The Missing Link


2. 2


"So Shakespeare portrayed the relationship of MacBeth and Lady MacBeth as quite loving and appreciative in this scene" Lily spoke. She and Jude had been going over Shakespeare for over an hour. "We know this because-" Lily looked up to Jude,who was now gazing admiringly out the window at the mass of rich green, orange, red and yellows from the Autumn season daytime. It was mid-October and the dry, crisp, crackling leaves were beginning to settle on the ground. "Am I boring you Mr Wood?",  she said jokily "I thought you wanted to learn Shakespeare and not make eyes at the window, however beautiful the view might be."

His eyes glistened as he laughed, "Hmm, of course,  but as fascinating as Shakespeare may be I'm in the mood to take a walk" He rose from his seat, flattening the creases on his shirt before spontaneously lifting her up by her arm and steering her towards the door.


She smiled as they stepped out into the midday sun, it was like they were stepping out into an abstract oil painting.  He took her hand in his and she felt content as she heard the crackle of the first Autumn leaves snapping under their feet.

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1915 - June

As she held the book closely to her as she turned the last few pages of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice 


"Lily-May!" A screech came from across the room and a large, bouncy woman in a long, evening dress bounded over. "Get your feet off the chair at once! You're still in your outside boots?! You unusual child, you know never to wear them inside. I give up!", she said, as she vigorously scrubbed at the chairs exterior to remove the suspected mud marks that weren't visible. 

"Mother..." The woman glared at her child. Without another word Lily-May kicked them off her feet onto the perfect, cream rug that hugged the floor. A long intake of breath was taken as she saw what the girl had done "

"What did I say! I do not understand why any man would promise to marry you!" She looked stunned by her own words, as if they slipped out without her wanting them to. Her attitude abruptly changed,"Lily-May, my sweet child, I'm sorry. I forgot and spoke out of turn. Have you heard anything new of Mr Benson?"

"No." Lily-May spoke softly. "No I've heard nothing" She cradled the book in her arms and held it as a young child would hold their favourite toy.

"I'm sure he's fine. There's probably a letter on its way from him to you" she said, trying to lighten the mood. "

"So, still no letter has arrived I see" Lily-May looked even more down than she did before. She had received no word from Benson -her betrothed- for at least 2 months now. Lily-May knew it was either his sign to say that he wanted nothing more to do with her, or it meant that he had died in the War. Neither one was news she wanted to hear, nor could she bare to think about.

"No. But there's still time. If anything had happened(Lord hope nothing has) then we would have at least received a letter from the army."

"Sure. I'm sorry Ma'ma. I'll put my shoes away" Lily-May muttered as she headed towards the hall, still clutching onto her book.

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"I'm named after my great-grandma, Lily-May. My middle name's May too.  As well as Evangeline. So basically my full name's Lily Evangeline May Harper which is-" Lily paused mid sentence realising she hadn't taken a break from talking absolute rubbish.  She always spoke random mess when she was near a guy she wanted to impress. "I'm sorry. I go on a rant sometimes, speak about anything really." She tucked a stray strand of her auburn hair behind her ear.  Instantly it fell back into the same place it was before.

"No I don't mind. It's fascinating. Plus I like girls to be themselves, he said softly, his arm reaching over to move the strand of hair to the side and taking extra consideration to make sure it was secured back and that he was being gentle. His hand lingered a few moments before he brought it back.

"Well I'm quite awkward and weird when I'm myself actually-" she began,  Jude interrupted. "Well I like it......You." he whispered, before lifting her chin with the tip of his fingers and planting his lips down on hers. It was a tender kiss, not too rough nor gentle. Just perfect. Lily raised her hands to hold his face and he rested his on the bottom of her back.

A bird squawked, interrupting their romantic moment. They continued back on their walk. Lily felt a sense of happiness that she couldn't describe in words. 

The walk back was mainly quiet, Lily and Jude exchanged only a few words, but it felt right and peaceful, they didn't need to talk. Lily smiled thinking about her new future, taking off her aqua stone ring to examine it's beauty.

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1919 - November

"Lily-May" a voice travelled through the vast hall crowded with people, the continuous sound of chatter and music blaring. It was 1919 a year after the War had ended. Lily-May still had no word from Benson. 

She stood in the great hall of Hurrabay House (a grand mansion with 22 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, a drawing room, dining room and 10 acres of land), she had been dragged there against her will by her mother, who was currently dancing with a Master Matthew Clement. Her mother had introduced Lily-May to the man 2 years after Benson had disappeared, suspected dead or so her mother believed.  She had been forced to 'court' Mr Clement for the past year. Lily-May scanned the hall catching glimpses of people her mind made her believe was Benson. But it wasn't him, she had to agree with her mother that there was a reason for his disappearance and that she had to move on.

At the end of the dancing Matthew Clement approached her.  His tall, slim frame and shock of fair hair stood out against the dispersing crowd and his brown, heavy-browed eyes searched for hers.  His appearance was not displeasing and he was a kind man yet she felt no emotion, a numbness she had felt for some time and feared she would never recover from.  He led her outside onto the balcony and they gazed into the heavy darkness of the night.  She pulled her shawl gently round her shoulders against the chill of the air when suddenly Matthew Clement turned towards her and put his arms out to hold her, grabbing quite firmly onto her arms as if afraid she would run away. "Miss Lily-May Smith", he started, with an air of confidence that he truthfully did not possess, " I will promise to protect you as much as I could ever protect anybody.  I will love you beyond all others for the rest of my life.  Will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?"  Lily-May was stunned. She still loved Benson, always would.  She was about to politely decline when her mother appeared and nudged her, she wanted her daughter to marry this man. Her mind drifted back to what her mother had told her a few years before. 

At some point you'll have to move on, make a life for yourself or else you'll not be living at all.

Maybe this was her chance for some happiness now with this man, or at the very least some contentment in life.

She knew what her answer must be.

"I accept you Mr Clement."



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