It seems as though that’s all I’ve been doing these days.

Waiting for the tide to turn, watching in increasing desperation and agony as it wavers in my favor and then away from it, in one vicious cycle.

Waiting for a sign from God to tell me everything will eventually work out.

In a nutshell, waiting for a bloody miracle.

It’s enough to make anyone shake the teeth out of me and bellow, “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!”

Excerpts from Jeanne Kalogridis’s The Borgia Bride:

“Come with us,” I urged. “Alfonso and I have missed you terribly. There is nothing here for you anymore; Father is not even aware of who surrounds him. We can hire servants to care for him.”

Wistfully, she shook her head, then lowered her face and stared down at her pale, graceful hands, placed one atop the other in her lap. “I miss you both as well. But I cannot leave him. You do not understand, Sancha.”

“You are right,” I said curtly. I was furious with my father, for the spell he had cast over her, for the fact that, even insane and seemingly helpless, he was able to make such a good person miserable. “I do not understand. He has betrayed his family and his people, yet you remain loyal to him. Your children adore you, and will do everything possible to make you happy; all he can give you is hurt.” I hesitated, then with great emotion, asked the question that had troubled me my whole life. “How could you ever have loved a man so cruel?”

Trusia lifted her chin at that, and regarded me intensely; her voice held a trace of indignance, and I understood that the depth of her love for my father transcended all else. “You speak as though I had a choice,” she said.

*     *     *

I fear, yet hope; I burn, and am ice.

My voice failed. Abruptly overwhelmed by emotion, I turned my face away; I closed the little book and set it down beside me on the cushion. The words described perfectly what I had felt when I had locked gazes with the handsome cardinal; once again I experienced a helpless rush of feeling. Memory summoned the image my mother’s face, the sound of her voice, for once defiant: You speak as though I had a choice. At last, I understood what she meant.

As though I had a choice.

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