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An Egyptian and A Nubian
"What's going on here?"
I started to panic. My mind was wondering about many things. I had traveled back to my home in a small caravan. I thought I'd be coming back to some sort of small celebration. People would have realized now that I wasn't just a fool with a dream. There was something going on in Nubia. People would notice something different was happening.
I didn't return to triumph.
Ozembu was there and so was Ozembu's mother. They looked hard at me in silence. It was almost as though they could care about the Pharaoh's royal caravan guiding me to my house. There were other people there as well. They had gathered around. There was a priestess there...and people from the mortuary temple. They had gathered around in these long white robes making some type of scene.
All I could think about was my mother...
My voice didn't travel very far. Something horrible had happened and I knew it. My heart was so heavy that it was unbelievable. Even in my day...children got attached to their parents. And something felt wrong.
Ozembu tried to stop me as I pushed past the neighbors to get to the house. He couldn't though. I managed to get past him. I rushed past them and towards the house.
It seemed like my legs took forever.
By the time I got to the walls of the my home I fell to the ground.
"It's not your mother," Ozembu stated.
He had managed to get behind me. He pulled me back a little so that the blood splattered wouldn't stain my knees. I got on my feet but just barely. The body lay lifeless on my kitchen table
"Poor Aya..." I stated.
It just didn't make sense. Someone had taken out her intestine. Who would want to kill Aya? I didn't understand it at all. I looked over at Ozembu trying to understand but he seemed as clueless as I was. Why would they kill Aya in my home?
"Have the officials been notified?"
The voice was from Heb. I hadn't noticed he had followed me.
Ozembu nodded, "Yes. They are on their way."
I shook my head completely baffled by this idea, "Who would do this?"
Ozembu shook his head, "Look there. It's a note. No one can read it though. We called for scribes but they have not come yet."
Heb walked up to the note and immediately I could see his face start to change. Could he read it? The way his face melted at that moment made me think that he could but he didn't say anything afterward. He just turned toward the door and addressed the slaves from the palace.
"Ignore the blood. Gather Menice's things and leave these things untouched..."
"Could you read it?" I asked.
Heb didn't even look at me.
He didn't even respond. It was almost as though he had no respect for me. It was almost as though I didn't even exist to him. I knew he had read it though. I could tell. I didn't press him. I could tell he was still bothered by me. The fact that the king had scolded him on my regard didn't seem to help relations either.
I was just a job to him and not even a man. He just continued on washing his hands of the entire situation.
Ozembu looked back at me, "Menice where are you going?"
"Back to the palace."
I could tell by the look on Ozembu's face that he didn't think this was the best idea. He was probably right. I saw how Heb looked at me when he did acknowledge me. I saw the way Nyla looked at me. I wasn't welcome in that palace.
His voice lowered to a whisper as he got close, "Your mother...could have been home."
"What are you saying?"
"Menice. She could have been kidnapped. This was obviously an attack on you. It's in your house. Don't you see. All of a sudden you get close to the king and Aya winds up dead in your home. Your mother has disappeared. This was a warning Menice."
I shook my head, "I have to go."
Ozembu grabbed my arm, "Please, listen to me. Stay with me here. You don't need those things. There is happiness here...I can...take care of you."
I looked at Ozembu confused. He was grabbing onto something but I wasn't sure what. I just seemed confused. Maybe it was because the woman who I saw like a 2nd mother laid lifeless in my home. I couldn't focus.
It wasn't until he put his hands on my heart that I noticed how he looked at me.
"Do I have to say it..."
shook my head, "I'd prefer you not."
Ozembu paused for a moment. Maybe I hurt something in him. Maybe I'd scarred some hope that he had, but there was only one man that would claim me. Ozembu nodded after the moment had passed.
Perhaps I would have been kinder to Ozembu if my mother wasn't on my mind. I probably should have been kinder to him. All I could think about was frustration though at what had just happened. I couldn't put anyone's feelings into consideration. Was I really the reason that Aya was dead? I had to be. Was I the reason my mother was gone? I had to be. The two most important people in my life were erased from it in one day and here I was going to an elegant palace.
For the first time in forever I doubted whether or not this was the place that I wanted to be.
