Wait for Me
Author's note: I wrote this short story in hopes of publishing it in a group of other short stories, so far...... Show full author's note »
Wait for Me“So my happiness is sacrificed for his wealth? That seems hardly fair!” I stated as my family and I sat in the parlor.
“Charles is a very acceptable man,” My mother began,
“Yes, acceptable in the highest rank of a fool.” I muttered under my breath.
“You’d be foolish not to accept!” My mother finished giving me a disapproving look for my comment.
“He’s ghastly, vial, greedy, smug, and down right stupid!” I gaffed and leaned in the doorway. My father chuckled and my mother hit him lightly on the arm.
“You shouldn’t encourage her! She gets it all from you!” My mother said looking down at her knitting. I glanced over at my younger brother, Henry.
“What do you think?” I asked.
“I think he’s a mindless twit, but mum thinks he’s brilliant.” Henry said smiling.
“See mother! I’m not the only one! Anne thinks so too! Plus the man is twice my age!” I said folding my arms.
“But, he’s rich.” My mother said smugly as if she had already won.
“I’m telling him no. There’s nothing you can do about it.” I replied.
“We shall see.” She said smiling.
I walked out of the room and out the front door. I sat on the front steps. Charles would be here any moment with a ring in his pocket and what he thinks my answer will be. His answer is the wrong one.
I stood up and looked back at the door, then at the path to the road. It lay there, calling my name, telling me to follow it to Anne’s. Mother would be furious if I left. Father would think it’s funny. Charles would be waiting when I got back, waiting for my answer.
I had to get my head strait, and tell him how I feel with out him getting hurt. Not that I cared. I swore I could hear the sound of horse hooves approaching, so instead of going back inside I ran for it. I picked my skirts up and ran down the path. My shoes were leaving a cloud of dust behind me. I ran through the front gates and out onto the road. I was just in time to see a carriage pull into our lane to drive toward the house. I smiled and took off running the opposite way to my dearest friend, Anne’s house.
“You what?” Anne exclaimed when I told her why I had come.
“I had to! Oh Anne! He’s purposing and I haven’t the slightest at what to do!” I whispered as we sat in her room. She looked in the mirror and fixed a curl that had fallen from her pined up hair.
“Roselyn, you are my dearest friend, and I will always tell you what I think no matter what, but in this case I will lie to you. Marry him.” She said smiling. I laughed and so did Anne. She took my hands.
“Charles is rich, but he’s not the richest man in town, and we’re always getting visitors and the regiment is coming this winter. There’s plenty of time to fall in love.” Anne chuckled.
“Oh mother is going to just throw a fit! Nevertheless, Anne, when I marry, I want to know that the person whom I will call my husband is someone I am in love with. He has to be handsome, rich, charming, willing to fill my every need, and will treat me as if I am the queen.” I said smiling. Anne looked at me serious for a minute before we both burst into laughter.
“To find a man like that you must die and go to heaven. You might need to lower your standers some my darling.” Anne said standing up to look outside the window.
“Any news from Matthew?” I asked.
“Sadly no, father hasn’t received anything. We’re getting worried.” Anne said. Matthew was Anne’s older brother. He was very handsome, and smart. Anne always wanted him and me to wed, but he left before I was of age. He left to learn medicine, and study in London.
“Do you remember that fantasy of yours?” I chuckled.
“Oh dear, don’t you dare snicker at that, you were all for it.” She said giving me a smile that made me feel warm. Anne had that affect on people.
“I wonder what would have become of us if he had stayed. Who knows maybe Charles would be purposing to some other poor girl.” I said fingering the lace on Anne’s pillow.
“Oh, I don’t know. You two are so much alike, I doubt it would have worked out. To be in a good marriage you must have a disagreement on something now and then, or else the marriage would be boring.” Anne said laughing. We giggled together. I remembered the day my Great Aunt Lillian told us that.
“I don’t know, but I wish he was here, he always made something good out of a bad situation.” Anne sighed.
“Like the time the ice cream social was rained out, he said at least the crops would get water, and it would put the curl back in my hair.” I laughed.
“Okay, that’s not the best example, but yes, he always loved your hair. It was odd really.” She said.
“Imagine if he seen it now.” I said reaching up to touch the bun.
“I don’t know how you can keep it so long.” She said running her fingers through her short curly hair.
“It seems right.” I said shrugging. I stood up and walked to the window to look out beside Anne. We both watched as a man walked down the lane his hands in his pockets and looking up at the house. He stopped at the gate and smiled. My breath caught in my throat.
