For nearly a year now they had shared the estate. Sometimes they had hated one another, sometimes they realized they were all each had in the world. But Cecily was always alone, in a way, separated by her guilt, her fear. All those warnings she'd not heeded, the dreams she'd pursued pell-mell, the heartache and destruction and pain and brokenness she'd caused. She was a monster, and the thing was that nobody knew it. They thought she was a loyal friend, a sweet girl, a beautiful woman, a tragically misunderstood person who had changed for the better. Ha. Can anyone really change? There's no changing the past.
She stared out the window now, not even pretending to read. The thundering rain had slowed to a monotonous warm drizzle, the window clouded up on the inside. She traced nonsense designs into the tiny droplets.
Roseburn Hall. Gone. And she would have to say goodbye to the only people in the world who might understand her if she let them. Perhaps she could go with them. She could keep up the name, the accent, the identity that she had crafted while living in the City. They could go on like this, eating and working and talking and reading together. She couldn't marry Jevan, of course, that was out of the question. But couldn't she continue as his friend? But why not marry him if she planned to stay...no. No more lies.
Cecily threw down the book. Drizzle or no drizzle, she had to get out and do some work. At least hauling brush into burn piles or hacking apart a deer would give her mind someplace productive to wander.
Photo Credit: Girdle book, a photo by Beinecke Library on Flickr.