White polished marble flooring pave the way as Kassandra walks into her luxurious bedroom, her smoothly lush hair tracing her slow movements ever so gently as she reaches for her white silk night gown placed on her pastel satin covered bed. An image of beauty turned enchanting by the soft glow of light filtering through the opened glass door leading to her balcony. A cool breeze makes its way into the room as Kassandra slips into her gown. She lets out a deeply thoughtful sigh.
“My … A new season approaches” she says, as she slowly sits on her bed, crossing her legs.
“It has been so long since we arrived here … “; a nostalgic smile almost followed that statement but was abruptly interrupted with the feeling of pain creeping its way back. Kassandra’s expression darkens as she narrows her eyes and looks to the side. The pain reaches an unbearable level and Kassandra’s tears flow down her soft cheeks.
“It’s been a week since the incident. I still cannot believe that it happened; I don’t understand how it happened.” She thinks to herself as she stands up and makes her way to the balcony. A reoccurring sentence, repeating itself in her mind is “I can’t believe Chris would do this …”
According to scientists in the fields of psychology, there are six stages of grief. Kassandra knew them all too well.
The first is denial
She didn’t know if she would go through them properly. Theories don’t generally work well for her; if they did … she wouldn’t have been in her current state. However, she remembers going through that all too well back in Y’ben. It is hard not to notice people like her and Chris. If the outer appearance didn’t attract people, then the status of “Mage and Lady of Gryphonpeak” and “Selidorian Knight and Ambassador of Gryphonpeak” would. Sometimes the attention is unwanted, but must be dealt with, and Kassandra didn’t know that she was dealing with a Viper when she spoke to Karina. No one can deny Karina’s beauty, but there was something ominous about it, something that Kassandra felt so strongly … Something she would expect Chris to have noticed. Apparently he did notice … but in all the wrong ways.
She didn’t want to believe that Chris was sleeping with this young looking old lady. For her to want him in her head is somewhat ok, and she could possibly go after him because some women with a lot of money can do that … but … he wouldn’t do anything. Right …?
“Both me and Chris experience people’s unwanted advances and we pass them with the outmost of grace. He would tell me all about how a certain woman hit on him and how amusing he found her advances whenever we communicated with the rings. I would secretly blush because I knew it was just a testament to how much he loved me … I could almost see the smile on his face. I would express the same to him and we would both simply laugh …” Kassandra thinks to herself as she opens the glass doors and walks out to the edge of the balcony and takes a seat one of her comfortably cushioned chairs.
“No, he wouldn’t cheat on me. That is ridiculous!” She remembered telling herself that after the party in Y’ben. She wasn’t even going to bring it up because Chris is not like other men, he is a knight of Selidor and her fiancé, he wouldn’t do anything to hurt the woman he loved. She was trying hard to deny the panic making doubts in her head. Her internal struggle ceased when she found karina’s red scarf in Chris’s study … on his table.
There was no use denying it any longer. There was evidence …
The second is Isolation …
She was gob smacked. She couldn’t believe what she saw. Kassandra wasted no time in taking that scarf and hiding it. One of her greatest fears came to life. Christopher Kerr was screwing Karina.
Kassandra snapped out of her lost in thought state. She takes a deep slow inhale of the fresh air around her then exhales while gently closing her eyes. She couldn’t stop thinking about that red scarf. She felt like she could never look at that color the same again.
Her train of thought takes her back to Y’ben …
Crying and screaming “How could he do this to me!?” Kassandra remembers packing her cloths in a panicked manner. She remembered how she would hesitate and collapse to the floor as her expression went from angry to upset and then the other way around as she would stand up with so much rage and just stuff more of her cloths back in her bags.
She remembered how her bodyguard tried to stop her and when that failed he helped her stay in a respectable inn. She was alone for a while, completely isolated from the world with nothing but a ridiculous amount of room service meals and the comfort of a clean blanket.
“Why did he do it? Was it Distance?” she remembered thinking that to herself. Distance is one of a relationship’s worst enemies. Kassandra’s relationship with Chris has survived a distance in both time and space. 1500 years to be exact. To be fair, most of it was time travel and from memories but everything she remembered felt vivid and real. He waited for 1500 years … just for her. He proposed to her the way every proper gentleman should, and she accepted; knowing that he was a ghost. When his sword was returned to him and he materialized, she was the happiest woman on earth. Finally … They were together, just like they were together back in Selidor … Just like she remembered … Just like it was meant to be. Unfortunately distance was in the way again because Chris decided to become the ambassador of gryphonpeak and left for Y’ben. She was content with being able to speak to him through their magical engagement rings, and things were going well … for the first four or so months. It takes a distance of countless miles and four months in flesh for him to get lonely and decide to leap into bed with someone like Karina?
