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Through The Ages - chapter 2
By
Kari

Through The Ages - chapter 2

Quietly she sneaked to the window and climbed out knowing if she was caught, there would be hell to

Korinna

At the age of 13 Korinna otherwise known as Kori was becoming more and more of a handful for her father. Since she had lost her mother to a fever three years ago, he had been just too busy trying to keep his small fishing business afloat and her in line at the same time.

He and his two sons were kept busy from sun up to sun down. He couldn't seem to find a strong willed woman that could handle his beautiful, wayward daughter. So now all he could do was once again lecture her on her outrageous behaviour. While his sons busied themselves with gulping down their supper, Dareios took Kori aside and made her stand in front of him. With a stern look he began,

“Korinna ...Kori my daughter, what am I going to do with you? You know you must not go about town without a chaperon...you know this.”

He paused to see if she had any remorse at all. She stood with her head down, mumbling, “Yes Father, I know from all the times you have drummed it into my head.”

She peeked up at him with her clear green eyes, straightening up she proudly continued, “I do know this, but I don't see why I have to follow these silly rules. I can take care of myself as you well know! I remember Mother telling me the stories of our ancestors that she came from warrior stock, and to always be proud of that.”

Losing his temper Dareios banged his fist on the nearby table shouting, “Your Mother was wrong to tell you those stories. They were not meant for you, but only for your brothers. You are just a young girl and must be protected. Can't you understand that? In two years, you will be of marrying age. What man from a respectable family will want to marry a hellion? Tell me that! Men want a quiet, submissive wife. You run around like you don't have a family to take care of you. No chaperone when going out of the house, people are talking about you...you're old enough now that it is unseemly. Do you know that there are no men in our village that will marry you? No man in his right mind wants to marry a wayward girl like you. I have enough to worry about, with keeping us all fed and housed.”

By this time, Kori was trembling with rage but knew better than to show it. She didn't want to marry and be a submissive wife, but then what could she do with her life? She looked down at her feet as her father carried on shaking his head.

“Just go my daughter and think about what I have told you. I have to decide what I am going to do about you now. Now go, I want to have my supper in peace.”

Feeling guilty for causing her father to be upset with her Kori mumbled, “Yes, Father.”

Keeping her head bowed, Kori quickly made her way to her small room. She sat on the pallet and seethed remembering the words he had said to her. With small hands clenched on her lap, she vowed she would not bow down to some man for the rest of her life. She would have loved to help her father and brothers on their boat. She would have made a good fisherwoman if just given half a chance. But noo, she was supposed to be lady-like and marry. Her lip curled at the thought. There had to be more to life than that!

Sighing heavily, she noted that the men had finished their meal and were now seated outside the small door to their cottage. She needed to get away from the confines of her small room, needed some fresh air.

Quietly she sneaked to the window and climbed out, knowing if she were caught, there would be hell to pay. She didn't care. She needed to be alone and time to cool off. Kori carefully let herself down to the ground looked around, to make sure the coast was clear. It was, she smiled as she lightly ran out through the garden with its fruit trees and pretty flowers and away from the house.

Once far enough away, she found herself near the shore. Picking up some pebbles, she started to toss them into the blue sea one by one. All the while thinking,...”What am I going to do?” Once out of pebbles, she sat down on a flat rock and watched the sun set. That always soothed her, sighing she figured she better get back home before it got too dark and more importantly, she was missed. Sighing softly to herself, she got up looking at the endless blue sea before turning towards home.

It was quiet when she got back to the cottage. So it was easy to sneak back into her room. She undressed and slipped under the light covers. Poor Kori had nightmares of running away from men that wanted to marry her. It was not a restful night for her.

The next morning, the tired girl was making her father and brothers their breakfast of flat bread and cheese. Her father came over to her and quietly stated, “Kori, sit down, I have made a decision about your future.”

He hesitated before going on but looked her in the eyes to show he was serious. “I have decided to send you to live with my elder brother Stephanos and his wife, Mia.”

