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   Chapter 1 NO.1

Through It All By madairifa Characters: 13269

Updated: 2018-01-12 11:32

Sophia closes the back door quietly not wanting to wake up the servants. No one must know about this. She crosses her arms as the chilled morning wind welcomes her to the town of Lakewood, the town that watched her grow up. Everyone is fast asleep. Except for a few birds chirping lazily as if waking up from their restful night. She positions her hood in a way that shields her face, it wouldn't be convenient if the neighbors saw her sneaking out her splendid house. In fact, sneaking out was the only way to meet Daniel. Something a young lady of her caste should definitely not do.

She arrives at her destination. A rather dark and filthy alley with puddles of mud remaining from last night's rain. She jumps up from a sudden movement under her skirt, with her heart beating fast, she sees that is just a rat running to the nearest hiding spot. She laughs noticing how paranoid she was being. She's done this multiple times. She sneaks out of her home as often as she can, just to meet a boy who certainly, does not seem obligated to sneak out from his home, for he is son of the mayor of Lakewood; he is rich, powerful, handsome, but with a past he failed to mention.

? ? ???

One cold night in December, the Smith family, wanting to share their wealth with the commoners, organized the biggest Christmas party in town. Of course all the population of Lakewood attended and so did the Willis family.

Sophia, the youngest member of the Willis family, was ecstatic. A young girl such as herself, always enjoyed a big get together, it never really mattered who were the hosts, just who were going to be there. She wore her best dress, and her best smile. This was the time to let young men know that she was now available for marriage. The problem was that she was a conservative girl whose father shielded her from the outside world for as long as it was possible. She never spoke unless spoken to, she enjoyed reading, she played the piano and her reputation was impeccable. But young boys never seem to notice these qualities. They seemed to notice women like her eldest and only sister, Lucia Willis.

Lucia is a fun and popular girl. She laughs and giggles whenever she's speaking to a handsome man; she likes to talk loudly so people will hear her, even if she had nothing very important to say. It's enough to say that her reputation is quite scandalous. Lucia has been married twice. Her first husband, a mature steelworker, decided to leave the country for a better future and Lucia refused to follow him. She took advantage of this situation and claimed to be a widow. Her second husband, a young theatre actor, couldn't stand her promiscuous behavior, abandoned her within the first months of their marriage. How she did it to be married twice and still have suitors at her feet? Was beyond anyone's understanding.

At last, when Sophia turned eighteen, it was her turn to be wed. She dreamt and dreamt of her wedding day, her husband, her family, and her future. As expected, she was taught by her governess and sometimes her mother how to behave appropriately, how to cook and sow, she learned to play the piano in the hopes to impress the man she was going to marry. Her preparation since her birth was to be a good, dedicated wife. Now, she felt more than ready to start with her life. And that night's Ball, was her chance to find whom she was going to marry.

But she found Daniel instead.

Daniel is a handsome man with blonde hair and blue eyes, every girl's dream. He comes from a big wealthy family and seems to have everything. And with his charming smile, he seduced young Sophia Willis. Sophia fell head over heels for him. He was friendly, caring and he was a gentleman. One look at him and she knew or thought she knew, he was the one. He asked her for a dance, and a lady never denies such invitation from such a distinguished man.

? ? ???

Sophia stands firmly as she waits for him. She holds on to her cape tightly around her chest trying to get warm. Her head turns every direction worried that Daniel might not show up. She needs to tell him something very important and she knows it can't wait much longer. When she sees a dark shadow appear from the far end of the alley, she recognizes him right away, the shadow walks tall and proud, it was Daniel. When he sees her, he runs to her and holds her tightly against his chest feeling her warmth. She closes her eyes enjoying the moment, he lifts her face with his warm hands and leans forward aiming for her lips, but she pulls away rapidly. Daniel is frustrated but he tries not to show it. Sophia clears her throat knowing she can no longer postpone it.

"Daniel, there is something I have to tell you."

He looks confused but waits patiently. "What is it?"

She looks down on the ground then at him, and then back at the ground. "My father has been searching for suitors."

Daniel's face changes drastically. "Has he?"

Sophia holds his hands in hers. "Yes he is. You need to talk to him before he makes a decision."

He steps back in hesitantly. "Tell him that you are not ready, at least not yet."

Sophia blinks at his reply. "I can't do that, he has already postponed it for far too long because of me."

"Tell him you don't want to get married..." he trails off as he paces back and forth.

She doesn't understand why he isn't getting what she is saying, so she tries a more direct approach, "You can go talk to him and ask for my hand..."

"I can't do that, I can't, " he says angrily.

Sophia stares at him puzzled. "Why not?"

He looks at her and holds her hands abruptly. "Because... because of your father... he won't accept."

"Of course he will, you are well educated and you come from a good family..."

"He won't, " he interrupts and wipes the drops of sweat off his forehead with his sleeve.

Sophia doesn't like the sight of it. "Daniel, I don't know if you are aware but I want something serious. I want to be with you and I don't want to hide from our families anymore. I want us to become official."

"I know, I know and I want that too, but we don't have to get married." His face brightens and he reaches for her. "Let's run away, you and me. We can go to a place where no one will bother us, where we can live our lives without any obligations."

"I am telling you I want something serious and you want us to elope?"

He drops his arms irritated. "Running away can be our chance to have a whole life time together."

"Marriage can't be that chance?" Sophia can't comprehend his reaction, why was he being so evasive? "Daniel, do you want to marry me?" she adds wit

h a sick feeling in her stomach.

