"Shhh! Shhh! Tell him to go Alice!" Mother asked but I did not know whether to call his words off or not.

"I fear I can no longer take care of you mama." I said to her and she let go of Mr. Henry to hold my face and I cried of exhaustion there was nothing to hide from Mr. Henry any longer, he had seen it all.

"For a while longer you must be dutiful, you must be my daughter for a while longer, take heart my dear, nothing lasts forever," she hugged me and then Mr. Henry's cry of help was answered.

"Milady you called!" The nurse ran in with Edna and Mrs. Trudor.

"What are you waiting for? Get her off Lady Alice! This woman is crazy!" Mr. Henry yelled at them but they did not move at his request so he asked me to say something. "Lady Alice?"

"No Alice! No let me stay!" Mother begged me.

"Mother I love you, I love you but... I do not recognize you anymore," I said and they took my mother away to put her to sleep.

Mr. Henry had the look upon his face of having never experienced such a demented scene and he was worried, pushing his hair back walking to and fro with no words to say to me.

"I did not have the slightest clue what had been going on here and now..." Mr. Henry sat down.

"Now?"

"I have no choice but to forgive your indifference to me the past eight months, I wish I could have helped you with this sooner, you should not be taking care of this alone."

"Thank you Mr. Henry, you are kind."

"Lady Alice you must understand..." He continued in his uneasy manner shaking his head.

"Understand what?"

"No one here is your equal but I must tell you to look for a proper doctor to take care of your mother."

"Yes I think it has come to that."

"It is past that you mean, and you must look at the options available for your mother other than living here with you, to keep her here is too dangerous."

"No, there is nowhere else she would be properly looked after."

"There is, and of course it will be harsh to part with her but if she is to get the care she needs she simply may not be able to do it here with you."

"No there must be a way for her to stay with me."

"They have places for people like her, where they help her behave, and it takes a while but it has been the best option so far."

"No I can try more and then she will get better."

"You have tried for eight months and has she gotten better?"

"And what if she despises me? What if I cannot sleep myself for letting her go to some unknown place on her own?"

"If she despises you after what you have done for her then she is in the wrong; not you," he put my head on his chest.

"Oh Mr. Henry," I sobbed on his arms and he held my back and head under his chin.

"Shhh, it's okay I am here, we will help your mother I promise."

"Thank you," I held on to Henry as holding hope things could finally get better as they once were.

Mr. Henry left the country home the same day determined to help my mother and I began to make arrangements for Joseph and Miss Lilly's wedding as I waited for Mr. Henry to get back to me with options of the care mama was to receive. Joseph and Miss Lilly's ceremony would be in the beginning of winter which by then they would be engaged for almost a year and their wedding would happen in Mr. Howard's estate since it was triple the size of Lady Walker's property.

"Edna I will need a purple dress for Lord Stanley's wedding," I said leaving the invitation on the coffee table of the room.

"Of course Miss Stewart, we will arrange for the tailor to come to you this week."

"Thank you and how is mama?"

"It took some time to stop her but she is sleeping."

"Did she mumble anything before falling asleep?" I asked out of routine, I always wanted to know what mother talked about in her ramblings to others to see if I could try to use something to help her.

"Yes milady."

"What did she say?"

"I..." Edna took a while, "I do not believe you would like to know milady."

Edna was a slightly older reflection of me when I was in service, modest, quiet, except for one thing she never intruded on her employer's business.

"Edna say it please."

"She said she will never bless your union with Mr. Henry and that you will regret choosing him over her. Because a voice told her of things, horrible thing and these things will shoot you in the heart and nothing can be changed any longer, only you."

These words were too enigmatic to understand but their message set a terrible caution in my spirit as if a witch placed an unavoidable curse upon my future.

"Goodnight Edna," I said resting uneasy in my pillow with mother's words.


January of 1891.



















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Copyright: All Rights Reserved to A. Sena Gomes.

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