Chapter 12

 Yamie

The night after the wedding, Abiya was unusually calm. Yamie hoped Abiya had finally realized her fears were baseless. The king was handsome and polite. He treated servants with respect and the peasants as equals; he was a good man. Abiya had nothing to worry about. But after the wedding night, Abiya had changed. She refused to see the king. She refused to leave her room. She refused all meals not brought to her by her handmaiden Yamie’s hand.

After three weeks, Yamie tried to encourage her out of the room, “But you will love the gardens. He planted all your favorite flowers.”

“No.”

“You can not spend the rest of your life indoors. You must get out and walk around.”

“No.”

“Things are not as bad as you think. You’re imagining the worst and it’s making you sick with fear,” Yamie repeatedly told her. “You should get to know the king. See what he is really like.”

Abiya would not listen.

To see her lady in such a state caused Yamie to stay up at night and watch  as Abiya toss and turn in her sleep. She often cried out, “No. NO. Do not take it from me.” Yamie had no idea what she meant, and when she asked, Abiya would not answer.

It’s just a dream, which she doesn’t remember, Yamie thought.

Eleven weeks after the wedding, Abiya refused her first bath and would not allow Yamie to brush her hair. She began to eat less. As the weeks past, she bathed and ate less and less until she stopped bathing and eating all together. She even refused to change dresses.

Yamie opened the window shutters to let fresh air in and body odor out. Abiya slammed the shutters closed screaming, “They will fly in and take it.”

“Take what?” Yamie could barely keep from crying. She couldn’t eat from her own fears and worry. She was anxious to leave Abiya alone long enough to bathe herself or fetch their meals.

Once, she caught Abiya staring out the window as if she might jump.

“Come away from the window.” Yamie tried to move her away.

“NO!” Abiya pulled back and almost fell out.

“They might fly in and take you along with it!” Yamie used her lady’s delusions to reason with her.

It worked. Abiya quickly scampered away like a mouse chased by a cat.

Yamie cried, pleaded and begged for Abiya to snap out of her despair, but it did no good. She became worse. Yamie asked the doctors to come in the hopes they might find a cure. Abiya kicked, scratched and bit them as if they were thieves come to steal her away.

The king was of no use. At first, right after the wedding, he came everyday. He knocked and asked if Abiya wanted to have meal with him, or he’d ask if she wanted to take a walk in the garden.

Abiya always grabbed Yamie and pull her to the far side of the room like a frightened rabbit trapped by a hunter and hoped if she remained completely still, she would not be seen. She’d forbid Yamie to speak.

After nine days, he stopped coming. He often spent his days riding that horse with his stable ruffians and left most of the castle affairs to his mother.

That was it – the Queen Mother Lucretia. When asked, she came willingly in the hopes she could help. But when she came, Abiya would not stop screaming until the queen left.

Finally, Abiya locked Yamie out of the room. No matter how loudly she cried and beat the door, it did not open. Yamie slept and ate, no, nibbled at her food, in the hall, outside her lady’s room.

One night, when Yamie went to get a blanket to keep herself warm as she slept at her lady’s door, she did not return. She disappeared and was never seen again as if the shadows had swallowed her up.

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Published in: on June 28, 2011 at 12:53 am  Leave a Comment  

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