In her eyes

The Memories of Bonyak: By Pablo G McKenzie

24th August 2007

Bonyak exited his car and crossed the road; he entered the coffee shop where he had agreed to meet her.

As they sat in the coffee shop and talked he looked into her eyes and was captivated by memories of long ago.

Though he had only known her for a few months, and this was their first meeting face-to-face, the look in her eyes was all too familiar.

“I have seen these eyes before,” he thought to himself, “but where”?

He searched the recess of his mind whilst she spoke, nodding his head as though listening.

His mind drifted off to another time, to buried memories deep in his sub-conscience, another life long ago, in ancient Europe before the days of the Roman Empire.

He kept nodding his head as though listening.

He was summoned to see the king.

“They have declared war on us,” the King said to him, “though they cannot match our military might, I fear they will attack us like the dogs they are, bringing harm to our women and children”. The King paced slowly up and down deep in thought, his mind slowly calculating the wisest of decisions as he contemplated his next move. 

“For this reason, I must appoint you to guard my daughter until we have destroyed our enemy”.

Bonyak said nothing, only nodded his head.

“I am asking you because of your reputation, I trust my daughter could be in no safer hands”.

Bonyak left the King and immediately set about his task, he set his affairs in order and then went to stand outside the Princess’s chamber. 

At first, the Princess was inconvenienced by the armored lump of a man forever being in her eyesight, having to explain to her friends “Sigh, Daddy assigned him to me,” she even gave him the slip sometimes only to find him waiting outside her chambers on her return.

They never spoke, and when they were out he rarely looked at her, instead, he studied her surroundings, every person, every bush, and every corner from where might come danger.

The rest of his brothers fought gallantly to defend the Kingdom, he longed for the battle on the field, to share in the stories of war, however, he was honored to defend the Princess, the most valuable person in the entire Kingdom. 

In the middle of the night, the Princess peeped outside her chamber, and there he was, in the morning she asked him “Do you sleep”? It was the first time she addressed him directly.

He did not answer, he only smiled, so she began to bombard him with questions determined to get a response. That very day on their way to the market the King’s enemies had set an ambush, determined to capture the Princess and force the King to surrender. The Gaul raiders set a trap with 20 of their most fierce fighting men, they were to kill all the Princess’ guards and take her prisoner.

The Princess’ horse-drawn carriage had a driver, two guards in front and two behind, with her personal guard at the very rear observing everything, so six men guarded her in total, and in her carriage, her two maids traveled with her.

They traveled into the village to get supplies, the Princess regularly liked to mingle with the people, and nothing the King could do or say could stop her for she loved her people and wanted to see for herself they were ok, the people of the Market were her friends and though she could easily send her maidservants to fetch and carry for her, she chose to show the Market people her respect, because of this she was loved deeply by all throughout the land. 

Bonyak noticed they were being watched, the Princess cut short her visit sensing danger, “I would like to leave now” she said to her guards.

“Sir, which way shall we go back”? Asked the driver.

“The direct route, double time, something does not feel right” Bonyak replied.

They road back at twice the speed, but before they reached the bridge to the Palace the two front guards were fell instantly with arrows as the rush of the Gaul enemy swooped in to kill the rest of the guards, the driver thinking quickly whipped the horses and the 4 stallions broke into a fierce gallop, to the left and right of the carriage the Gaul’s were trying hard to kill the driver and stop the horses.

The 3 remaining guards chased after them determined not to let the enemy capture the Princess. 

Bonyak drew his sword and gave his horse the sign to sprint, he quickly gained on the posse chasing the Princess’ carriage, with all his might he thrust his sword into the back of the first Gaul he caught, and the other two guards did the same. They continued working their way through the pursuing posse until they had killed 12 of the Gaul and only 8 were left. One raider fired an arrow that wounded the driver, he was losing consciousness, the leader of the Gauls jumped onto the carriage and was trying to finish killing the driver, he stabbed the driver and pushed him onto the horses, but the driver clung onto the reigns and was dragged along the ground, he did not let go. 

The leader of the Gauls turned the horses to race back toward their camp in Gaul, but the 3 guards kept in pursuit, the seven other Gaul raiders turned to fight the three guards in an effort to let their leader get away with the Princess and her maids, but her guards had only one thing on his mind.

Bonyak rode through the Gauls as if they were not there; two Gaul heads were removed from their bodies in the process. He would leave the other 2 guards to fight against the remaining 5 Gauls, confident that the most fierce fighting men from Gaul were no match for the warrior breed of brothers, these were truly the fiercest fighting men in the land.

Bonyak rode up to the back of the carriage and climbed on board, he crawled up behind the Gaul leader drew his sword, and cut off his head with one swift blow. He brought the horses to a stop and untangled the driver from the reigns, the Princess and her maids demanded the driver be brought into the carriage and they nursed his wounds.

When they returned safely to the King, no one dared tell the King how close they had come to losing the princess in case his anger flared.

The Princess laughed, she enjoyed the adventure, “a break from the norm” she said, but deep down she was saddened by the loss of life, and she privately comforted the families of her two guards who were slain.

Some months later the war came to an end, the Gauls had been completely annihilated and scattered, and there were no more threats to the Kingdom from within a thousand miles in any direction. In all the war lasted 3 years, so the Princess became used to having her very own Knight. When the war ended the Princess asked the King if she could keep him. “Very well” replied the king.

For the next few years, the Princess and her Knight formed a friendship, she was deeply amused by him, for though there was no war and no threat he continued to be suspicious of everyone and everything around her. She knew that this man would always put his very life between her and danger out of loyal duty to his King, he asked for no reward, and expected no acknowledgment; this is just who he was and what he did.

After many years had passed the King made a treaty with another King from a distant land, he would offer his daughter to the other king’s son in marriage so that the two Kingdoms be united through this marriage and would pledge never to go to war.

There was a feast held in honor of the Prince and Princess.

It was then that Bonyak realized the depth of his emotion for his Princess, all these years protecting her, at first, it was out of loyal duty to his King but in the end, it was personal. Never had he known such beauty, and there was no one who he could compare to her, keeping the Princess safe had become his life’s work, his purpose, and his reason to wake up each day, and knowing she was safe gave him peaceful rest.

The day came when he had to escort the Princess to her new Kingdom, she noticed how quiet he was, and not a word was spoken between them.

As they reached the gates of her new Kingdom she asked that he speak to her, he looked deeply into her eyes, this would be the last time he would see her, he memorized every detail, there was no need for words, they both understood, she said this was not her will, but was necessary for peace to remain in the land. 

He put a letter in her hand and she did in his, then he closed his eyes and turned away so she would not see his tears. Her letter to him read simply, “If you love someone then let them go, if they are truly yours then they will come back to you, even in another lifetime”.

Bonyak never saw his Princess again, but he cherished her memory and etched the look of her eyes in his mind, he gave honor to his King but then left the kingdom in search of knowledge, he joined an expedition in search of the lost Gardens, the truth be known he did not want to be around the places which reminded him of his Princess, his job was complete, he moved on in clear conscience. 

He awoke from his day dream and here he was sitting in a coffee shop looking into the eyes of this girl he had only just met. There was something very familiar about her, her expression, her character, and the déjà vu every time she looked in his eyes. The message was in her eyes.

A moment of silence as they sipped their tea, a moment of knowing, this was another lifetime. 

A new adventure is born.