Chapter One

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Clara sat at her vanity and stared at the reflection

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Clara sat at her vanity and stared at the reflection. She no longer recognized the woman that looked back at her through her eyes.

She pulled out her journal and dipped her pen in the ink. These were the thoughts that rambled through her mind.

"Sometimes it is hard to see ourselves as others do... once a lover stops loving the mirror gets clouded and no longer reflects the person needed to be seen."

She shook the setting powder across the page and blew on it lightly before shutting the pages away again.

"Miss Clara, are you alright?"

Rosalyn, her chambermaid, had knock several times but her mistress had not answered. The entire household was concerned about the melancholy mood of their mistress. She normally wore a sweet smile and talked with them and joked with them, she was very much a part of them.

She had left with her brother and his family and had comeback quite altered. Rosalyn greatest fear was that her moods would take a turn for the worse, without Mr. McAllister home they were quite at a loss as to what to do.

It has been two months since he left and Miss Clara had rarely surfaced from her room. Most of the plates of food were left barely touched. She appeared to be an empty shell, and when she did wander, it was almost like watching an apparition appear and travel through the halls.

"Miss Clara? I have your dinner miss?" Rosalyn tried again.

"Leave it," was the answer that came, followed by a softer, "Please."

"As you wish," Rosalyn placed the tray by her door.

Clara knew she could not carry on in this way. Her moods and actions are most likely reported on a regular basis to Benjamin. She did not feel it was right to continue to worry him in this way. She had made up her mind of what her next move would be.

She pulled her journal out again. With a flourish she wrote...

A self-inflicted torment,

I do share with another.

A bond, a vow,

Broken somehow.

No one at fault.

No one to blame,

but the pain and the torment

Are felt just the same.

A single tear had hit the page smudging the ink. She pulled out a piece of paper, and began to write a letter. The servants would know how to reach him. She will just leave it here with instructions for Rosalyn to find.

She could not live this life anymore. She could not go on having just her memories to keep her comfort. Her thoughts were her enemy. She will free him from his vow, let him live the life he was meant for. She refused to be his Achilles heel.

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