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Chapter 8

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"To dream by night is to escape your life. To dream by day is to make it happen." Stephen Richards


Chapter Eight

Annaliese awoke to the sounds of drapes being pushed aside. She was subsequently blinded by the morning sun. Her bedroom had to be facing east. Instinctively, Annaliese brought her hands to her eyes to shield them. As she did, she felt the cool metal of her new wedding ring. That was a strange feeling.

"Forgive me, milady," apologised a soft voice.

Annaliese immediately sat upright in her bed. It took a few moments for her to realise that she was in her marital bedroom. Annaliese then wondered if it would still be considered a marital bedroom if her husband did not wish to see her.

Standing across the room, in front of the large window, was a young maid. She wore a black uniform and kept her dark hair fixed in a tight bun. She had a very angular face with lovely cheekbones, and soft blue eyes. She looked to be in her twenties.

"Good morning," Annaliese mumbled, her voice still thick with sleep.

The maid went to collect the breakfast tray that was sitting idly on the dining table in Annaliese's bedroom. She then placed it over Annaliese's legs before pouring the tea.

Annaliese's mouth watered. She was ever so hungry. She had barely touched her dinner. She had been too nervous to as she anxiously awaited the evening. Little did she know that the evening would not come to pass.

That would always be one of the most humiliating moments in her life, standing before her husband, expecting him to stay with her, while he informed her that he wanted to live separately after a mere five minutes of being married to her.

Perhaps she had been naïve. Annaliese had known that Matthew had desired a mother for his children, and that was how their whole arrangement had come to pass, but she had deluded herself into thinking that he might have liked her, even just a little bit.

"I am Julianna Thorpe, milady," the maid introduced herself. "Sir Matthew has arranged for me to be your lady's maid."

Annaliese picked up her spoon and cracked the shell of her hardboiled egg. She then proceeded to salt it. "It is lovely to meet you, Julianna," Annaliese said, smiling politely. "My name is Annaliese."

"Yes, I know, milady," Julianna replied, returning the smile.

It was so strange to be referred to as milady. She had never been more than Annaliese, the simple, sensible daughter of Mr and Mrs Dawson.

Julianna proceeded to flit about the bedroom, collected various garments for Annaliese to wear for the day. Annaliese had never seen any of them before so they had to be new. They were lovelier than anything she had ever owned before.

As she ate, Annaliese could properly appreciate her new bedroom. It truly was large and luxurious, about the size of the lower floor of their cottage in Sussex. The walls were all panelled with the same dark timber as the rest of the house, with the exception of one wall that was wallpapered. Her bed was situated at the far end of the bedroom. On either side were small side tables, and to the left was a dressing table filled with perfumes, scents, and jewels, all laid out neatly for her.

Her eyes widened when she saw the jewellery. She had not noticed the pieces the evening before. She would have to hide them from her mother. If Jane saw them before she left then she would surely conceal them in her pockets to take with her.

Then again, if Annaliese gave the jewellery to her mother then perhaps she would not expect her to take money from the estate to send to her family. She had no intention of doing so, but perhaps the jewellery would make that conversation easier.

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