It seems that in Romancelandia the number of people who are too busy, too tired, too scared, or too damaged to want to fall in love abounds. That is why they need a story, I suppose. In real life, love can happen unexpectedly too. I happen to believe that people tend to go after it even in the midst of a chaotic time in their lives. And finding someone who loves you can soothe and buffer one through a crisis.
But characters in Romancelandia seem to fight that concept for one reason or another. This week, I had a conversation with my hero, Callum. I tried to understand his point of view. He took some convincing. Here is what he had to say:
I want you to know how grateful I am that you are helping us in our mission to destroy the Usurper and regain the throne for my family. We have fought many years now and need the assistance as our resources are dwindling. Our hearts are loyal to Essex and our desire to win is unmatched.
I thought you were helping us. You want to help me? [frowns] Will this assist me in defeating Gracchus? You’re not going to tell me? [crosses arms across chest] But you are reasonably certain this will aide in our mission? Well, then, tell me what we need to do.
Back to me? Listen, lass, you are sweet to help me, but I am focused on one goal. Aye, I know they’ve a new tactic they want to convince me to use. I’ll hear them out but it sounds like a lot of asking for trouble.
Wait. You think all of this can happen together? If I stop this one princess from getting married? [narrows his eyes] Doesn’t she want to marry this prince? Not really? I don’t know what they told you about me, but I don’t interfere in those matters and I am not in the habit of kidnapping women or innocents. Not at all.
Which princess is it? Zara? Of L’Ortagia? Still unwed? Sure, I remember her. A comely lass. A bit shy. Long dark hair. Quirky.
Does she remember me? Nevermind. I have a rebellion to plan, so…[raises an eyebrow] Really? [scowls and waves his hand] This is not what we do. Nevermind that back there. [sticks his head out of the back of the tent and yells for someone to keep it down] I think we may have to sort this out. Let me see if I understand this: if I prevent her from marrying, I will both thwart my enemy and get to spend time with the princess? Time I do not have, but I see your point. What use would I have for a princess now? I’m a soldier in the middle of a rebellion.
What did you say? She’s my true love? [looks down, a small grin passes across his face] I haven’t had a thought about that in a long time. Ha! True love. There isn’t much left of me that could love someone.
Oh, you’re so sure? [another crash outside; winces] Fine. I’m your man. Or her man. Or—point me to the fight and I’ll get it done. And, no, I don’t fight with women. I was raised as a gentleman. [coughs and spits into a corner] Gotten a bit rough around the edges lately. Let's, as you say, do this.