O is for Outcast
I know I must be confusing everyone by jumping around through various time periods, mythological figures, characters, and Uber Characters, but that's what happens when you try to write a book about two souls in six different lifetimes. I don't blame you if you're a bit confused; I have to constantly check my own darn outline to remind myself of what I'm doing!
So, just to recap before we move on: so far during this A to Z Challenge I've talked about the lifetime in Ancient Greece, where the souls are Apollo and Damon; the lifetime in modern Australia, where they become Nat and Taylor; and the lifetime in India (probably), where the souls are Emma (most likely), and an incarnation of the Hindu goddess Durga.
With me so far? GREAT. Now I'm going to talk about the lifetime in Tibet circa 600 CE, where our two souls are living as Tashi and Choden - and Tashi is learning why he wants to be an outcast, and Choden is, unfortunately, learning what it means to fall in love with an outcast. They're both members of farming families, living in separate but neighboring villages; Tashi is independent, creative, and rebellious to the point of absurdity (what we might today call contrary purely for the sake of being contrary), and Choden is...well, since I have yet to reveal the other Uber Character (letter R, folks), let's just call her a little more traditional.
The basic premise is this: Tashi and Choden meet, by chance, as children, and their relationship develops slowly and naturally over years as they grow up, and eventually fall in love. Normally it might be hard for kids from different villages to spend time together, but I've mentioned that Tashi is a bit rebellious; it's no problem having a secret friendship when you like breaking rules. When they reach adulthood, they find out that this entire time they've actually been betrothed to each other, arranged by their parents since they were very young, of course.
Happiness, right? Lucky chance? Not so fast. There are two twists: first, Tashi has sworn that he'll never marry the woman his parents want him to (contrary, remember?); and second, Choden is betrothed to Tashi...and his two older brothers. Yes, that's polyandry, my friends. Check back in on letter P for that one.
If Tashi refuses to marry Choden with his brothers, he'll be rejecting the woman he secretly loves, and dividing the family - there's an actual word for this in Tibet, which translates roughly as 'fission', and it's a very bad thing. He'll lose all right to his family's land and money, and be forced to strike out on his own, as an outcast...and he'll lose Choden before he ever even got her. What does he choose? Well, I did just write a post about heartbreak last week...