‘Michael, this is a very nice drawing,’ Lady Williams said, as she stroked his head.
‘Thank you, mother. I believe that I have finally mastered the shadowing,’ Michael replied, while sketching the vase.
‘Shadowing?’ She questioned. She couldn’t help but admire her son’s drawing.
‘Oh, I don’t know what I’m supposed to call it. Only the girls know what it is called. I’ve asked Lyza, but she just laughed at me. Mother, stop it. I am trying to draw,’ he held her wrist. Moving his head away slightly, he flicked his dark fringe away from his eyes.
‘She laughed? Would you like me to talk to Elizabeth for you?’ She asked.
‘No, it will not make a difference,’ Michael slammed his pencil onto the tray. ‘She’ll just laugh at me again,’ he muttered.
‘Darling, I need to teach you how to look at the accounts. Do you want to see your new horse and go for a race?’ Ignoring his annoyance, she asked, lightly.
‘Girls don’t race. We ride horses, mother,’ Michael began tiding up.
‘Yes, and that is why you will be racing your new horse, love,’ she responded. ‘Now, come along, I need to teach you the accounts. You are 12 years old now.’
Lady Williams walked towards the door. Holding onto the door handle, she looked back, ‘I said, now.’
‘Mother, I like the colour of your lips. Can I curl your hair. I, too, want to curl my hair. I want to let it grow long, like Lyza’s,’ Michael, calmly, responded. ‘I don’t want to race my horse, I want to ride it. I want to be like you. Dress, like you. Touch, like you do, gently,’ he continued.
She slid to the ground. Gazing up at her young son, ‘God, what have I done?’ She whispered.
Michael rushed to her side. ‘Hush, mother, it is not your fault that I am a boy. I blame God for this. I blame him for taking away father,’ Michael wiped her tears.
Grabbing his small wrists, ‘Do not ever say that. Do not speak of the Lord in that manner!’ She hissed. Loosening her hold, she turned his hands and kissed his palms. ‘My sweet, innocent, little boy. They have heard you,’ she said.
Michael watched tears slide down his mother’s face. He felt the hurt, the fear, the love of his mother’s dying away. Closing his eyes tightly, he leaned forward and kissed her head. ‘I am so sorry, mother. It is all my fault,’ he said as he hugged her. He knew he was losing his loving mother, but what was about to replace her, he neither knew, nor did he care. He will continue living, after all, he never spoke to anyone, rarely appeared in public; he was a silent child.
‘No, it is not your fault. Never!’ She stood up and straightened herself. She smoothed Michael’s dark hair, ‘I like the fringe,’ she said, with a smile.
Holding his hand, ‘I shall open the door now, but let us move back a little. I do not want you getting hurt and I certainly do not want my dress to be stained by dirty ears,’ she simply said.
‘Ears?’ Michael looked up at his mother and asked.
‘Watch,’ she indicated to the door, with her eyes. As she opened the door, two maids fell forward.
A bit of 1800s history there guys. Can’t help but in cooperate some form of history 🙂 but have to put a 🙁 face too!
Eavesdropping by maids were nothing new!
See what happens next…
Love you all