203. A Time To Love

I don’t have a topic today, but I have been writing. Here’s an excerpt of what I’ m working on: a time traveling romance story.

She waited outside the Holm estate when it turned dark, stamping her feet and blowing hot air onto her fingers to keep warm. Even with the overcoat and scarf, the winter cold bit into her skin, especially around her ankles where her only protection was her cotton socks.

The wind carried the sounds of murmurs and panic from the estate, and from where she stood, she saw the light of lamps. The voices grew into shouts, and she readied herself for the event.

Then he came – vaulting over the wall of the estate and landing on his feet – Sam, escaping Edith’s father. The old, bony man wouldn’t give chase, not in this weather, but he ran as fast as his legs would take him anyhow.

Sam fled into the night, and Rosalind followed.

She didn’t have to run and pursue him. She knew exactly where he would stop to rest, and there she found him – at the entrance of the book shop. As she came towards him, he looked up at her with frightened eyes, his adrenaline-surged body twitching, ready to put up a fight if it came to that.

“Sir,” she said, and her breath fogged in the air before her. At the sound of her voice, he seemed to soften a little.

“You’re not here to beat me and drag me back to Sir Holm, are you?” he gasped. He rubbed his fingers. The cold was setting in. Rosalind laughed.

“Sir, I would not be able to beat you, much less drag you the whole way,” she said. A shiver seized her as another gust of wind came whistling down the street. “Painful cold weather, eh?” she remarked, stamping her feet again. The cold felt like little needles pricking at her skin.

“Painful indeed,” Sam said, rubbing his arms. She got the notion that he wasn’t only referring to the weather. He began to walk away. She trotted up beside him.

“Where do you live?” she asked.

“Barnsbury,” he replied, his words hollow.

“Barnsbury!” she repeated. “Nice place, isn’t it? Simply lovely.”

“Stop following me,” he said, and those words hit harder than the frigid cold. Rosalind stopped, and he carried on walking. She stood, frozen for a moment, wondering if she should ignore what he said.

“But wait!” she called. “I need your help!”

He didn’t reply. Her hands clenched into fists at her side, and she ran up to him.

“Hey. Hey, mister!”

“What do you want from me?” he snapped, turning on her, and she saw the upset in his eyes. “Come now, tell me what it is that you want, and be gone! Leave me to my misery, for God’s sake!”

“I…” she began, but no words would come out after that. “It’s just a cold, lonely night, sir,” she said, “And I thought I remember your face. Do you remember me, sir?”

A pitiful sort of anger came over him. “I don’t. Or maybe I do,” he said. “What does it matter?”

“You’re beautiful,” she blurted out.

A long silence followed.

He then reached out a hand and held her shoulder. He took a step closer, and her breath got stuck in her throat. Cold fingers touched her face. She winced.

Then he kissed her.

Rosalind stood, her mind reeling, as he pulled away. “Now go away, stranger, and disturb me no more,” he said. “There are things in this world better and more worthwhile than love.”

She wanted to tell him that there weren’t – not in the world, not in the entire universe – but he was already gone.

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