One Foul Day
Elizabeth Mongomery stood and looked out of her french windows over the
rolling green that was her estate garden. The sun was shining and
casting shadows from the large pine trees to the right, these shadows
almost reached the garden fountain and Elizabeth knew that at any moment
now and as the stable clock would strike one her carriage would rumble
up the drive ready to take her on her journey to the house from whence
she had come so many years before.
Leaving the windows and retreating back into the drawing room, Elizabeth found herself at her desk with the invitation in her hand -
Lord and Lady Thornton request the company of Elizabeth Montgomery to their country home, where the weekend celebration of their 15 years of marriage will take place.
Elizabeth had replied and accepted, keen to see the house again just to see if what she remembered of the place was as she remembered.
The invitation was placed back on the desk and
Elizabeth opened the secret drawer and withdrew another letter, this one
from sixteen years previous. It was crumpled and yellow and the folds
were almost transparent. Elizabeth read again and her eyes filled with
tears, she had loved him so.
From several circumstances which have taken place, I feel
assured that our marriage would be productive of mutual misery,
especially as I with sorrow perceive that our dispositions are by
no means alike.Thus impressed, I have, therefore, to state,
that I beg permission to decline all further intercourse.
I am, madam,
Your very obedient servant,
The sound of the carriage wheels crossed the graveled driveway and the letter was carelessly left upon the desk when Elizabeth left the drawing room and walked toward the front entrance. Her bags were being loaded and the footman helped her to alight.
For what seemed an eternity Elizabeth bounced around in the back of the carriage which gave her plenty of time to think. The letter imprinted on her mind had always been a mystery and she hoped that the weekend would answer her questions that had been burning on her soul for so long.
"There is the house" Elizabeth looked out of the carriage window, "I wonder if they or Mrs Summers will remember me."
"Good afternoon Madam" said the butler who greeted her at the door
Elizabeth handed him her card
"Mrs. Montgomery, Yes, Lord and Lady Thornton are with their son Master Henry, at his school. They will be returning directly." and with a small gesture ushered her into the inner lobby.
Elizabeth looked around and came to the conclusion that this was not as she remembered at all, rather shabby in fact. Lost in her own thoughts she did not hear the footsteps behind her and startled when,
"Begging your pardon, Marm, would you like to refresh yourself after your trip?" asked Mrs Summers, and led Elizabeth to a properly functioning water closet.
"Your room is right next door, Marm, I will have the boy bring your luggage up."
Closing the door behind her, Elizabeth knew that she hadn't been recognized, no one had remembered the slip of a girl that cleaned the grates and polished the silver.
Checking herself over and satisfied that she was acceptable reopened the door and entered the hallway, "I wonder if William will remember"
Her room was not what she had been used to, and the bed.."Its diabolical that they expect me to have a goodnights sleep in that?" and was grateful for the fact that it was only for two nights.
Elizabeth realized that she had dozed off when she awoke with the sound of the dining room gong, powdered her nose and with trepidation made her way to the dining room, where she met with a number of guests, some she knew, others by sight only. They were filing through the doorway and as per custom, Lord and Lady Thornton and their son Master Henry were there to greet them.
"Elizabeth Montgomery" she heard her name ring out over the heads of all the guests, she stepped forward and found herself standing in front of her man, the man she had pined for, for so many years.
Her stomach twisted and she could feel herself falling, stopped only by a tender hand taking hers, "Delighted you could come" he said and continued to introduce his wife and son.
"He doesn't know me, why? how could he forget?" Elizabeth smiled and asked how old their son was?
"He is fifteen, sixteen in June"
Elizabeth felt sick, she realized that the boy was the reason for him leaving her, "Could I have a chair, Please?"
The door behind her opened and without warning in walks a sultry teenager. The butler tried to grab him but he hastened toward Elizabeth who gasped, "Menry"
"You know this boy?"
"What are you doing here?" Elizabeth whispered, slightly embarrassed by his untimely entrance and disheveled state.
"I found the letter, Who is he?"
Lord Thornton moved toward Elizabeth, "Elizabeth, Who is this boy?"
"This is Menry, my son"
"Its a pet name," Elizabeth rose from her chair, "His given name is William Henry, named for his father."
Lady Thornton started to cry,
Elizabeth continued, "Menry is also fifteen and will be sixteen in August"
Menry pulled a pistol from his pocket and pulled the trigger.
"No Menry ..No" Elizabeth fell to her knees and wept, she wept both for her son and for her love, both taken in that one foul day.
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