It is taking every ounce of strength I have left to write this entry. My last entry. I must be quick.
In the days when my family was well-to-do and before I was introduced to high society, I never longed for anything from that world until I was told I must. I was told to want a man, but not just any man - a man with money. Who came from a good family. Who had a head for business. Who had no fewer than thirty houseworkers - butlers, maids, valets...
And I did find a man. A man who checked every box high society ask for. And he promised himself to me. And then what did he do?
He ran off with my sister.
From the time I was a young girl, as soon as I learned to read, I knew exactly what I wanted in life.
I always wanted a little bookstore.
Reading about the characters in books having adventures was thrilling. The thought of travelling abroad, sailing the high seas and finding undiscovered places always felt just out of reach for me. I was more than happy reading books.
They were my escape from the suffocating atmosphere of high society living. The benefits of having money were obvious, but it came with a set of social rules that were droll to an unbearable point.
And it makes me so angry to think I have wasted my entire life on something that I did not enjoy and was ultimately, fruitless.
* * *
I asked Geroux to stay with me. He said it was too dangerous. If I was to successfully turn, I could possibly kill him. That is why he used to chain himself up, so he would not cause harm to others.
If I fail to turn... that is a scene he does not wish to be privy to. If I were a betting woman and if how I feel right now is anything to go by, I would put all my money on the latter coming true.
I can feel the life slowly draining from within. Geroux asked me not to give up hope, that the turning could still be successful. While it is possible, I have never felt such waves of agony, how useless a body can be. If I do survive, I cannot fathom how my physical state could ever recover.
I begged Geroux to stay with me. My final word was "Please." After that I lost the ability to speak, it simply takes too much energy. He agreed to stay. In fact, he is holding my hand right now. A lovely gesture, despite my loss of feeling in that arm.
Earlier, I bid the ornaments adieu. They were visibly upset, the teacup especially so. I consoled them for a while and in the end I asked them to be strong for Geroux.
I just had the sad realisation that the last person I will ever say goodbye to is whomever shall pick up this diary and read it someday.
The thought of that has made me start crying again.
As I lay here, drawing my final breaths, I cannot help but but be filled with sorrow. If I had never bowed to the pressures of my family, I wouldn't be here right now.
I would be in a bookstore somewhere. Reading away peacefully. Everyday and every book would have been a new adventure.
I weep for the little bookstore I will never own, whose shelves I will never fill.
I weep for the life I will never live.
I weep for the lover whose caress I will never feel.
For the love I will never know.
And for the roses I shall never smell again.
* * *
Geroux just told me he loves me.
I love you, too.
Author's note: The final entries in The Secret Diary of Belle have begun. Entry Fifty One is after the "New Book Alert" chapter!
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The Secret Diary of Belle (Grimmoire Series)Mystery / Thriller
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