FREDRICK DID NOT COME HOME FOR A FEW HOURS. I WAS worried for him, I no longer felt uncomfortable, and I wanted to see him? Somewhere in me I felt a terrible premonition, though.
I called for Millie and had her send out a few men to search for him. It had gotten late and dark. The clouds overhead had turned dark and the wind had picked up. A few minutes after they left, the thunder started.
They returned to the house within the hour. His horse was found at the bottom of the ravine. They didn’t want to tell me anything other than neither he nor his horse survived.
I cried out in anger.
I shook with sorrow.
I went insane with loss.
I screamed and cried out the pain I felt, until I felt empty inside. He never went out this late; he left because he couldn’t stand me. I lay in my room just staring. Too spent to move, cry or even blink.
It is my fault my husband was dead.
I stayed up late that night. Staring into the fireplace, in the kitchen with a cup of tea that had gone cold hours before. I had told Millie that I could not sleep in our bedroom alone and that I would like my old room to be set up for tonight. Even though I stayed up all night, I did not see either bedroom. In the kitchen I sat, staring into nothing. I did not cry again after my initial screaming. The feeling of dread and discomfort was gone. I did not know if it was dulled from pain, or if I was just a bad wife.
Had I tricked even myself into being happy? Was I really not meant for Fredrick? I did not speak that night. I got up once to throw up cold tea in the servants wash room off the kitchen. After I sat back down, I stayed there until the servants woke and started the daily work that kept the house going. I did not want to see life go on, so I went up to my old room and slept the day away.
Fredrick’s funeral was held two days later. I threw up my lunch when Millie tried to talk to me about the arrangements. The day of the funeral I threw up again when I was trying to get dressed. I held it throughout the service and then raced to the bathroom and everything came back up and I cried. The stress and emptiness was too much. I went up to my room after everyone left the house. I went to the chair by the window.
I remembered that it was not too long ago that I had sat in this chair and faked sickness to be away from my husband. Now I sat in this chair, looking out the same window, and would never be with my husband again. There was nothing left except cold loneliness and the knowledge that it was my fault. I looked at my reflection in the glass.
My hair was pulled back up on my head, but the back was left down. Millie had said that Fredrick had loved my hair down, and that I should not have it all up. My dress was all black, of course, nothing fancy, a few skirts and a blouse with long sleeves. A very small amount of lace at my wrists and collar. My mother had not made this dress; this dress was just one I had Millie go buy from a shop. I looked down in my lap at my fingers. I was too young to be a widow, but I thought I deserved it.
Fredrick did not though.
I had brought nothing but pain and false laughter to this house. I was the reason for everything bad that had happened. That was what I was thinking about as the sun disappeared.
As darkness rolled in slowly devouring the light, I felt no passage of time. Minutes felt like hours and hours flew by in seconds. I heard someone knock on the door, but I said nothing. I stared out the window into the dark. I was remembering the feelings I used to get at night.
When I was a child I had loved the night. I always felt at peace and more at home during the night. I could sit outside and everything felt peaceful. In my later teenage years I had felt the peace that should be there, but it felt out of reach. Like something was between me and the calmness of night.
Now, grown and widowed, I felt like the night was nothing. The night now held the same emptiness I had inside. I felt like everything out there was ominous and was watching me. Nothing was as it should have been.
I should be with my husband, in our room. Happy.
I was just in a room. Nothing else to my future. Alone.
Not alone Little One. Never again
I closed my eyes and felt tears threaten. As soon as I heard the voice, I remembered everything about it. It was at my début. I heard it again on my wedding night. It came to me in dreams, even just a few nights ago.
My imagined man.
Will I ever be rid of him?
Obviously he was here tonight because I could not cope with my husbands’ death.
“What was wrong with me that I can not be in the real world? Why do I have to make up a person to deal with stress?” I wondered aloud to myself. I would not acknowledge him this time. I knew he was not real. It was time for me to grow up and live my life. I was an adult, and a widow. I would have to become stronger than I was, and imagining things was not strength.
The voice came again after a little silence from me. It was no longer in my head. At least, my mind made me think he was really in the room.
“You are mourning over nothing. You should never have been with him.” His words stung. If I was making him up, then his thoughts were my thoughts. Why would I think, that I was not supposed to be with Fredrick? I had felt real love with him had I not?
