Darkness. Complete and utter darkness.
But, she was too comfortable. That’s probably because she was ready for it.
“Get up Miss. You will be late.” Someone was there, talking too loudly and shoving her even harder.
‘Go away,’ She mumbled. She didn’t want to leave the darkness.
‘But, Miss Carola, you will be late for school.’
‘What?’ She opened her eyes to see a very young Mrs. Georgina looking at her.
‘What is happening?’
‘What, my dear?’
‘You are too young,’ Carola stated. The women looked no more than 45.
‘What are you on about? Get up now, you will be late for school.’ The woman acted persistently as she always did.
‘What school? It’s my wedding day,’ Carola said, wanting to feel happy for her wedding,
‘Dear, are you on dru…?’
‘But…’ Before she could continue, everything came flooding back. The memories. Her wedding day.
She opened her eyes with a groan – the brightness in the dimly lit room was too much for her mind to contemplate. With her head hurting like no end, she reached for a glass of water on the nightstand when the door to her room opened, ever so unceremoniously.
‘Good Morning, Miss Carola. Oh, I am so glad you are up. You realize this is the last day when I get to call you Miss Carola. Tomorrow, it will be Mrs. West,’ the old woman chirped, a little too happy at 6 am in the morning.
‘Oh, Mrs. Georgina, my head hurts, please don’t open the curtains. I can’t deal with the direct exposure from the sun,’ Carola grumbled to her maid as she tossed her head into the pillows.
The old woman had been the one to bring her up. Her father, Mr. Hart, had employed the 42-year-old, recently widowed Georgiana – with two children to provide – 22 years ago. Carola had been no more than 4 or 5 then.
Now, the woman over the age of 64 was still an employee in the Hart household. Over the years, Mrs. Georgina had listened to Carola throw tantrums at every turn and had seen her happy and sad, well, angry most of the time. Most of all, the woman had acted more of a mother to her than her own mother.
A few years ago, when Mrs. Georgina had slipped and fallen down the stairs, Mr. Hart had wanted her to carry out her retirement. Still, the woman was as stubborn as a mule and had only one response, ‘Mr. Hart, with all due respect, I will only ever leave this house when little Miss Carola finds a man worthy of her and marries her.’