“I know that smile anywhere.” I whispered before Anne and I ran from the room. I led out the front door and down the path. The man stood smiling and laughed as I crashed into him with a hug.
“Matthew!” I said breathless as he lifted me and twirled around.
“Look at you!” He said. He set me down to hug his sister, a much more polite hug. After all Anne was the perfect lady. I felt my hair slipping out of the pins from the running. Anne walked over and tried to help me pin it back up.
“I’ll have to start over.” I said pulling them out. Matthew smiled a half smile and looked around.
“Where is everyone?” He asked.
“Well, father’s in his study and mother’s in town with Mrs. Peach.” Anne said.
We began walking to the house. Anne led the way and Matthew walked with me.
“You’ve changed.” He said.
“I’m not a little girl anymore Matthew. I grew up; you’ve been gone a long time.” I said laughing softly.
“I suppose so, in my mind I still see that girl running around climbing trees and not afraid to do anything a boy could.” He said. I blushed.
“But that was Roselyn, and it made her, unique.” He said smiling. I blushed a deeper shade of red and Matthew laughed.
“Now look at her, walking around as a lady should, I even bet you sew pillow cushions.” He said looking at me. I looked up at him. His brown eyes smiling. His face warm, smooth, and handsome.
“No, actually, I knit.” I said walking into the house. He laughed behind me as we walked into the sitting room.
“I’ll go get father, he’ll be wanting to speak with you.” Anne said smiling. Matthew thanked her and took a seat. I sat down on the chair in front of him. I folded my hands blushing about Anne and my talk earlier.
“So, I heard Charles Weber is courting you?” He said. I put my hand to my forehead.
“Without my permission, it’s my mother’s idea. She gave him permission.” I said looking down at my hands.
“Is he still ugly?” He asked smiling and running his hand through his brown waves of hair.
“Matthew Davis!” I said laughing.
“Oh, Rose, come on! You cannot possibly tell me that he’s handsome!” He said. Only Matthew ever called me Rose. I looked down at my shoes.
“But ugly is such a harsh word.” I said smiling.
“Ok, vile.” Matthew said smiling. I laughed.
“Yes unfortunately but he’s quite rich so that makes up for his looks in my mother’s mind.” I said rubbing my hands. I was nervous. I was never nervous around Matthew. He keeps staring. I glanced up and met his eyes.
“What are you gawking at?” I chuckled.
“Nothing, just thinking about the past.” He said smiling. I looked down again to hide my blushing face.
“So how was London?” I asked changing the subject.
“Lively, I wouldn’t recommend living there, unless you like that sort of dirty, smelly place.” He said smiling. I laughed.
“London has to better than here, nothing ever happens here.” I said.
“Yes, but that’s what’s so nice about it.” He said.
“How are you Rose?” He asked suddenly.
“I’m fine I suppose aside from Charles.” I said laughing.
“I was thinking of stopping by on my way here, good thing I didn’t.” He said laughing.
“Yes, good thing. My family, more over my mother, is probably worried.” I said.
“I will escort you home after I’m done talking with my father, it would be very nice to catch up.” He said.
I nodded and Mr. Davis walked in smiling. He walked over and hugged Matthew. Anne and I walked out of the sitting room shutting the door behind us. We made it to the stairs before looking at each other and quietly walked back. We pressed our ears to the door.
“She’s changed, both of them. So grown up.” I heard Matthew say.
“Roselyn’s grown out of the boyish look don’t you think?” Mr. Davis said with a laugh.
“Yes, exactly.” Matthew said.
“People are talking in town of her being the most handsome in the county.” Mr. Davis said. Anne looked at me and I raised my eyebrows.
“My goodness.” Anne whispered. She giggled silently.
“She’s always been handsome, father. No one saw it though.” Matthew said. A sound of footsteps was heard before we heard Mr. Davis sigh as he sat down.
“Charles Weber’s been courting her.” Mr. Davis said.
“So I’ve heard.” Matthew said.
“What was that look for?” Mr. Davis laughed. Anne tugged at my sleeve and nodded toward the stairs.
“Nothing, just, wasn’t expecting them to be grown up.” Matthew said. I looked at her impatient.
“Well, they weren’t going to stay little girls forever.” Mr. Davis said. Anne tugged hard and I stood up strait and followed her up the stairs.
“Oh Roselyn!” Anne said.
“I’m the handsomest in the county?” I asked shocked. Anne and I began giggling.
“Did you hear my brother talk of you?” Anne said. I looked at her blushing.
