“Well it’s been quite some time now. I had espoused my belief in non-conformity, but was not yet bold in proclaiming it. Then I met her. I first saw her at the market place. Her strange beauty and air of aloofness caught my attention immediately. She had just finished her shopping and was loaded down with packages. I offered to relieve her of her burden by carrying them to her carriage. She informed me that she had no carriage, but had walked thus far, and could, as well, walk back. But I could see that she was tired, and, after some pointed persuasion on my part, she gave in and allowed me to drive her home. There was something strange about her. Somehow her manner and bearing bespoke one of noble Roman birth, although her dress was not exactly the latest style, and it seemed a bit odd that she should be without conveyance. She first remarked of the strangeness of my appearance and that of my chariot, but I wanted to turn the conversation back to her. ‘And you are dressed rather strangely for a person of nobility.’ She started. “‘You are from a noble Roman family, aren’t you?’ I ventured.
“‘Why, yes. Actually, I’m a senator’s daughter. But, however could you tell?’
“‘Oh, just something about you. I’m from a royal family myself. Royalty and nobility are closely aligned and should be able to recognize one another. But why would you be without a carriage? And why are you dressed in this way?’
“My heart suspected– yes, hoped for– the answer, and I was glad when it came. ‘I voluntarily gave up some of the luxuries of the empty noble life. You might call me a non-conformist.’
“My ears perked up and my heart began to pound. ‘A nonconformist!’ I said, ‘how interesting! How interesting, indeed! For I myself do aspire to the same. Thus, my strange appearance and that of my chariot. I still find it necessary to have a carriage, but I figure it might as well be as different as possible.’
“‘Well, it certainly is that,’ she agreed. Then her eyes lit up as she said: ‘I hold to the principal of non-conformity with all my heart, although I’m not as bold as I should be at times in standing for it.’
“‘One does need boldness,’ I ventured, ‘especially in times like these.’
“My heart was gladdened that I’d finally found someone to share my persuasion – and someone so sweet and nice as she. I went to the market place every Wednesday, when she did her weekly shopping, and offered to drive her home. She readily accepted, and we soon got to know each other quite well, or so it seemed, through our conversations on those trips. Then, I asked her out for dinner a few times, and before I knew it, we were getting serious. She told me she had given up years ago on trying to find someone to share her nonconformist views. And now, here I was.
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