Violet was frightened it seemed, and that was not my intention. I had wanted our first real encounter, in her new home, to be one of explanation, but slowly growing appreciation, even the first brief buds of joy. I had wanted her to understand, but then perhaps I was racing ahead of myself and expecting too much. While in time I had come to value the wisdom of Aunt Imogen’s techniques and aims – nevertheless never able to connect with the old cow as her capacity for love is so much smaller than my own – it did take time to understand fully what a gift she gave me in her cruelty and her grace.
The thing is, there are those of us in the cavalcade of humanity that are born for so much more: for a mastery, a knowledge, an illumination that baser humankind cannot be expected to appreciate or achieve. It is just in the natural order of things. Just as the lion is king in the forest, those of us marked for this ascension can no more elevate the lesser than the lion can truly lay down with the lamb. The thought it could happen is absurd, a fairy tale to appease the jealous dreams of smaller mortals.
And how could they endure, in any case, the violent, rhapsodic terrors and agonies of enlightenment? Their vessels and their souls are too weak. They would break, rather than rise, through the process.
In this Aunt Imogen was completely right. The blood is strong. The flavour of the elite is for finer sensibilities, a refined palate. It cannot be replicated or appreciated by those beneath. Off cuts will never be as flavoursome, tender or sweet as the finest steak.
Violet is one of us, I am sure. Her pedigree is revealed by her works. She could not cook with the artistry she does without that sensibility and that lineage. I do not know her background, but she will eventually reveal this to me, and I am certain I will find deeper connections in our bloodlines that verify the accuracy and perfection of my choice. For the moment though she is a wonderful mystery to be discovered.
But she is afraid. I perhaps should not be surprised, though I will admit to a small measure of disappointment.
Her first response when I came in to see her this morning was to be angry, to demand to know where she was, and what was happening.
‘You are home dear Violet, I have brought you home.’
‘My name isn’t Violet you have the wrong person! My name is..’
‘Violet,’ I repeated, firm, and she sensed not to argue the point. Instead she tried bargaining.
‘I’m not who you think I am, really, you can call me Violet if you like, if you need, but I’m not her. You want her, right? Maybe I look like her? But I’m not, so it won’t work So let me go, I promise I won’t tell anyone. I understand, you just want your Violet.’
‘You are Violet,’ I repeated, ‘In time you will come to know that as I do. Here, in this room of love you will be reborn and you will be her. For there isn’t any other Violet. There is only you.’
I knelt beside her and attended to her ties and bindings. I could see bruising and red rashes from the ropes and I shook my head, apologising to her wordlessly.
‘When you know you are Violet, I can loosen these, even untie them altogether,’ I said, ‘Your first reward for embracing your rebirth.’
The thought of it almost made me giddy. I raced ahead to where her programming had taken, to that point when I wouldn’t even need to lock the door, when escape would be the farthest thing from her mind. When she was mine and I was hers, and all was perfect: cooking in our kitchen, enjoying the deeper, richer flavours of life, as one. But that was a long way off, and I shook myself from the reverie to attend to the needs of the moment.
‘I can be her, yes,’ she said, bargaining again, and I knew the lie in her eyes. Her conditioning had not yet commenced. She could no truly know, not yet. She would need to be shown.
‘Yes, you can, and you will,’ agreed, amiable. I smiled at her, feeling a depth of emotion that was unfamiliar to me. Something I had never felt with Imogen. There would have been no moment in this room where Imogen looked at me with the complete love and faith with which I now regarded dear Violet.
‘I can help you,” I continued, ‘And the path may be difficult but I will be here with you, every step of the way.’
I took her hand and gripped it, pressing deep to reassure, noting the sweat of fear on her delicate skin.
‘I’ve walked this path myself, this terrible, glorious path. It is difficult but it is so, so rewarding. You must be worthy for it, dear Violet, and you are.’
Her lovely eyes stared back at me, half in dread and half in hope. I could see her calculating. Could I speak this way of pain, or torture or would that be impossible? Was she safe from that? Was she safe, in some sense, with me?
I recalled for a moment feeling similarly as a child with Aunt Imogen, in this very bed, in a moment of wonder and fear just like this. I did empathise with her, I did know. I’d been here. And I’d survived and thrived as she would.
She was safe, but not in the way she might think. She was as safe as I had been with Aunt Imogen. No, she was safer, for I would walk the road with her with love. We would travel as far as she could go, each time, and no further. We had all the time in the world, after all.
‘Let us begin.’
(c) Helen M Valentina 2015, All Rights Reserved