At the stricken look he got from Kori, he put his hand up and said, “No, I am not finished yet, ...just let me finish. I know they are old and childless, but they would treat you well, and Mia has the time to teach you what you should know to be a good wife.”

As soon as he stopped to catch is breath Kori jumped in, “But Father, they are so old fashioned and strict, I can't stay with them. Please don't make me go. I promise I will do better, I'll do anything you say....., please!”

He shook his head at her pleading, “No Kori, I have talked to you too many times, and you always go back to your wild ways. Now you will do as I say. Pack up your belongings and tomorrow morning Timon will take you to the village they live in. It is only a half day walk from here. This is the best thing for you now. You will thank me one day when you are happily married and surrounded by your own children.”

Before her father could say, any more Kori ran to her room and threw herself on her pallet bursting into tears. She knew he would not relent, she was to be sent away from all she knew and loved. To be with virtual strangers. She had not seen her aunt and uncle since her mother had died, and then only for a few minutes. She had been too grief-stricken to spend any time getting to know them. After the tears had stopped flowing down her cheeks, Kori got up and gathered her belongings together. Balling her clothes up before shoving them into a leather bag, by this time she was angry. Once finished she sighed deeply and threw herself onto her small pallet again and cried once more.

Finally, when there were no more tears to come she decided to make up some meals for the men, so they would have something to eat when they got home in the evening. It would help to pass the time until they came home. She hoped that maybe just maybe her father would change his mind. But from the look on his face when he came into the cottage she knew that he hadn't. They all had a last silent meal together.

After cleaning up Kori went to her room. It was going to be a long night and she knew she wouldn't be getting much sleep again. But it had been a long exhausting day and before she knew it, she again cried herself asleep.

In the early morning, Kori woke up with swollen puffy eyes. Dragging herself to the small kitchen, she prepared the men's breakfast. When her father came in, she saw by the look on his face that he had still not changed his mind. With a sigh, she set out the food and went back to her room wondering if she dared to sneak out one more time. Thinking better of that, she stayed put and waited for her father to call her.

When he did call her a short time later, he had a small package in his hand. He handed it to her saying, “Here daughter, something to eat on your journey, you will need it.”

.Sadly looking at her lovely face, he added, “Believe me daughter I do this for your own good, I want you to find a good man and marry him, your aunt and uncle will see to this, I have written a note, so they know why you are coming to stay with them. They will take good care of you. I believe they will give you the structure I never seem to have the time to give you.

Your mother would be happy to see you going to stay with your uncle and aunt.”

He paused again, looking at his sad and defeated daughter. He truly hated to do this. But he knew she could never find a good husband the way she had been carrying on these past few years. Her mother would have had her behaving like a lady by now. He neither knew how or truthfully wanted the job, preferring to hand Kori over to his slightly stern sister-in-law.

Sighing Dareios stepped closer to the sniffling girl and wrapped his big strong arms around her. She clung to him a minute before he moved away, then her brother Tros gave her a huge hug. So not to prolong this, her father left the house followed by his son. That left Kori with Timon, who sadly said, “Kori he truly believes this is best, but know this, we will miss you terribly. Come on, we have a long way to go.”

Taking her bag, he went to the door and waited for her to follow him, which she did with a heavy heart.

They started the journey by having to go through the small town, giving Kori a chance to wave good bye to her friends. It wasn't long before they were walking along the shore, the houses long behind them.

Not having traveled this far before, Kori soon found her mood lightening up a little with the various sights of hills to her right and the lovely blue sea to her left.

A few hours later, not far from their destination, they came upon a small waterfall that was fed from a fast running stream. It came out from the hills and eventually ended up in the sea. After the long dusty walk, the stream looked too inviting to resist. Kori just had to have a wash, turning towards her brother she put her stubborn face on. After some minutes of heated arguing, Timon threw his hands up in the air and stomped away shouting as he went, “Do as you will, you always do. I will be back in 30 minutes, so you better have finished your bathing and be dressed. I don't have all day to waste you know!”

