If I Never Knew You

Part 1

Pocahontas sighed and leaned against the side of the ship.  In a few short days she would be home with her father, her friends, and her fiancé, John Rolfe.  He had asked her to marry him when they left England together a few months ago.  Of course, she had said yes to him. Now everything was perfect in her life.  No more unexpected twists and turns, just steady, like the beating drum.

John came up onto deck from his cabin below.  He hugged Pocahontas and kissed her.  She looked into his eyes and suddenly saw a pair that were not his.  Startled, she jumped back.

"What's wrong, Pocahontas?" he asked. "Was it something I did?"

"Oh, no, John. I think I'm just, um, a little hungry."

The concern on his face faded and he smiled. "Oh, you woman," he mumbled and shook his head.

Pocahontas didn't like the comment he made, but she decided to ignore it.  They left the deck and went to eat supper.
                * * * * * * * *

In London, John Smith's ship was motionless at its dock.  A dim light shone from the windows of his house.  Inside, he sat at his desk with one hand over his face and the other holding a bottle. His beautiful hair had not been cut in months and he needed to shave badly. He had lost a lot of weight and his shirt hung loosely over his shoulders.  He was the image of a fallen hero.

John Smith had been in a deep state of depression ever since Pocahontas left England in John Smith's arms.  John had pretended to happily accept Pocahontas' decision for her sake, but that wasn't what he really wanted.  He still loved Pocahontas with all of his heart, and she had practically ripped it out of his chest and stepped on it. If he could not have her love, what was left for him in life?
                * * * * * * * *

Nakoma waited on the shore as the ship came into view on a bright spring day.  Pocahontas waved to her and John Rolfe did as well. When all the cargo was unloaded, she came ashore and gave Nakoma a big hug.

"Wingapo, Pocahontas," Nakoma said.

"Oh, Nakoma, how glad I am to see you!  Everything has worked out perfectly. King James isn't going to attack our people, and I have some more good news."  She took a deep breath. "I am going to marry John Rolfe!"

"My friend getting married at last? That's wonderful! I'm so happy for you!"

They hugged again and headed back to the village.
                * * * * * * * *

Later that day, Pocahontas began to make a list of who was to be invited to her wedding.

"All the chiefs of the neighboring tribes, the settlers from Jamestown, and of course my friends from England!  We must write to Mrs. Jenkins and....." Suddenly, she thought of John Smith.  She hadn't given him a thought since she left London.  "Is it a good idea to invite him?" she wondered.  "It can't be possible that he still loves me after all this time."

Her thoughts were disturbed by footsteps behind her.  "Good afternoon, Pocahontas," John Rolfe said as he walked into her hut without bothering to knock first. "Are you coming with me to speak to your father of our engagement?"

"Yes, I'll be right along."

He hugged her, and she had a strange feeling.  It was as if someone else's arms were around her.  They felt bigger and stronger, but also warmer, and more comforting.  A few thoughts crossed her mind, but she quickly brushed them aside and left with John for her father's hut.
                * * * * * * * *

                        Part 2

"Pocahontas!  Hold still!"  Nakoma said impatiently.  She was trying to take her friend's measurements for her wedding dress, but Pocahontas could never keep still for very long. She just laughed at Nakoma.

"Pocahontas, I found something of yours. I thought you might want it back."

Nakoma took John Smith's compass out of a leather pouch.  Pocahontas quickly looked away.

"What's wrong?" asked Nakoma. "Don't you want it?"

Pocahontas sighed. "No.  I've moved on, Nakoma.  That part of my life is over."

"But, Pocahontas...."

"I said NO!"

"Okay, fine!"

Nakoma quickly put it away and went back to fitting the dress.

"There, it's done," she said quietly.

"Thank you, Nakoma," Pocahontas said when she left her friend's hut.

As Pocahontas went to look for John, she passed by a hut that she hadn't been in for years.  It was the prison hut where Smith had once been held captive.  She went towards it a bit reluctantly. Still, she knew it was time to face her past.  She pushed back the flap of leather at the door and went in. Inside, she looked around and at once noticed the pole in the center of the hut.  She couldn't believe her eyes when she thought she saw John Smith tied up there, waiting to die.  Pocahontas screamed and ran out of the hut and into the forest.
                         * * * * * * *

John Smith looked at himself in the mirror.  He certainly was a wreck. In his sorrow, he had let himself waste away.  He took out a razor and started to shave away the hair growing on his face.

By now, he had heard of the wedding.  Instead of mourning, he had decided to move on.  Perhaps he would go on a long journey, or travel to land he'd never been to.  Anyway, he would bury his pain in the waves and forget about her.  Or at least, he would try.

He rolled out his map of the world, and his eyes were immediately drawn to the coast of the New World.  He looked away bitterly.  Nothing could make him stop thinking of her. Suddenly, John stood up strait.  He knew what he had to do.
                         * * * * * * *

"Grandmother Willow?" said Pocahontas as she entered the clearing. "I need to talk to you."

"My Pocahontas, what's troubling you today, child?"