“I told you that you would bring no joy to this house. You still tried to defy me. You let that Human touch you. Have you.” The voice paused and when it spoke again, seemed closer to me in the room. I refused to turn around.
“I could not have that. I got rid of him so you would finally listen to me.” I felt the first tear slide down my cheek. I did not hate when Fredrick was near me. I did not cringe when he would hold me. Why would my mind have this man say these things? What was wrong with me?
Do all widows feel this way?
I felt the man’s presence in the room now, no longer just a voice. I felt like there was a person behind me. Still I refused to turn around; I would not give into madness. I wondered why he had visited this time. Maybe if I followed the source of my worry, I could be rid of this phantom man. He moved closer to me and I still said nothing.
“You will no longer mourn him. I am here to be with you. To take you with me this time.”
Was that it? Was my mind telling me I should leave. I was a bad wife. Surely I did not deserve to live in his house anymore.
Fredrick’s Mother had not yet passed, she could take the house and I could leave. She spoke to me rarely and I hardly saw her anyway. She would not mind.
“Little one, I would have you look at me before I change you.” I refused to look, I would figure this out and he would disappear. He said he was going to change me. How could he change me?
“If you will not look at me, or speak, then you shall feel the pain and feel all of the change. I will not soften it for you!” As he said this I realized that the ‘change’ he was talking about must be death.
My mind could not cope with this life, and brought my phantom man to bring death to me. I was actually, almost happy. If I could not be with my husband in life, then I would be with him in death.
“So be it!” He said and grabbed my arm, pulling me out of the chair where I had sat so calmly. It surprised me only slightly that I actually felt his hands on my arm. Thoughts and imagination should not feel real.
I looked up at him calmly. I was ready to die. I would possibly go to Hell for the pain I caused Fredrick, but I was ready.
His eyes stared down at me and he leaned in. I thought he was going to break my neck or something but he bit me. Hard. My knees buckled and I started to fall backwards to the ground, but he caught me. With a hand on my waist and one behind my neck he held me up as I let my fingers trail across the rug.
To this day I remember closing my eyes, awaiting death. Not being scared and thinking only of the way the rug felt against my fingertips and how I would follow Fredrick in death. I would finally be a good wife. I was not bothered at all.
“Do NOT think of him while I am touching you, think of me. I am your other half. You are mine, NOT his!” I did not know why he was mad, he wasn’t even real. He was just my way of killing me without knowing it. He leaned in and bit again, harder, I flinched. I knew that this time I was really going to die. I closed my eyes. I was ready.
I felt his lips leave my neck.
His hands felt lighter as he placed me back in the chair. Then he turned screaming in rage. I did not know what was wrong. Did I not know how to kill myself, was this some dream I could not wake from? Nothing made sense. I just sat and stared out the window again.
“Your blood tastes of him. You do not even know it. I got to take him before he even knew. I am glad of that at least, because he should never have touched you.” He looked down at me in disgust, with something else floating in the backs of his eyes. A look that was fatherly, husband like, even kind and sad.
“I will not change you this night,” At this I looked up in shock. I had wanted to die, why didn’t he take me. I decided to speak, I was already crazy, and speaking it aloud would make no difference.
“You came here to kill me. Please, take me with you. I do not want this life.” He looked down at me. Something that almost looked like longing, love, and pain crossed his eyes.
“I remember how much you loved being a mother,” He said which confused me, I was never a mother. However, some part of me thought it made sense, which confused me more.
“You may not want this life. However, I know how much you would love the life in your belly. I will give you the time to have the child. Even though he should never have touched you, I could never take away a child from you. I love you too much to do that. Know this, though, I give you this time, but you will know no other man. You will have the child, and I will change you then.” With that he was gone.
I put my hand upon my belly.
“Life in my belly?” and I fainted.
The next morning Millie was waking me up, I had slept in the chair all night. She was worried that I might have died of a broken heart. I told her that I had thought I was going to.
“Millie, I had the most horrid dream and I thought I was dying. In the dream though, right before I felt deaths final touch, I was,” I paused. I did not want her to know I was crazy, but I had to explain my concerns.
“It was almost like I was told by death, that I had life in my belly and I could not die until that life was started. Millie,” I started to cry.
“I think that maybe Fredrick and I have started a family, and he died before he was able to know!” I broke down and she held me, crying her own tears as well.
She told me that we could just wait to see, but that if I wanted to know right away, she knew someone I could go to.
