"Pity for I believe you shall not be seeing very much of the mother you claim to love so much... Or as I call her my dear sister Theresa Johnson."
"You are not implying that..."
"You little stupid thing I never trusted you," she turned around blowing her old senile breath on me and I saw the spikes in her green snake eyes.
"I knew with such a wild past changing your mind, not standing by your word is just what people of your class do. And so I asked you to stay away, I warned you early on but you accepted him, you said yes to my son, you flamed his desire for you and he is set on you, there is no changing this story anymore, your words set this in motion and I will make sure you stick to it for the rest of your life. I will teach you what you were never taught, you will learn that your word is ever binding, it is the seal of who you are and will always be Mrs. Walker."
"No," A cold shudder ran down my body as she talked in her frigid lady like manner.
"Yes and no deviation from you will be tolerated, or do you not understand that you sold yourself to me when you chose to stay in Henry's life? And now that I've bought you what makes you think I will ever let go? And if you ever run dry or when you do I will replace you, this doesn't end until I say so!"
Lady Walker had shown her claws, her fangs and her evil heart at last though for only me to see I wish I had a crowd to see it for who else would believe me when I said she was capable of such paramount threats? No one would ever think it for she had concocted a perfect cover to hide herself inside of.
"Now dear when you marry my son I shall not prohibit your visits to Theresa Johnson, who is listed as my sister under my former single name."
"And if I do not?"
"If you do not? Oh have I not made myself clear? Well then I dare say none would miss her and by giving her the right story none would question it since your mother is already very ill as our friends well know."
"You? Why? Why do you wish this marriage? You despise me, you have called me every ordinary name imaginable, you hate me so why?"
"If you had any idea of what you were given you would not ask me so. You are half owner with your brother Daniel of everything your grandfather left you and upon your marriage you shall inherit 40,000 pounds."
"How do you know about what I shall inherit? My grandfather's will is a private matter."
"Oh trust me there is nothing a woman cannot draw out of a man if she wants, especially an insecure one as that fat little lawyer of yours is." Lady Walker had no shame in professing her crimes it almost excited her to be that clever.
"So you need money, my inheritance?"
"Do you not have the slightest idea of the expenses it takes to raise and maintain a young noble man like my son? Henry is cultured, well-traveled, speaks three languages as a true gentleman of his breed should and although his friends have put up with expenditures whenever possible I must ensure his future, so he may be free as he wishes."
"And spend all his wife's money? This is why Mr. Henry set his sights on me?" I was disgusted to think Mr. Henry had only come after me for the money, for whatever monetary safety I had to offer him, what a fox he had been this whole time, a despicable Casanova.
"I chose better suited ladies with a less scandalous way into society but he refused them, believing them to be too ugly, too sickly, too romantic, too smart, always complaining about this and that. And when he chose you as his next conquest it was well timed for you and Lord Stanley were entangled in some kind of way and that would not do for my plans."
"Your plans? Why would you care about Lord Stanley?"
"Oh dear please tell me you are not seriously asking?" She laughed at my blatant ignorance of her malevolent ways then answered me.
"Lord Stanley was better suited for an advantageous marriage with my daughter Lilly. While you and my son could make a less noble but still smart marriage and better it is to have two marriages than none or what would we do when our financial ruin came?"
"You and Mr. Henry are the most disgusting creatures I have ever encountered and heaven shall curse you both!"
Shocked by Lady Walker's greed, manipulation and Mr. Henry who went along with his mother's plans there was a loud smack when she slapped my cheek.
"Never talk of my son in this way you lowly, bastard old maid with a fake title! I am but a mother who cares for her children and one day when you have a child of your own you will understand what a mother is capable of to see her children happy!"
"If I am ever a mother I would rather die before being a mother like you! Die! Now get out of my house!" A loud shout and cry came out at once like rubbing lemon over my eyes and tongue, the bitterness was tasted at once.
"If you continue in this manner you will tempt me to lose my patience and I do not recommend it. In fact I expect you to make the right decision by the end of this day and not seek out help as it will not end happily for my precious sister Theresa if you do. Or maybe you do want her to join the ranks of the saint, the martyrs? If so by all means try to cross me and we shall see who has more to lose," she swayed out of the drawing room like nothing she had said was wrong or bad.
"Milady?" Edna opened the door then ran when she saw my state of nerves "what happened? Why do you tremble like a twig?"
"Edna I have made a terrible miscalculation..." My nerves shot up throughout my whole body from my legs to my hands.
"What is it?"
"How... could I have been so blind? She was right, I am ever so blind to the things that do not meet my eyes..."
"Come milady talk plainly."
"Edna do I only judge what people seem to be and never who they really are?"
"What I know is that you are good and if your reflection is good then how could you ever see something else? You are far too young to have such wisdom so tell me how may I help you?"
"Oh no one can save me from my imprudence anymore, if I had only listened to mother, she knew everything, she is not mad they are."
"What did she know? And who are they?"
"Nothing, there is nothing, no way around it or through."
For one Lady Walker was right on one point, she had tried to discourage me but still I gave hope to Mr. Henry though never imagining the intentions behind such loveliness towards me and my sick mother. Could I trust no one? Was no one decent or kind?
"I do not understand you milady."
"Tea, I need some tea is all," I wiped my tears and laid down on the sofa.
"I will be right back," Edna left me as I tried telling goodbye to my plans of ever having a different future.
Everything was decided, I knew I did not want to be with him, I knew I wanted to time for myself but then the choice was forced out of my hands without any compassion. Was the world trying to tell me I was never meant for any happiness? Had the sins of naïveté committed been so strong I could never have what my heart desired? Were the cunning, the ambitious, the destroyers of what was good and pure to triumph over the hearts of the simple minded?
The answer to every question echoed a reality of yes for society who claimed to beautiful was but a snare used to lock me into its prison and this antagonized every part of me. Mr. Howard saw this first and I had wished to go back and undo my own mind, but in the follies of my youth the price were these chains linking me forever to Mr. Henry. So I wrote back the next day to Lady Walker accepting to marry her son under the condition of my mother coming back home and signed away my breath of life in exchange for sighs of misery.
Copyright: All Rights Reserved to A. Sena Gomes.
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The Greatest JourneyHistorical Fiction
Miss Alice Stewart is a poor girl, recently fatherless with a mother and two younger siblings to take care when she finds a job in service as a maid with her aunt Mrs. Green. Soon the family she works for loses money and lets go of her, in need of w...