They took us to the palace. Heb showed me my room in one of the palaces. It was the 5th palace usually used for noble scribes and scholars to the King. It was a beautiful place and I could say the scribes were a lot more pleasant then the people I saw in the main palace. This palace was like a city into itself. All the men seemed to have been so locked away from society that they had so many questions to ask me about "peasantry". I laughed for the most part. I slept in my own room with a beautiful balcony that overlooked the royal library. At nights I would go in to just see the books. I couldn't read. They didn't teach regular Nubians those things but just to feel the knowledge all around me was brilliant. According the scribes the library in Thebes was so much larger. The Egyptians had acquired so much more knowledge due to their evident preference for documentation. Nubians seemed to prefer the oral communication and had just recently adopted the Egyptian use of written history. I enjoyed my days in the small palace but also longed for answers to Aya's death.
Heb didn't return for several days. He seemed happy to get rid of me and I seemed happy to be rid of him as well. I couldn't take another suspecting eye from him. I couldn't take him judging me. I didn't trust Heb at all because I knew he read what was on that note attached to Aya's body. I could just tell. I didn't address it now though but I knew I would one day. I wouldn't rest until I did.
It was on a warm night that he came to see me.
They had announced him from far away with drums and noises. All the scholars had scurried to line up at the door to greet the king. They were all bowed before he even came through the door. I made my way to the join the group. I wished I had a chance to change into something better. I could have worn a whiter sash or maybe oiled my chest up a little. I had no chance to do that now. The drums were rolling and everyone was taking their stance.
The presenter had come to the door first, "Your royal highness...King Taharqa Emer...accompanied by Prince Chenen of the Emeric Dynasty..."
Chenen with him?
After the presenter had come, the guards began to pile into the room. They secured the area looking around first before clearing an appropriate isle for the king. There were double the amount of guards probably due to Chenen's presence as well. It seemed like it was a parade...all for a visit. They were so grand and proud. Everything was such a huge beautiful spectacle.
At last they came in. I didn't even turn my eyes up to look at them. I just looked at the granite tiles hoping they'd swallow me whole in embarrassment. If only I had a little notice. I had mixed up the perfect chamomile scent. He would have loved it. I didn't even have a chance to wear it.
"You may stand..."
I looked up to see them standing there. They were gods and here I was a little foolish boy. The king smiled at me and so did Chenen surprisingly. They both gave me the most interesting look.
"Oh he's so fragile, look he can't even stand," Chenen teased.
"Menice get up," the king said again.
I scrambled to my feet. I was so embarrassed. I was so stunned by how large they both looked by each other. They looked so important. It looked like the sun had just hit them and buried them in complete honor.
Chenen was examining me. He circled around me and stopped when he got behind me, "He's a pretty boy. Looks kind of young though...feminine features."
I could tell he
was staring at my body when he said that.
He was particularly staring at my backside.
The king shook his head, "There is nothing feminine about him. He's a handsome man."
It had been the first time someone had described me in that way. He described me as a man and I felt so wanted and happy. I liked it actually. I was a man to him and not some little boy or girly man.
Why was I looking
at him like this?
Why was my heart warming up?
My mother had told me `no matter what, don't fall in love. I'd lose everything. I didn't know what she meant but I never doubted what she told me.
"I see. I just wanted to see if the myths were all true," Chenen replied. He stood there smiling in the background, "Well brother aren't you going to address the boy. You've been talking about him for days..."
"Oh please," Chenen laughed, "Am I not allowed to embarrass a king?"
"I'm not ashamed. I missed you, Menice," the king stated.
Wow he wasn't ashamed. I saw his court and the faces they gave. Among them was Heb. And then there was even that strange man. The strange ...man with the long face that was always around.
"I missed you too?"
A smile spread across his face. He let out a slow embarrassing laugh. I didn't expect him to react that way. He seemed surprised honestly.
"I've never seen the king so...enjoyed...by company," Chenen stated before turning to the man with the long face, "Have you Vizier..."
He was the Vizier? The Vizier! The man with the long face had such a high position. The vizier was the highest official in power serving Taharqa. He had power over all the courts and made most of the political decisions.
What was more depressing news was how unhappy he seemed to be when he looked at me.
