by Lynne Ayers
For a (long) while I have been writing a novel inspired by the life of my great grandmother (1852 – 1928). However, I have made up so much around parts of her early life of which I knew little that it really is a piece of historical fiction framed around some true incidents.
This excerpt is set in London, England, 1882. My grandmother, Blanche, and Philip Whitlock have had a long-standing liaison over a period of years. He proposed several times before Blanche finally accepted. Then her parents decided to emigrate to America and Blanche felt it necessary to accompany them on the voyage. While the wedding is set to take place immediately on her return, Philip has concerns about her leaving. This is on the eve of her departure.
After dinner Mr. Whitlock hired a carriage to take them along the Embankment, lit at that hour with lamps emitting a halo of light in the moist evening air. They sat in companionable silence until Philip spoke.
“I understand your reasons for accompanying your parents, but I can’t help wonder if you will forget me. You have become the most poignant, sweetest moments of my life, Blanche. You have made me feel every feeling there is, in quick, heated succession. If you should come to regret our relationship, it would discount the joy I have felt on holding your hand, the laughter, the peace at being one with you. Your love is unforgettable and the sadness I’d feel would be very deep if you ever regretted letting me feel it. When we say goodbye my fear is we will never see each other again. How do we put all that in one goodbye, one kiss?”
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