I have died so many times that it was a shock to confront its actual consequences.  As I did, a strange calm filled me.  When I was liberated by Angelique, I knew why.

Throughout the centuries, I have seen the dearest of friendships fall into the ashes of acrimony with the slightest breeze of disappointment.  You can imagine what I’ve seen become of love.

Angelique is love.  I know that now.  But what is Angelique?  That is a far more difficult question.

But she did not come to me alone.

There are those who may be blessed with friends.  And I honor them. Others may have lovers.  That is their right.  I congratulate their luck.

However, I have a Julia Hoffman.

She is not immortal because she needn’t be.  She is a force of the universe.  To think that here I am, a man of the 1790’s in the year 1840 by way of 1970, most recently shackled behind a brick wall, braving everything against Judah Zachary himself, and I have utter calm because I know that Julia Hoffman is with me.  Always, before I even knew her, she was — somehow — there.  Julia Hoffman.  My second self?  My better self.  She is humanity when I have none.  She is fury when I have only fear.

I will have love in my life, no doubt many times over.  But I will know Julia Hoffman only once.

Today, I find Quentin sans attorney, so what will I do?  Exactly what Julia would do for me.  I will leap into the arena and become Quentin’s advocate.  I will do so because it must be done.  No one is going to sweep in to save us all.  There are no heroes in life. Just us… faced with millions of minute-yet-mighty moments and choices:

I may choose convenience, or I may choose challenge.

I may choose self-indulgence, or I may choose some small act that changes a life.

I may choose to ignore those I claim to love, or I may choose to demonstrate my love before death removes the option.

Because it will.

These are things that Julia taught me.

She never cured me with an injection.  She cured me with an example.

I would tell her that I loved her, but it is too small a concept for too great a woman.



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