It was the beginning of the 1700s, and it was a normal afternoon in the city of Warszawa, during the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Near the Vistula, on the ground, overlooking the fine, grey waters of the river, sat a young woman, named Gosia, whose eyes were fixated on the flowing current of the river, the sun high above it, with its gleaming sunlight that shone down on the waters and illuminated the rest of the city, tinting the sky in a pale yellow-orange color making it look as if a painter had made a line across the sky with its paintbrush.
She was hoping her brother was fine, for he was fighting in what is now known as the Great Northern War, alongside his partner, Lithuania, she hoped he was fine as well. Every day, she wished she could fight alongside with them, but she couldn't, she had to take care of her city.
She sat on the ground underneath a small tree for shade, she had a book in hand, she sometimes wished there was a Library she could keep the books in, but she will have to wait for that to happen. Her blonde hair, tied in a tight bun, with some curls that fell on her cheek, and a hat in a deep color of wine red adorned with a white flower, the hat she wore, matched her dress, wine red made of pure satin with long sleeves, with an edge of frilly white lace on the sleeves and at the bottom of the dress, and a corset she wore in the same red color that was almost asphyxiating for her, which revealed her collarbone and neck, the dress had a pattern of a lighter red flowers, the dress itself was lovely.
She lifted her eyes from the book, to see who had arrived here now. She closed the book and kept it on her lap, her gloved hands on top of it. Here, she saw as the people strolled alongside the edge of the river, some were older woman or in their middle ages, she could overhear some of the elderly, conversing about the death of King John III. She could also see some kids that were playing in the middle, chasing each other as they laughed. The ringing of their laugh demonstrated so much that she found herself smiling at their liberty, how she loved watching the youth, it always reminded her when she was just a small girl, looking up to her brother, and feeling jealous of Kraków. She always remembered how she used to follow Kraków and Poland around, they were, and still are, two men she greatly admired, back then when Kraków was the capital.
So she kept her eyes fixated on the kids, in their little dark brown pants and matching suits, they looked elegant as they ran. There were four boys and one girl, one of them had blonde hair and green eyes, he was the one who was laughing the most, the other one had a very curly almost black hair with dark brown eyes and he had his arms crossed staring at another kid, one with blonde hair and dark eyes who was tickling the girl who had such beautiful long straight blonde hair and dark blue eyes, but there was one boy that caught her attention, he had curly short brown hair and eyes in the palest color of green, almost yellow, they caught her attention so much she couldn't stop staring. The boy was laughing and all the kids then started playing a game of kicking a ball of cloth they had made.
She watched as they played, it was about to become evening, the sky was darkening and the air was getting cooler, she was so distracted watching the sky, that she didn't notice that one of the boys was standing in front of her. She turned her head to face him, it was that peculiar boy she kept looking at, he was standing awkwardly, shy looking, and he was staring at something beside her. She followed his eyes and also looked at whatever it was beside her, and when she did, she noticed it was the cloth ball; it had accidentally rolled over beside her while they were playing. She reached towards it with her gloved hands and then stood up, the book falling to the ground with a soft thump; she smiled at the boy as he gave him back the ball. "Thank you very much Miss." He said in his soft voice. "Ah there is no problem little one, you are Zaleski's little son right?" She asked to him, for he looked very familiar, whenever in the mornings she came here to the river, she always saw Zaleski, an old fisherman; sometimes this kid accompanied him to fish, and looks like today was an exception, she turned her head to the other side of the river and there he was, old Zaleski fishing while his wife put the fish on a bag.
"Yes I am." Responded the kid, as he took the ball in his hand, he gave her a small smile, he had such white teeth, she noticed. "What is your name?" She asked him, she looked down at him, and he looked up at her, she was hypnotized by those eyes, she knew this kid was going to grow up to be incredibly handsome, how old was he now, maybe like twelve? For he looked like twelve. "My name is Aleksander." Ah he had a very beautiful name. "Well Aleksander, go continue playing with your friends, if something happens you can tell me and I'll help you, understand?" And with this he nodded and went back to play with his friends.
