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I always returned here when things became too much. I always came here when the years and betrayals got to me. This was not my homeland but it was my home. I walked the bustling streets towards my villa and I kept my head down. I was sure there was no one left alive that knew me but then I had learned my lessons well. Memories of her welled up in my brain and the realization of what I truly was ate away at me. Memories of my beloved Halima assaulted me as I walked past the place she had died. I never knew what had caused the riot that die and I probably never would. All I remember was the way her body had laid there broken and bloodied. The mob had nearly taken her head off and she had so many wounds all over that she had bled out. Her skin had been white in death and it had been after midnight when I had found her. I had held her body and wept like a small child. She had given of herself to me and had never questioned my needs. I knew she was Egyptian and she had survived a horrendous battle in the capital, Thebes. She had been near death that day I had seen her in the market. She was nearly starved but still so beautiful. The sadness in her face had prompted me to buy her freedom and give her shelter. I had never intended to fall in love and I most certainly never intended to bed her. A small smile graced my lips at her unconditional acceptance and I sighed. I walked faster and I came to the gate of my villa. Alad threw open the door and I nodded to him.
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“Master! You have returned.” He said bowing from the waist.
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“Thank you Alad. I am going to sleep for now.” I said as I went to my below ground rooms.
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I looked at the bed and sighed. She had saved me as I had saved her more then a century. I enjoyed her but did not love her. I did not think I could ever love again the way I had loved Halima. Her strange silver eyes haunted me to this day. My beautiful Egyptian goddess that had allowed me to be myself. I rationalized to myself that she must have sensed something different in me. I had no doubts that Egypt was full of my kind. She must have known what we were. Before Syna; I had no idea. I just knew I was a monster and I thought alone.
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“The Persians are moving closer. There are rumors that the Shah will release our people finally!” the other man said.
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“Seriously Nahum, why would you wish to go back to a homeland we have never seen?” I said shaking my head.
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“You continue to want to stay in this God forsaken land where they worship animals?” Nahum said furiously.
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“I wish to stay safe and sound idiot. There is money to be had here and so what if the Shah comes? You have heard the rumors; he is gracious conqueror.” I said rolling my brown eyes.
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“You are as greedy as ever. Money and safety mean more to you than doing God's will!” Nahum yelled.
I grabbed the other man by the throat and pushed him against a stone pillar.
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“God forsook our people along time ago you fool! You know what I am; I have not the luxury of your religious convictions.” I said in anger.
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“You could lead our people. You have been given amazing abilities and you use them for your own gain! God granted you the power and you are no better than the curs you do business with!” Nahum said glaring at me; his long time friend.
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“Go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. I will give you money but I will not be leaving.” I said firmly.
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I released Nahum and my friend spit at my feet. I held a growl within and he walked away. Most of my people were eagerly waiting for the Persians to show up and free the Hebrews from their captivity. They all made plans to return to Judah and rebuild their lost land. I snorted at the idea; they were not in the times of King David or Solomon for that matter. Nahum knew my secret; he knew that I could do things with my mind. I had used the abilities to become quite rich and quite well known in my community. I had other secrets but I refused to dwell on them. All I knew was that I was given abilities and those abilities came at a price. I could do well here and help my people here. I walked on as I had important things to get done. If the rumors were correct then the Persians would be here at any time.
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I was caught up in the memories as I lay there waiting for sleep to take me. Nahum had finally betrayed me as I figured he would. I just had not expected the way he had. Flames were a very painful thing to endure and having my throat cut open did not feel good either. I grimaced in the memories and fought back despair. I was ready to not have to deal with anything and I was ready for death I thought.
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“Halima, why did you not let me help you? Why did you not let me save you?” I whispered to the silence.
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Tears actually pricked my eyes as I thought about her. I remembered too much for that one short year. I loved her and she had left me. I let the pain wash over me as the memories assaulted me.
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She groaned as she came to. I watched her rub her eyes and she met mine with a set of startling silver eyes.
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“Shhh you were hurt badly when I found you. My name is Eyal. Do you understand me?” I asked in Hebrew.
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“I know the tongue of the Hebrews.” She stated closing her eyes.
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“Do you know where you are?” I asked.
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“Not in Egypt.” She said through clenched teeth.
