The BETTER GIFT

By Verenize Bernal Curiel
Email Verenize

Chapter II

Miranda returned with the chore for the Friar.

" You have eaten up all the apples of my tart, " the displeased woman said. She looked at the men fixedly with certain compassion. " A man who eats uncontrolled is a man with problems " she pulled a bank and sat down, joining the three men. " Does someone want to say what has happened here? " The men exchanged looks and said nothing. " Very well " Miranda said getting up – I can see the three heroes of Sherwood could fix their problems alone.

" It is not that Miranda " Robin got up and approached the woman "It Is only that the one that seemed so simple. Became a true problem and I’m beginning to think that if I comment on it more, it will become more difficult to resolve.

" What could it be so difficult Robin? " Miranda looked at him with fear " Is it Prince John?

" Oh no!" Robin gripped the woman’s arms warmly " Nothing like that. He won't bother us this time."

" Then?"

" Maybe it would be a good idea if you tell her Robin " Tuck told him convinced – As a matter of fact, she is woman too. " The archer thought a moment. He would attempt it then.

" The problem is ... is..." Tuck and John looked at their friend moving the head inciting him to say it " I do not have a Christmas gift for Marion yet.

" Is that the problem? Come on... I thought that it would be about something really grave " Miranda sat down again.

" And it is not? " John asked.

" Why would it have to be so? " She asked.

" Because it is about Marion " Robin answered.

" Then... that makes it simpler " Miranda completed. The three of men sat comfortable opposite the woman with their face full of astonishment.

" Sure, you know Marion better than anybody else does. What is the one thing which a woman like her would desire? " For Miranda it was so easy to ask the question. The three men stayed quiet, without smiling. – "

Go ahead... What is it the one thing, which would make Marion happy?"

" A new sword? " John commented doubtful. Miranda denied with her head.

" A whip maybe? " Tuck collaborated. Miranda made an expression of fatigue.

" What do you say Robin? " She asked him. Robin took air in his mouth and shrugged shoulders. – "MEN!!! Why do they refuse to accept the one thing which they already know??? It will be better that I leave you alone in this, you already get me in a bad mood. " Miranda got up, intent on leaving.

" Don’t... wait...please..." Robin begged her " If you know how to help me. " Miranda observed Robin’s maroon eyes so close. She knew why Marion could not ever deny anything to that man. She sat down in front of him and she looked at him deeply.

" Okay... but concentrate...do you want this? " Robin agreed with his head. Tuck and John were anxious of knowing the method that Miranda would utilize for searching within Robin’s mind the answer to the problem. " What is it the one thing which Marion would love the most in her life Robin? When is it when you have seem her happier? " The woman’s look was strong. Robin felt perturbed and he didn't know what say. Certainty he felt that he had the answer but he didn't feel sure of answering. " You have the answer at the tip of your tongue Robin. Why don't you tell it? " Robin continued in silence.

" That is the problem Robin, you know it, and you don't want to admit it. I could read it in your eyes that you have the answer. " Miranda smiled and left the room. Even Tuck and John were confused. Robin dropped his eyes on the table and felt a chill travel up his back.

" Do you have it? " John asked. Robin agreed.

" What is it? " Tuck asked.

" I am."

* * *

The Christmas night finally arrived. The table was adorned and there were a lot of food, candies, pastry and drinks. Prince John had contributed the good wine for that night.

Robin had not seen Marion since he saw her returning mysteriously with packages. He got dressed with his black tunic, leaving his hair loose on his shoulders. Before leaving to the party he went to the basin. The moon was reflected in the water illuminating everything. He studied so much the decision that he had to make that he began to doubt that it was the best. Not because he didn't feel it, but he didn't want to defraud the woman which he loved.

He was afraid he didn't give enough, he was afraid it was just not enough. He looked up at to the moon and he thought of his father. His eyes became moist, he put his hand in his chest and prayed: "I don't remember my mother, Father, but I know that you loved her. Help me to find the words, so that I may express to the one which I feel deeply for. I cannot offer more than that, which I am... That you are too."

Robin returned to the camp. Almost all were joined. He looked for Marion. He was unable to find her. He met John and Tuck, who offered him a glass of wine. Suddenly laughs became silence. The three men directed there look to where the other people looked at. It was Marion. She was so beautiful. She wore a blue dress and had her curly hair in flowers.

Robin looked at her and his eyes were filled of light. A smile spread in their lips. Marion walked between the people with security going Robin.

" Oh... .Oh. " Robin exclaimed, lovingly without removing his gaze to the woman he loved. John made a grimace, but before protesting Marion arrived to them.

" What chance does a girl have to get ready for a party? " She commented smiling when she met with her friends.

" So... clothing was wrong idea, wasn’t it? " Robin said burying his elbow into John’s stomach.

" What did you say? " She asked.

" Nothing... just how beautiful you are tonight Marion, like never before. " Robin told her and the other two men agreed. – "Can I go with you my Lady? " Robin did one reverence offering to Marion his arm. She smiled and went to the table.

Tuck blessed the foods, they thanked that Christmas without limitations, without selfish, without hunger. All of the people enjoyed foods and desserts, there were more than enough for all of them. The chat at the table was pleasant and happy.