Gosia went back to read her book where she had left off, occasionally she would glance at the kids and she would find that Aleksander stared at her back and then she would smile; he would turn his face away and continue playing.
The night came and the people were leaving from the little park, only the kids remained, but soon they started to leave. Aleksander sat on the ground, waiting for his father to return, Gosia was still reading her book, almost about to finish it. She looked up to see the boy alone and called him to sit beside her. He stared at her for a moment, and then looked to his sides; finally he walked up to her and sat beside her.
"Why are you alone right now little one?" She asked him, a smile on her face. "Ah well, my father is not finished yet, so I am waiting for him to do so and then I won't be alone anymore." He was looking at the ground when he said that, his arms around his knees. "Well I'll keep you company while he is finishing. Tell me Aleksander, how old are you?" She looked at him, and saw how he played with a small twig that had fallen from the tree above them. He twisted it with his fingers and then just simply dropped it to the ground. "I'm thirteen." He said to her, still not moving his eyes away from the dirt in which he sat. Ah so she was close enough to his age, thirteen years of age, teenager. "Miss, I want to ask you something, if you don't mind me of course." In this he turned to face her, his pale green eyes seemed to be a little lost, distant. "What is your question?" "Who are you?" He seemed to have tilted his head for this question, ah of course she had forgotten to introduce herself to the boy, she was quite sure he knew who she was, most of the elders did, they knew who she was, what she was, and what she represented, maybe she should start explaining to the youth as well.
"I'm Gosia, "She said in a proud tone. "And since I'm probably right that you'll ask about my age, I'm seventeen." And with this she gave a wink, not a flirtatious wink, oh not at all, but a wink to indicate she hid something of course, her real age, more than 100 of course. With this gesture, the boy blinked his eyes as if something had accidentally made their way into them and he was trying to get it out. "Ohh, you're older than me, nice to meet you Miss Gosia." And he gave a smile followed by a simple nod of his head. This kid was surely more respectable than others she had made interaction with; normally the kids would just stare at her and make a weird face then simply run away. Like once for example, years back, she was walking through the street to get some bread, and a kid accidentally bumped into her, of course she said she was sorry for it, but the kid simply stared at her as if he had seem something so horrifying, he started screaming and then ran away, dropping some money he had in his hand. The rest of the day, she spent it laughing at the sudden meeting, she had forgotten to buy the bread and had to go again for it the next day.
But that was behind her now, but the memory still made her laugh at times. But Aleksander wasn't like this at all, he didn't run, he didn't scream of make face, he stayed. It was a fact that Gosia loved kids, and how she wished, she dreamed to be able to have one herself one day, but of course, she couldn't. Neither nations nor cities are able to conceive, female nations, they were granted with immortality and beauty, but not the ability to have children, which is one of many reasons why Gosia longed to be a human, but she was cursed, cursed with immortality and beauty.
She gave Aleksander a smile, my, did love this child's company, and it was always nice to interact with the ones that were to show how strong a country, a city, could be. But it was getting very late now, she looked to see if Zaleski was coming, and sure was he. He approached them, a smile on his face, and holding his wife's hand. He stopped in front of them and nodded at the boy, in which he immediately rose and stood in front of him. And she did as well. "Thank you really, for keeping track of him when we were busy." Said he. And his wife grabbed Gosia's hand and gave it a kiss. "Thank you Miss, thank you." Aleksander seemed confused about the sudden action, for his expression showed it. "There is no need to worry Wanda," she nodded at the woman. "Mr. Zaleski, you know I was only doing my job." She gave them the biggest smile, how she loved her people.
The couple nodded at them and Wanda, the mother, grabbed the son by the shoulders and all of them went back home.
Gosia stood there, watching where they left off and shuddered a bit, she turned around to pick up the book from the ground, which once again had fallen. She dusted it off and tucked it underneath her arm then looking back she gave a sigh and started walking to return to her home, she really hoped her brother was fine.