The second life I look at is young woman whose life is not as detailed in terms of my memory as the Egyptian one outlined above. This is the life of Eloise.
Eloise, I am vaguely remembering, lived in small town, in what feels to be like Holland in the 17th century.
She is a young girl of about 13 who had lived in an orphanage early in her life but had settled in with a cobbler family after about aged 10. She was very happy to have found a permanent home at last and the cobbler and his wife were very kind to her and she started to thrive.
But at 13 the leather smith’s son Hans started to notice her as she showed signs of being a woman, her breasts started to fill in.
Hans was an older boy of 19 or so, and very handsome, huge muscles, blond, blue-eyed and had a wonderful personality.
It was true love for me (Eloise) in way that young girls can become head-over heels in love with their first loves.
All of my sense of the romantic comes from Eloise, in “Equilibrium, in “The Very Sun Blinks” and other works,exemplifies the way this13 year old loved back then. I could, of course, be fooling my self, deluding my self but there you have it. It seems so for one part of my mind.
I would come to the village well as Eloise, twice a day for water over the three years or so before Hans started to take more and more of an interest in me.
Around that 13th year he would come for water and often stood there watching me not so shyly. I was really flattered that he suddenly started to notice me and my mind started to spin right away wildly romantic notions of he and I; that he would try to kiss me one day, that he would talk long walks with me, that he would ultimately ask my adopted father for my hand in marriage.
I came to the well one day and there on the lip of the well was a yellow flower. I picked it up and looked around and saw him looking at me. He stared and then nodded his head indicating to me that it he who had left it for me.
I took the flower and put in beneath my apron out of sight and smiled shyly at him and nearly floated my way home. I put the flower under my pillow that night and kept it as my most prized possession.
Each day, there after, I looked for Hans at the well. Before the flower he would come twice or three times a week. But after the flower he came almost every day. And one day a week he would leave another flower, but made no effort to come over, or talk to me.
In fact, he made an effort not to let others see him looking at me; he was always in the shadows, his beautiful body just in the shadow of a building. His muscles often glistened in the sunlight from the leather-making at his father’s shop.
I was content to go on like this for months. Having him as my secret admirer who never approached seemed perfect to me, until it was not.
After a time I started to wonder why he never approached, or tried to talk to me.
I did not understand, I was too young to understand, that he was trying to protect me, protect my reputation in the village where mouths waged at the slightest hint of impropriety. I only knew that he was the first boy that paid attention to me, and I liked that.
I did not know that despite he and I flirting, that it had not gone unnoticed and that the local rector took to watching us, as often as he could.
Toward the middle of my 13th year, Hans grew more confident and I saw him motion to me and pointing to the hillside that above our village, motioning that I should follow him up the hillside.
He was clearly suggesting that we go the upper meadow there.
I was to shy to acknowledge his silent motioning for the first few times.
But one night I decided that the next time he offered I would follow him up the hill and I would, let him kiss me. I had never been kissed in my life and I decided that at 13 it was my turn. After all, some of the girls in the village were married at 13 or 14 or promised. It felt right that it should be my turn to do a grown-up thing.
Now did all of this happen or am I simply making this up. I don’t know. I do know that, if true , my romantic side comes from this 13 year old girl hundreds of years ago. Part of me feels indebted to Eloise, (if all of this is true ) for giving me my romantic sense. Strange, I know.
To be continued.
Some have asked which specific pieces I think might have been inspired by Eloise's, young love sentiments.