"Of course I do, but now is not a good time."

"But it is a good time to elope?"

"Don't tell me it doesn't sound tempting." He circles around her and wraps his arms around her waist. "You and me in the Caribbean enjoying the warm sun."

"I can't just drop everything and leave, " she retorts as she pulls away from his grip.

"Why not?" he yells. She has never seen him so angry before.

"It's bad enough I sneak out to see you unchaperoned, can't you imagine how much worse leaving would be?"

Daniel's face hardens, "If you truly loved me, you would flee with me without even thinking twice."

This hurt her. To question her love for him made her heart break. She closes her eyes tightly holding her tears back, "If you love me, you wouldn't have suggested it."

"I do love you, it's just that you don't understand, marriage, " he pauses to unravel his thoughts, "Marriage is a massive step, and I don't think we are ready for such a big commitment."

"Well, you might not be but I am. That's why I am telling you now. If you don't talk to my father, who knows with whom he will set me up with." He starts pacing back and forth again, but this time in a very nervous matter, Sofia starts getting worried. She suddenly sees that something is not quite right. "Daniel." He doesn't stop to even look at her. "Daniel, please." She steps in front of him blocking him, "What's wrong? Is there something you are not telling me?"

He looks into her eyes and she sees his desperation. "There is, " he answers. She waits for more but he seems to hesitate. "I am a married man."

Sophia felt her heart drop. "Married?" He nods. "You are not married. If you don't want to marry me just tell me, you don't have to invent such things."

He holds her face tenderly. "I am not lying. I've been married for six months. My wife is away with her family."

"Why is she away?" she asks carefully as she pulls her hands away from him.

He takes a deep breath, "She needs help with her pregnancy."

There aren't enough words to describe what she is feeling, anger doesn't come close. Her chest starts hurting and there is a tight feeling on her throat. How could she have been such an idiot? That explains why he always wanted to hide their reunions and why he refused to meet with her father. The hints were right there in front of her, but oh no, she was too blind. In one swift motion, her hand hits him across his face. He is too shocked to react.

"How could you do this to me?" she says between cries. "You were just playing with me, weren't you? I am such an idiot!"

"Sophia, let me explain." He reaches to her but she steps back. "I am in love with you."

"Stop, stop, talking, please, " she whispers painfully.

But he continues, "I don't love my wife, I love you, and I would do anything to be with you but I can't marry you."

Sophia can't seem to contain herself, she starts crying openly, she tries to hide her anguish but the pain is unbearable. Covering her face, she starts walking away; he can't see her this way.

Daniel doesn't want her to leave, he can't bear seeing her so miserable. "Sophia... please, let me explain. . ." he holds her arm trying to see her face.

"Don't touch me, " she commands and pulls away furiously. Before she breaks down completely, she decides to run as far as she could from him.

Daniel freezes. He watches the young girl run off into the distance, her dress flowing behind her. The most beautiful girl running out of the alley, out of his life.

? ??? ?

After three hours of walking around Lakewood, she decides to move on. Daniel was not worth her tears, he wasn't worth anything. Just to think of her being the other woman makes her feel so nauseated. She bends down struggling to breathe. While Daniel's wife was bearing his child he was wooing her and she stupidly fell for it. She stands up firmly, her mind made up, no matter how much she loved Daniel, she is going to move on. Sure, it seems impossible now, but she will eventually move on. She will allow her father to pick a suitor and she will agree to meet with him, what a best way to forget him by meeting her future husband? Though the thought of marrying someone else breaks her heart, she has no other choice but to keep moving forward. It is the only way.

Sophia arrives home and opens the front door slowly trying not to make a sound. The room is empty; she walks in, takes off her shoes and runs up the stairs while holding her dress. When she lastly comes to her room, she smiles satisfied. She was able to leave her house without anyone noticing, she smiles as she hangs her cape, no one even noticed she was gone.

"Hello Sophie."

She freezes and turns slowly. She finds her sister lying on her side on Sophia's bed, with that grin on her face Sophia never really liked. "How was your morning?" Sophia chooses to ignore her and stands in front of the fire place. "That good?"

"Lucia, please. I am not in the mood, " she answers without turning.

"Father claims he found the perfect husband for you." Sophia heard a tone that sent chills down her spine. "He is very handsome."

"That's nice."

"Sophie." Lucia lays a hand on her shoulder. "I hope you have better luck with marriage than I have."

"That shouldn't be a problem, " Sophia replies.

Lucia laughs. "You are young, that is precisely what I use to say when I was your age."

Sophia finds it extremely difficult to ignore her sister's nasty comments. "Listen Lucia, the difference here will be, once I get married, I will not go around flirting with every man I see and I will not get involved with the servants. Unlike you, I will follow our parents' teachings."

Lucia laughs even louder. "Like you were following them this morning and who knows how many other mornings?"

Sophia knows she's right and she could see Lucia's chest puffed up with pride. Sophia clomps towards her sister, her hands ready to wrench on her pretty blonde hair. Lucia laughs loudly as she dances gracefully out of her room.

"What is going on here?" Gilda, Sophia's chaperone, steps in with authority.

"Sorry, it's Lucia, she can drive me so mad, " Sophia explains.

"Now, now, don't pay much attention to her. You are better than that, " Gilda says in a soothing voice as she rubs her back comfortingly. Sophia nods as her breathing comes back to normal. "Your father wishes to speak to you."

That sick feeling she had earlier returns. "For what purpose?"

Her anguished face made Gilda laugh sweetly. "You will see, " she replies as she touches her cheek softly.

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