Always Find A Way

Sometimes Love is so strong that it will cross any boundary; distance, race or social divide. Sometime Love is so unique that it will find ways to survive even when in the greatest peril.

Sometimes Love will conquer death.

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15. Reality

England, March 14th, 1944

 

Tabitha's eyes fluttered. Her head was achey and groggy, her stomach was churning and she had to focus on keeping her breakfast down. 

It took a few minutes before the morning's horrors came back to her causing her already ill stomach to contract painfully in fear. Her eyes were still tightly shut partly due to the nausea and partly due to her all consuming fear of what she might see should she open them.

She couldn't feel any pain or numbness but her hands were still tentative as they explored her abdomen. No pain. No stitches. Nothing.

She opened her eyes and groaned as the light hit them. It triggered a headache but she was determined to find out what had happened to her.

Her dress was ruffled and creased but in one piece and relatively untouched. Her bump was still there, small as it was, and she felt relief wash over her like a drug, hitting all the right spots and alleviating her state of fear and worry. 

She heard movement outside her room but no one came in. Her door was shut and, she assumed, locked. But she had no more thoughts of escaping. Living hand to mouth was one thing, incurring the wrath of potential baby murderers was something entirely different. Her conscience was not to appeased by marrying a man for stability, but marrying the same man to protect her baby's life... That should would do in the blink of an eye. 

She stared at the ceiling above her four poster bed and wondered if her father had been similar to his sister in any way. She had always considered them to be alike, but that was mostly because they both had a very strong presence. Her father had been narrow minded and he liked his own way. She shivered as she realised how far her Aunt would go to secure she got what she wanted. Her father would never kill anyone.

"Your father changed after the war. He never wanted to hurt anyone in his life, but killing someone to protect yourself or your comrades... Well, it makes you realise how little you ever wanted to inflict that hurt in the first place."

Her mother's wise words. No tears sprang to her eyes as they usually did when she thought of her mother. In a way Tabitha was grateful. Her mother was gone, her baby was coming, and she needed to be able to focus all her attention on the future. 

Her bedroom door opened. 

'Ah. You're awake.' Charles's head disappeared and shut the door behind him.

My future husband, Tabitha thought idly. Funny how far a mother will go to ruin her own happiness in the pursuit of her child's. It was the true reality she supposed. You couldn't have everything and you just had to make the best of what you had.

On that rather sombre thought Tabitha got up, got changed and went down to dinner.

She played her part perfectly. No explanation was needed. Tabitha knew that any misbehaviour on her part would lead to the death of her child. There were lots of options that she could explore. Her sister's would still support her she was sure. But she no longer wanted to run away. She was determined to focus all her energy on keeping her baby safe and if that meant a life married to a brute... Well then she would just wait until her child was old enough to understand and run away then. Because oh no, Tabitha hadn't given up, she was merely biding her time.

As she smiled at and simpered over Charles, she was aware of the usual hawk-like glare following her every move. Charles had resumed his gentleman-like persona, something Tabitha found deeply unnerving, but she put that aside and made it quite clear that was playing her Aunt's game. For now. 

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