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“What is your name Egyptian?” I asked softly.
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“I am…” She started to say.
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I watched her face contort as obviously painful memories assaulted her. Tears fell from her beautiful face.
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“I am Halima.” She said in a monotone.
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“What happened that brought you here?” I asked.
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“You tell me Hebrew? I know not where here is. I was in Thebes when it fell.” She said fighting back tears.
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“You are in Babylon.” I said softly.
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I watched her look at me curiously and then she stared up at the tiled ceiling.
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“How did I come into your presence?” she asked.
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“The truth be told you I saw you at the market. I paid for your freedom.” I said honestly.
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“Well I was a commodity. How very interesting. It seems you own me Hebrew what do you intend to do with me?” she asked raising a brunette brow.
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“I told you that I paid for your freedom. I do not own you.” I said bristling.
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“You have money?” She asked in a very bored tone.
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“I do well enough. What do you remember?” I asked her.
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“Nothing. I remember nothing as I am nothing.” She said in a tone void of emotion.
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“If you like you can stay here until you are well. Again my name is Eyal.” I said standing and bowing.
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I heard her beginning to sob and I felt her eyes on me as I left. Her pain hurt me and I desperately wanted to see a smile on her beautiful face. I prayed to God that she would thaw out. She was a welcome relief to the loneliness that I had to endure.
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I had made her pain my pain. I suffered for us both and she was the most incredible woman I had ever met. I remembered the first time we had made love and she had guided me to her throat. She had moaned and cried out as I drank from her. I knew she knew what I was but she never said anything and always gave of herself. There were times when I had suffered from severe hunger; trying to fight the need and she would cut her own wrist and make me feed. She admonished me for a being a fool. She knew what I was and she never judged. We would talk under the stars and we would lay and stare at each other for hours. She never spoke of what brought her to calamity and I knew she held back. I followed her lead and did not pry and I did not judge. I whispered my feelings into her ear as she slept beside me. I never had the guts to tell her how much I loved her in the day. She would look back at me saying my prayers and sacrifices to God and shake her beautiful head.
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“Eyal, why do you have such devotion to this God that has no name?” she asked me as she weeded my gardens.
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“Because it is the truth and someday I pray you will know it.” I replied seriously.
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She laughed melodiously as she continued to weed. She looked back at me and smiled.
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“There is a temple complex at Karnak. The high priestess has to be learned and very astute to all things so that the Goddess Hathor will speak her will through her. There are days at a time that the priestess would lay prostrate at the Goddess's feet and lead the prayers for her faithful. The joy of be filled with her spirit is amazing.” She said softly.
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“Were you a follower of this Hathor?” I asked curiously.
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“I was a follower my dearest Eyal.” She said grinning.
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“I do not understand.” I said shaking my head of black hair.
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“You are so beautiful Eyal of the tribe of Asher. You should not narrow your views but open your mind to other things.” She said admonishing me again.
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“There is one true God and that is what I know!” I said firmly.
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She laughed lightly and went back to cleaning out my weeds. I went back to my prayers and I wondered what she was telling me.
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I was sure she was trying to tell me that she knew of my kind. She was always that mysterious and she remained that way. I could occasionally hear her thoughts and she wept in her mind a lot. I used to lie beside her and I saw images of her life. I knew but never told her that I knew she was of a noble house. I saw into her memories and I saw a male Egyptian of obvious high stature and I felt jealousy. She told me right before she died that she had born children. I grieved for her and I saw the way it haunted her features. I could never make her pain go away and I wanted to marry her but I refrained. It was obvious that she would have said no. I never told her how much I loved her and I never heard it from her. I yearned for it the same as I thirsted but it was never said.
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I closed my eyes trying my hardest to shut out the memories. It was this place and this time of year. It always haunted me and I always shed a tear for the half of my heart that I lost that day. It was the first time I had taken in that of a mortal. I had never felt such fury in my life and such regret. I stood up and I could not stand the silence. There was always silence as I kept it as a shroud. No more pain could fill me as I would not allow that type of closeness ever again. I ported myself outside of the city and I went to her grave. I stood over the old stone marker and knelt at her grave.
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“I still cannot forget you Halima. I have tried but it never goes away. I tried to give you what you needed but I could not take your life as you asked me.” I said in shame.
