What Dreams Become

July 9, 1896
Margaret Spooner

I miss Edgar. It is only a few short weeks before I return to Primrose College, but it may as well be an eternity without Edgar. It is funny to think I used to declare I would never be that attached to any man. Incredible, how much things have changed.

Shortly after midday there was knock at the front door. I opened it to receive a telegram for my father. He was not home at the time so I signed for it and accepted it for him. If he was perturbed by this he did not say but the contents were disturbing enough he may have simply forgotten.

I was good, and did not open it despite an overwhelming curiosity as to its contents. Whatever was contained within it angered my father greatly though. It must have been some very bad news. He immediately packed a case and left for South Carolina. I have no idea who he knows there but I have the impression whoever it is will probably wish they did not know my father when he arrives.

After he left, I settled down in the garden for some light afternoon reading. Mother decided to join me though and so my book fell aside unread.

“Edgar seems a good man.” She said sitting down beside me.

She poured us each a glass of lemonade from a pitcher she had brought with her.

“He is. He makes me very happy.”

“I’m glad. Your father and I had begun to worry you would never meet such a man.”

“He has always said all things come in their own time, he should take his own advice.”

“It is a father’s prerogative to worry about his daughter’s future.”

“I suppose that is true, but I also worry about him.”

“Why on earth would you worry about your father?”

“His business associations seem of questionable character and I think he is involved in dealings he does not fully agree with.”

“Your father’s business is none of yours.”

“I know, but still I worry. He was clearly angry when he left.”

“Can you blame him? You are home for such a short time in the summer and he has to leave on a business trip which may keep him away until you are all ready gone back.”

“I know but I think it was more than that.”

“Perhaps it was but that is not for you to be concerned over.”

“I cannot help it.”

“I suppose not, but you should try.”

“Father and I were talking before and he said I should ask you something.”

She looked at me with obvious curiosity and sipped from her glass. She motion for me to continue.

“He said you once had dreams of a different life?” I asked.

“When we are young it is easy to believe in the impossible.”

“What did you dream of?”

“It was a long time ago and it seems quite silly now.”

“It is not silly to me. I want to know.”

“I wanted to design buildings.”

“That does not seem silly at all. Why did you not pursue it?”

She laughed but it was not that she found it funny, I think she found it all very sad.

“Things were much different then, the only colleges accepting women were in Europe and they would not allow such a frivolous course of study. Becoming a teacher was the only reason a woman would really consider attending college.” She said.

“You could go now.” I said.

“And who would look after your younger siblings? I have responsibilities and a good life.”

“Are you happy?”

“Of course I am. Maggie, right now you think there is only one path in your life which will lead you to happiness. That is not how it works though, happiness can find you in the most unexpected of places.”

“So you married father because he made you happy?”

“No, I married your father because my father told me to. I was dead set against it. I was convinced I would hate your father for all the days of my life. Once I got past my resistance to it all, I discovered he was a good man and in time I learned to love him.”

“That does not sound like happiness to me.”

She smiled at me and patted my knee gently.

“Happiness came later, when your brother Jeremy was born. I never knew just how much a family would mean to me until that first moment of holding him in my arms.”

“Is that when your dreams died?”

“My dreams did not die, Maggie, they changed. You will find dreams have a habit of doing that as you get older. There are happy moments in any life, you just have to know where to look for them.”

“I’m not sure I agree with you.”

“You don’t have to. Maybe your life will be different.”

“I love and respect you mother so forgive me, but I truly hope my life is.”

“I know, I felt the same way once upon a time.” She said.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Ashley, we think that things change, only our desires.
Warm hugs,