“He was being polite.” I said.
“No he was not! My brother’s never polite!” Anne laughed. I glanced at the grandfather clock in the hall.
“Oh, I hope Charles left.” I said laughing. There was a knock at the door.
“Yes?” Anne asked. Matthew opened the door.
“I’m done now. Rose?” He said. I sighed and stood up with Anne and she kissed both my cheeks.
“If he’s still there don’t back down.” She said smiling.
“Anne you have nothing to fear. I’m not marring Charles.” I said making a sick face. We laughed and Anne gave me a hug before I followed Matthew out.
“So courting is not the only thing ole Charles is up to.” He said smiling.
“Oh, yes, I’m refusing.” I said smiling as we walked down the path from the house. He offered his arm, which I gladly took. The walk was quiet at first.
“Rose, do you remember what I told you when I left?” He asked. I looked at him but he was staring off into the woods.
“Vaguely.” I said smiling.
“Of course.” He said.
“I told you that if someone ever so much looked at you funny I’d hurt ‘em.” He said laughing.
“That I remember. That’s the Matthew I know and…” I stopped. He looked down at me and I looked away.
“So, this Charles guy. Does he look at you funny?” He asked. I laughed and looked up at him.
“All the time.” I said smiling. Matthew laughed, his shoulders shaking. We walked in harmony his feet matching mine. I looked down at the dirt road.
“It’s a longer walk than I remember.” He said.
“Really?” I asked.
“Maybe it’s because I didn’t walk it often.” He said.
“Hmmm, you can always fix that.” I said looking down at the ground.
“Of course I can.” He said. I smiled, looking into the woods. We reached the gate to the house.
“Do you want to come in? I’m sure Henry would like to see you, so would everyone else. Plus you being there might make the mood better so that way when you leave there’s an easier punishment waiting for me.” I said smiling.
“I’d love to.” He said smiling. We walked down the path. Matthew was staring at something behind me. I glanced back to see Charles’s carriage waiting.
“You gonna hurt ‘em?” I laughed.
“We’ll see.” He said smiling. We walked inside, the maid taking Matthew’s coat. We walked into the sitting room where everyone was waiting. The room was silent.
“Look who I found.” I said smiling. Henry’s face lit up.
“Matthew!” He said standing up and walking over.
“Whoa! Who’s this man? I don’t think we’ve met before.” He said smiling. I glanced at my mother who shot me a fierce look. I smiled and let go of Matthew’s arm to sit next to my father.
“Matthew how have you been?” My father asked shaking his hand.
“Very well, thank you.” Matthew said. He glanced at Charles and Charles stiffened.
“I don’t believe we’ve met before.” Matthew said. Charles stood up puffing his chest out and looking up at Matthew. Matthew had always been tall, but standing next to Charles, he looked like a tree.
“I’m Charles Weber.” He said shaking hands.
“Matthew Davis.” Matthew said. My mother smiled.
“We should go to the garden, it’s stuffy inside and perhaps Charles would like to take a walk. Roselyn, you could show him around.” My mother said. I put on a fake smile.
“Of course.” I said quiet. Matthew looked at me smiling and I smiled at him holding back the feeling of sticking my tongue out at him.
“So there I was this deer standing right in front of me. I lifted my riffle and BAM, got him. The biggest buck recorded in the county.” Charles beamed as we sat in the garden.
“You’re mother must be proud.” Matthew said smiling. He was sitting next to me. I hid my laugh with a fake sneeze.
“God bless you.” Matthew said smiling.
“Ah, Roselyn! Maybe Charles would like to see the brook! Its water is so blue!” My mother said. Charles smiled.
“I’d love to!” He said smiling. I stood up hesitantly. Matthew watched as we walked together.
“Your friend is a most intriguing man.” Charles said.
“He studied in London to be a doctor. He’s also my dearest friend’s brother that’s how we know one another.” I said.
“How wonderful.” Charles said. I stared at his face thinking there would be no way I could get used to it.
“I just recently invested in a new carriage maybe you noticed?” He said.
“No, not at all.” I said looking around the garden.
I could see Henry and Matthew walking on the other path sword fighting with sticks. I laughed and Charles looked at me confused. I stopped smiling and looked down at the ground.
“There’s something I must confess to you, Rose.” He said.
“Please, don’t call me Rose.” I said polite.
“I’m sorry.” He said.
“No, it’s just, only one person has ever called me Rose, it’s hard to explain.” I said.
“I fully understand. My mother is the only person that I allow to call me Charlie, of course if you wished to you have my permission.” He said. I smiled uncomfortable.
