I looked at the picture of she showed me of the chest as she continued, “That is our antique chest? It’s probably the only thing of real value that we own! Even though that sham of an antique dealer in our town tried once to convince my aunts that it was a shoddy replica and offered to take it off their hands for cheap!” At that, she gave a disgusted sigh, “I was little at the time and didn’t know anything about rare antiques…All I knew was then was that I loved the chest and the medallions? I begged my aunts not to sell them! They agreed saying that they didn’t really need the little bit of extra cash he was offering that badly…” A soft smile came on her face and she mentioned, “I think it was more a case of them not wanting to listen to me cry for days?”
I stared at the picture closer and said, “From this likeness, it does look to be quite a chest as Nobles and Wealthy would have had in their chambers during my life? In fact, I have one similar to it?” It was strang, but in all of the displacements I had gone through, my chest seemed to have attached itself to me and traveled with me even everything else might have disappeared? My chest with it’s meager contents of personal items and my journal-which I generally kept ever close to me, were the only two things that were mine through time!
Elizabeth pondered this and commented, “How odd? I wouldn’t think that something could travel through time like that, unless possibly you were holding it at the time? And, if it traveled with you, then I wouldn’t think it would remain in the past with the you that should be there?” She looked troubled by this. “This is something I need to study more? I wonder if there are more instances of this type of thing?” Then she frowned, bringing up another thought, “I need to tell Gerard about this? I hope that John has managed to get through to him!” She looked as though she might cry again and although I much doubted still her choice in affection toward him, I tried to ease her worries.
I was not quite sure how to do this considering my uncertain feelings toward Gerard, but I did try? “I have found that sometimes, men are better at helping each other through certain trials? I believe it is much like we women helping each other? They have minds and thoughts that we often do not understand? Much as we might attempt to understand and make them feel better, we oft make it worse? Just as they, in their attempts to ease our troubles in their ways, oft make a mess of it!” I laughed and shared with her, John’s most recent attempts.
She moaned and then smiled through her tears, “Oh My gods! Such an arrogant and egotistical Knight in Shining Armour you have found for yourself!” I eyed her with a half knowing smirk and replied, “Ahhhh, So you think your choice is much the better? Because I can assure you that he is not!”
She sighed, “Oh, I know full well that he is arrogant, brooding and bitter and even holds a piece of darkness in him?” She looked at me for understanding as she went on, “I know all of those things about him, I know he is far from a Knight in Shining Armour? I also know that somewhere deep within him, he is waging a constant struggle with himself to fight that darkness. It tears at his soul and causes him incredible pain which he refuses to let out for fear of someone using it against him?” She smiled at me and added, “He may have a wild and wicked streak in his soul but that makes me all the more attracted to him… the last thing I want is a fairy tale Prince Charming who appears to be perfect then starts to show you the less than perfect jagged edges after you have already lost your heart to him? I prefer to see the jagged edges from the beginning and know what I am getting from the start!”
I looked at her in some doubt, but understood what she was trying to tell me and perhaps warn me of? In some ways, John had seemed that Fairy tale Prince Charming, that fine and noble knight riding to my rescue to save me and protect me? After I had lost my hear to him, I had begun to see those fine hairline fractures in his supposedly perfect armour. This was much as Judith had advised me of… None of us are perfect, we all have flaws and must learn to accept those flaws in ourselves and others. Now that I thought about it, it just this same thing that John was constantly advising me of? I was forever searching for perfection in others and judging them on their flaws rather than trying to understand and accept them for who they were?
Our conversation came to an end as Elizabeth yawned loudly and rubbed her eyes. She quickly apologized but I waved it off as I gave out my own yawns of exhaustion! She looked around the apartment and offered another apology, “I’m afraid that I don’t have much extra space here, but you’re more than welcome to use my bed tonight? I can sleep on the sofa for tonight and we can sort everything else out in the morning?”
I told her firmly, “No, I could not think to take your bed from you! It seems that you have had a much trying time and could use some good rest? I shall be fine here on the sofa!” She politely tried to argue it, but I insisted that she find sleep in her own bed! Finally she gave in and went off to her room. I was bone tired but unable to sleep, wondering and worrying about John and Gerard? I clicked on the television, one modern technology that I was becoming quite fond of! I lowered the volume and found my favorite channel, a History one which seldom offered any true historical facts but I found it much amusing at times to see how wrong they were?
I eventually fell asleep to the lull of the muted voices. When I woke much late in the morning, I sensed John’s presence in the room. Silently, I sat there waiting for him, willing him to join me. He sat down next to me and I reached for him, knowing that his night with Gerard had probably been most difficult. I had no love for Gerard, but I knew that the others did and for their feelings, I did have concern. John looked exhausted and I asked if he had slept at all? He nodded, “Yes, I managed a few hours after getting through to Gerard.”
He rubbed his face then pointed outside, “There is a fierce storm brewing out there. At first I thought perhaps it was you or Gerard causing it with your turbulence of emotions… But, I believe it is more nature’s turbulence today than anything else!”
I shivered and drew myself close. The Castle was old and the drafts seeped through even in this newly remodeled part of it. Peering around the room, I saw no fireplace or means of additional heat. John sighed and smiled at me, knowing my thought. “Tis called a central heating system now, with mechanical controls…but, it doesn’t seem to be working well today!” He yawned, then used his thoughts to raise the temperature in the room a bit, enough to at least take the most of the chill out of the air.
He leaned back into my arms and mumbled, “I just need a few more moments to rest before we begin the day?” As I sat with him in my arms, I felt him go completely still…even his heart seemed to stop?
After just a few minutes, he came to appearing much refreshed as though he had slept for hours rather than minutes! He sat up and spoke in his brisk business matters tone, explaining what took place with Gerard through the night. The pain and guilt that Gerard suffered over Marie was immense and over powering…he had carried it within , letting it control him for all of this time and only now upon facing her death had he let it go.
John gave a painful sigh, “I know that pain and that guilt, Eleanor…tis the same as I feel for Mellie? Who could say that I might not reacted much the same, faced with the circumstances he was under with his sister?” His thoughts turned to the present, “I only hope that he can regain his control and refocus on the matters at hand quickly?”
I grew concerned, “What, you think this storm is more than that just of Nature’s fury?”
He nodded, “Something feels not right about it? It has come on so suddenly, and is not a typical one for this season… Eleanor, tis not just a thunderstorm out there, but an icy cold blizzard!”
I struggled to comprehend that, “But, it is far too early for winter storms!” We looked at each other with worry worn on our faces. What or who could be causing this freakish storm?
Finally, John put an end to our fearful thoughts, “Enough of this, it will not get us anywhere, and we have much to do this day!” He picked up his phone and got a crackling then silence as a response from it. “I can see now what Elizabeth was talking about with the connections!” He muttered and continued, “Well, I am quite certain that Bradley and Richard are already on their way here, not having heard from me yet?”