Ro was a special girl, with black hair and dark eyes that stood out from her pale complexion. Not only was she clever, but she was gifted. Though her parents thought of her as extraordinary, society thought otherwise. Ro was living in a time where being special meant death, hence, her parents constantly reminded her to never use her gift in public.
Because of Ro’s condition, she and her parents moved around a lot. Her parents were looking for a place where they would be accepted and that Ro could grow up without living in fear. But finding such a peace haven was becoming more impossible as the years went by.
Ro once thought that there were many others like her, and that when they found those people, she wouldn’t have to lie her way in life. But when she saw her parents losing hope, Ro was losing hers too. Maybe she was alone and there was no one like her, or worse, the king had killed all those who were like her already.
Sometimes, Ro would feel a tear rolling down her cheek, and when she realized her sadness had made her cheeks wet, she would pull her hood over and keep her head down. Loneliness was something she hated and yet it was starting to be the only thing she understood.
Ro thought her future was as straight forward as surviving day to day, but it was on one fine night that things changed. When her parents decided to stay a night at a town they were passing through, Ro discovered she was not so alone anymore.
Ro was having a hard time falling asleep that night, and she decided to sneak out when her parents had fallen asleep. She had learned how to sneak around that even old floorboards could not betray her. Once she was in the clear of any humans, Ro walked towards an empty field behind the inn. She heard the town’s people talking about an upcoming tourney, and Ro secretly hoped they could stay long enough to see it. Though she was certain they wouldn’t.
Closing her eyes briefly, Ro imagined the field being set up with tents and benches. She saw knights, horses, swords and a loud and excited crowd. When she opened her eyes, the field lay quietly under the dark sky. Ro felt the same sadness within her and she knew a tear would soon be coming. Thankfully, someone stopped her.
“Lovely isn’t it?” a girl asked.
Turning around, Ro saw a girl around her age with red hair and blue eyes, and with skin almost as pale as hers.
“It would be, when the tourney starts,” Ro said, forcing a smile.
“Well, that depends. But I prefer it quiet,” the girl replied.
Of course she did, she was never alone. Silence was bliss for a girl like her, Ro thought.
“I haven’t seen you around, are you new here?” the girl asked.
“I’m just passing through with my parents. Do you live in this town?” Ro asked in return.
“Yes. But I want to leave. I hate it here,” the girl said, as she took a seat on a log.
“Why? Isn’t it nice here?”
“No. No one understands me. The only one who did left me,” the girl answered sourly.
Ro thought for a while before she spoke. The girl felt alone too, and it must be horrible to feel alone even when there were so many people around. At least Ro never had to deal with loneliness that way.
“My father. He died,” the girl replied softly.
Ro sat beside her, and watched her closely. Was she going to cry?
“How about your mother?” Ro tried to sound comforting.
“She thinks I’m a freak.”
“Why would any mother think that of her child?”
“Because I can do things. Things normal people can’t.”
Immediately, Ro felt a surge of happiness, which she felt bad for feeling at the same time.
“What kind of things?” Ro asked, trying to hide her excitement.
“Strange things. Things my mother said the King would burn me for.” The girl turned to look at Ro and asked, “Can you do strange things too?”
There was the same glinting hope in the girl’s eyes that Ro could sense, but Ro just stared at the girl, unsure if she should admit it.
“Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone. I can do strange things too remember?” the girl said with a sweet smile.
Ro nodded and smiled. But her smiled soon died as she said, “I will be gone in the morning. My parents will not let me stay, and they won’t let you come along either.”
“I know. But we can always find each other, because we are special,” the girl said confidently.
“A vow.” The girl took Ro’s hand and continued, “I promise to find you when I’m old enough to leave. I promise that we will find others like us. And I promise we will be together till the very end. Do you promise the same?”
“I promise to go with you when you find me. I promise that we will find and help others like us. And I promise we will be together till the very end,” Ro said her own vows, her hand still tightly gripping the girl’s.
“Good,” the girl said as she pulled her hand away, and gave Ro a hug.
Once they sat back, Ro curiously asked, “What’s your name?”
“I’m Helga. What is yours?”
“I’m Rowena. But you can call me Ro.”
They sat there long enough to share their dreams, desires, and even their gifts, that when morning came, Ro felt like crying again, not because of loneliness but because she might have to wait a long time before she could see her new sister again.
Almost 10 years later, the wait was over when Ro received a letter from Helga. Not thinking twice, Rowena packed her bags and left the small school she was learning magic from. She was not going to break her vow, as vows were never meant to be broken. Maybe when she has obtained a wand, Ro could come up with a spell for vows, so words were not just spoken but binding to the souls.