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The Lessons That Spelled 'I Love You'
By Myra

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bullet   I stared into those violet eyes and almost growled like Chester
would when he sensed someone he wasn't fond of.  I almost replied when a pain shot up my right foot, then leg.  I yelped quietly and pushed past our
guests, hurrying to the bed.  Sitting, I propped my foot on a chair and rubbed
it, wincing from the throb.
    By the time I looked up, Clopin was walking out of the tent with
Pipes and Ariel.  I could tell he was trying to unnoticingly push them away
from me after seeing my rude behavior and realized it was a bad idea for them to stay around me.
    I heard Clopin saying his good-bye's to them, then turned around
and stormed into the tent.  "That was very rude Herlikin!  Those are very
old friends of mine and I was hoping the wife of the King of Gypsies would
leave a better impression.  You made me look very bad."
    I became a bit cross at this and sputtered back, "Why do you always
blame me for everyone's bad thought, if there are any, about you?  You make you own impression yourself you know.  Besides, don't yell at me, I'm in enough pain physically already, I don't need it mentally from you as well."  I turned my face away.
    I could tell Clopin was about to yell back at me.  I couldn't look
back into his eyes, plus I hated shouting matches with him, though I hardly
ever backed down from them.  As I prepared for his scolding I lifted up my
skirt to reveal my swollen ankle and before Clopin said anything his
expression changed.  I could tell it was a look of slight pity.  Him being a
wonderful caring person, he forgot about the rude greeting and got an ice cold cloth quickly.  He placed it on my ankle but not before kissing it gently.
    The cloth hurt but slowly the puffiness went down and the red
turned a bit more pink, lighter and less noticeable, the pain however, stayed.
    The pain.  It stung like the soldiers of Paris had plunged a
million spears into my ankle and they were unable to come free.  I started to
worry why so much pain came from such a small injury.  Had it been more than a sprain?  Clopin nor I nor Colombine were a doctor by any sort.  We
didn't know what I had done to myself except my ankle was swollen and hurt.  What if I had ruined any chance of me ever dancing or performing again?  What if I could never have any fun again?  Stop it, I told myself.  Quit being such a drama queen, you're not even showing off to anyone, just making yourself feel more pain.  Just focus on other things.  Yes, that was it.  I tried it and some pain actually vanished, only some.  Clopin brought my head down form the clouds.
    "I'm sorry Herli, how'd this happen?"  He looked very concerned.
    "Well, I was running to get out of the rain-" I stopped myself.
Rain, it didn't rain in the Court!  I had just openly admitted that I had went
out, something Clopin discouraged me to do and if I really felt as though I
needed to, he liked me to notify him first.
    "Herlikin! You went out of the Court without telling me?  If you
caused any trouble you might have jeopardized our performing and shows up there for weeks!"  That look of angryness he showed before after I had pushed past the visitors was back.
    "I'm sorry!" I couldn't believe I just say THAT! but I kept going,
"I just wanted to see that sun rise because it's so beautiful.  And it
usually doesn't start raining until the afternoon or evening and I don't go out
then and....." I try not to apologize that much but the pain in my ankle
hurt so much, even with the cloth, that I really couldn't, nor wanted, to come
up with something smart.  I was just pleased with myself that I hadn't
gone off about the rude man that had yelled and insulted us.  Though Colombine and I didn't steal or cause any trouble there Clopin would have still over reacted and went on and on about how easy it was to recognize the Queen of Gypsies by her flaming red hair and how he was then sure they couldn't go up to the streets for a couple days and Frollo would be out looking for us and bla and bla and bla.  I would have just simply sat there and stared at him, rolling my eyes here and there as he spoke, completely not paying attention since I had heard the speech given so many times before.  I don't look for trouble, well usually, but when I don't Clopin still believes I have set the entire city of Paris in flames and I would be burned at the stake the minute I stepped a foot out of here.  I guess I get my over reactions from my husband, he's rubbed a little bit off on me.  I imagined this entire conversation of him yelling about the rude man and got so frustrated with it until I realized I was just making the whole thing up in my head, how stupid of me.  I forgot all about it and looked up at Clopin.
    After hearing my explanation about wanting to see the sun, his face
went a little softer but he still didn't completely give in because he knew
if he gave in all the way I'd just go out again, which whether he told me to
or not I would anyway.  He rubbed my ankle a little and kissed me on the
forehead, running his fingers through my hair, now tangled after being wet from the rain and drying without my brushing.
    "Pipes and Ariel asked us over for dinner tonight.  They're setting
up their tent and we'll stop by later on.  I'm going out to the center of
the Court to talk with the men, you don't go anywhere, your ankle needs
rest"  He said it with a sense of sternness but not in an angry tone.  I was glad he wasn't upset anymore, even if I had to apologize, something I rarely
did.  He skipped out merrily and I sat there, foot propped up and alone.  I
looked around the tent.  I wanted so badly to get up and fix different
curtains here and decorations there to make them look just right, but I knew I'd just hurt myself trying to do it.  I suppose I would have almost died of boredom had Colombine not scared me out of my wits.
