"There was no one I talked to besides Lord Stanley and I left immediately upon seeing the intimacy of the party," I lied, I would not give her the satisfaction of knowing about Sir Holloway.

"Ugh you stupid child! I wasted perfection on you so you could come back empty handed! I needed to have someone in there on our side, to do Henry's bidding before the Duke! It is imperative to keep the Duke interested in our family and without someone on Henry's side he shall not have an established position, unlike my son in law who will be of much use to him due to the earldom he will inherit from his father."

"If I can be of no further use then..."

"I was sure from that dinner that at least one of those two gentlemen would approach you during the Ball," Lady Walker did not care for what I said and she was right on track with her thoughts as I tried to maintain my secret.

"Like I said I was not there long."

"What about that one with the bright eyes, the sly little smile, he would have been made bold if you would just have stayed at the Ball," she talked of Sir Holloway reprimanding my leaving once again.

"Please Lady Walker I should like to end this impromptu visit."

"Tomorrow the best dressmaker in France will be coming personally to fit you for the wedding dress. You must prepare for her arrival, nothing but the best for her, she is a friend of the Princess."

Lady Walker reminded me of another duty she had placed on my hands before walking out of the drawing room.

"Fine, now I really must attend church, it is time for my confession."

"Yes go confess, make a habit of it, for you shall be needing much absolution from your God once you enter once and for all through the gates of our society," Lady Walker got up and I did the same to escort her to the door.

"If you had told me he was only my God I would have known earlier to refuse your son," I closed the door on Lady Walker's face.

"Edna!"

"Yes Milady?"

"Ready yourself I must go to church confess."

"As you wish Milady," she walked away and I was ready to begin to pay for my sins and hopefully find some absolution in the eyes of God for my blindness.

"Ready milady," Edna soon came back with a coat, a hat and gloves for me.

"Thank you," I said and soon we were walking in the middle of unexpected rain on the steps up to the church.

Inside the awfully dark church lit up with candles from the fellow believers who also prayed away their sins, and those who asked of the decider of our fates for miracles the shame rose up to my cheeks and a sadness upon my heart. How many times had my mother and I walked in here to light a candle, to pray, to honor the author of our books? Far too many to count and here I was heartbroken, soul crushed, so wearisome I barely believed this would do me any good but still I walked into the simple wooden box where the weight of death could be thus changed by mercy.

"Father forgive me for I have sinned," I began.

"What sin do you confess today my fellow Christian?"

"I confess that I am in love."

"Love?" The father was taken back my by sin.

"Yes I love a man and I do not love him blindly, I believe I have seen him at his worst yet I love him. How can it be? Maybe I am the biggest fool to be in love with a man I can never have. If only I had not made these poor choices, if I knew the truth before there would not be this distance between us but now how they cannot be overcome."

"And do you intend to maintain this distance?"

"Yes, I have made him quite unhappy with my behavior in the past I shall not burden him again, forgive me but the truth is this love for him consumes my heart with such ardor as if I was cutting off my own family."

"This is a most vehement passion young girl."

"Yes and I have the clear knowledge I am capable to go on living without him, yet I know the truth is I cannot love anyone else as I love him, he is the man I love and that will never be a lie."

"Child with time..."

"Oh please do not say with time I will forget him for it has been four years since I set eyes on him and this love whether by choice or not only grows and melts my cold restraint even though we are both engaged to other people."

"Engaged? The both of you?"

"Yes I became engaged first, he asked me to run away with him but it was a leap of faith I could not get myself to make, I thought he wished to undo me and what was right and proper and now he hates me, he believes I am bad for believing the worst of him and does not even wish my friendship."

"I do not think God asks us to trust people blindly, for the nature of God and men are very different but the Christian thing to do is to apologize to this man, we must always be responsible for our part, take up our load, our cross."

"An apology? I do not believe he will accept it."

"Even if he does not at first later on he might be grateful you did."

"Yes later on."

"And you must also forgive, forgiveness is the Christian principle of judgement, we forgive as we wish to be forgiven so you must follow through on this apology so the enmity between you and this man does not continue. If this man be worthy of you and you of him he will accept your apology and if he does not you must aim to forgive him for he is weaker than you, as men usually are when it comes to their pride."

"Pride?"

"As you said you rejected him with an engagement, I see how you must have injured a little of it."

"Yes of course."

"So your sin is not love my child, it is mere folly of the heart, one that shall be made well by your Christianity I do not doubt it."

"I hope so, with all my heart."

"And is this the only affliction of your flesh?"

"Yes father."

"Good then go make amends, forgive him, yourself, the past and remember there is no good deed which goes unnoticed by our Lord."

"I will, thank you for your wise words."

"Go in peace my child in the name of the son, the father and the Holy Spirit Amen."

"Amen," I said before getting out.

Edna waited for me in prayer, I knelt down next to her and prayed in my heart to God to ask him for only one thing, the dismantling of my offenses against Mr. Howard for I would not think on him with fear, vengeance or any ill feelings from this day forth.

"Ready?" Edna asked.

"Yes and I will need you to do me a favor please."

"Ask it then."

"Find the whereabouts of the Earl of Bridgeston so he may get a letter I will be writing to him."

"The earl?"

"Yes."

"I... As you wish milady," Edna did not question though she was smart enough to deduce it and I got paper and ink to write him the letter.

















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Copyright: All Rights Reserved to A. Sena Gomes.

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