“Anyway, Roselyn.” Charles said stopping. I looked at him waiting for it. I knew I was wincing.
“I’m in love with you. My affections I have kept hidden in hopes of figuring out yours, which I have yet to. I can offer you the finest things, jewels, fine clothes, anything, if you would do me the honor of accepting…” He was cut off by Matthew and Henry, who were whacking each other with sticks. They merged on our path laughing and I looked over. They stopped.
“Oh, I hope we weren’t interrupting anything, Rose.” Matthew said smiling.
“No, not at all.” Charles said looking down. I could see it in Matthews’s eyes he had done this on purpose.
“Henry and I were just being kids again. In fact, we were just discussing starting a game of cricket! Charles would you join us?” Matthew said. Charles looked at me and I looked at him smiling.
“Of course, cricket is one of my better talents.” He said.
“Great, let’s go.” Matthew said dropping his stick and smacking Charles on the back. Charles turned and followed Matthew.
“He did it on purpose you know.” Henry said.
“Of course I know!” I said laughing watching Charles and Matthew talk. Matthew was making odd hand gestures and Charles was looking a little green.
“He’s explaining a surgery he performed; he’s doing everything he can to make this guy go away.” Henry chuckled. I looked ay my brother. He was fifteen, and soon would be looking for a wife himself.
“He’s a great guy, Henry.” I said laughing as Matthew smacked Charles on the back again making him stumble.
“One of the best.” Henry chuckled.
Charles hurt himself playing cricket. He asked if I would walk back with him to the house. I agreed, being polite and Matthew watched as we walked away. I glanced back and Matthew was talking to Henry.
“Be my wife,” He said suddenly snapping me back to Charles.
He had stopped. I looked at him shocked. He grabbed my arms and planted a kiss on my lips. I screamed and broke free.
“Sir! I haven’t given you my answer. You can’t just kiss a lady with out knowing her feelings!” I yelled. Matthew and Henry ran over.
“Are you okay?” Matthew asked.
“Yes.” I said wiping my mouth.
“Please leave, Rose and I are discussing a matter of importance.” Charles said.
“Don’t call her Rose.” Matthew said.
“You call her Rose.” Charles said.
“Yes, and I’m the only one she’s ever allowed. She asked you once not to call her Rose so now I’m telling you, don’t call her Rose.” Matthew said.
“Roselyn. Please tell this man to go.” Charles said looking frightened.
“Matthew.” I whispered. Matthew backed off.
“I can’t marry you. I don’t love you; I don’t have any affection for you Charles.” I whispered. Charles looked at me shocked.
“This is most shocking,” he said. I looked at my mother who was shaking her head.
“I’m sorry.” I said, turned, and ran into the garden. I ran all the way to the swing in the woods and sat down out of breath. It was only a few seconds before Matthew showed up. I stood up and looked at him.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” He asked.
“No, I’m not okay! He kissed me without my permission!” I said wiping my lips off. Matthew chuckled and walked over beside me. He was facing a different direction but he looked at me.
“He looked at you funny.” He said smiling looking away. I let out an airy laugh. Matthew smiled and turned to face me.
“Rose do you remember what else I told you before I left?” He asked.
“Other than what you said before? No.” I said. He looked down at his shoes.
“I told you to wait for me Rose.” He said. It rushed back to me.
We were standing on the porch at Anne’s house. We had been looking at the stars. He was fifteen and I was fourteen. He looked over at me and smiled.
“I’m leaving Rose.” He said. I looked at him.
“When!” I asked him shocked. He shrugged.
“Tomorrow. Father is sending me to London to become a doctor.” He said. I looked at him. I was hoping Anne would return any moment from helping her mother wash the dishes.
“Are you coming back?” I asked.
“Of course Rose.” Matthew had chuckled. He had his short wavy hair and the freckles crossing his nose. I smiled and looked up at the stars.
“You know if anyone ever even looks at you funny I’m going to have to hurt them.” He said. I had laughed.
“Oh, what if I wanted them to look at me funny?” I asked.
“Well, only if you said you didn’t care.” He said smiling. We laughed.
“Rose can you do me a favor?” Matthew asked smiling.
“What?” I asked.
“Wait for me.” He said.
“Wait for you where?” I asked.
“Here. I’ll be back. Just, don’t go anywhere.” He said.
“I have nowhere to go.” I said confused at the time.
I flashed back into reality.
“Matthew.” I whispered. He smiled and looked down at his shoes.
