There are no scenes of sex between these women within this work...sorry to disappoint. But if love is illegal where you are...I'm sorry, I live in the bible belt too! :-)
Copyright April 1999
I see her as I round the corner. She is breathtakingly beautiful. Stunned, I merely stare. I can feel her eyes on me and suddenly I wish I were not in this market, I wish that she did not have to see me as I am now.
Breaking the contact I have made with those electric blue eyes, I rush to complete my shopping. My mind turns to thoughts of the past. Perhaps if we had met when I was younger...but she, she has the air of youth that surrounds and protects. And I know too well the air that surrounds me is that of the old and dying.
I have lived my life being shunned. Always the one who stared at the stars, the one that dreamt of past lives. I have never fit into any role that society may have chosen for me and therefore, I am alone.
I begin my trek home after making my purchases. It is a long walk and these old bones do not spring as they did long ago.
Before I have gone far, I hear someone come up behind me. Turning, I am once again confronted by blue that shocks me. Rich black hair and height that forces my bent figure to lean back...I can only think, "She's magnificent".
To her, I issue a warning, "Child, you cannot be from here. You don't realize that I am scorned in this town and to be seen with me will seal your fate, as well."
I turn away before she can respond, hoping to hide the tear that threatens to fall from my faded green eyes.
"Let me help you," she states in a deep voice that leaves my heart pounding against my chest, "I don't care what they may think. Let me help you to get home...please."
Oh, I am helpless to resist her plea. I can only nod, for my mouth refuses to work.
Gently she takes the bag from my arms and begins to walk by my side. I cannot help but feel that perhaps in a life before this one, that we have walked together like this.
A comfortable silence surrounds us, it seems that even the birds call more softly.
I am loath to break the peaceful spell that has been cast over me, but I must.
" I am Gabrielle." I speak softly.
"Gabrielle," she repeats with the tone of a lover. " I am Xena."
"Oh, what a beautiful name." I feel struck dumb.
"It is Greek," she says simply.
Once again we walked silently. No other words have been said by the time we reach my home. And although I know she should leave, I resent the thought of being separated from her.
"Can I offer you a drink? To thank you for your help..." My words drag into nothingness.
She smiles a lopsided grin that warms my old bones. "That would be wonderful. Perhaps I can tell the bard a story?" She asks with humor in her eyes.
"The what? The bard?" I am confused by the title she has given me.
"You are a writer are you not?"
Suddenly I am wary. How could this young one know this part of my life I have forgotten? Why am I at ease with this young creature when even my family are welcomed with an troubled heart?
"I was once a writer. Why would you want to spend time with an old woman?" I cannot help but to question her motives.
"I simply want to tell you a story. You are not old in my eyes, you have a soul that speaks of untold lives."
I have gathered drinks for us and wander back into the living room. I find my guest studying a picture of me and my brother.
" I was so young then," I smile. "Only 20 years old and ready to conquer the world."
At this I see her eyes dart to study me and once again the picture.
"Strawberry blonde turns white...brilliant green tends to dull, and the air of youth fades away." I say sadly.
"You are beautiful." She says to me.
"The picture gives me more credit than reality." I bite my tongue at my own response.
She shrugs her broad shoulders, "Then as well as now."
I lead her to the couch. Settling myself gingerly upon the cushions I look at her as she sips her iced tea.
"You promised a story..."
"Ah yes, I did." She nods her head and clears her throat.
Her words enrapture me and I am transported to another time.
"Long ago in Ancient Greece there lived a warrior. She was unlike any other warrior. Her path in life was first determined by an act of violence...later the path would be changed by love. In her warlord days, she was known as Destroyer of Nations and it was said that she was a Chosen one of Ares, himself.
But love is a powerful thing and Ares soon lost his Warrior Princess to a bard.
Ares, of course, was furious that a young mortal could so quickly claim the one he had worked so hard to mold. He never stopped in his quest to reclaim the warrior.
The Warrior and the Bard, together were unstoppable. They had even faced Celesta and Hades and returned to the land of the living for one another. Their love was tested many times, and no matter the heartbreak, the two always found their way home to one another.
The Warrior was tall, dark and dangerous. Her very presence spoke of unbridled passion, power, and cruelty. The Bard was shorter, light, and friendly. Her presence spoke of gentleness, mercy, and love.
To say that the two women completed one another is an understatement. Where the Bard could temper the flames of the Warrior's heart, the Warrior could fan the flames of the Bard's courage.
They lived a happy life together until the final battle. The Warrior was struck down. The Bard fiercely defended her lover. Once the battle was over, the Bard held the Warrior close to her and cried as the Warrior closed her eyes for a final time.
The Bard was inconsolable. She vowed that she would never love another in that life nor another lest it be the Warrior.
Upon Olympus, the atmosphere ranged from joy at the death of the Warrior to sorrow at the death of the love of the two mortal women.
Hades, determined to undermine his nephew's plans, refused to judge the Warrior until both women were together in his realm.
Aphrodite, was overwhelmed by the love and devotion between the Warrior and the Bard. She vowed that their love would once again be reunited.
Ares, knowing that his family could and would destroy his plans for the Warrior, declared that until the Bard had fulfilled her vow that the two would never be together.
After much debate between all the occupants upon Olympus, it was decided that the Bard would live out 50 lifetimes separated from her Warrior. If in any of those lifetimes, she loved another, then the Warrior would spend eternity in Tartarus. If the Bard could fulfill her vow the Warrior would be allowed eternity in Elysian Fields with the Bard.
Once the 50 lifetimes were lived by the Bard, the Warrior would be allowed to walk among the living once more to ease the Bard's way into the afterlife. But she could only go to the Bard once the woman's time was near."
This woman known as Xena paused in the telling of her story, and I sat in rapt fascination.
"I...I wonder why you would tell this story to an old woman?"
"Gabrielle, listen to the end of the story please."
"The Warrior waited patiently, even though Ares would try to torment her and tempt the Bard. The Bard never loved another during those many lifetimes. Then finally the Warrior was allowed to return for her lover, her friend, her soulmate.
The Warrior's name would be remembered years later. Her name was Xena.
And the Bard, was always her Gabrielle."
At the last of her story, my old heart is beating fast. I am confused but looking into the bright blue eyes of this woman, I see that her story...our story is true.
At last she, the Warrior Xena, has come to take me, the Bard home.
At last, I am going home...
The End...or the Beginning?
Questions, comments, constructive criticisms are welcome...Flames of any kind will not be read. Ignorance and intolerance no longer have a place in my heart.
Thanks for reading...
Thanks for your time and patience.