vineri, 27 decembrie 2013

New Addition To The Family

"Women may fall when there's no strength in men."

I was only 20 years old when I understood what beeing humiliated truly meant. But now, looking back to it, I understand that in a way, it was my fault. I was too young, too blind and I knew nothing of temptation and lust.
It was the beginning of winter and I was trying to enjoy a couple of non-working days with my children, taking delight in the fact that all four of them were hale and hearty. The house was clean and I just managed to lull the babies to sleep, so I went to bed earlier, hoping to catch up on some sleepless nights I had to spend caring for a young mother. Of course, sleep didn't come easy to me that night either.

Even Gregory was at home, fanning the flame in the parlour and recounting to his footman some insignificant happenings from the farm. For a few moments I felt like I was truly happy. And then, of course, I saw the housemaid beckoning me. I got dressed in a hurry and followed her into the kitchen from where she guided me to our servants' quarters.
The room was dark and poorly ventilated and the stifling air made me dizzy, so I had to grip to the kitchen maid's upper arm to prevent myself from fainting right away.
I heard her cry a moment before I saw her and I was taken aback, because that was the instant when I understood everything.
She was beautiful. By God, she was so beautiful she stood no chance, and I didn't comprehend that until it was too late. And my husband was a weak man...

Some midwife must I have been not to notice a woman living under my roof, trying to conceal her pregnancy from my eyes, while everyone around me was aware of it.
Right before my eyes was Maud, my devoted wet-nurse, the woman I took into my house and entrusted with the care of my children. Pregnant and ready to deliver a baby. My husband's baby. I wanted to weep and pity myself, for I must have been sightless not to notice what was happening right into my house.
I am ashamed to admit that the first thing that I wanted to do was leave her there and run upstairs, lock myself into my bedchamber and cry. But Gregory was upstairs and I was not yet prepared to see him.
It was the most difficult decision in my life, but I knew that I could never forgive myself if I left her there and something were to happen to her. I did my best, trying not to think about what this child meant for me and ignoring Maud's pleas. How could I blame her for my own recklessness?

I tried anything to save her, but I knew I would lose her by the sunrise. She bled to death one and a half hour after delivering a baby girl and I couldn't do anything to save her, beeing forced to watch the poor woman gradually wither away.

For a moment, I felt relieved, but then I looked at the little baby girl lying in my arms. In a way, I couldn't help but feel sorry for the poor baby, knowing what an orphan's life would probably be. She wouldn't stand a chance, especially now, during winter months.
"Poor, innocent soul ... Why are you supposed to pay the fiddler for someone else's sin?"

So I made the most frantic decision of my life. I swaddled the baby and took her upstairs, to my husband.
Needless to say, he didn't ask for many explanations. He did squawk and bawl at me for a couple of minutes, but began to sing a different tune when I placed the baby in a cradle in the nursery, next to our children.
"Her mother wanted her to be named Sarah, so I complied. She's healthy, but I'm sending her and our children at my parents' for a few of months. I'm sure they will agree and find a wet-nurse for them."
There was no way I was going to employ another woman under the age of 50 and bring her into my house.
Me and Gregory didn't talk to each other for the next two weeks.

6 comentarii:

Ekho spunea...

Typical man! I'm a little bit pleased that the wet-nurse did not survive, if anything to save Alleken more pain. It will be hard for her to raise this new baby with being constantly reminded of her husband's betrayal.
I'm glad you updated :) I was getting curious about how things were going for Alleken! I really hope something bad happens to her husband, or she finds love elsewhere, someone who can actually treat her and her children right.

Auteur des Rêves spunea...

Thank you for reading ^^ It means a lot to me.
Well, you can't accuse Gregory of treating his children or wife poorly, because he doesn't. And he's not a bad man either. He cares about his family and works a lot to provide for them. But he and Alleken ... they're simply not meant to be. There was some chemistry in the beginning, because he's handsome and she was beautiful, but she was simply too young for marriage (and she couldn't exactly say no to her parents' decision). As Jane Austen once said in the beginning of her famous novel, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife".
And there's more than their ... incompatibility. They are both very busy people, but have different interests. And their family is not exactly their priority. Alleken cares about her children, but she feels responsible for every man and woman that lives in the realm, because there are so many that live in poverty, while Gregory is too concerned with the farm. They simply don't have time for each other (and they also don't wish to).
And ... I don't know about her husband, but he has a great THS (Total Health Score). He's actually among the few people that have over 100 points (which is synonim to being almost "immortal"; at least for now). But who knows what might happen during the upcoming war?

Sandy spunea...

Awesome as usual! I have been checking back here everyday hoping to see a new chapter up! Keep up the amazing work!

Auteur des Rêves spunea...

Thank you for your kind words. And I apologise for updating so rarely.
I'm glad you enjoyed this chapter ^^

Rowena spunea...

I have to go to bed now, but I have to say that I'm already hooked.
I really like how the story is written, the memoir-style feels so natural and also quite refreshing to me. And poor Alleken, I think she's trying to be too many things at once. A healer and midwife is already a great task for such a young girl, especially if the area she is caring for is as big as I imagine. And if she has to be a wife and a mother at the same time, she might just not have enough energy or... herself? to devote to everything.
I look forward to reading more. (At least I don't have to wait for updates yet :) )

Auteur des Rêves spunea...

Thank you so much for your kind words! The fact that you're reading and leaving a comment means a lot to me! :)
Yes, back then, Alleken was so young and a bit too much of a dreamer. She really wanted to help others too much that she often forgot about herself. And she forgot about people close to her too, people that she should have cherished more. Well, as I said before, she was very young and she made mistakes. Mistakes that she's still paying for.
I can't believe I'm older now that Alleken was for a good part of this story!

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