Completed [Weekend Challenge] Weakness

Gemma struggles with Savis' death and her inability to do anything with her wounded shoulder

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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[Weekend Challenge] Weakness

Postby Gemma Parker on March 29th, 2019, 11:45 am

Spring 6th, 519av, 11 Bells

Weakness. Fragility. This was what Gemma was facing right now. She had injured herself trying to get out of The Quartz Cave, and now her shoulder was screaming at her from overworking it. She knew that if she wanted to heal correctly she would need to let her left shoulder rest, but that meant slowing down, and she couldn't handle that. Slowing down meant thinking about Savis. Her empty eyes. The gash on her head. Her hair floating around her like an unholy shroud.

No. She couldn't think about that. She had to stay busy. But all of her work required using both of her hands. She couldn't wrap a wound with one hand. She wasn't good at anything else. She couldn't really teach without confusing people. She could, of course, heal without her left shoulder, and she could pray, but that wasn't really her. It was her goddess through her. And it wasn't really something she could get better at or feel proud of. It was just something she had been able to do since she was young. So yes, she could still work, but she couldn't do any of the things that made work fun for her. She usually stayed focused and present in her prayers by also occupying her hands with other treatment. But now she couldn't do that. She could only sit and pray, move to another room, and sit and pray.

The moment she had dreaded was ticking nearer and nearer. In just a few chimes, she would be off work and have her free period before school. These four hours of free time had previously been thought of as a refuge and safe time. Now they were dreaded, and loomed over her head all day like the black clouds that cloaked the sky.

Gemma sighed as the final bell rang. She had planned to take a sleep period at Zintia's Rest, but today she wanted the safety and shelter of her own room. Normally she didn't care about the small difference. In fact, her bed back home was a little less comfortable than the free beds available in the rest spot, but there was something about home that felt more comfortable and familiar, which was what she needed right now.

She still hadn't told anyone about Savis' demise. She couldn't even bring herself to talk about it. She had considered telling Madeira when she had helped deliver her babies, but she had refrained. How could she bring death into that new birth and life? And besides, the house had been basted in death that day. She was not about to add to that. So she kept it inside.

A large part of Gemma hoped that someone would find Savis' body in the cave or the ocean. That way she wouldn't have to come forward about it. She didn't know why it was so hard for her to just go up to a Shinya and report the death. Maybe she thought she would get in trouble. More likely, she was afraid that they would ask her why she didn't do anything to save her. And that was a question she couldn't face. Not when voiced from another, and less when voiced by her own conscience.
Last edited by Gemma Parker on March 29th, 2019, 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[Weekend Challenge] Weakness

Postby Gemma Parker on March 29th, 2019, 12:53 pm

Gemma made her way down from Tenten peak where the Catholicon stood. The walk was always hard with the rain pelting her with every step. She grumbled to herself against the rain, but there was nothing she could do. Maybe she could buy a poncho or something. She had the money. But right now the last thing she was thinking about was shopping. She just wanted to go home. She once more thought about her idea to somehow tie cables between the peaks, or at least make bridges. That would make it so much easier to get from one place to another. But for now there was nothing to do but walk.

She clutched her arm to her chest, allowing tears to come to her eyes. She had prayed over her arm every day, but even though her hand lit up, indicating that some benefit was working, it only ever dulled the pain for moments before it came back. She had also tried using herbal compresses to help reduce inflamation, and she had not yet given up on that avenue, but she was too tired to bother with that right now. She had pushed herself too hard, and now her arm was aching and stinging with every step.

She trudged down the slope of Tenten and made her way all the way over to the farthest peak away where her family's home was situated. While she walked, all she could think about was how much of a failure she had become. For once, she was actually thankful that her mom wasn't around to scold her for her weakness. She might eventually tell people about Savis, but she was not about to tell her mom about what really heppened there. She could hear her mom's words already, scolding her for not being better, for not thinking faster. And besides that, for getting injured anyway.

"Our vow is to protect and heal. We can't do that if we're hurt ourselves. You must always keep yourself in peak condition and avoid any activity that might injure you or otherwise compromise your ability to fulfil your vow." She had been trying to do just that. She had instinctively protected her head. In fact, that action had protected her from otherwise probably dying. But Gemma knew that there had to have been a way to get them both out of there alive. She just couldn't see it. She didn't know enough. She hadn't tried hard enough. As much as she worked and tried to impress her mom and make a place for herself in the city, all her work had been useless. And besides that, she had been unable to get herself out without injury, even though she was a Konti and a natural born swimmer. She could breathe underwater, for the goddess' sake. And yet all her advantages had not been enough. She was deffective. There was no other explanation. And try as she might, she would always be "the broken Konti."

Finally, after walking for what felt like too long, Gemma fell into the warm embrace of her bed, still soaking wet, but unable to gather the drive to get dry.
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[Weekend Challenge] Weakness

Postby Gemma Parker on March 29th, 2019, 2:40 pm

Gemma felt her mind returning to consciousness and groaned. There was musk all around her, and she remembered that she had crawled into bed soaking wet. She groaned again. She wanted to ask for five more chimes, but she knew that her body had already gotten all the sleep it needed. She had even been sleeping a little extra due to her shoulder injury, but she woke up feeling no more refreshed or encouraged than normal. All that sleep went directly to helping her shoulder recover, which was not bad. She just wished to be able to feel better in general.

She lazily pushed forced her right arm over to her left shoulder and began muttering a half-asleep prayer, sighing in relief as, for just a few moments, the pain subsided. She had considered spending all her time in prayer and enjoying the benefits of the pain free existence, but she had quickly refused. She could only do that during her free periods. At work she needed to both talk and pray for her patients. In class she needed to talk and pay attention, and she couldn’t really multi-task that well. She always lost something while trying to do two things at once.