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“Halima! Please let me help you.” I said softly.
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“Help me to die! Please.” She sobbed harder.
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“I cannot do that! It is a sin against God and nature.” I said quietly.
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“I should have died in Thebes. Does your God punish? I am being punished for something I did not do well. I could not stop them. I had to watch Judafre die!” She said screaming.
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“Who was Judafre?” I asked her.
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“My son.” She sobbed.
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“Halima please talk to me.” I said holding her.
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That was the day she died and I felt as though my heart had stopped. I had to be dragged from her body by my tribesmen in the one show of compassion that any of them had ever shown me. I sighed as the loneliness gripped me. I had no idea what I wanted out of this life. I knew I wanted this life to end. I wanted to start over and become someone else. I wanted to forget her and pretend that I had never known true love. I wished that I had never gone back to Judah. I wished she could have trusted in me as I had trusted in her.
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I looked out into the desert and remembered when Syna had come. I remembered the ruckus she had caused.
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There was rioting in the streets near my home and I cursed the stupidity of people in general; individuals could be very intelligent but put them in a group and they seemed to loose their minds. I went out to a side entrance of my villa and watched as the people were moving and yelling. I felt something that I had never felt before. M eyes widened and I knew I had to know what it was. I joined the crowd and the throng surged forward. Screaming and chanting began as `Burn her' began. I looked around and noticed that most of the people were Hebrew. Burning was usually reserved for witch craft and that did pique my interest. I watched as a female was brought forward; she was Greek by the looks of it. I pushed my way through the crowd and I realized it was her I was feeling. I looked at her and she locked eyes with me.
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-You are like me, save me! - She cried in my mind.
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My eyes widened in shock and I stared at her. I was in utter disbelief and she scowled at me.
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-Save me! - She demanded.
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I looked at her and raised my voice.
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“What is she accused of?” I asked.
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“She is a devil; she is a witch!” I heard.
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“Where is your proof my friends?” I asked again.
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“She was seen to be drinking blood!” someone yelled.
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I thought quickly and pushed myself through the crowd.
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“She is obviously not of our people. Perhaps you did not understand her ways?” I asked.
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“She was drinking blood from a chalice! She is creature from hell!” someone cried.
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“The Greeks are strange no? They have different Gods than our one true God.” I offered.
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“But the blood?” a woman asked.
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“If the Shah were to get wind of this my friends then he would punish us most severely. You know of his tolerance of other religions and he may not allow the exodus to continue!” I said passionately.
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“But Eyal!” another cried.
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“Listen to me!” I yelled.
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There seemed to be a grumbling among some other influential people among the community. An elder name Japhet demanded to be heard.
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“Eyal is right! Release her.” He commanded.
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More grumbling could be heard and the woman was released. She rubbed her sore wrists and moved away from the group.
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-Meet me outside of the city after nightfall. - She thought to me.
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I stared and I barely nodded. She took off into a run away from the Hebrew sect of Babylonia. Much later I paced outside of the city and waited for the woman to appear. Excitement tore through me at the thought of meeting another like me. I did not have to pretend. I could speak of this dark and almost evil secret. I moved a little further away from the gates and I felt her presence in the shadows.
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“Who are you?” I asked.
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“I am Syna. Who are you?” she asked me in return.
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“I am Eyal.” I answered.
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“Amazing that one such as me is amongst the Hebrews. I am from Crete.” She said smoothly.
I looked at her and her skin was a dark olive. Her hair was a brownish black and she had large doe like brown eyes. Her figure was shown off in a Greek style dress that hugged her curves. It was white and it was wrapped with a gold cord.
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“I have so many questions.” I said.
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“I can answer them.” She replied in a husky voice.
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My mouth watered and she seemed to understand. She bared her neck and motioned for me to come forward. I moved as if in a daze and lowered mylips to her jugular and sank in my sharp canine teeth. Her blood was nothing like the other women I usually fed from. It was laced with energy and like a bolt of thunder. Pleasure rushed to my groin and I moaned. She also moaned under me and closed her eyes in bliss. I pulled back after several minutes and my lips were stained crimson.
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“Are there others?” I asked urgently.
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“Yes there are others.” She said seductively.
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“Where are they?” I asked in a strange voice.
