There, in the Shadow of a Snow Angel

Agoraphobic and alone, Grace Bell is too scared to change her life for the better. That is, until she meets the gallant and dashing Henry Beaufort who is determined to save her. But can he save her from herself?

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4. I can’t let this go

I finally regained my composure and shut my front door. This was the second time in two days that he’d left me feeling this way. I was confused. Why was he going to this much effort? I mean, we were complete strangers; I didn’t even know his name. And then it clicked…

 

I stared back down at the card in my hands, and stopped turning it over in my fingers. I let my eyes take in the information given on the underside- trying desperately to not look at his disorientating message again. The words Beaufort Industries was embossed in black and gold alongside a similarly coloured logo. It was simple and elegant. I tried to remember if I’d heard of them as I allowed my thumb to run over the textured surface of the thick card. But nothing came to mind.

 

I began to turn the card over to look at the other side when something fell through my letterbox. Bending over to pick it up, I noticed the familiar cursive handwriting that graced the front of the off white envelope, and stopped dead in my tracks. How had he come and gone so quickly? I slid back against my front door and tried to make myself comfortable as I again began reading the business card.

 

His name, I had learned, was Henry Beaufort. Given he shared the company name it was evident owned his own business. This explained the expensive looking clothes. Little else more than his phone number, an email and the company address were on the card, but I had gathered enough from it to know that he was clearly successful enough to not have to be at the office every day; the office, the card had stated was in San Diego. He of course was not. He was here, in Cheltenham of all places. What had brought him here, half way across the world, left me even more stumped.

 

I also found myself questioning his actions again. Why was he wasting his time on me? Liking me just didn’t seem like enough of a reason for this. I’d also found myself questioning the bold statement he’d made on the card. If that’s what he’d wanted, then it had definitely succeeded in getting my attention. Was he right? Did I like him? I guess I did on some level, he was a good-looking guy. But I wasn’t sure I liked him that much. I’d been avoiding those kinds of feelings for a long time. I didn’t want- or need- the pain and heartache of a relationship that probably wouldn’t work out. And it wouldn’t, these things need you to be open and honest and yourself with the other person; I wasn’t comfortable with this. I didn’t put myself out there because people would always find something wrong with you, and there was plenty enough wrong with me to be found.

 

I sighed and looked down at the ground and my eyes fell to the letter that I had previously left abandoned at my feet. The sharp smell of the liquid ink was still fresh, and the envelope felt cold to the touch. As I slid my fingers through the back flap slowly sliding it up, I took a deep breath to calm my nerves. Why was I so anxious? I pulled out the folded page that lay within and placed the envelope to one side.  I could see the black script seeping through the paper as the sun shone down from the window above my front door. Slowly folding the page back I began to read the words that had been so delicately written:

 

Hey there Beautiful Lady,

 

I thought I’d write you this note to repeat to you what I was saying earlier today when you weren’t listening. I realised after having walked away that the card on its own might have put you off a little bit, especially given your reaction to me yesterday.

 

Now you know my name and my number and I hope I hear from you. But, it was only afterwards that I realised I still don’t know your name, and I would really like to know it…and you. If you don’t mind too much that is. Like I wrote on the card I really like you.

 

Two days when ago when I first saw you, I was intrigued. I’d seen you fall over twice and it was endearing. I’d not thought much of it until your hand was in mine; something about it, it just…it felt right. And then I saw your eyes, and I knew, instantly, that I wanted to know you.  When I caught you staring I realised that maybe you felt the same. But then you just left, and I wasn’t sure if I should follow you. I really wanted to.

 

I’d spent the following few hours thinking of you and I wanted to kick myself for not asking you for your number that morning. It wasn’t until later that day when I was looking out my window that I noticed you enter a house at the end of the road. I was amazed to realise that I’d lived here for the last two months and not once before had I ever seen you. I came by just to be certain. It was as if fate had intervened for me, and now I feel like I can’t let this go.

 

So, yeah, that’s all I wanted to say really. Please call- at least to tell me your name.

 

Yours,

Henry.

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