And what was more, she had seen patients come off of pain medication after extended use. It was way worse to keep them on strong medication until they were taken off it. It was always best to ween them off of it slowly so that they could get used to the pain before going home. Gemma had no intention of going through gnosis withdrawal every time she went to work or class, and missing either was simply not an option.

Gemma took a few deep breaths and grunted as she forced her sopping wet body to sit up, clutching her wounded arm to her chest in an effort to avoid a flare up. She took a few moments to breathe, then slowly forced her boots off her feet, sighing as she saw the mud on her sheets. Now she had to wash. Just another thing she had to worry about. But for now, that could wait. She usually slept at Zintia’s Rest anyway. Maybe if she just hung the sheets up to dry she could just come back later to clean up. Yeah, that was a good plan.

With her boots off, she worked to untie the various bindings that kept her dress together. It always hurt to get dressed, but if she didn’t use this time to bathe she would always smell horrible. And when her next period was with Izo, even feeling the way she did, she could’t allow that. She had to be strong. But she felt so weak.

She had enough forethought to hang up her wet clothes. Thankfully she did have a few new dresses she could wear to school today, so long as she could stay dry. She wrapped her sarong around herself just in case her dad came home while she was walking around, and quickly hopped through the living room to begin preparing her bath.
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[Weekend Challenge] Weakness

Postby Gemma Parker on March 29th, 2019, 2:53 pm

Gemma had to admit it. The hot bath felt good, and not just on her shoulder. It had taken some effort to get the water hot and bring it to the tub, but boy had it been worth it. Usually if she wanted a hot bath she could just go to a bathhouse or hot springs, but today she wanted to be alone. She had occasionally been approached in the public bathhouses for her healing, since she could not bathe with a glove on. Of course she had obliged with a kind heart and a smile, but today she knew those things would not be forthcoming if she was approached for such a request. She felt a little guilty for intentionally hiding herself from people in need, but today she justified that it was for the patients' sake that she stayed away. And even for her goddess' sake. It would not do to have a marked of Rak'keli answering tersely when called upon for healing aid.

She wanted to just stay in the tub forever, but since she was once more unocupied and not doing anything, she was once more brought into the memories that came with solitude and silence. Savis. The cave. Blood. Those eyes.

Gemma clenched her eyes shut and splashed warm water on her face. It helped a little bit by bringing her back into the moment, but other than that, it had no effect. The images were still there. Savis was still dead. Her shoulder was a constant reminder of that. She closed her eyes and prayed over her shoulder again. Just one more time, then she would stop. She didn't want to be like the patients that kept coming back for more pain killers. And she was a walking pain killer, as long as she allowed herself to indulge and focus on herself. She knew she wouldn't let herself get that far, but just this once she could give in. After all, the pain was what was causing her problems right now. She could function better with less pain. She could rest better and therefore serve better. That made sense, right? So yes, just this once, with nobody watching, she prayed, basking in the healing glow as it filled the cooling tub.

Eventually Gemma had to get out of the tub. Her skin looked like a shriveled prune, but no matter how much she wished to stay shut away from the outside world, she could not stand cold water, especially when she knew she could just get out. The thought of the icy cold numbing her body while the water in the cave tried to swollow her up was enough to jump out of the tub, splashing water on the floor. She would have to clean that up. But for now, she dried herself and once more wrapped the sarong around herself, stepping out into the main part of the house where the stove warmed the room. Gemma breathed. No matter how many times she told herself it was all going to be ok, she still didn't believe it.
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[Weekend Challenge] Weakness

Postby Gemma Parker on March 29th, 2019, 3:09 pm

There was no time for Gemma to let herself think. If she let in the pain, the loss, the guilt... she would crumble. And she had to get herself ready for class. She prayed again, even though the pain dulling from the last healing had not yet worn off. She needed to get back to her former cheerful self so she didn't worry people. Especially not Izo. A part of her knew that brooding was not attractive, and she wanted to hide that part of her from Izo if she could help it. After all, she had to always show him the best parts of herself in order to one day maybe have a chance at being with him. She had decided that that was what she wanted, and at least for the time that she was in class, it provided her with a distraction from her other problems, so she sank into that goal like she had any other goal in her life.

Gemma went back to her room, now warm again. She was once more faced with her dirty, wet, and muddy room. She frowned. At least she would be wearing a different outfit to school. She picked the simple green dress that she had bought a few days prior and put it on, praying the whole time so that her shoulder didn't hurt her. Hadn't she planned not to use her gnosis so much? But this was different, she reasoned. Normally she didn't need to get dressed and undressed so often, but with her normal clothes soaked, she had no choice. She needed to use her mark to help her get dressed. And maybe later in class. Just a little, to make sure she didn't visibly show pain so that the others might worry about her. It wasn't for her, of course. She could handle the pain. She just didn't want others to worry or be distracted...

With the dress now on, she realized that she was still praying, even though there was no pain. She blinked at her glowing hand and stopped her prayer. Was this ok? Maybe it wasn’t the same as her patients. After all, she had never heard of someone being addicted to her gnosis healing power. They were always addicted to the pain medication. That was an herb or chemical. This was different, right? She had to put this out of her mind. It was just another negative train of thought. For now, she would use her gnosis mark to make sure she did not feel pain. After all, it was only for now, only until her shoulder was better. At least that was what she told herself.
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Gemma Parker
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Posts: 186
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Joined roleplay: February 12th, 2019, 5:22 pm
Location: Lhavit
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