The Heart Is A Lonely Rider

A young women comes of age


1. No longer alone

Oh why, oh why, did she ever marry!?!

That he could not guess at her unhappiness trivialized her sorrow, and made his passion seem ridiculous. She was going to the ball alone. The marquis had invited her.  As she plodded along on horseback she imagined what a glorious evening she was in store for.

She closed her eyes, transporting herself. She imagined how at the great dinner hall smoke would masterfully uncoil its way out of distinguished mouths and unfurl in the air like floating jungle snakes. How the shimmering ladles with greedy bowls would wade through dessert soups of mystic purple and pure red. The generous tables would be swallowed with dishes and the clinks of ivory would become another facet of the grand orchestra. The quenching steams and rich smokes would swirl about the air and the chandeliers burning light would cast a tender enchantment over the entire hall.

Her heart was swooning; she was nervous, anxious, and full of life.

She thought of clever phrases she would say, witty comebacks she could give and imagined herself being toasted, celebrated, she could hear puddles of wine ceremoniously clanked together in her honor before being drank and splashed again.

She could not wait to get there and experience the elegance and delicacy, she almost couldn’t picture herself in that atmosphere, and she felt as though she were going to taste herself for the first time.

She loved the marquis so much. She scarcely knew him and already her heart felt as though it were going to burst. Finally it would be her turn to experience all that life and love had to offer! The marquis, the marquis, the marquis, she knew his name was Edward but she always thought of him as “the marquis” there was something divine in it, some magic in the transition between the first and second syllable that increased her ecstasy. She had been waiting for this moment for a whole painful week ever since she had received the invitation, asking her to come alone.

She remembered that word on the letter alone she worshipped it as an absolute symbol of his love. He was in her heart always. When the moon shone she thought of the gleam in his eyes. When she read novels she disregarded the character descriptions, the male heroes were always the marquis, their words became his, every morning she breathed in the parchments ancient scent as if it could make his image in her mind more vivid.

Because she was beautiful she had many admirers as a young girl, and to pay tribute to her good fortune, and encourage love in others she devoted herself to looking her absolute best. She always experimented with poses in the mirror, contorting her face to find the most flattering shape and lighting, for the particular intensity of expression she attempting to master, she was the first girl she knew who had painted her eyes.  She considered her large and dark eyes an important part of herself, she was proud of the way her lashes flared out triumphantly cosmically pulling everything towards her. And she was still young! She had within her an infinite capacity for hope; more secret beauty could still be uncovered!

And now she would finally get the life she had always longed for and deserved. She had finally suffered enough.  And as her horse pulled into the courtyard she did not notice the heavenly pink pitch of the sky or how the tops of snow capped houses, were hidden amongst a glorious bloom of fir trees. She saw only the impossibly smooth limestone house, and the large chamber door behind which her new life, full of adventure to satisfy her wonder, was anxiously awaiting to meet her.

She dismounted gracefully, savouring every moment, carefully locking them up in her memory forever, she felt the weight of large golden ring and let it fall on the deep mahogany door three times

Clunk, Clunk, Clunk

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