January 22, 1897
He is handsome. There is no doubt about it, and his attentions would otherwise be flattering were I not aware his motivations are anything but honorable. I can dream though and a wonderful dream it is when he stands before me. His eyes seem to be for me alone in those moments like this very afternoon. At the steps to Primrose Hall he waited for me.
A sharp blue sky and crisp air were the trappings of the day. The piles of snow melted in the warm gaze of the sun, leaving a rising steam coming from everywhere and nowhere. Bundled in a warm coat with only the collar visible and a hint of a black tie, Jonathon Goulding stood waiting. His eyes followed my every movement while my own avoided his gaze.
Another woman might have easily assumed his unfaltering gaze to be simple adoration. She might have fretted about hairs undoubtedly out of place or rumpled skirts from the long hours spent sitting in desks too small for adults. I was not so afflicted. I only wondered if the look on his face was joy or anger. In the subtle nuances I am coming to know as life, I realized the expression was very likely a portion of each emotion conflicted and conflicting within the man.
He offered his arm as I approached. I hesitated before taking it, but there was no reason to be impolite. I would have heard the gasps and awes of my peers had I not ignored them. We began to walk toward Carrington Manor as if it were the most natural thing for the two of us to do.
“It is good you made it back.” He said.
“No thanks to you.” I replied.
“I had nothing to do with what happened.”
“I never accused you.”
“I only meant to say I am glad to see you.”
“And now that you have said it?”
“Are you not glad to see me as well?”
“If I said I were, I think you would be unduly pleased with yourself and if I were to say I am not, I think you would be unduly saddened. What would you have me say?”
“Whatever words would come from your heart will do for me.”
“My heart has no words of its own.”
“Then cold silence shall reign.”
“Why must it be cold? Silence is not inherently so, or am I wrong?”
“You are not.”
“Then why do you call it cold?”
“Because when a woman’s heart is absent of words, she has no warmth.”
“Then you think me cold?”
“I think you bewilder me.”
“Yes I suppose you are unaccustomed to women bearing a brain as well as a heart.”
“I think you know better than to believe those words.”
“Perhaps. Was there more you wished from me than to express your gladness?” I asked.
“Indeed. The man you shot, what did he want with you?” He asked.
I stopped walking and withdrew my arm from his. I turned to face him and our questioning gazes met and locked. You can truly see a man for who he is within his eyes, but Jonathon’s were a maze of conflicts which revealed all and nothing at all.
“Are you asking to learn what I know or to know what I learned?” I replied.
“Do not play games with me Sarah. I can help you but I need to know the truth.”
“For there to be truth, there must be trust and I do not trust you.”
“The man you shot is dangerous, but he is a mere pawn to the men he works for. None of this makes any sense though, you should be nobody to them.”
“Maybe I am. I never said they were after me.”
He blinked in surprise.
“I think you already know but if you don’t you will not learn it from me.”
“This is not a game. You will not be safe until they have what or who they want.”
“Will we be safe after they have succeeded? I think not.”
Jonathon Goulding walked away, frustrated. I entered Carrington manor, confused.