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“They are scattered through out the known world. I come across them from time to time. We can feel each other.” She said coming closer.
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“How do we come about? What are we?” I asked excitedly.
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“I am known as a vrykolakas. We are daemons.” She said purring.
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“What?” I asked in astonishment.
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“Yes, we are daemons. There is another world besides that of the mortals. We appear most like the mortals of all daemons.” She responded.
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I knew she was right but the idea of daemons was foreign to me. I knew I was different but were my parents different?
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“You were born of two vrykolakas. We grow stronger as we live longer.” She answered my unvoiced question.
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“I do not understand.” I said confused.
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“Allow me to taste your blood?” She asked.
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I nodded and she moved my hair back and lowered her lips and sank her fangs in. Again unbearable pleasure and pressure erupted in my groin and Imoaned. The intenseness almost made me go under right then. She chuckled against my flesh and drank of me. She pulled away and licked her lips. She stared at me in awe.
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“You are very powerful. I have not tasted such strength in blood before.” She said.
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“I have to go with you. I want to know and live amongst others of our kind.” I said grabbing her to me.
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“What will you tell your mortal friends?' she purred.
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“I do not care. I am not them and I cannot lie with a normal woman and have a family.” I said shrugging.
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“You have so much to learn; with your power you will be sought after by any female or male of your choice.” She said then licked my lips.
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“I see I do have much to learn.” I replied as if in a trance.
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“You need to throw off your human thoughts and feelings. They are food; no more than the beast of the field. We can live forever if not killed early. You need to learn to become the daemon you are.” She said sliding her dress off her shoulders.
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My eyes roved her form and ferocious desire coursed through me. I had denied my needs for so long. I had dealt with loneliness and prejudice. They dealt with me because I was rich and nothing more. They listened to power. The more I thought about things; the more they made sense. I had no ties to these mortals. I owed them nothing and I could find my true place in the world. Syna became my lover and taught me many things but I still managed to hang onto a little faith. It was my main shortcomings in her eyes.
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“You always come here and you always become morose.” Syna said from behind me.
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“This is private Syna and I will not share this with you!” I snapped.
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“Eyal, whoever this woman was; she is long dead but yet you still attend this grave as if she were the most important thing on earth!” she said in jealousy.
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“She was the most important thing on earth! Never speak in an ill manner of her again Syna!” I yelled.
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“What was she to you that I am not?” she asked in anger.
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:”That is none of your business.” I said morosely.
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“I should have let you burn in Jerusalem! I should have let that bastard kill you!” she said in fury.
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“Perhaps you should have!” I said as my eyes flashed red in anger.
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“Why will you not let me in Eyal? Why will you not let me love you?” she asked in anguish.
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“Really Syna? You are a riot. Love? What is love to us uppyr? We are monsters and of the worst sort. Somewhere God cursed us to this existence for our many sins. We can never love and mostly certainly not you!” I said cruelly.
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“You would have stayed an ignorant fool if I had not shown you what you were! You suffer because you think you are evil! Well I am not evil and I most certainly will not rot in your hell. You do that well enough on your own. Keep it up Eyal and perhaps you may join that woman as dust and all alone.” She said walking away.
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I watched my Greek spitfire leave and I could not summon any feelings for her except fondness. I looked away and I understood I had to be alone. Alone was best as I could not handle anymore pain. Halima had taken my heart with her to the grave. I looked around the Babylonian night and began to think that perhaps I did need to end this life and begin anew. The more I though the more it grew on me. Europe was a strange and unique place to me. The Greeks and the Persians were the powerhouses in the known world and I was ready for new territory.
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“Syna wait!” I called.
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She turned and looked at me with liquid brown eyes.
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“Why not come with me to Europe. Why not try our luck in the wilds of the mountains?” I asked.
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“Are you serious?” she asked.
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“Yes. I am serious. This is wasting away and I am tired of wasting away.” I said looking over at the emerging dawn.
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I watched as the sun ascended in the Eastern sky and I made plans for my new life. All I would need now was a new name and lands where no one knew me. I looked over at Syna and she took my hand. I knew she loved me but that led to pain. I would suffer no more pain. I had one lifetime enough of it and I was going to start fresh.ns184.108.40.206da2