“I guess you didn’t.” He said.
“I didn’t know what you meant! I thought you meant wait here while I go do something, but you never left and I didn’t get it.” I said.
Matthew laughed and tussled my hair.
“Leave it to Rose to not get it.” He said. I smiled and looked down blushing.
“I’m a doctor now, I’m opening a practice here, I’ve got a house, I’ve got a job, I can provide for you.” He whispered.
I looked up at him. He was the same old Matthew I used to know. He’s loved me that long, and I never realized it.
“Matthew.” I whispered looking at him shocked and amazed.
“I waited for so long, Rose.” He whispered. I looked up at him and he placed his hand on my cheek. I closed my eyes leaning into it. I lifted my hands placing it over his.
“I waited too.” I said. I opened my eyes to see Matthew smile and bend down.
“Wait.” He said.
“What?” I whispered.
“I have permission?” He asked smiling.
“Matthew! You’ve always had permission.” I laughed. He leaned in and kissed me, his lips pressing against mine ever so gently.
“Yes.” I said when he broke away.
“Yes.” He said smiling. I smiled and he lifted me and twirled me as he had earlier that day.
“It’s been five years, and you haven’t changed a bit.” I said smiling. He laughed.
“Come on, Henry’s probably wondering where he’s best friend has gone to.” I whispered.
“I’ll be talking to your father, you can go find him if you want.” Matthew said laughing.
“Father’s going to say yes, he adores you. After so long I think you naturally became his son.” I laughed. He smiled and we walked back to the house.
“I need to visit Anne, if it’s alright to tell her.” I whispered.
“Of course it’s alright.” He said smiling. I left him at the front door and he gave me a smile that made my heart stopped before he walked inside. I ran down the path to Anne’s house. Her mother and she were outside.
“Anne! Anne! Oh Anne!” I said running to her and holding her by the arms and twirling around. Anne and her mother laughed.
“What’s going on?” Anne asked. Mrs. Davis left.
“Anne, your brother.” I whispered. She looked at me confused.
“Anne, you were right! He wasn’t just being polite!” I whispered.
She broke out in a huge smile.
“Oh! Roselyn!” She screamed and we began jumping around.
“He purposed?” She asked. I nodded and she hugged me.
“He kept breaking in on Charles and me when ever Charles was talking and he made a total pest of himself and I was very thankful to him, but Charles got hurt in cricket, and asked me to walk back to the house with him. He asked me and but before I could answer he kissed me! Oh, it was awful! Then Matthew came over, and he became really possessive, I couldn’t believe it! Then I told Charles no and ran! Matthew followed me and it just happened! Oh Anne! I never dreamed of it! I mean I have, but I never believed it would be true!” I whispered. Anne hugged me.
“Sisters!” She whispered. I laughed just as a voice broke us apart.
“I take it you’ve heard.” Matthew said smiling. Anne broke free and crashed into Matthew.
“I knew it! I always knew it!” She said smiling. Matthew walked over.
“Well?” I whispered. He looked down at the ground taking my hands. He inhaled and held it. My heart sank.
“He didn’t…” I stopped. He shook his head.
“He did!” I asked. He shook his head.
“Matthew?” I whispered. He let the air out.
“I walked in and asked to talk to your father. He said of course and we went to his study. Then I told him, everything. From birth on up… and he…” He stopped and shrugged.
“Tell me.” I said brushing hair from his eyes. He looked up at me and smiled largely before twirling me around.
“Of course he said yes!” He said smiling. I screamed and hugged him. Mr. and Mrs. Davis came running over confused.
“What’s going on?” Mr. Davis asked.
“I purposed, to Rose. Huh, that rhymes.” Matthew said.
“Matthew!” Mrs. Davis cried out and rushed over hugging me.
“I knew this morning when you two about knocked each other over in that greeting.” Mr. Davis said.
“You saw that?” I asked.
“Of course! That’s why I talked to him about you in the parlor. I knew his intentions. I also knew you were listening at the door.” He said winking. He hugged me. Anne wrapped her arms around me and we screamed.
The wedding was beautiful, a small spring wedding. Only our dearest friends and family were there. Charles did most definitely receive an invitation at which he chose not to come. Of course, that was no skin off our noses. In addition, my mother finally got what she wanted, and I finally got what I wanted. Anne ended up marrying my brother six years later and they couldn’t be happier. As for Matthew and I, Great Aunt Lillian was all wrong. A good marriage doesn’t have to have quarrels at all. Just love. And love… Matthew and I most defiantly have.