He kept on grumbling something about what a pain in the rear she was as he moved away towards some shady trees near where the stream trickled around a small hill. Once there, he found a comfortable spot and lay down for a short snooze. He couldn't see the pool, but he believed his sister would not have any interruptions. He would be wrong in that assumption.

Knowing Timon meant what he said, Kori quickly slipped out of her garment and jumped into the cool refreshing water. She laughed as she came up for air, it was just wonderful. It didn't take her more then a minute to swim to the falls, where she stood letting the water wash over her head and upper body. It felt so good to have the dust slide off. Kori had been enjoying herself when suddenly she got the feeling that someone was watching her.

She slowly stopped and suspiciously looked around. To her horror, there was a young man standing beside her clothes with his mouth agape, just staring at her. She covered her small breasts and quickly lowered her body, so only her head and shoulders were above the water. Then she started to shout, “What in Hades are you doing? Get away ....or I will scream for my brother.”

He turned a bright red and closed his mouth and quickly backed away falling backward over the rock that her robe lay over. Scrambling clumsily back to his feet, he waved his hands in front of himself whispering loudly, “I am so very sorry...please forgive me...I didn't know there was anyone here. Don't call your brother, I'm going now...just give me a second.”

Stumbling over her robe, he quickly grabbed it and threw it back on the rock, looked at her again with raised eyebrows and hands. He turned around and soon disappeared, leaving a very mortified Kori in the pool. She had never been in such a position in her life but soon recovered enough to swim to the edge of the pool and grab the robe he had thrown on the rock. Looking around to make sure he was gone, she quickly slipped it back on. All the while remembering the look on his red face... she started to chuckle to herself. Thinking all the while, “I think he was way more embarrassed than I was. But it's probably best not to tell Timon about this encounter, he would probably go after the poor guy and maybe make him marry me....now wouldn't that be hilarious?“

She hoped she would never see him again. She sat on the rock, drying her long black hair in the sun and waited for Timon to come back. As she was placing her favorite hairpiece on, her brother made his appearance looking totally refreshed after his nap. Once he fell asleep, no amount of noise ever woke him up. Stretching his arms out, he grumpily mumbled, “Are you ready now? We don't have far to go now plus, I want to be back home before dark. Let's get going.”

Kori looked up at him thinking, “Great guard you make my dear brother.”

Taking her hand he pulled her up, adjusting her bag over his shoulder as they started off again. Within an hour the two of them had reached the edge of the small town where her aunt and uncle lived. Timon asked the first man they came across for directions. It didn't take but a few minutes to find the cottage they were directed to.

Kori tried to smile as the door was opened and her aunt stood in the doorway in surprise, quickly joined by her uncle. Once they were all inside and seated around the small kitchen table, Timon handed over their father's note that explained why they had come. All the while, Kori fiddled with her hands, trying not to let her feelings show. The old couple was surprised as they read the note but nodded their heads in acceptance. Family after all was family.

Mia signaled Kori to come help her to make some food for the men mentioning, “We can't let Timon go back home on an empty stomach can we?"

They were soon back with some bread, cheese and cold meat. Mia made Kori serve before she could sit down herself and eat. Soon the food was all gone, leaving just the goodbyes to be said. Brother and sister held each other for a few moments, and before she knew it, Timon was soon disappearing down the road.

Mia turned to Kori in smug satisfaction, “I know you will be happy with us, but make no mistake I will teach you how to be a good wife. Why before you know it, you will be wed and bearing lots and lots of children.”

Sighing Kori looked at her aunt replying, “Yes Aunt Mia, but for now could I go to my room and rest, please? It's been a long walk and I am very tired.”

Her aunt narrowed her eyes a moment, “Yes you must be tired, come with me and I will show you to your room. Tomorrow we will begin with your learning to be a well brought up young lady."

Thus began a life of cooking, cleaning and how to please men.

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