“Pearls or violets?”
Ah. Memories spun an inner pink radiance against the first blooms in rich black soil; glowing strands warm to the touch against the quiet breathing of forests; pale cream luminescence against gentle purple understanding. The Entrant didn’t hesitate. “Pearls!”
Minutes later, a baby was born to a wealthy merchant family. Her christening robe was lined with seed pearls and elaborate hand-made ecru lace. She cried when the priest sprinkled her head and prayed for her soul. Twenty years later she cried again when the same priest joined her in holy matrimony and political maneuvering to a man she barely knew. A few years later, she moaned and cried as her tortured body struggled in childbirth for the third time in five years. “Please let this one live,” she prayed silently. The memory of the stillborn babies brought on another round of weeping.
She was surrounded by gold and silver and precious jewels, servants to attend to her every need, but she always seemed to be entangled in tears. In between bouts of unbearable pain, she asked the midwife for flowers. Four servants rushed to the garden, filling baskets with anything in bloom. She reached for one of the baskets, filled with delicate purple. Her tears fell on the blossoms and shone like luminescent pearls. “Perhaps it’s not too late to change my choice,” came the unbidden, inexplicable thought.
Minutes later, a healthy, beautiful baby girl was born. “What will you name her?” asked the midwife.
The young mother didn’t hesitate. “Violet.” A newly minted sun warmed her pillow, and for the first time in her nascent life, she smiled herself to sleep.