The Missing Link


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3. Revelation

 

 

1923

The baby had soft skin as smooth and flawless as porcelain.

She was proud of herself, she never thought she would be able to do it.  But here she was, holding her new-born, her child.

She had wanted to name the child Benson like the man she had loved all those years ago. She wanted him to be just like him.  To be brave, courageous and fight for what he believes in, in both love and ambition. 

Her mother had said no.  For although Matthew knew nothing of it,  she didn't want to risk him ever finding out, or for Lily-May to remember how sad she was when she lost him.

So they named the baby boy Fredrick, after her father.  Fredrick Christopher Clement.

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Present

Lily was meeting Jude later that evening and was parading in front of Lucy in her new blue satin dress and heels, she was excited to be meeting him and could feel the butterflies beginning to dance in her stomach.  Her mother grabbed her hand and led her to sit beside her.  "Wow, I haven't seen that thing in... in years" said Lucy, admiring the aqua stone and white gold ring her daughter was wearing, " it will go beautifully with your blue dress".

"Where did it come from?", asked Lily, and noticed a look of sadness sweep across her mother's face.  "My father gave it to me, it belonged to my grandmother and when she died my grandfather gave it to him.  And now it's yours!" she smiled, "the ring suits you - and the stone matches your eyes."

"How did Granddad get it?" Lily knew her grandparents were a tender subject with her mum, she didn't want to be too nosey, but curiosity won.

"My granddad told me my grandma, Lily-May was once set to marry this man. They were in love. She was only young, about 18? This was long before my grandfather met her, long before. Well, this man..." She paused, trying to remember his name "Bradley... Benson, that was it, he gave her this ring, it was his family's ring, but he died or disappeared sometime during the war, and that's when she met Matthew"

"Wasn't that painful? For your granddad?"

"I assume so. But they'd been married over 40 years before he found out and when he did she had already passed away"  Lucy kept her head down, blinking the tears away and Lily put her arm around her mother and hugged her tight.

"That's so sad, so this ring doesn't really belong to our family. But to the Benson guy's family?"

"Yes"

"Shouldn't we give it back to them?"

"Really? You would want to? But, I don't know who they are. All I know is the surname is Wood and there are so many people called Wood" 

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 "You're a Wood aren't you?" Lily gazed across at Jude, he looked so handsome tonight in his jacket and tie,  and had tried to tame his unruly hair but still had that boyish charm she had fallen in love with.  

"Excuse me?"

You're name is Jude Wood"

"Of course, you know that. Well in fact it's Jude Benson Wood, but we leave that bit out" He sweetly pecked her on the nose with his lips.

"Benson...had you a relative called Benson?"

"Yeah,  my great granddad - Benson Wood."

"YES!"She leaped out "Thank you! Thank you"" Lily said kissing him full on the lips.

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Lily recalled the story of her grandmother to Jude and showed him the ring.  It sparkled in the moonlight and lit up her eyes which matched the glow on her skin in her excitement.

"I think I should give it back to you. To your family?"  She started to remove the ring from her finger when Jude placed his hand on hers. "No, it's been in your family for generations. You keep it - and anyway, it complements your eyes" 

"You know, he never stopped talking about her, Lily-May. He kept a photograph of her with him always. I see you've been gifted with her beauty"

"So he didn't die?" Lily questioned.

"No, but something happened worst than death, for him anyway. He lost his memory. He was caught in an explosion in the war and when he woke up in the hospital he knew nothing of his past or of her. When he began to remember, years later, he discovered she had moved on and was married and had a son of her own. It broke him. In the end he moved on too, got married himself, but on his death bed he whispered her name. Wished that death would reunite them."

"She- Lily-May I mean- she never knew this, that he was alive?"

"No, but her husband did. He came round asking for information after finding the letters she and Benson had exchanged to each other."

How sad. What do you think would of happened if she did find out" Lily's eyes were wide with wonder.

"I don't know. It depended on how much she wanted to risk what she had."

"She loved him too, apparently. So very much" Lily whispered.

 

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Lily was now in Jude's arms. She couldn't help thinking about the past - about Lily-May and Benson, her true love. How she never knew how much time she had left with him.  Lily was happy for the moment with Jude however long it lasts. 

"Our great Grandparents were in love. It's kind of like fate."

 Jude held her close and kissed her fondly, "Yes it is.  Fate has brought us together," he whispered.

"It's like we were the missing link"

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