" So what...did you go to the village for, your dress Marion? " John asked to the youth.

" Yes I did, besides I went to pick up a new whip that I sent to make. Have you seen it Robin, it is marvelous

" So... that was it, a new whip. " Robin said smiling inserting his elbow now to Tuck.

The people were beginning to shout and accelerated the following moment.

" Come on...Marion, Do it..." people asked, enthusiastic. – "Yes... Do it...it is already the hour " she smiled and stood up.

" All right... Why are you so anxious??" It seemed that all of the people knew what happened except Robin, who gave a confused look to the rest. – "Robin..." Marion’s voice was sweet. She gave her hand to the man and he stood up next to her.

" What’s going on?"

" On behalf of all of the people that have lived here, in this camp, under your care and guide. I want to deliver this present, that we have kept for many days waiting for the adequate moment to give it to you. And after many discussions all of us thought that this Christmas would be the ideal day in order to do it. " Marion took Robin’s hand and put a small bag of cloth in it. Robin’s excitement grew as he looked at all of them. He emptied the content on his other hand and upon seeing its contents. He could not avoid letting escape a sigh from his throat.

His fingers trembled upon taking the stamp of gold that had belonged to his father and with which he marked the wax signing of his letters with the Locksley shield. In front of his confusion, Marion continued saying " We found these months ago in one of the holdups of Prince John. We were revising the load when we recognized the shield and your name. It now returns to his owner."

All of people were excited. It was difficult to see the leader of the camp in an emotional shock. His hands trembled and they saw him several times gulping saliva in order to contain his emotion. Nobody dared to perturb the silence that had been the creature of, it was his moment…the moment of Robin Hood. After a while, he cleared his throat.

"If only thing I could say is that I could not have found a better family that you. More than 11 years ago I didn't have anything of my fathers in my hands. The thing that makes it even more valuable is the care you took in finding it, preserving it and by choosing the adequate moment for me. Thanks to all of you for this moment. I thank you a thousand times. " The maroon eyes of the outlaw were full of stars.

" Long live Robin Hood¡¡ " The People shouted "Long live Sherwood Forest and long live King Richard

" There is something more " Robin commented nervously "Even before I knew it, you have all known who in reality puts Robin Hood’s life in check...

"Prince John???" Somebody shouted somewhere around.

" NNOOO ¡¡ " All of them answered in unison and laughing. Marion blushed and lowered her head.

" Give us a clue Robin " Adam Shouted from the other corner of the table.

" Have blue eyes... " Robin responded smiling in front of the game.

"I am, Robin? – Little John answered.

" NNNOOO ¡¡¡ " they shouted out, laughing loudly.

" I’m sorry John, but her legs are prettier than yours are " All exploded in laughter. Marion was embarrassed but she smiled too. – "Marion..." Robin said taking her hand and bringing her near to him. – "Here, this day, in front of our great family, I want to tell you something that you already know because you feel it, but I know that the feelings by themselves are uncertain, and the words fly with the wind. " Robin took his father’s stamp and put it now in Marion’s hand " Take this as a sign of my love for you.

" But Robin. I can’t..." Marion was excited that Robin was giving her something that was very important to him.

" Marion. I don't have an engagement ring to give you. This that you have given me today is the most valuable thing that I could possess. I want it to be in your care, as a symbol of the commitment that I have with you for looking after you and protecting you, and even more. With the commitment of looking after my life, I offer it to you. Only to you... "

" I accept it because I love you too, " Marion said looking at the stamp and gripping it in her hand. All of the people laughed with happiness. Robin embraced the youth and kissed her with fondness.

The party continued until dawn. The younger couple received the sun seating one next to the other in the basin.

" It is the best Christmas that I have ever lived " Robin said looking at the horizon.

" It is the best Christmas gift that I have ever received " Marion said looking at him. Robin looked at her too. He caressed her red hair.

" You are the best gift that life could have granted me. As well as this Christmas, I want to be all those that will come and in each one of them, I promise to reinforce my promise of love for you. " They approached closer, until they kissed each other.

" By the way " She asked remembering " What was it that had worried you?

" Worried?

" Yes, all of people commented on it. But I was not here...

" I never was worried. " Robin tried to be convincing. Marion looked at him smiling and moving her head.

" My little outlaw " She told him caressing his dark hair " When will you learn to perform better?

" I already told it. I am not an actor. I am just an archer. And the next time, I will buy you a sword

" What are you talking about?

" Nothing..." Robin got up and began to walk.

" Stop¡¡. You should explain to me now. " Marion was behind him.

" You will keep the doubt" Robin answered laughing knowingly that Marion was the most curious of all of people that he knew. John was collided with Robin in his pass.

" What happens? " The giant asked him.

" She wants to know what happened in her absence " Robin said without stopping, and before that John opens his mouth " Don't YOU DARE¡¡" Robin threatened his friend in front of the possibility of his "expression."

" But I was not going to say anything " The giant complained.

" Are you going to tell me what happened? " Marion insisted.

Robin only moved the head. His heart beat strongly. He couldn’t be happier.
 
 

The End

Chapter One
 Chapter Two

 Home  /Story Page  5th Edition