I find myself in darkened stoop as late. Caesar stands and victory’s taste still fresh upon my lips. Yet like shadow I feel followed. Even within my sanctuary city of Rome, I feel followed. Perhaps Caesar has seen to much war and can’t accept peace. Perhaps I know more battles still lay just beyond sight.

The anticipation is the worst. From where will the attack come? When it comes where shall I be and upon what shall I draw. I am weary of battle and blood, though tormented past no longer concern. For now I stand safe within Rome herself and war near distant memory.

Though Caesar remains vigilant. She knows full well the next attack can come for anywhere. Perhaps her senate, perhaps within these very walls. I find myself despite this walking these streets free of arms and bathed in the sun that makes Rome glow.

Marble walls shine and the streets clear as the citizens of Rome enjoy the same peace. The walls are quiet as well. All seems quiet, too quiet. Is it mere anticipation or a foreboding of trials yet to come? This I do not know.

It is hard to pass the walls, scared from battle and once soaked with my blood. I’ve stopped and traced these lines and I’ve wept. Such pain and yet they stand muted in time. A testament to not only the war they’ve seen but the battles hard fought. My wish would be for no more wars and perhaps that wish may yet come true. Though I’ve reservations…

My sanctuary within the cities walls, my garden of peace and it remains untouched since last I was there.

This is the part of Rome I’ve not been back to in some time. Since the last war fell upon my city, my Rome. I have to many memories of bleeding and dying, of shame and pain. For me the gardens at my cities center remain to vivid a memory of failure. This is why I’ve not returned to this spot.

Captain Sarah has assured me that no failure happened here. She maybe right though as of now I don’t see it the same. For me it’s where my generals rallied because Caesar had fallen. All would have been lost that day and my beautiful Rome would be but a memory.

This the last battle of Rome took my enemy to the very heart of Rome herself. To my garden, my safety. If they can get to me there…. My garden….

I dare not continue that thought. I do not dare return. For now it stand untouched and beyond my sight. I’ve tried returning, I can’t. It remains to much. I’ve walked the walls now restored, every street in my city has had my feet upon them. I’ve traced every scar upon every walk and recounted the battles. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve cheered and I’ve cringed. Full circle it seems and yet circling my garden is as close as I come.

Upon a day war may be at my door again. For now Rome stands in eerie though welcome silence.

Michelle