took nothing more than the suggestion of social and political ostracism to cause him to spill what we believe to be everything he knows.  Apparently he has been - or at least feels - abandoned by those he had thought would be his rise to much loftier status.  He confessed as much for revenge against those he had believed in as he did to save his own skin. His son, the current Mayor, Turner is his name, was present though hidden from his view, and heard it all and was much devastated by his father's actions.  He has already asked to have church counselors come to minister to the family he now heads.  A wise move on his part even if it is only for appearance sake."

"Be that as it may, to what purpose beyond status and power.  There has to be something more to it than that."

"For Waverly, no.  But for those that manipulated and used him the goal was to minimize your presence, keep you from begatting by whatever means necessary even if it meant taking a direct hand in your death though that did generate some fear in the opposition since you had survived so many attempts while your husband lived."

I stilled and glanced at Nat from under my lashes.  He looked terribly sad and I immediately went to him.  "Don't Nat.  Please don't."

"How can I not?  I should never have allowed it.  The marriage was an abomination from the beginning."

"Nat, how many times have you told me of God's authority?  How many times have you told me that He allows a great many things we simply do not understand?  If the marriage hadn't been in His plan then it would not have happened.  I cannot fathom the reason for it but happen it did.  Perhaps I won't find out until I am in His presence after this life is over but I am content to let the past lay where it died.  And I came out of it a stronger person, a person that can now face what is before us, and I do not think I could have without the experience."

Nat briefly closed his eyes and then said, "Ex ore infantium."  I did not take offense at him saying out of the mouth of babes as Nat would always look at me like that to some extent.  He placed his hand on my head briefly and then sighed.  "I would still have given my life to prevent you from such pain."

"I know.  But God didn't want that of you.  So let it be.  And let us move on.  While I may have had no say in what befell me up to this point, I have to believe that it is all for a purpose.  And I believe that in a very odd sense the old man was right ... the end is near and if I am to be part of it then God must have some plan for me to take His part in it and have some deeper understanding of His wishes because of what I experienced."

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