"No..." he said shortly and turned away seeming to find the corners of his eye a much more appealing direction then looking at me.
king moved his hands to Heb, "Heb why did you place him in this palace?"
"I thought he'd it'd please the king to have him in walking distance."
"It's much too long of a walk."
Heb remained speechless. Maybe it was something the king had said that made him completely sealed off from talking.
There was a long pause. The king was just looking at me. I felt too embarrassed to stare back at him. He didn't seem to be bothered by the 50 or so people that were watching his spectacle like it was some sort of show.
"My lord...exactly what are you suggesting," the Vizier stated.
"He'll be moved to the main palace," the king stated, "Come on Menice...I'll show you..."
My eyes widened as did everyone else's . I watched Heb grab a few guards and walk past us to arrange that my things be moved. I guess he knew better than to disobey the king again.
The king grabbed me by my arms and we started to walk away.
He was moving so fast that his caravan had a hard time catching up. I could tell he was trying to lose them. It wasn't long before the Vizier was by his side.
"Oh great son of Ra," he addressed the king, "I would advise you against these actions. The Grand palace is reserved only for residents of the Emeric Dynasty. To take a commoner and move him into a sacred ground is against the wishes of your ancestors..."
"Menice will be the exception."
The king was very short with him. I could see the Vizier still aggressing. The Vizier was still pressing. It was almost as though he didn't respect the wishes of the king...the most high in the land. Who was he to question him?
lord people will believe you are being weak.
You are vulnerable to the wishes of a young man.
He didn't even bow to you."
"I bow to him now..." I stated.
The king stopped. I guess he didn't expect me to speak. I released his arms and bowed down to his feet. I remained there motionless until he reached down and grabbed me off the ground. He held me close when he picked me up.
"He can be an assassin. His history is blurry. Some say he isn't even Nubian. What if the Hittite sent him."
"If I do so be it... I'm sure it'll make a lot of people happy and it's my wish to make Nubia rejoice," The king said.
"Enough Vizier," Chenen stated joining us, "Know your place. This is the Pharaoh. His word is law."
With that we left them behind and continued to the palace. The king never looked back to the Vizier but I did. I could see his eyes burning into me. I could see hate in them. There was no doubt about that. He was angry. I had just made an enemy of the Vizier of the country.
My room was only a few rooms away from the king. The room wasn't a room however. It was an entire apartment. I had grand luxury stairs that led up to a beautiful bed. There was a bath dug into the ground that was partially attached to the outside garden. To continue describing the beauty of the room would have been impossible. Each day I noticed something new. A servant more beautiful than the day before or food that tasted better.
I stayed in my room for many days because of fear, but also because I waited for him. I felt like I had offended the Vizier. I had no idea how far he would go to get rid of me. It wasn't unusual for people to disappear in Nubia.
I had been sleeping when I heard it. It was a soft whisper. I started to panic immediately. They had come for me. The vizier had sent his men.
I kicked over the covers and tried to sit up only to be wrestled down to my bed.
Taharqa shook his head and smiled, "You're stronger than I thought. I guess I shouldn't ever underestimate you."
He was alone. I noticed that immediately.
"How are you here?"
His guards wouldn't let him get away from him even for a moment. It was far too dangerous for him to do something of that sort. Still here he stood in his sleeping robes armed only with a smile. He seemed happy.
"So much work to do, I just wanted some time away," he stated, "So I snuck out. I've known hidden passages in this palace since I was kid. Why did you think I wanted you to come stay in the main palace?"
"May I speak freely?"
"Always..." he replied.
"You got a lot of rebuttal for bringing me to the palace. I can only assume. I'm sure it wasn't a wise decision. Why did you do it?"
He walked up to me and sat next to me on the bed, "You're right. The people are already talking. The news has spread all the way to Egypt. I didn't do it for anyone however. I did it for me. I am a man before I am a king and you make me smile."
I smiled back, "You make me smile back. I hate how they speak to you."
"You're right," he started up, "It seems like everyone is trying to run the show. If my father...I mean...the old king was alive, he'd never let the Vizier speak to him like that. They doubt me because I'm not Nubian. They say I can't demand the same respect from the Egyptians. The Vizier tells me to move the capital back to Thebes."
