Sometimes love can be funny and twisted, but how so? Alana Girard found out in a terrible way.
"To my true love, Alana Girard,
You are the only dream that whispers me to sleep and the only name that caresses my lips every morning upon waking up. We have been separated for long; however that is bound to change. I have great news to share with you, my beloved; I will be coming back to London within three days. General Whitmore has been more than kind to me and told me I could go back home and start the family I wanted three years ago, with you, my waiting beauty. I beg you to excuse me for the shortness of this letter, for departure time had caught up with me and I was in a haste to send you the great news. I promise to fill you in with the details when we meet and to bestow you with the neglected kisses that distance has made impossible for me to give you. Your name will always speak louder in my head and my heart is forever yours.
The rose-scented page fell from the numb, pale hand onto the wine-colored carpeted floor. The fingers adorned with gems sitting atop golden rings seem opaque with the setting of the sun; the sky blushed in warm colors of orange and yellow. The regal figure of the woman standing in the middle of her secluded study didn't feel so powerful and influencing now, as she had always thought of herself. Her fingers grasped at the skirt of her dress and hissed words not common in a fine lady like herself. Her thin lips were a fine line in her face and her chin was set with determination. Her coal eyes were burning with hatred toward the sender of the letter and apathy for the recipient. The door of the study slowly opened as if fate had maneuvered destiny to place the two women together in a room. A slim and young woman entered the room quietly, with her head looking over her shoulders, disregarding the presence of her mother in the study.
"Alana," the stern mother called, "what are you doing so secretively?"
The young woman let out a shriek before she spun around to face her livid mother, clutching a rosy paper in her hands. "Mother, what are you holding?" Her youthful face was drained of blood. "Is that my letter? Where did you take it from?"
"Whatever is under my roof is my property, this letter for instance, I found it in your dresser in plain view," her mother said, "if you don't want anybody finding your belongings, then I suggest you take better care of them."
Alana was in the verge of tears, "please mother, I can explain."
"Explain what? That you have secretly been seeing that soldier whom I forbid you to see and write love letters to each other behind my back?" her mother voice was raised to a shout, "he is no good for you Alana!"
"We've been together for three years, which alone demonstrate his love for me!"
"He will only use you to get to your fortune and when you least expect it he will leave you heartbroken and penniless. A mother always knows best, Alana."
"Luke will never do that!" the tears were flowing faster that Alana had expected them to. She wiped them off with the cuff of her gold-embroidered, muslin dress. "Just because you didn't have a happy ending with Dad doesn't mean I won't have it with Luke. I am not like you." Her mother stood with her mouth hanging wide open at the wild words of her daughter, before she could react, Alana had snatched the letter from her and ran out of the study.
Her mother shouted after her, "I will disinherit you if you as much as take a step out of this house!" She heard a door being slammed hard down the hall. She sighed and sank into the nearest armchair. Her heart was racing and beating wildly. Angelica Girard seemed to have aged in less than a minute and was now sighing to herself, wondering why she was such a horrid mother to a splendid daughter like Alana, who didn't know better about anything. She was just looking out for her daughter; she didn't want Alana to suffer as she did after the death of her husband, General Girard. Alana's word had stung and was still echoing in her mind but hard as she tried to push those thoughts away she failed, because you can never wish to overpower the truth.
Alana wished she hadn't spoken those harmful words to her mother, but it served her right. She was now twenty-one years old and still unmarried; it didn't look good in a London society in which what matter the most was appearance and family. If only her mother would understand that Luke was really the gentleman for her and not only an opportunistic soldier that wanted to make a fortune out of her. She sighed and scooped her legs up, hugging them close to her chest as she rocked her body against the windowpane. She would need to devise a plan to escape from her own house within three days.