Many other thoughts raided her head and filled her with emotions that she hadn’t experienced since the news of her parent’s death after she left for University.
Fortunately for her … This did not last very long.
The third is Anger …
Kassandra didn’t feel time pass by as she moved from one piece of furniture to the next while scoffing desserts left and right. With food stains on her previously elaborate attire and her long hair now messy and in patches, the put together and perfectly beautiful Kassandra was no more then. Thinking about it right now, she was glad that she didn’t look into a mirror back then.
She heard a knock on the door, and before she thought of asking who was it a concerned yet familiar voice called out to her and said “Kassandra! Open up! It’s me.”. It was Robert’s voice. His voice felt like a perfect cure spell on a fresh crippling wound. After she opened the door, she saw that he wasn’t alone. Her bodyguard as well as John was there and they witnessed as Kassandra lunged at Robert, hugging him and bursting out in tears like a traumatized child embracing her mother. Robert frantically tried to calm her down and in the next few minutes he succeeded. Guiding her through the room, along with John and her bodyguard, Robert sat her down on her bed and asked her what happened.
Kassandra’s flood of tears was slowly coming to a halt as she relayed all the details of what happened. Every single word coming out of her mouth made her feel like she took a dagger and stabbed herself in the stomach. It wasn’t any less painful to mention the story than it was to experience it. In fact … It was even more painful.
“OF COURSE HE DID IT! I SAW THE PROOF!!!” Kassandra screamed at the end of her long back and forth argument with Robert. He doubted Chris’s betrayal and implied that she may have reacted too soon. Kassandra’s sadness was like a calm deep blue ocean … and that ocean was beginning to boil as her anger gradually increased with every word that left her mouth.
Was she to blame for the way she reacted?
How would anyone react to being betrayed by the one they loved the most?
Doesn’t she have the right to react like crazy?
p. “He cheated on me… I am convinced and I will prove it! With o
r without you Robert!!” Kassandra screamed at him as she attempted to sweep out of the room. She didn’t succeed as her bodyguard stood in front of the door and wouldn’t let her leave in her current state. This angered her more. “GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!”She yelled at him. His expression didn’t change, nor did he reply back to her.
“Kassandra, please calm down. Do you want me to track him down?? I’ll do it for you.” John spoke, in a very concerned manner. Something snapped in her mind when she heard his voice, she calmed herself and took a few deep breaths. She turned around, moved by this young knight’s gesture, “Thank you … but this may get you into trouble … I can’t allow anyone to get harmed in any way because of something that is happening to me. I won’t allow it.” She walked back towards Robert and calmly sat down to devise a plan of action.
Her body guard informs her that he followed Chris earlier on during the day and he spotted him entering Karina’s house and that after a few inquiries with some of her servants he was told that Chris has been taking his ring off every time he visited her.
This piece of information added more fuel to the fire and Kassandra barely held herself from another outburst. She discussed the issue with the other three and decided that a direct confrontation would be the best course of action.
The fourth is bargaining
Kassandra and the others make a swift return back to the grand inn that they were staying in. Luckily, Chris wasn’t there and Kassandra took the opportunity to unpack and bathe. She was mentally and emotionally preparing herself. She had never had a problem that was as severe as this with Chris before, she didn’t know what to expect but … whatever it is …she knew this had to happen.
Not too long after Kassandra put her head on her pillow, Chris arrives. He looked like he had been in social convention of some sorts. Messy, tired looking and smelling of alcohol, Chris didn’t say much as he took off his cloths then slowly lounged behind her on the bed. He smelled like Karina. Kassandra was enraged; she expected honesty from him …
She didn’t react much to his “advances” till he asked her “What’s wrong?”
In an innocently coy tone Kassandra speaks, “Where were you?”
Without missing a beat he replies “I was at an ambassadorial meeting, it went smoothly”
She thought it sounded like this was rehearsed. She cut to the chase, “Was Karina there?” She asked, in a cold tone.
“What? This again? What does she have to do with this?”
“Yes this again. Was she there? I ask this because I can smell her scent on you!”
Chris started getting defensive really fast; the same way a guilty child would act when confronted by his teacher for cheating on a test. His replies were evasive to her questions, and after a few minutes of back and forth aggression he finally asked her the question that she had wanted to hear.
