All Chapters of The choices we make: Chapter 1 - Chapter 10
101 Chapters
Mary knew the sun was about to come up. She lay in her bed, waiting for the first light to find its way through the gap in the closed shutters. Under the covers, it was warm, but when Mary got out of bed she knew the chilly morning air would make her shiver. So she stayed under the blanket even though she knew she should get up. Suddenly, there was a loud coughing attack from the bed on the other side of the room. Mary forced herself to get up and wrapped her woollen shawl around her as she rushed to the other bed. It was her mother who had coughed. Mary looked at her mother and saw the glazed look, though it met her gaze, it didn’t seem to see her. Mary was afraid of that look. Her mother had had it for almost three days and Mary’s father had had it for almost five. It had been almost two weeks since her father first got sick and then her mother had fallen ill. Now she was the one who took care of them and the household. She turned around and went back to her own bed. There, her dres
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“Good morning, Mr. Sansi,” she said hurriedly, rising from the stool. She just reached over the high counter and thought for a moment about standing on the stool. She changed her mind and instead approached the man who was standing just inside the door. “Can I help you?” she asked, stopping a short distance from him. She had had a good upbringing and knew how to treat customers who were in the upper classes of society.Mr. Sansi was a regular customer of her father, and she was happy he had arrived today. He rarely left the shop without buying something.“Where’s your father?” he asked, looking at Mary.“He’s been sick and is resting, Mr. Sansi,” Mary replied.“And your mother?”“She too has been sick, Mr. Sansi. But they are both on the mend,” Mary hurried to add.“I understand. So you’re in charge of the shop today?” Mr. Sansi asked.“Yes, sir.”“I’ve been here a couple of times in the last few weeks, hoping it would be open. I was pleased when I saw it was open today. But I don’t k
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“Are your parents better?” Mrs. Korpi asked.“A little, thank you. Father talked to me today but he’s still weak and needs to sleep,” Mary replied. She stopped when she saw Mrs. Korpi seemed to recoil as she got closer.“Who’s running the shop today?”“I am. We need to bring in some money to be able to buy meat in the market.”“Is it really wise to open the shop? You should perhaps wait until your father or some adult can take care of it.”“I’m sure you’re right, but I have to take care of my parents, so I don’t have a choice.” Mrs. Korpi seemed to hesitate a little. She looked back into the shop and then examined Mary for a while.“How are you, Mary?” she asked.“Thank you, I’m fine,” Mary replied honestly.“You don’t have a fever or cough?”“No, I’m perfectly healthy.” Mrs. Korpi looked at her again.“Mary, I think you’d better come live with us. You shouldn’t be alone here; you’d be better off at our home.” Mary looked at Mrs. Korpi in surprise. Did she really want Mary to leave he
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“Not for a long time,” he said, sounding just as sad. Mary couldn’t take it anymore. She couldn’t talk to her parents and the neighbours didn’t want to help her, and now she couldn’t see Erik. She felt completely alone and isolated in the world. The tears welled up and began to run down her cheeks. Erik stood on the other side of the courtyard and looked at her unhappily. He didn’t know what to do.“Dad said the Lady’s coming tonight. Maybe she can help your parents and then maybe we can play again,” he said.“Who’s the Lady?” asked Mary, sobbing.“Dad says that before the church existed, it was the Lady who was the church. But when the king’s ancestor founded the church, the Lady left. But now she’s coming back to help us get rid of the sickness.” Mary listened to what he said. She stopped crying and was now wiping her cheeks.“But how could she be the church?” she asked. “Women can’t be priests.”“What do I know?” Erik said, shrugging. “I have to go now,” he added, looking at her. S
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Mary looked around and suddenly realized what was wrong, it was the sound of her parents’ breathing. It no longer sounded strained as it had done in the past week, but it was not the breathing that Mary used to lie and listen to when she couldn’t sleep when her parents had been healthy either. This breathing came quickly; it was as light as a feather and sometimes it seemed to stop for several minutes. Mary knew nothing about sickness, let alone death. But in her heart, she knew the breathing she heard from her parents was wrong. Something was very wrong. The panic quickly crept into her, and Mary felt it take a firm hold of her heart. Why had she stayed so long looking for eggs? She should have stayed inside and taken care of her parents. What would she do now? No one could or would help her. Mary sank to the floor in the middle of the room and cried. All the fear and sadness she had inside her came out in the desperate cry of a ten-year-old girl. After the worst of the crying subsid