“You must know Miss Tamson that not many people know of her, and those who do always feel fear in her presence. However, she knows much, and always helps. She can predict deaths, and lives, heal small sicknesses. Some say she can read minds and curse people. Some say she is a witch, but I have seen her. She frightens me, but I have never had trouble with her, and she helps. If I take you to see her, it must be after dark, for she is sickened by the sun. You must also not speak of her to anyone, unless you feel she is the only one to help.”
Millie was never this serious and in all our talks she had never mentioned seeing a witch. Nor had she seemed the kind who would have even gone to one.
I agreed. That night she took me to see this witch.
I stepped up to a door of a small house. It was hidden in the forest and had a large growth of plants hiding it from the eye. I could have walked by and not known it was there if Millie had not walked me straight to it. The place held such a sense of foreboding that I would have sped up my pace had I just been walking by. Millie had to tug on my arm slightly to get me moving towards it.
“I know what you’re feeling, though I don’t know why we feel it. She can help, I know that much.”
For the sake of the lesson and time I have to write it down, I will cut this short. I feel him nearing. This part of my life is not crucial to knowing Adam. However, it is part of my mortal life that understanding will help to show his wickedness. So I'll shorten it for you.
The witch had Millie wait in the front room as I followed the witch through a curtain. I was scared, but also felt at home. I told her of the dream I had, the man I had heard and seen. I was not scared of telling her. If she could read minds, then why hide anything.
She told me a few things, I will not write our conversations, but she did say this before she pulled Millie into the room.
“The visions you are having are truthful. You are with child. It is healthy. I foresee you delivering and both of you surviving.” She looked into a small box. Sighed as she pulled out a small necklace with two small charms.
“However, I do see your death after the child is born. Do not tell anyone of your fate that I have spoken, or this fate may come before the child is born. I want you to take these.” She handed me thin chain in my hand letting the charms touch first then dropping it completely.
“Put this necklace on and never take it off while with child. When the child is born, put one of the charms on a necklace for the child. It will protect it from danger. You wear the necklace as long as you can. This charm will help you find help.” She called Millie into the room.
“She is with child. It will be born healthy. However, if anything is to happen to Tamson after the child is born, it may be in trouble. I have given her a charm to wear while with child, the child will remember it. If anything happens to Tamson, you come to me. Bring the child and the charm. I will help you protect it.”
She closed her eyes. At the time I thought she was reading the future or something. I know now she was trying to find away to words things.
“Millie, if you do have to bring the child to me, you will have to change your life. It will be arranged. I will help you. However you must be willing to sacrifice your current life for this child, if need be. For it is important and must live on.” Millie did not look scared and said she would do as asked.
“Tamson, after the child is born, there will come a time, when you have questions. You will not know where to turn. When that time comes, you will remember me then and only then, seek me out. I cannot help you, until you remember me on your own. After the child is born, you will not think of me until that time.” She had me leave the room and spoke to Millie, who had been having back pain and wanted a tonic for it.
I sat in the front room with my hand on my belly staring at the necklace and charm. It was small and circular. Inside the outer circle was a shape similar to a cross, except the sides did not go straight out, they curved up and pointed. Almost touching the outer circle. The top of the cross stopped just above the middle, like it wasn’t supposed to be there. Its edges also pointed up, just slightly.
I was healthy and happy the next eight and a half months. One night I awoke in agony. I felt like I had fallen asleep with a corset on and the boning was digging in. I realized that it had to be the baby. I called for Millie. By morning my daughter was born.
Evelynne Marie Godefrey was a perfect child. Millie helped in her birth and was the one who handed her to me. I cried as I held her. Saw Fredrick’s eyes staring up at me. I loved her with all my being. I did not want to die anymore. I finally had a part of Fredrick back. This time I would love him properly.
I did not get the chance. He came back when Evelynne was only a month old. I had put her to bed. One of the maids in the house, Catherine, was also a mid-wife and was a perfect nurse. She was one of the first friends I had made here, after Millie. She was going to watch over Evelynne so I could rest that night.
I went to my room and was overwhelmed. It felt like the air itself was thick and heavy. I stumbled to the bed and sat down. My eyes were heavy and I squinted around the room. I thought I saw a shadow near the far wall before I fell on the pillow.
I pause for just a moment and close my eyes. I take deep breath to hold back tears, and start again.