Then in Rome Part 1
Chapter 1 The Journey
The morning was quiet, still, dry and hot but still, waiting for that storm to swim across the desert . The hot, dry burning sand of the desert woke whatever was left of my sweet sleep . Though it had rained, the desert was still thirsty for rain, still bitter, waiting for that sand storm to swim across the Nile . And though it was the cooler months of the year I could still see the blazing hot sunlight shinning on me. I woke up completely and my mind started to run wild. Where it run I don’t know but it ran until I felt sleep coming towards me. Sweet sleep had come again at last and then I realized it was a dream, that I would never see the river Nile again, nor my dear homeland Kush. I was in a strange land that my captors called Rome.
My mind always came back to the night that I was taken, taken by force because my mother Queen Makeda had refused to give Rome tributes. I remember that day like it was yesterday . My thoughts came back to the day before I was kinapped , now my life was going change , fast really fast and now I ignore my duties as crown princess and then I thought I was being punished by the gods for disobeying my mother. Rome was my punishment. Oh I longed for the Blue and White Nile, I longed to see it flow into the Red Sea. But I remembered, My mother wanted me to marry the high priest , I forget his name it was so long ago, back into the Nile. My memories bought me back to the day I was captured by the Romans, I wondered through the gates of my palace, I found it strange no guards were there, it puzzled me but just as quickly a drop of rain came through the dry land, it was as quickly I did not let it stay long. I wandered, I wandered, I did not know where I was going but I knew I was near the bank of the Nile. Then I had this feeling, this strange feeling someone was following me or staring at me
And I heard a crack, no a snap of a twig or stick, I wasn’t sure but I knew it was no wild animals, it must be a human, wild animals are too careful even when hunting for prey, they would never let a human hear the sound of the snap. I Foolishly moved towards the sound and there I saw a man , dressed in metal that shinned so brightly , a man I never seen before, his skin was pale, no light brown, no olive, I don’t know, he was strange , I had never seen anyone like that before unless they were merchants from other places, but this man wasn’t dress like a merchant, he had a sword and I wanted to see more, so I went closer but I didn’t see or hear the other man behind me , nor did I see when he grabed me or did I see when the sword came down. I thought he was going to kill me and then Dark. I remember nothing about that point . Nothing.
When I woke up, I found myself in a different land, surrounded by guards of the same complexion of the two men that I saw back home, I wondered where I was. I realized I was in a prision surrounded by people who came from far and different places just like me. I heard cheers and screaming from outside the jail, like it was a celebration or a parade. I wanted to ask, the other people in side the prison what was happening but I was afraid, I knew not of these people, they knew not of me and were silent. And if they did talk , the conservations they were having were in languages foreign to me as night is to day and for those who I understood, they refuse to talk to me , no they were fearful. As one girl told me, the reason for the fear , is that four girls and two boys were beaten down by our captors for talking or even asking for water. We were clothe and feed at the discredtion of our captors. We were treated like animals and every day I heard cheering of people , sounds of dying men and wild animals alike. Where was I I thought, where was this strange place. I played the events of my capture in mind so often that I thought I was going crazy, I needed to get out of this gods forsaking place.
Food was brought to us , even that our captors did not take care to give , and many of us raced like animals for food that was thrown to us once a day . Not eating was a crime punished by beating. I met a young woman name Morgan, she had blue eyes as blue as the ocean and reddish hair like fair, she was from a land she called Eire and she called herself a Celtic , Moragn and I became fast friends and learn to communicate with each other. We had a lot in common we both were the crown princess of our peoples and we both missed our home. Morgan came two days before me . She told me this place was Rome and that her father and her tribe had move from Eire to the lands of Britannia and there the Roman legions as she called them slaughtered the men of her tribe and brought the women, children, elderly to Rome as slaves. We both were itching to leave this dreaded place. I never saw the outside of my prision, never but Morgan told me that the guards and the other prisoners were talking about how Morgan and I would be bought by a rich and powerful man of Rome . A man of the Roman upper class.
I asked Morgan so naively, “ Do you think this man will free us?”
She looked at me like I was mad and said “ Those Romans cannot be trusted, they eat their young”, she said
I was terrified now, I think the first time I had ever been terrified in my life, I wondered what was going to happen to me, Will I ever see my land , my mother, my family, my people again, will I ever be free, what will they do to me. And my mind started racing . I sat down on the bare cold ground of the prision cell, staring at the old rusty ceiling pondering my fate until, the door of the prison open and I saw daylight entering the cells for the first time in what seemed like forever and the guards came with two men richly dressed in what Morgan told me were togas and she whispered to me “ These men are rich, they maybe royalty like us” and the two men came near the space Morgan and I were sharing, the two men looked liked father and son for one was older and the other was my age. The younger one was handsome, he had fair hair, grayish brown eyes, he was tall and had beautiful pale no olive skin and he smiled at Morgan and I , and I saw his beautiful white teeth. As much as he was handsome, I knew he came to buy us, I needed a way to get out of this. I had one hope, it was to use my feminine ways, it was Morgan’s idea, she said once we seduced the men, we get them to free us and we can go back to our lives. It was wrong but it was the only prospect that we had and then as the two men were talking to the guards, I stared blankly to ceiling, thinking what I am doing, praying to the gods above to help me but they did not answer. I stared at the ceiling or the roof for what it felt like hours, I notice the leaks in the roof for the very first time and I look around me and I saw the filfth that I lived in. Being a slave in a rich’s man has to be better than this. And then I heard the guards open the space and grabbed Morgan and I and said something to extent that Morgan and I now belong to Julius Antonnius and Lucas Antonnius, that’s was his name I thought Lucas, what a beautiful name. I think at the moment I accepted my fate and I decided Morgan and I would start our plan to free and Lucas was our way, well my way to back to Cush. Lucas what a strange beautiful name, strange but strong.. I then realized what I was thinking and I prayed to whatever gods out there that was listening, to forgive my unpure thoughts and I resign to my fate. Rome was going to be my home, I had to accept that and not listen to Morgan and come up with evil plans. Rome is home now I keep telling myself. It is my story, my life now.
Rome is my home now I contuine to tell myself. I resigned to my fate for now.
I am no longer Meroe, Cush is no longer my home
I am simply a Roman slave, this is my story!