Chapter Seven

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"I'm sorry, Rosie! Alright? I let my anger get the better of me and I shouldn't have said all of that so publicly," James said. He threw his arms up in the air in frustration and returned to pacing back and forth across the living room floor.

After his outburst at the restaurant, I refused to speak to him for the rest of the evening and spent most of it curled up in the art room trying to work my way through a book that Christopher had given to me. The morning after, James forced me into the living room to talk about what had happened before we went to the shop. His idea of talking about what happened had escalated into a rather loud disagreement and even Kitty kept her distance from the living room.

"That's the understatement of the year and you know it! All you had to do was sit there and think about something else until she walked away, and you couldn't even do that. No, instead you decided to air our grievances out in public for the entire restaurant to hear when I told you to leave it be. It was a simple enough request, James. If I wanted to discuss everything that had happened, I would have done it, but I don't, and you need to learn to respect that. I'm not seven-years-old anymore and I can make my own decisions."

"You're fourteen, Rosie, still a child. When it comes to your safety, I know more than you do, and someone needed to hold her accountable."

"My safety? Where were you when the foreman put me through hell? Oh, I know, getting married and opening a tailor shop."

"That's not fair, Rosie."

"Fair? Since when has any of this been about what's fair? If you wanted things to be fair, you wouldn't have said what you did, and you would have let it be. Being fair would have meant you keeping your mouth shut, but you couldn't even manage that."

I didn't wait for a reply. I grabbed my coat from the hallway, pulled it on and walked out into the London streets. James had a rule that I couldn't go anywhere without telling him where I would be and most of the time I couldn't go alone. Despite not being seventeen and therefore unable to start the whole business of courting, James still insisted I needed a chaperone. Most of the time, Christopher would go with me and then keep himself busy whilst I spoke to Suzanna and Lucy.

James made no attempt to follow me and if he had, I would have found somewhere to hide until he gave up. My weekly visits to Doctor Ealing's office meant I knew the ins and outs of most of London and could escape him easily.

I made my way through the London streets and towards one of the houses near the tailor shop. The sun shone in the sky, but the breeze felt like ice against my skin and I hoped it would be a sign that snow would soon follow. I jogged up the steps leading to the house and knocked on the door. I tucked my hands into the pocket of my coat and waited on the balls of my feet to try and keep the cold at bay. The coat only offered so much protection.

A few minutes later, the door opened and Mrs Ainsworth smiled at me from the threshold. She had taken Mathias in after the factory and helped him get back on his feet after he lost his arm and almost died. She asked no questions, and only had a few rules for him since he had turned eighteen just a week before the accident and could be legally classed as an adult. Despite that, Mrs Ainsworth had agreed to let him stay since he struggled a lot after the factory.

"Hello, Rosie. I wasn't expecting you today," she said.

"James is slowly turning me into a lunatic and I need a break," I said.

"Say no more. Mathias is in his room and Tommy is here as well." She stepped aside.

"Thank you."

"If you need anything, just ask. Oh, I'm going to send someone to tell your brother where you are, just so he doesn't worry."

"I can't argue that."

The Apprentice Girl // Book 3 in the Rosie Grey seriesWhere stories live. Discover now