"You mean go to Thebes?"
I looked at him hard, "King..."
"Just call me Taharqa..."
I had missed the honor due to my sense of alarm that he was actually considered such a thing. I looked at him and saw this strong man but inside he seemed so lost.
are strongest in Nubia."
"The Nubians hate me..."
"And you think the Egyptians will love you? You were raised by Nubians. They just need to know that you have their interest first. Nubia and Egypt are one now. We are not two separate nations. You are the king of both. But your army...your power is located here."
shook his head, "It's not so simple. You
wouldn't understand politics."
"I've lived in the streets. I was affected by politics every day of my life. I know better than your advisors about politics...I'm so sorry."
I was speaking a little too freely. He walked up to me though as though he didn't even hear me. He put his hand on my cheek. He had warm hand. The king was bronze copper. From underneath his robe I could see his muscles. Each one defined by the other. He was the perfection of a man in his stature. He had been trained all his life to be that. Why was he touching my face though?
"You're so handsome. You could be an assassin. Who is your father?"
"I have none."
is your mother."
"A no one."
I look in your eyes, I see something so grand and special. I don't see the son
of a no one. Look now though, here I am
in your arms. You can distraught the
country tonight if you want to."
"By killing you."
"No denying me. Ever since I was young I dreamt about seeing you again. If Chenen or the others knew I was talking like this to anyone there would be an uproar."
I shook my head, "I don't understand though. What is it that you feel. Tell me?"
"I don't know what I feel but I know why. You give me strength. I noticed it before. I can't fight about decisions of politics with them. I have little control over laws. The Vizier basically runs the entire country. I've become just a figure head. I'm a doll king. But when it comes to you...I would overcome all their objections."
Just then he started to kiss me.
I couldn't believe it until I felt his lips on mine. His tongue entered my mouth quickly. He had such an eagerness in his kiss. At first it was overwhelming but then I had to realize I was kissing a king. His aggressive kiss soon made me feel like I was Egypt...being conquered by Nubia. I fell on my back against the bed, giving in to him. I waved my white flag as he parted my legs.
I could feel his man hood against my inner thigh.
It was wet...
He gyrated against me, pretending to be making love to me even though we had our clothes on. It felt like it though. He made me want him so much that I almost wanted to bleed from it.
"Egypt will love you, Nubia will love you...just as I do..."
"Do you love me as a king...or as a god..."
"I love you as a man..."
I wondered if he would say it back. I wondered and hoped...but he didn't. He just seemed uncomfortable all of a sudden. He got off me. His penis was still so erect that he had to carry a pillow with him off the bed to conceal it. I watched though. I watched in complete confusion as he backed away from me.
"You're worth more than this then..."
"What do you mean?"
"I have to go."
The next morning I was awoken early. It was a messenger saying that I had been summoned by the pharaoh. I walked with my escort. The hallways were so beautiful especially in the daytime when you could see every last stress but even in the daytime they were fearful. There were too many hallways and at times they were too empty.
The room was empty and the halls were long and I ended up being led into two huge doors. There was a small guard but nothing too efficient. It made me wonder exactly why the King would come here in such a lowkey.
I entered the room immediately ready to bow, but as I did...I didn't meet the king.
No...I saw Chenen.
He was standing there looking at me with wondering eyes. I could see that they were awfully strange but he didn't seem particularly suspicious.
me. I was summoned by the king. I must
have the wrong hall."
"No...I summoned you."
"You posed as the king?"
He laughed and shook his head, "No harm done right? I wanted you to be in good spirits for this. It was very important for me to tell you this."
" I have some good news for you sir and I have some bad news..."
"Your mother's dead..."
My heart sucked in and started to shake. My mother was dead? Tears started raining from my eyes all of a sudden. I didn't mean to do it like that. I could tell Chenen seemed uneasy by my reaction. Maybe he wasn't used to the `men' he was around reacting in such a way. I could tell he was a little thrown by it. None-the-less he did something very surprising.
Chenen walked up to me embraced me in a hug. It was a short hug and not very close, but I could tell at least he wanted to show that he had "SOME" sort of sympathy for it.
"I have good news though," he continued, "I know who did it..."