“Where is your proof!?” he demanded, in a challenging tone.
“Here it is!” She screamed as she reached for her closet; the one where she kept that red scarf.
It was gone … It just wasn’t there …What on earth is happening …
She turns to Chris, looking shocked and a little defeated. “There was a red scarf here, I found it on your desk that same night I met her after the party. You and that scarf smell exactly the same … and so did she when I met her.”
“So, you don’t have proof! “He shouted in frustration and continued to turn the tides on her accusing her of showing interest in Alistar; her new neighbor; as well as accusing her of taking of her ring. Kassandra denied those allegations which angered him into calling her a “fucking bitch” and other slurs.
Kassandra was shocked.
Chris has never insulted her, ever. He was acting like a different person and this made her even more suspicious. He crossed a line, a big red line. She raised her hand at him with authority as she stood up, her expression just as cold as her tone. “You will never call me that again. Do NOT insult me, Lord Chris.” He maybe didn’t expect this out of her, neither did she. “Swear on your honor as a knight of Selidor, on your sword that knows only truth.”
“I swear on my honor as a Selidorian knight” he hastily replied.
“What are you swearing to, Chris?”
He began to insult her again, his face looking angry and frustrated. Kassandra made a bold decision.
“ … Get out of my room.” She demanded, her voice sounded demure yet exhausted. She didn’t want to fight anymore, she just wanted him out. “Fine!” He screamed as he left, slamming the door shut behind him.
Kassandra couldn’t stop crying that night. What on earth happened to the man that she loved … This isn’t him … this can’t be him. Maybe she was wrong? Maybe she was the one that changed? That night, Kassandra’s line of thought changed from someone demanding the truth to someone that would do anything to get what she lost back, this included stepping on her own pride and accepting that what she did was wrong and that he was innocent … even though she did not feel this, she still convinced herself.
… The fifth is depression
The next morning, sometime after breakfast, Chris makes his way to kassandra’s room. Before she could say what she was properly rehearsing all night, Chris simply told her that things between them are over. As he continued to explain how they will pretend to be together while making public appearances, her mind went numb, she couldn’t believe that this was happening. She looked at the ground the whole time as he kept going on and on about his preparations. As soon as he was done, he left and never looked back.
Everything that happened after all that was a blur … a stressful surreal blur.
… The sound of the glass doors opening wake Kassandra up from her nostalgic nap as Chrisseth enters with a trey of snack sandwiches and a pot of aromatic tea. It was a relief to see Chrisseth’s face; if anyone ever believed unconditionally in Kassandra, it would be this woman. A smile is drawn on Kassandra’s face as she welcomes Chrisseth.
“Thank you for coming … I was feeling a little lonely here.”
“Oh Lady Kassandra, don’t mention it. I knew you wouldn’t be sleeping soon, so I had this prepared for you.”
“You know me to well … Please join me. I don’t wish to be alone at all”
The sandwiches tasted great as well as the vanilla flavored tea, sweet as ever and perfectly warm. Kassandra fills Chrisseth in on what happened in Y’ben after, the good and the bad. Chrisseth is patient and understanding and always a good listener.
Chrisseth asks “How are you dealing with this? I know you don’t want anyone to ask you this but someone has to eventually.”
Kassandra’s sadness surfaces as her bright and warm expression turned sorrowful and blue.
“I do not know … All I do is think of what could I have done differently and how things just don’t make sense at all … Why do people fall for each other if something like this has a possibility of happening? Why didn’t I see any signs of this happening? What baffles me is how my “intelligence” doesn’t contribute to the wellbeing of my emotional state. I know that I am supposed to acknowledge the fact that I was betrayed by the person who I thought was the love of my life, which I did. I fully acknowledge it … to the point where I am cursed with having mental images of them together; this is followed by a flood of tears and a feeling that resembles the countless times I have been hurt during my adventures … except … it’s all concentrated in my gut.”
Kassandra turns to look at the horizon.
“I feel like my world is collapsing. I feel like I have nothing to look forwards to, nothing to do. I feel lost.”
Chrisseth calmly replies. “You are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing. You are allowing yourself to experience this. You will learn from this my dear … Just like you learned from everything bad that has happened to you in the past. Take things one day at a time.” She calmly stands up, picking the silver tray up slowly.
“You are not lost, my lady.” Chrisseth calmly excuses herself.
The last one is Acceptance …and I do not know when, how or if I will reach this stage …