I dreamed I was a warrior. A spec ops type. Retired and taking care of security for a vast mansion filled with antiquities. The mansion was inherited. It was mine. I was cataloging it’s contents and came across a piece that a old friend, a lover, would like to see.
It gave credence to a piece of her family’s history. It was about a man who once led a group of villages, a fighting force of ten thousand, unprecedented in the time during the rise of Carthage. He was returning from a battle to the east when he learned that Carthage had sent the majority of its forces to his home village. If they raced they may reach home and save it. But there are other cities/villages he is responsible for.
If they move now, they could occupy Carthage, then turn their sights home and remove a threat forever while expanding their might and becoming a full fledged nation state. This man chose to save the village gaining him the eternal love of his people and losing the war. In the aftermath, they save the village but between them and their aggressors is a series of ambushes and pickets.
Had they chosen to hit Carthage, they would have done so from a area not well defended because they were already out of pocket. It was designed to remove him and the force he could muster. And once Carthage had fallen they would have been able to roll up the ambushes from a direction they weren’t expecting. A defeat in detail.
Instead of that he lost three quarters of his men after saving his town. And by the time he stood outside Carthage, years later he no longer had enough men to take the city. Because Carthage won, they tell the tale of a petty king and tyrant who forced this conflict. But these artifacts and papers prove that he was a good man and simultaneously remembered as the worst general of his age and the best. He held that force together for years, and though they were ill from dysentery and flux they still followed him.
A single choice and the history of the world would have been very different. This man is supposed to be her ancestor. Her family has done well down the years and she inherited the title of Duchess. She is French. In this world the French Revolution was peaceful guided by her family.
I want to rekindle the affair, I still love her. We sit in an atrium filled with light from skylights and the sound of birds outside. We are drinking a light wine and lounging on soft leather couches across from each other. We are making small talk and it comes up that she is married. I ask was she married two years ago when we were having the affair. She says no, the marriage was recent and already she grows bored with it. The person doesn’t share her passion for history, for music, opera, and life. But it was a appropriate suitor as defined by her family.
I sense that she will divorce him. What she just described are my passions. I won’t interfere in the marriage, but I will be here for her when she chooses to make the same choice of her ancestor. Love over logic. I will research her husband and render any move he can make against her a shiny tempting poisoned apple.
I bid her farewell with the scans of the pieces and copies and translation. Kiss her on the cheek and tell her, she still has my heart, and she should come to me when she has cleaned out her house. Dream ends watching her drive away.