    I nearly fell off the bed when she paraded in and made a joyful
"Hello!"
    "Hey Colombs."  I almost got up to greet her but the pain shot
through my leg again and I sat back down.  Patience, I told my self, I will be
able to stand when I quit trying while the pain is still piercing through my
foot and leg.
    "Don't try to move, my dear, I'm not worth your pain.  Well, maybe
I am."
 She laughed and sat beside me.  "I saw Clopin on my way over and he
seemed in a pretty fair mood.  How did you keep his pleasantness while letting him know you were outside this morning?  Unless....." she paused trying to look mysterious, "you didn't tell, are you keeping secrets from him?"  She narrowed her multicolored eyes at me playfully.  Knowing the answer before I even replied.  Colombine knew I hardly kept anything from my husband and even if I had told him where I was on accident I still would have told him, eventually.
    "No, I told him I went out, he just realized my injury was more
important."  I smiled at my achievement.
    "Why you evil little witch!"  She laughed, but I didn't.  I didn't
really like to be called a witch, memories of that horrible Isabelle
enchanting everyone, including Clopin, came back to me.  I knew I was nothing like her.
I started getting my thoughts sidetracked when I silently scolded
myself.  No, Isabelle is dead, gone forever and will never interfere in my life
again, never.
    "Don't call me that.  I just have a caring husband."  I said it
without the least bit of playfulness and she immediately knew what I was
thinking and felt bad about it.
    "Aw Herli I'm sorry, I didn't mean anything.  I was just kidding.
Then I felt bad for getting so touchy, but I didn't say anything to tell her
that, just shrugged.
    "So you just came here to visit? I don't believe your hospitality."
I smirked at her.
    "Alright, alright you caught me.  I wanted to know who those people were that walked out of your tent.  I've never met them, are they friends of yours?"
She stood up casually and picked up different trinkets on my tables to
analyze them, see if any were worth stealing from me.
    I shrugged again.  "I don't know, old friends of Clopin that are
visiting here for the time being.  We, unfortunately, have to go over for to
their tent for dinner tonight. Which I'd rather not do because my day has
been spoiled and the last thing I want to do is to converse with new people
and pretend to be nice and bubbly when I'm not."  I crossed my arms
grumpily.
    "Just go and be yourself," she paused, "no wait, don't do that,
they'll never come back!"  She threw her head back laughing at her own joke, I didn't.
    I stuck my tongue out at her.  "You know you wouldn't want me any
other way then my rude, horrible self.  And besides, if you saying being
myself is so bad, why do you keep coming back!"  I raised a brow at here waiting for a reply.  She walked over, smiling and then flicked my injured ankle.  I held in a scream and yelled at her to check on my children, realizing I hadn't seen either sets of twins all day.
    She came back and slowly walked over.  "They're fine, but they're
going to come in soon since they haven't seen you."
    "Fine."  I replied and not two minutes later Lena, Harlen, Ahvel
and Clopin II ran in yelling there hello's.  They came in laughing and
smiling.  All four of them ran up to me and hugged me tight.  I had to smile at the thought that I had children who loved me very much and I loved back.
They all sat on the bed surrounding me and asked what I did today.  I
brushed off the question as nothing out of the ordinary.  I looked down at Harlena and played with her dark red hair, grateful that I had one girl to follow in my footsteps.  Then they noticed my ankle.  I frowned, hoping they
wouldn't see so I just told them I had bumped my ankle dancing in the tent, not wanting to send the message that disobeying their father was an acceptable thing to do.
Soon after they went back to their tent to play and I tried to stand
up, being successful.
    "Well, Herli, I must be off, more gossip to hear, more trouble to
cause."
 She laughed and started toward my tent flap. I laughed a little too
and by then I had made my way to a small end table with small wooden figures that Clopin had made on it.  I noticed right away that my unicorn he carved just for me was missing.  I turned to Colombine.
    "Hey!" I shouted at her.  She chuckled and threw the small horse to
me.  She winked and skipped out.  I almost started to make dinner when I
remembered that I was being forced into going over someone's tent that
I didn't even know.  I scowled at the thought and started to remember
that girls eyes when Clopin walked in, humming rather loudly.  He stopped in his tracks when he saw me up off the bed.
    "You shouldn't be walked, but I supposed it's for the best, because
it's time to go."  I hopped my way out and Clopin ran to Tante Marie, asking
her to check on the children now and then.  She agreed with no negotiating
and we walked over to the makeshift tent of Clopin's friends.  Clopin opened
the flap for me to go in first.  Well, here goes.
 

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