Denied

I wish you were more...

"I do not understand," I murmured hollowly, though to no one. I stood alone.

He had left me.

It was a more terrible feeling then any other in the world. That he had...walked away. Had shut me out. That perhaps that I wasn't....enough.

I aimlessly wandered back to the lake where I had earlier been dunked. My hair still dripped, clothes still stuck to my skin but I didn't care. It didn't matter how I felt on the outside. The pain on the inside was far greater. 

I looked to my reflection in the pristine, smooth water, like a flawless slab of glass. Sinking to my knees, I stared into my own face. A lonely tear strayed from my cheek and fell into the water, making my expression ripple.  

This is not how love should be, Alyssa.

But...I don't understand. I loved him...more then anything.

The rosy blush of dawn began to color the sky, the moon disappearing from the horizon. The new day put into the beautiful scene around me into a most lovely light, making everything more brilliant and stunning. But it did not appear beautiful at the moment--it appeared to be mocking me with its fake happiness while I wallowed in my sadness. I collapsed on my side, softly sobbing, escaping into the darkness of sleep. Yet his face lingered before my eyes, and his cruel words in my head.

~~~

I woke to the clatter of pots, the sound of movement in the common room. I was tucked away safely in my blankets, in the room which for so long called my own. The skin upon my cheeks was sticky and damp, stained with trails of tears, yet otherwise I was warm and dry. It was like nothing had happened other then a terrible dream.

Except on the inside.

I slowly crept from my bed, shivering as my bare feet hit the cold wooden floor. Not bothering to put on my stockings and boots, I made my way toward the unusual noises, opening the door and facing my sisters.

All around, wooden crates were stacked, our things packed tightly away in them. Marie tied up sacks of jams we had made that fall, Ella folded blankets and clothes. Otherwise, the room appeared bare.

"What....is happening?" I inquired slowly, confused.

"All the others are going to Thornton, as no one has shelter from winter. Many say they are not to come back here, simply start over in Thornton instead of here. We are going with them; it will be safer." Marie replied. She waved her free hand, gestering towards all the crates; pots, pans, candlesticks. "We are leaving much of this behind. Just simply the bare minimum. We are to stay with Andrew's sister and her family."  

"Why?"

"Did I not just explain it?" she continued, somewhat exasperated. She took her apron and wiped at her forehead. She sighed, "Also, those soldiers could return. They could even come to Thornton. But Thornton is larger, and that is where everyone is heading. So we are leaving and starting over in Thornton, like everyone else."

I furrowed my brow, just walking back to my bedroom and shutting the door behind me. Gently, I set myself on the bed, staring off to the window. Leaving. This was home, wasn't it? This was all I knew, this was where Mother was buried....

But a place did not matter did it? Home is where the heart is.

Yet...where is my heart?    

I fell onto my back, staring at the ceiling. Did I not know what love is, as Horatio suggested? What was it, then, that I felt for him?

I closed my eyes. I recalled the moment, laying in his arms, feeling safe, secure, protected....content. For a brief time, my heart was at rest, yet it was not just simply at rest,  it felt...happy. I was very simply....happy with him.

A fresh tear leaked from my eye and slid slowly down my face. But that seemed to be no longer. I wasn't...enough. I was too...shallow. I didn't...understand.

"Alyssa?" came a murmur, the murmur of Marie. I sat up, not looking at her. She moved closer, her hand upon her rounded belly, setting herself at my side. Still, I refused to look at her. I did not trust my voice, or my expression. She put her arm around me. "Whatever happened to that....Horatio?"

I turned my eyes to her, halfways alarmed. The concern in her eyes softened my feelings. I averted my eyes from hers. "You love him, don't you?" she rubbed my back reassuringly.

Swallowing, I shifted on the bed. "Well...I suppose the type of love that I felt for him was...wrong...or perhaps...it wasn't enough," I gazed into her eyes with my last words. When she did not reply, I stood, "I should help you pack. I have been useless as of late."  

"Alyssa," Marie came to her feet as well, taking my hand. "Please know that we love you. Mother loved you, Father, wherever he is, loves you, and we love you. Do you understand that?"

I smiled weakly, nodding. Marie took me into her arms, allowing me to weep freely into her shoulder.

"I love you, Marie," I whispered through my tears.

The End

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