The hardest part of letting go is the uncertainty--when you are afraid that the moment you let go of someone you will hate yourself when you find out how close you were to winning their affection. Every time you give yourself hope you steal away a part of your time, happiness and future. However, once in a while you wake up to this realization and you have to hold on tightly to this truth because your heart will tear away the foundation of your logic, by making excuses for why this person doesn't try as much as you. The truth is this: Real love is simple. We are the ones that make it complicated. A part of disconnecting is recognizing the difference between being desired and being valued. When someone loves you they will never keep you waiting, give their attention and affection away to others, allow you to continue hurting, or ignore what you have gone through for them. On the other hand, a person that desires you can't see your pain, only what they can get from you with minimal effort in return. They let you risk everything, while they guard their heart and reap the benefits of your feelings. We make so many excuses for the people we fall in love with and they make up even more to remain one foot in the door. However, the truth is God didn't create you to be treated as an option or to be disrespected repeatedly. He wants you to close the door. If someone loves you and wants to be in your life no obstacle will keep them from you. Remember, you are royalty, not a beggar.

~ Shannon L. Alder

Intermission. Mare Internum.We will have a brief pause now. If this novel were a theater, you could go out into the lobby, wait in line for a drink, or for the bathroom. Give people a chance to admire your clothes, hair, or jewels. Step outside for some air or a smoke. Backstage the crew would be busy transforming the scenery, actors would change their costumes and redo their makeup, Some would be done until final curtain, others awaiting their first entrance.But we're not in the theater, and I am not letting you go outside this story, not really. Where we are is more like a pause between breaths. Whether you're inhaling or exhaling, there's a pause just before, like the pause you can feel more than hear before the tide reverses. Where we are is the point of intersection in the figure eight. Turned on its side the eight becomes the symbol of infinity. You can make this figure with your hips when you dance. Over and over you will return to that moment of balance before your weight shifts from one hip to the other. The balance of this story is about to shift. The scenery is changing, as we make our slow way across Mare Internum. A journey I am not going to describe. When the story begins again, some of the people you have come to know and love, or not, Dido, Bertha, Paulina, Reginus, and Joseph will appear less frequently...I don't like it when characters fade form the story, so I am apologizing in advance, but life is like that. We leave people and places and times behind. We encounter new ones. Sometimes we can't see the patterns or connections, but they are there, between one breath and the next. In the ebb and flow of tides. In the rhythm of the dance.

~ Elizabeth Cunningham