"Grandmother Willow, every time I am with John Rolfe, or thinking about him, something distracts me.  Could my heart be trying to tell me something?"

"Hmmmmmm perhaps.  But didn't you say were sure you had chosen the right path?"

"Yes! I was certain that I really belonged with John Rolfe, but now, I just don't know."

"Child, sometimes our hearts do misguide us.  But, when you have truly followed the right path, you will be at peace with yourself.  You will know where you belong."

"I'm just so confused," she sighed. "Thank you, Grandmother Willow."

"You're most welcome Pocahontas."
                        * * * * * * *

"Pocahontas!" yelled John Rolfe. "Where have you been?!"

"John, that's none of your concern." Pocahontas was furious that he would talk to her like this.  She did not feel that he respected her.

"Of course it is! I am to be your husband!"

"John, I'm grown woman! I have the right to go where I want."

"You should have at least told me where you were going!"

"I am not obligated to tell you anything!"

"You're not to go wandering off anymore, do you hear me?"

That was it.  Now she was really angry.

"How dare you speak to me that way!"

"Pocahontas, don't start acting like this so close to our wedding."

"The wedding is off!"

He couldn't believe what she was saying.


"I'm not going to marry you!"

Pocahontas ran to her hut and cried for a long time.
                        * * * * * * *

Part 3

For several days, Pocahontas did not leave her hut or speak to anyone. No one came to talk to her either.  They seemed to understand that she needed to be alone.

Some time later, Thomas came from Jamestown to see Pocahontas.

"Um, good afternoon Pocahontas," he said shyly.

"Oh, hello Thomas."

"Pocahontas, will you come back with me to Jamestown?  Your father thinks it would be good for you to get away from the village. Please come."

"And what about Rolfe?"

"He's not saying anything."

"Fine, I'll go with you, but only if Nakoma can come too."

"Yes, she can come," he said and he smiled.
                           * * * * * * *

Pocahontas and Nakoma packed up their things and left for Jamestown that very day.  Thomas showed them to their nice little house near the center of town.  Nakoma and Thomas did everything they could to help Pocahontas forget about breaking up with Rolfe, and in the next few weeks, she started to feel a little better.

One day, Nakoma woke Pocahontas up earlier than usual.

"Nakoma.....go away I'm still sleeping."

"But Pocahontas, there's a letter here for you."

"A letter?"

"Yes, from England."

Pocahontas glanced at Nakoma and then grabbed the letter and tore it open.  She read it quickly with her heart pounding hard in her chest. It said:

My dearest Pocahontas,
        I know this is a terrible time to tell you what I must say, but I can contain it no longer.  I love you.  I always have loved you.  I don't care if you don't love me, because having this feeling for you is more than I could ever ask for.  If I never knew you, I'd be lost forever. I am planning a voyage to the far east.  I wish you eternal happiness in your marriage.
                                        Ever your loving,
                                                John Smith

"What have I done?!" screamed Pocahontas. "How could I have done this to him?! After what I've said he still loves me!"

"Pocahontas, what are you talking about?"

Pocahontas didn't answer.  She ran out of the house and almost knocked over Thomas at the door.

"What's wrong with her?" he asked.

"Read this," said Nakoma solemnly.

Thomas read it and then carefully folded it up and put it on the desk.

"Nakoma, what should we do?"

"Thomas, there's nothing we can do."
                           * * * * * * *

Pocahontas ran to the high cliff overlooking the colorful bay below. She lay down on the stone ledge and sobbed until there were no more tears to cry.  Finally, she sat up and rubbed her eyes.  In the distance, an English ship was sailing towards the shore.  Pocahontas had always enjoyed watching the colorful ships come and go.  This one was especially beautiful.  She could see the the supplies for the settlers being unloaded.  She felt very tired, so she put her head in her hands and fell asleep.
                           * * * * * * *

Pocahontas was alone on the cliff for an hour before she heard footsteps behind her.

"Go away," she said without looking to see who it was. "I don't want to talk to you!"

A gentle pair of hands reached down and pulled her up.

"I said GO AWAY!"

She turned around to face the intruder and found herself looking into a pair of soft blue eyes.  For a moment, she was too startled to say anything.

"John Smith..." she uttered. "You've come back!"

Pocahontas fell to her knees and started crying.

"I'm so sorry, John! Can you ever forgive me for what I've done?"

John Smith pulled her up again and looked into her eyes. "I don't want your apologies! I tried to forget you but I found myself coming back. Pocahontas...I love you."MO< They threw their arms around each other and kissed with all the passion they had been saving for five years.  And even after that, they would not let go of each other.  They held each other tightly and they knew that nothing would ever separate them again.
                            * * * * * * *

They came back to the village hand in hand and were greeted by all their friends.  John Rolfe was over come with jealousy.  He couldn't stand to see anyone but himself with Pocahontas, so he immediately packed up and got on a ship going to England, and he never came back to the New World. As for John Smith and Pocahontas, nothing ever did come between them again.  They began an exciting new life together, and, as the saying goes, they lived happily ever after.


The End

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