As I stood in the cold water of the lake near my home, I thought of what my mother and father had told me earlier.
My mother had said to me in her kind soft and loving voice, "My dearest son, soon you shall be like me, and soon you will find your mate, the one who will own you heart forever and you theirs, and soon you shall be gifted by our ancestors." As she said this she hugged me.
My father added, "Son, you mustn't fear what is to happen to you in the coming weeks. It is part of your heritage to become what you are going to become. It is a glorious gift you shall receive and the one who shares it with you will be truly blessed. I feel blessed every time your mother shares her gift with me."
I nodded and said, "I understand. I am looking forward to being blessed by our ancestors. I cannot wait for the gift of my heritage."
As I thought of all of this, I heard a rustling in the bushes near the lake. I looked around and couldn't see anything, so I continued to walk a little further into the lake. When I was up to my knees in the water I let my robe fall from my hands. It whirled freely in the water, the soft and calm ripples moving the light silk robe.
I heard a voice say behind me "Darling, it is midnight. Why are you out here?" I was startled until I turned and saw my mother.
I smiled and said as she walked over to me, "I couldn't sleep so I thought I would come out here and relax."
She nodded and said, "I understand. I used to do the same when I was your age. In fact, this is where your father and I first met."
I smiled and replied softly, "I remember you telling me the story when I was a little boy."
"I must admit I miss being able to tuck you in to bed at night, my darling," my mother said.
I smiled, remembering the warmth and happiness of that time. "I miss you reading to me at night, momma."
She smiled at my use of the name. I hadn't been called her that in a while, thinking myself too grown up. But right now, I was feeling particularly vulnerable. As if she knew my thoughts, she said, "I can read to you once more some time, darling."
I nodded and said, "Or maybe you could do that with your grandchild soon."
She seemed puzzled. "What do you mean?"
"Last night when I was out here our ancestors gifted me with a vision of my future. I saw the person I will be with but they were fuzzy, but I did see my child. It was a beautiful baby, but I couldn't tell weather it was a boy or a girl. I know that I loved them with all my heart."
She smiled warmly. "Darling, that sounds so wonderful. I hope it is a son."
I sighed and said "I wouldn't care. I just want him or her to be healthy and safe."
"Just like I was when I was pregnant with you."
I smiled and replied "Well I think you got two children mixed in me. You got the boy on the outside and the girl on the inside."
We both laughed and she said, "That seems to be so very true, dear.
I paused. "Can I ask you something?"
"Of course, dear. You can ask me anything."
I sighed. "How will I know when I meet the person from my vision?"
She smiled and shivered at the cold. "Let's get out of the water. We can talk about it on the way home."
The newly forming frost crunched under our feet as we walked. My mother looked up to the sky and told me, "All I can really say is trust your heart, it will let you know who your soul mate is. My heart told me that your father was mine."
I was a little frustrated by that. "Are there any signs though?"
She smiled wisely at my impatience and replied, "When we first met, I couldn't take my eyes off of him. My whole body started to feel like I was flying when he touched me. Another was when he first kissed me I felt a pulse of lightening on my lips. I finally knew that your father was mine. And I'm sure you know what happened after that."
I wasn't sure how to react to the idea of my parents having sex, but it did help to know a little more. "Thanks for telling me." We walked in silence for a while and random thoughts passed through my head. I remembered my father had left for a meeting, but I didn't recall when he would be back, so I asked.
"I hope he will be back by Thursday at sunset. That is what he told me" she replied.
I nodded and said, "So three days then?"
"The duke and your father have been friends for over twenty years. He's your godfather. Did you know?"
"I remember when he used to come and visit and then he didn't anymore. Why was that?"
She sighed and her expression got dark. "His wife left him and he had a young son to take care of."
"I understand," I replied solemnly. It was very rare for marriages to break apart and it was always a sad and serious thing. Still, I couldn't help but wonder a little bit about the duke's son.
As she sometimes did, my mother seemed to read my thoughts. "He's a bit older than you. I'd say he was around four or five when you were born. So he's nearly a quarter century old if not already. I did meet him once. He's an impressive young man. Very nice for one raised in an unbalanced home."
We walked out of the woods and I saw the castle in view. The familiar green spires were dusted with the snow that had started to fall.
We said our nightly farewell and went our separate ways. It wasn't long after I collapsed into bed that I was in a deep sleep.