After Midnight



The roads in Macedonia have not changed much since the time of Xena, Warrior Princess, "time of warriors and kings", as you said. Kings? Huh, there has been no royalty here in a long time. In fact, I bet no one used this road for at least a year. If you can call this dusty, tangled mess of narrow paths a road. A horseman would have better luck here than the truck, and probably much faster speed too. We drove out of the camp this evening, and it is already past midnight, though I do not think we have moved even five miles in a right direction. Not a single route seems to go north. Not that I'll ever admit it to you, Mel, but maybe I should have taken your advice and checked the map. At least then I would have had an excuse for you when you wake up in the morning and start blaming me for getting lost. And you will comment that, no doubt. One thing I learned about you these few days since we met is that nothing escapes your attention. You only look dreamy and absent-minded. Sometimes I wonder what emotions you are hiding inside when you give me one of your innocent blue-eyed looks.

I stop the car after another half-hour of useless driving. Now I am sure that I am going in circles. It is getting annoying. I might as well save the gasoline. It is going to be a long day tomorrow. You have been asleep for the last few hours, lucky girl. These roads do not seem to bother you. The air in the truck is getting cooler. It could get really cold this time of year in Greece. It is also very dark. The shimmering light of my cigarette is reflected in the windshield. It seems like another star is shining in addition to many others splattered on the dark winter sky with the wide faint line of Milky Way on the East. The sparkling flame is bright red. it has even more intense color than Mars, the planet of a certain god. Speaking of him, I wonder if someone is going to believe my story? Probably not. But someday we are going to prove it, right, Mel?

You move closer, muttering something in your sleep. Your body slides from the car seat as you rest your head on my shoulder instead of a pillow. Carefully I take off your glasses that were shifted on your forehead by an unconscious hand movement. Sometimes I wonder how one can be so forgetful. You definitely need someone to watch after you. But don't worry now, Mel, as long as I am around I will not let anything bad happen.

It gets colder. I am used to tough weather, but you are probably freezing. You have been through enough adventures with me in the last few days. You do not need a bad case of flu after this night. Slowly, trying not to wake you up, I take off my coat and wrap it around your shoulders. Oh, Mel, your elegant suit is not going to protect you from the rough northern wind tomorrow. Now you are condemned to get some new fashion tips from me.

I wonder how you felt when your father died. I can tell you still miss him. Last year must have been lonely for you. But you did great, I am sure. You have the strength of your ancestor. Who would have thought of that? When I first saw you, I would have never even imagined you carrying a sword and doing back flips. But now I have learned that anything is possible. It is amazing; you look so much like her when you are asleep. Yet there is something different................ childlike. And I like it this way.

The Stars are beautiful tonight. Their light is not controlled by time. They still shine as they did many years ago and as they will for eternity. I wonder if centuries before us someone else looked at them and thought of it also. You said yesterday, Mel, that the group of stars over there looks like a dipper. Strange . . . I have always thought it was a bear. The sky is dark and it looks like someone spilled multiple crystals across it. One of them fell. I wish you could see it now. But I do not want to bother you. Its all-right. I am sure we will have many chances in the future. Pleasant dreams. Sleep well, Melinda. I am here.



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