The month of February is the month of festivities, the time when birds find their mates and the Lupercal, the festival of the god of fertility. Yet for me, this is the month when I have experienced the optimum happiness in my life with a tinge of regret that I felt it when my days have become numbered.
Tonight, it is very cold and even my bones can feel the chill this might. I don’t know what hour it is. But the little glimpse of sky that I view from my barred window, it looks dark blue with a glow. Looks like it must be three hours past midnight.
Not that I was a reader of the skies but judging from the months of captivity and the hours when the watch changed in the tower, I think I have become adept at it. But there is something very special about this day as it might be the last one I might see. This day I go to face my death in the gallows before the huge crowd gathered for the Lupercalia this week.
There are occasional shouts and celebrations that one can hear rising from the streets. Just like every year, this year too many young men will prove their valour in the competitions held before the emperor. The women will be showered with the ceremonial blood from the sacrifice of animals before the god of fertility near the caves of Romulus and Remus.
Then, there will be the choosing of one’s bride from the urn of good fortune. Julia will also be chosen by some warrior or the other. Even the thought makes me angry as it brings to my mind a very unpleasant memory of having to tend for her for days on end and then having to leave her side on new orders from the Emperor.