Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Faded Promise

Jeannie Anderson knew what she had to do, even though she would get herself into more trouble than she wanted to deal with again. She had thought it over and knew that if she didn't tell, Andy would end up leaving town without really knowing why Nancy had left him with out an explanation and Nancy girl would think Andy had left her because he didn't love her. She would be broken hearted and  maybe never allow herself  to love again.
Jeannie lived in this small town and worked as a secretary to Judge  Breckenridge. She lived a quiet life  as a single woman and stayed away from most people  because of the work she did.    She knew  the details about the local  goings-on in the community. because she was the one writing up the reports. She was able to judge people for what they were in their everyday transactions over laws, lands, possessions and divorces.  It always amazed her to see how people changed when they thought they were going to lose something.  She knew people wondered why she choose to remain single but she never felt the  need to explain her way of life.  They all assumed that she had left England because of a broken heart and  that was the reason she had decided to live the life of a spinster.
Jeannie had overheard Nancy's mother, the postmistress, talking that day in the post office to her husband who had stopped by, probably to try and change his wife's mind about what she was planning on doing. They hadn't heard Jeannie entering the front door and so they kept on arguing over the fact that their Nancy was to be sent away to live with her aunt for a year. That would give Andy time to  move on and find someone else. Nancy would come to her senses and meet a man from a good family when she went away to college. 
They were going to tell Nancy that Andy had went to them to say that he wanted nothing more to do with their daughter because he was in love with a young girl he had met  at the Moore's Inn, where he worked.  They were going  to say that Andy had spent quiet a bit of time with her since she had arrived  two weeks ago with her parents. He would be leaving town with them to start a new life.   Nancy would be devastated but in time  living  with her aunt's family she would forget about him.
Jeannie Anderson knew the story all too well for she had lived though the same situation herself. Years ago as a young woman, she had also fell in love with a man  and they had made a promise to  run away together and live happily ever after.  Her parents had not agreed to it and they set up a devious plan to separate them. They told her that Joseph who she had loved since the day they met in grade one, had left town because he was caught stealing lumber at the sawmill where he worked. The only reason they let him go was because his father was  the town preacher and it was to be kept a secret  that she was never allowed talk about to anyone, so as not to shame his family.
Jeannie's parents sent her away to school at Oxford in England for two years.  When she returned after spending  more than ten years there, she  learned that Joseph had never left town and that he had not been caught stealing.  He had  married  Annabelle and today as she listened to these parents arguing, she understood Nancy's father for  he had been  trapped in the same situation as a young man. He had been lied to and manipulated by parents who thought they knew better and he lost the women he loved.  He did not want history to repeat itself for he knew the consequences of having to settle for a life not of his choosing. He did not want his daughter to miss out on her chance for happiness because of  a woman who  never understood what it was to really love someone other then herself.
Yes, as she listened to her Joseph  raise his voice at his wife,  she knew he was remembering  what had happened  to him. He was fighting against what had been done to him by meddling parents. Little did he know she was standing in the  next room with tears in her eyes, remembering what could have been, if they had only been allowed to have a life together.
She had never stopped loving Joseph but she had put away her bitterness and accepted what had been done to them. Yet when they met on the street, or in a public place, their eyes still told each other that  their secret promise to love each other forever, no matter what, was still alive in  both of them.

Let you faith be bigger than your fear.  Crystal Andrus
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