a/n four days writing, half an hour of typing. not bad :) . . . and it has been in my drafts since I posted the previous chapter *facepam*

Chapter Five

It was Wednesday evening, after supper. I was preparing my satchel to travel the next morning, to the country with Thomas and his father. From what Thomas said about needing to bring spare clothes for riding, I prepared for the inevitable.

“Emma dear,” said Mama as she entered with my best Sunday dress. “We are going to church while in the country; I do not want you to forget your dress.”

“Of course Mama,” I said, taking the dress and folding it neatly.

“Your father tells me there shall be a good number of suitors you will meet. He said that even though Mr. Rivers and Mr. Waters are of low position, they shall be considered suitors as well.”

I sighed, “Mama, my heart belongs to the boy whom has always been my childhood playmate. Not because of anything other than what is beneath the surface. Thomas brings such joy when I see him. Every day, I long to see him.”

“My darling, I want you to follow your heart. Perhaps Thomas will make you an offer, when he feels the time is right.”

“I would marry him, even if he were poor.”

Mama sighed and turned to leave the room. She would have closed the door were it not for the pebble that hit my window.

“What was that?” Mama asked, walking to the window.

“What was what?” I said, stepping in her path.

“Do not play games with me, Emmaline Watson.”

She stepped around me and looked out the window.

“Emma,” Mama said, opening the glass pane. “You have a visitor.”

I smiled, “Thomas,” I said, sitting next to the window.

“Your mama is not mad?” he asked, inclining his head to see Mama better.

“Not in the very least,” she replied, standing behind me. “Perhaps I am a little surprised, but I am not angered.”

“I only came to say goodnight. I look forward to our journey tomorrow, with great anticipation.”

“For us as well.”

“Pray, do not catch cold Thomas, I said; a gust of winter wind blew in the window.

“Most unlikely,” he said, securing his hat in against the wind. “Goodnight, my dear Emma. Goodnight Mrs. Watson.”

“Goodnight Mr. Thomas,” said Mama as she closed the window. “How thoughtful of him.”

“’Tis the third night he has come,” I said cautiously.

“Get some rest, my darling. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight, Mama.”

~      *      ~

The morning seemed to come in the blink of an eye, though I hardly slept from excitement. Mrs. Jenkins came to wake me; I nearly overslept due to falling back to sleep when the sun rose. It was near nine o’clock when I came to the breakfast table.

“There you are,” said Papa; Papa drank his coffee as he stood. “I thought you would be the first awake.”

“I was too excited,” I explained with a yawn. “I barely slept until when the sun began to rise.”

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