Despite my initial disgust of what my new life on the Surface would be, I worked too hard to get out of the Underground. I’ve got to give this a shot. I was able to find a yukata and bought a wig with the last of my money to cover my unconventional half-black, half-blond hair. I hid my tantos, my daggers, in the knot of my obi and begin to look for a job.
To skip to the point, I got a job as a housekeeper to a merchant’s home. He liked to bring his wife to his business meetings and needed someone to watch and keep the house. A servant, basically. I’ve got to start somewhere, I guess. Fortunately, it wasn’t as boring as I imagined. The lord and lady of the house seemed genuinely interesting in getting to know me and I continued to learn the Surface’s culture.
For the first week, The Master of the house stayed behind while The Lady went out for errands and the likes. As I quickly learned, The Master wanted to learn more about me specifically, like a background check. I admitted that I didn’t want to talk about where I came from and I was new around here. Naturally, I added that I was grateful that I found this job so quickly. He said that was one of the reasons he hired me, because I was new in town. He said he valued new opinions, and that I defiantly look new.
He asked what I thought of his wife, The Lady. I said she looked respectable and that I looked forward to getting to know her. Before The Master left, he mentioned that his wife looks after their grandchildren often (“Great,” I thought). Then he said something I won’t soon forget, “Sometimes I’m jealous that she gets to stay home with the kids. And other times I don’t know how she does it. She’s an inspiration.” I just smiled, because I couldn’t speak. I got a lump in my throat and was overcome by a feeling. I’ve known this man for one day and the first thing he tells about himself is his love for his wife. I couldn’t even continue working. I just lost myself in awe, shock, and confusion.
The Master went to bed early and The Lady came home later than expected. As she was about to see me off, I had to ask her about The Master. Did she know that he admired her like that? The Lady raised her wrinkled cheeks into a smile and said, “of course I do.” I asked how she earned his admiration, and this time she looked at me in confusion.
“You do not earn the love of your spouse, child. You marry with love and it grows the longer you are one. He supports me and I support him.” She went on to say that The Master takes her with him onto business trips because he values her insights. As they consider and sacrifice for each other, that’s how they’ve grown to be one. It was all going over my head. Giving yourself to another person… in order to grow yourself? It doesn’t seem right.
The Lady sent me off to think about it and said she would see me tomorrow for work. As I thought, I looked through the fresh garbage and found tablecloths and old clothes. I climbed to the roof of the nearest building, made by bed of clothes and a table cloth, and tried to sleep.
*This chapter has a little more of direct message. This chapter’s inspiration came from David A. Bednar’s “Marriage is Essential to His Eternal Plan”. Such things I drew from included, “The Natures of man and female spirits complete and perfect each other, and therefore men and women are intended to progress together…” and “… they [husband and wife] learn to serve and cherish one another, as they share life experiences and grow together and become one.” These are principles, I feel, that any married couple can implement, regardless of religion. As Bednar goes on to explain, when children see parents serving each other, it will compel them to be less self-centered.
Do you agree with this? Is complete respect and love in marriage a realistic goal? Give your thoughts in the comment section and see you next time!*