Sarah had waited for Henry outside Pioneers ballpark for over an hour. They'd agreed to meet at the park benches along the south side gardens. So there she sat, looking for Henry in every colored man that strode into sight. But Henry never showed up.
Sarah's heart felt heavy with grief. Was he really just going to walk away from her? Sarah was upset, even worried, that Henry had seen Edward kissing her. But she was convinced he'd believe her once she had the opportunity to explain. She'd been hopeful he might even help her get Edward to leave her alone. Sarah felt devastated. And she felt low that she'd let herself get into this situation.
Sarah clapped a hand over her mouth, preventing a sob from escaping. She shut her eyes, struggling to trap the tears.
"Oh now, what are you crying about, Miss Sarah?"
Sarah's eyes shot open.
Standing in front of her, there was Edward Benedict. He wore a smirk and a brand new three-piece suit. Navy blue with white pinstripes, matching shirtwaist, and a burgundy tie. A dark gray derby hat crowned his head.
Sarah glared at him. "What do you want Edward?!" she yelled, paying no attention the onlookers staring at her now. "You've caused me enough problems today!"
Edward placed a hand over his heart. "Now hold on, Sarah. I was just coming over here to apologize. I knew you were upset with me. But I guess I didn't realize just how upset you were. Sarah, I sincerely apologize for all the trouble I've caused you. I don't want to see you out here fretting over all this. Causing all this commotion wasn't my intention at all."
Sarah took in a breath. "Then what was your intention?"
Edward allowed a charming smile. "Sarah, you're a beautiful and lovely woman. I had hoped I could call on you and begin a friendly relationship."
Sarah raised an eyebrow. "You mean a romantic relationship," she said. "The very thing I told you I wasn't interested in."
Edward nodded solemnly. "You're right. I've done you wrong. Please ... please forgive me for being so selfish." He took off his hat and bowed his head.
Sarah felt a sense of pity rising in her chest. Edward's contrition seemed genuine. Or was it?
"Henry, the man I've been seeing, saw you kissing me," Sarah said. "He's horribly upset with me. I'm not sure he's ever going to forgive me. We might be done for good."
Edward shook his head. "I truly am sorry. Were the two of you quite serious?"
Sarah sighed. "I thought we were. Now I'm not so sure."
There was a short silence. Sarah let her gaze drift to a colored couple, strolling past, holding hands. The man looked a little like Henry, a smile playing on his lips. His eyes beamed with love and adoration as he gazed upon the girl.
Finally, Edward spoke. "Sarah, you remember Linda Bell from the Hester Gazette, don't you?"
Sarah pulled her focus back to Edward. She nodded weakly. She felt so drained from all the emotion she'd expended in the past couple of hours. "Yes, I remember her."
"Well, Mrs. Bell loved your poem," Edward said. "The one you recited on Amateur Night. She said it was like a slice of real American life."
"That's good, I guess," Sarah said.
"Good? No, that's great! Listen, there's no reason to let my bad behavior hold you back. I just want to see you succeed. You know, Mrs. Bell wanted to talk to you after your performance, but you ran out of the club. Will you come back and recite another poem at the next Amateur Night this Saturday?"
The fog that'd filled Sarah's head began to clear.
"What? Mrs. Bell?"
"Yes," Edward laughed. "Sarah, haven't you been listening to a word I've said? She loved your 'Fly, Robin, Fly' poem. I think she might be interested in having you write for that new poetry column of hers."
"Oh! That's wonderful!" Sarah said. Ideas were trying to take shape in her head, but she locked them up for the moment.
"Yes it is," Edward said. "I knew I saw something in you. You have some real talent. It would be a real shame to keep all that talent to yourself. Shall I tell her you'll be there with a new poem?"
Sarah thought it over. She thought about Edward's unwanted advances when she'd been very clear about having no romantic interest in him. Then she thought of Henry. He'd seen Edward kissing her and must have thought she was kissing him back. He never saw the slap. In addition, this would be a great opportunity for Sarah to become a writer for the Hester Gazette. An opportunity she'd be foolish to pass up.
"Yes, Edward," Sarah said. "I'll come to Amateur Night again."
"Excellent," he said, grinning. "Say, can I give you a lift home?"
"Oh, it's not necessary," Sarah said. "I brought my motorcycle."
"Very well then," Edward said, returning the hat to his head. "I'll see you on Saturday."
Sarah plastered on a smile.
Edward continued along the promenade.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Sarah removed the smile from her expression and allowed the ideas she'd locked up to enter into her thoughts now. Truth be told, Edward Benedict was a no good, lying snake. A lowly excuse of a human being! She could see right through his phony etiquette, right into his reptilian soul. Oh, she would go to Amateur Night, alright! She would write a new poem and recite it to prove she could write that poetry column for the Hester Gazette.
But Sarah envisioned an even bigger opportunity on Amateur Night. She didn't have it all worked out yet. But somehow, Sarah was going to make Amateur Night an extra special night.
The night she'd win Henry Louis back into her life!
For some reason, I really enjoy writing these scenes between Sarah and Edward. I think it's because Sarah is such a strong female character and she WILL put Edward in his place in the near future.
This year in the news, we're seeing story after story about new allegations of bullying, abuse, and improper conduct in which the victims are stepping forward. That takes a tremendous amount of courage.
In my opinion, those victims are becoming the HEROES, shedding their light and wisdom so that others will NEVER EVER suffer at the hands of their abusers. Well done, I say. Well done.
Thanks for you ongoing support of reads, votes, and great feedback. Great stuff!!!
P.S. The chapter picture is a modern picture of Sarah. Full of color. The drawing itself is from a coloring book app. All I did was do the coloring. Hope you like it.
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