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Mid April 77AD It was Cerealia. The year had turned, the days had warmed, the grain fields were sprouting and Ceres had found her daughter Prosperpine and was enjoying having her at home again. Varinia could understand how she felt, now that she'd been enjoying sharing her son's home for the last few months, after years of separation. And enjoying her freedom, of course. She had grown more accustomed to it over those months, and was really starting to enjoy being able to do even just simple things when she wanted, as she wanted. Like making little flatcakes. Flour and water and eggs, honey and dried fruit soaked in wine, all mixed together and fried on a griddle to make little warm, puffy rounds of deliciousness. She'd packed them into a basket lined and covered with cloth to keep them warm, and carried them down to the insula's inner courtyard. The building was home to a range of people, from those who lived in multi-roomed insulae like themselves, to those who lived behind their shop fronts on the ground floor, to those who rented single rooms on the top floor. Every one of her neighbours whom she'd met had been lovely so far, and she was looking forward to meeting more as they celebrated the turning of the year. On top of the basket she carried a spray of wildflowers that she'd collected early that morning from down by the river and these she strewed over one of the tables that had been set in the courtyard, before placing her basket on top of it. She was pretty certain that Alexius would appear once he smelled food, and of course there was her own household. Who else might appear, with a plate or basket if they could afford to share food, or just themselves if they could not? All were welcome in her eyes. This would be fun.
Melissa Alethia 22 | December 4th 54AD | Plebian | Thermopolia worker | Heterosexual | Original | Jessica Lucas Personality. Melissa is known as an outgoing and openminded person and is quite independent. She smiles and laughs easily and has more or less accepted her status as a young spinster, as she works hard to help out her parents at their thermoplia, along with the slaves they own. Her sister is married and her brother is off abroad and they don’t know if he’s alive or dead. This means she also feels a heavy responsibility for her parents and for helping them out. She would like to marry someday, but mostly because she’d like to have kids, and her father claims to be looking for a husband for her, but he’s also aware of how useful she is in the thermopolia. For now though, she is free as a bird and she’s quite content with it. She enjoys the cooking in the thermoplia and she enjoys meeting and serving people from all social classes at the place. It means she knows a lot of people and she hears a lot of gossip. One thing she enjoys doing is trying to figure out whether a piece of gossip is real or not – although it’s also not unusual that she passes along the gossip if people ask her about it. Not everything is happy-go-lucky for Melissa though, even though she enjoys her freedom from marriage. She is a perfectionist and worries a lot about her parents, and isn't sure their thermopolia can stay open if something should happen to them. Her father is often sick now and her mother needs to tend to him, so Melissa has most of the responsibility in the shop. And with her wanting everything to be perfect, it can make her a bit stressed, but she pretends she's fine. But in the long run, is it too much for the young woman? Appearance Melissa is somewhat tall for a Roman woman, standing just about 5’5” tall, with long, black hair, often done up in some hairdo to keep the hair away from the face and the food. Her eyes are brown and she’s slim and used to working – her hands aren’t soft. But her gaze is mild and often cheerful, except for when she worries about her family and how long they can keep the thermopolia open. She dresses most in earthly colors, brown, grey and green. Family Father: Appius Gallius Alethius (54) Mother: Vibia Melissa (42) Siblings: - Gallia Alethia (25, married) - Appius Gallius Alethius Minor (26, Legionary) Spouse: N/A Children: N/A Extended family: - Gallias’ husband and family - Her mother’s family Other: Lucius Antonius Alexius is an occasional lover and friend History 54 AD – Melissa Alethia is born as the third and youngest child and the second daughter to Appius Gallius Alethius. Her sister Gallia Alethia is 2 years older and her brother three years older than she is. Appius runs a thermopolia together with his wife, Vibia Melissa. 60 AD - Her life is pretty ordinary for a girl of a plebian family. As soon as she is old enough to work, she is given mild work in the business and other than that, she spends her childhood playing with her siblings and the youngest slaves of the thermopolia. She helps out her family with the business and she also spends her childhood playing with her siblings and the youngest slaves of the thermopolia. 68 AD – Melissa’s sister Gallia is married off at the age of 14 to a merchant in Ostia near Rome. She barely ever sees her sister again. Melissa is still not a woman and keeps on working in the thermopolia. 70 AD – Melissa says goodbye to her brother, as he leaves the family to serve in the legions far abroad. Suddenly she is the only child to her parents left in Rome. Her father begins looking for a husband for his youngest daughter. 71 AD – Melissa is betrothed and set to marry a baker later the same year. Her betrothed however falls ill and dies before the marriage can happen. Melissa stays with her family and keeps on working, while her father begins searching for another possible husband for her. 72 AD – Finally, at the age of 18, Melissa is married to a slave trader and leaves her family home to live with him elsewhere in Rome. She doesn’t like him though, he’s very bossy with her and she is not used to that. She asks the gods to help her somehow, making a small sacrifice of blood to them, hoping they will make the marriage easier for her. The gods were given blood and the gods replied with the same. Her husband disappeared one night after going out and was found weeks later in a garbage pile, his throat cut. Melissa is shocked, but does not mourn him much. Instead she returns to her parents and gets on with the work. 75 AD – Melissa begins to think she is simply just bad luck when it comes to marriage. She’s been betrothed a few times, but something keeps happening. Maybe the gods don’t want her to have a husband? Maybe they are still granting her the wish she had for them years ago. At the age of 21, she is still without a husband. That same year, someone new moves into the insula across the street and drops by her thermopolia for a meal. His name is Alexius and he's very charming. Too charming. Yet despite how very well they get along, she knows that even (and maybe especially) a freedman like him is not husband material. But he's still nice to have around. 77 AD – The family have not seen her brother since he left Rome and have now not heard from him in over a year. Meanwhile Melissa’s parents are growing older and she’s needed to work in the shop, so her father does not search very actively for a new husband for her anymore. If she’s to marry again, it they prefer it is with a man who can help them run the place and eventually take over. And until or if such a man can be found, she remains as she is. Atrice | GMT+1 | Discord: Atrice#7964 or PM @Gothic