The tree on the hill

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 8 (v.1) - Summer crush

Submitted: August 14, 2019

Reads: 13

Comments: 1

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Submitted: August 14, 2019

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It was already two weeks that Jane was at Mr. Collins’ house in London. She and Mrs. Edwards did many activities together, including gardening and home-made pastry. They made a tea and sat at the garden table. The place was enchanting: the flowers gave off a fresh scent and the lush green trees created shade. Although it was mid-August, the temperature was not high and so the day was perfect for enjoying a good cup of tea while watching the sunset. The two ladies chatted about the weather but then, Mrs. Edwards, began to investigate Jane's intentions regarding the future. Jane, who was not yet ready to respond and the subject bothered her, wandered off, leaving the old housekeeper with a non-reply. Mrs. Edwards, who was not stupid enough to be fooled by a fifteen-year-old girl, also included Michael in the speech, "My dear Jane, don't be shy. I know you are afraid to leave your friend you came to visit. You won't think that I've never seen you together with him. Don't make that face, come on! Mr. Collins, your father, won't know it from my mouth". Jane finished the sip of tea and tapped the spoon against the cup in a very agitated manner. A proper high-ranking girl couldn’t have certain behaviors in public. She had to be careful not to bring shame to Mr. Collins. "Mrs. Edwards, as you said, he is a friend of mine. And, as with every friend of mine, I feel pain to abandon them because I know what it means. I have many projects in my mind and I would like different opinions from important people in my life. I asked my father coming here to clarify my ideas, that's all ma'am. If you've seen malice in my meetings with Michael, it's your problem, not mine”. The housekeeper seemed satisfied with her answer and agreed with Jane, dropping the conversation. They finished the tea and went back to the kitchen. The next day she would meet with Michael to talk about this story. While she was in the bathtub, Jane thought of the speech she should have made. Sure, she was good at improvising, but she hated being unprepared.

The following afternoon, she left the villa in a beautiful powder pink dress with small white flowers. With much grace and femininity, she climbed into the carriage that took her to Primrose Hill, located in the north of London. She was standing in the middle of the park and looking at the wonderful view, when someone came up behind her. She turned and was greeted by Michael's embrace. He had grown tall compared to the new year's last year. Summer had lightened his hair and his skin had darkened a little. His white smile was dazzling and for Jane it was difficult to resist his charisma. They walked for a while as they admired London from above; large Victorian-style houses gave that area a touch of class. Michael continued to flatter her, but Jane resisted his compliments. She managed to distract him with a question that she wanted to ask him for a long time, "You know Michael, I have six months left before finally deciding about my life. I intended to go to university in America, but even in Cambridge there are many interesting courses. What do you think?". Michael didn't seem to hear her words, his expression was confused and almost angry. In a pedantic tone, Michael said "Why do you want to go to university? If you stay here with me, I could go to work and you would stay home with our children. So you won't even have to ask your adoptive father for money." Jane's eyes burned and her voice became almost sharp, "I'm not and I won't be that kind of woman. I want to build a life without having to depend on another man. I'm not going to become the slave who stays locked in the house all the day without doing anything productive for other people. Thank you for your answer, Michael. At least I understood what your real goal was". Jane walked away and Michael took her arm, trying not to let her go, "Unfortunately you're right. I thought you were a simpler and less arrogant girl. Those people in your social class are all the same and you're not different from them. I thought that an adopted orphan was humble, instead you are superb. How many efforts to try to mix with the rich, poor thing". Jane didn’t lose her composure, took Michael's hand from his arm, greeted him and left. That was the last time she saw him.

While returning home, Jane thought back on those words and burst out laughing at the absurdity of the situation. She couldn’t understand how she could have had a crush on such a crude and rude boy. She returned home and the servants didn’t understand Jane's laughter. Finally, she understood what her vocation was: to become a pediatrician. She took a piece of paper and wrote to Mr. Collins, so that he could choose a suitable college for her. Furthermore, another essential promise was made, that is that she would have find a man of the same values as her father; a man who loved her and respected her.

In September, Jane returned to the orphanage to see all her friends again. In a short time, she would start the adult life, leaving her childhood behind. In life she wanted to save other children, like Mr. Collins had done with her. During the fall, Jane enjoyed playing with the other orphans, forgetting that she was almost sixteen. While she was running to play hide and seek, an old carriage arrived. That meant only one thing: they would have a new friend at the Rosemary orphanage. She was a bushy-haired girl with dirty clothes and face. Mother Joanne gathered the kids in the meeting room to announce the new arrival. Her name was Charlotte and was ten years old. Orphaned for a month, Charlotte had lived like a vagabond since her mother died. They had given her the bed that was once Esther's. Jane wasn't happy to have a new bed neighbor, but she didn't say it out loud. In fact, she tried to know her, but Charlotte was silent and didn't look anyone in the eyes.

Day after day she tried to talk to the weird girl, and finally after several weeks, Charlotte spoke to her. She helped her to be more extroverted and the young girl began to join the others. In Jane she had seen a positive and good person. But the new girl was destined for unhappiness. None of them imagined that their lives would be turned upside down for the next six years.

 


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