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The air went out of her when she landed on the roof of the carriage. The thud made people look up, and the riders closest to the carriage had heard the sound and stopped. The riders behind had seen something landing on the roof and quickly rode forward to investigate what it was. Mary felt hands grab her and try to pull her off the carriage. There was only one thought in her head: She had to talk to the Lady. She was desperately trying to find something to hold on to. But her hands found only the shiny, flat roof.“No!” she shouted. “No, I need to talk to her; she has to help me. Please, I need to talk to her.” Her cries were mixed with sobs. Tears of desperation rolled down her cheeks as she tried to fight her way free from the hands that pulled her from the roof and away from the carriage. “Please, I need to talk to her,” she almost shouted. The people around them looked on in amazement at the little girl who was desperately fighting the grey-clad men. More grey-clad people had form
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Tariana sat and watched the sleeping girl. It had been a long journey from Salmisara to Dermes, and when something had crashed down on her carriage as they went through the city, her imagination had created the most horrible images. She shouldn’t have allowed herself to create such fantasies, but she blamed fatigue. When she discovered it was in fact a little girl, she had been surprised for a moment. It wasn’t often Tariana was surprised, but the small, slender girl with the desperate eyes had succeeded. Tariana remembered the desperation in the girl’s words, how her voice had been panicked. She could still see the tears which had flowed down her cheeks and how she had fought like a beast against Kopa and Term, who had tried to pull her away from the carriage. Tariana’s maternal instinct had awakened, and that’s why she had decided to hear what the girl wanted to say. She still had a hard time believing the story she had heard. Such a young girl had struggled to take care of herself
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One afternoon the Lady came walking in with Mildy. Mary was no longer afraid or shy of the Lady, so she smiled when she saw her coming.“Come, Mary, and we’ll see if your new clothes fit,” said The Lady, reaching out to Mary. Mary jumped out of the window and took the Lady’s hand. It would be so exciting with new clothes. She tried on one dress after another. There were clothes for everyday life and for parties in all kinds of colours and shapes. Mary felt the knot in her stomach unknot a little and she smiled up at the Lady.“Thank you very much,” she said.“You still have a dress to try on” said the Lady, smiling. Mildy held it out so Mary could see. Mary stared at the dress and felt the tears rise in her eyes, this time out of joy. The dress was a small copy of the clothes those in the Lady’s company always wore. They differed from the clothes used in Dermes, but Mary thought they were incredibly beautiful. Now Mildy held out such a dress towards her. It was deep green and had wide
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Mary walked up to the chest that stood by her bedside. It was her father’s chest. She took out the key she had around her neck and opened it. Therein were her father’s silver items, wrapped in cloth and straw. There was also a small bag of the money that Mr. Sansi had received from the sale of her parents’ estate. She searched the items until she found what she was looking for. She picked up a small parcel and unwrapped the fabric that protected the silver object. It wasn’t big but the rose was so cleverly made you’d think it had been a real rose that someone dipped in liquid silver. Mary knew her father had made it for her mother. He would have given it to her for her birthday. Mary was annoyed by a tear that ran down her cheek and wiped it away. She didn’t think her father would be offended if he knew what she was planning to do with it. She wrapped the rose back up and put it on the bed. Then she picked up a new parcel. She unwrapped it and saw a heavy silver buckle. It depicted a
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When the last grey-clad riders had left the castle courtyard, the court turned around and entered the castle. Mary and the chatelaine remained while the castle courtyard slowly returned to the tumultuous chaos Mary had watched from the window.“Come, I don’t have time to stand here.” It was the chatelaine who spoke to Mary. Her voice was stern and thin. Mary turned to the chatelaine and waited for her to lead her to Mary’s new room. “I’ve made sure your things have been moved to your new room,” said the chatelaine as they walked towards the castle.“Thank you,” said Mary. They didn’t enter through the large doors where Mary had come out. Instead, they walked around the castle and entered through a much smaller door. Mary saw they entered the parts of the castle where the servants were staying. They rounded a corner and suddenly they were standing in the middle of the kitchen. It was the biggest kitchen Mary had ever seen. There were four huge fireplaces where the food was cooked. Ther
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