An Introvert in Romance

An Introvert in Romance

A Story by Teagan Amour

An old cliche in romance with a bit of a shock ending.

Lily sighed as she glanced at her engagement ring in the moonlight.  The garden below her balcony looked like a silk dress with its silvery folds and gentle shadows.  Why couldn't she love this kind, rich, handsome mans as her mother so dearly wanted her to?  There was nothing wrong with him, after all.  Lily's usually serene face held a troubled expression as she looked towards the horizon and yearned to run away from all her earthly troubles.  She looked towards the stars and her worries seemed infinitely small compared of the vastness of space.  Yet, all these afflictions returned to her as she lowered her eyes once more.  Lily soon felt very drowsy and reluctantly returned to her bed.  As soon as her eyes shut, pained dreams plagued her.  Weeks passed like this, and a slightly awkward , yet humorous servant began to catch other attention.  This flustered Lily, as she considered herself a decent lady, yet she found herself unconsciously staring during breakfast.  Soon Lily found herself calling him for the simplest of tasks and favors despite herself, for she is only human.  Lily lectured herself each time and tried to love Arthur, the man to whom she was engaged, but could not bring herself to it, no matter how she tried. 
Lily kept more and more to herself, lamenting her emotions and wishing she didn't have a heart.  For this would make it much easier to marry Arthur and to ignore John, the servant to which her heart belonged.  For Lily and John had started chattering and now moved about each other with ease.  One day Lily's mother pulled her aside," Start acting like a lady!  Arthur is suspicious of your behavior and we can't ruin this opportunity.  So stop fooling with servants and pull yourself together.  I can't be the only noble lady in this family."

She had turned with a disappointed sigh and left.  Lily remembered this day vividly, for everyday after that had been a bleak one as she avoided her fiancee and "her John".  Days passed like this, Lily's beautiful complexion and clear eyes often muddled with dreary thoughts and disappointments.  Arthur, who loved her so dearly, could not take it any longer.  On a particularly dull day, Lily and Arthur were left in a room alone.  Lily muttered an excuse to leave, as she inched towards the door.  Arthur cast his eyes toward the window and, almost whispering, asked,"Why don't you love me?"

Lily stood, frozen in place, becoming paler and paler.  After almost a full minute passed, Lily finally said,"How did you know?"

"How could I not know?" Arthur cast his desperate stare at Lily,"Lily, I am kind, I am educated...I love you," he added tenderly.

Arthur walked toward her until he was so close, Lily had to make an effort not to step back.  He took her dainty hands in his, so that she could not turn away from him.  Lily could not bring herself to look into Arthur's frantic eyes.  When she finally steeled her nerves, she looked up at him and spoke softly,"I don't know.  I just can't."

"I wish you would."  Arthur's eyes, filling with tears, dropped to the floor.

"I tried, Arthur, I tried."

At this moment, the door creaked open and Lily's mother called her to Lily's room.  Lily squeezed  Arthur's hands and gave him a delicate kiss on the cheek.  She could feel him trembling from his resistance to kiss her back.  She went with her mother to talk of wedding plans.  "I ordered lilies and roses for the wedding, will that be all right?" her mother asked gently, seeing Lily's faintness.

"Yes," Lily whispered as she nodded her pale face, "Thank you."

Her mother gave a nod and left Lily alone with her thoughts.  John slipped in that night, for the first time of course, to find Lily with her nightgown on, stringing her hair with a blank expression.  "I cannot pretend anymore," John said sitting on the bed.

"Whatever do you mean?" Lily asked, acting as though she didn't know.

"You know as well as I, for I love you Lily," John declared, looking at her with a tender, hopeful look.

"And I you," Lily admitted quietly.

John's countenance brightened, but almost immediately was drowned with doubts.  After what seemed like an eternity, Lily confessed,"But I cannot choose."

"Do you love him?" John asked, anxiously taking up her hand.

"No," was the firm answer,"But I don't think I can break his heart, or disappoint mother," Lily confessed dreadfully.

"We'll run away!  Off on adventures!  We'll worry about nothing and answer to no one!  Come with me Lily, we'll go!"

"You know I can't.  Besides, even if mother forgave me, what would become of poor Arthur's heart," was Lily's dismal answer, and almost as an afterthought she added,"for he loves me so dearly you know."

A shadow passed across the young couple's faces.  "You have to choose," John reminded her gently.

"I cannot choose!" cried Lily petulantly.

"I will not force you to choose me Lily.  You know that.

"What if I choose myself and have no man?!" Lily exclaimed, in a fit of hysterics.

"You know I just want the best for you, dear," John calmly replied.

"What if I choose someone entirely new to this situation?  A stranger perhaps, what then?" Lily demanded, still partially hysterical, though also testing John's devotion and love for her, though consciously or not, we will never know.

Just then John's patience grew thin at the prospect,"Do not play with me Lily!  For you these are silly trifles of possibilities, for me..." John thought he might be being too harsh, for he saw Lily's dismayed face as he spoke,"for know what this means to me, Lily," he added in a much gentler manner,"for I love you with all of my heart."

John held Lily as she sobbed uncontrollably...When she finally came around, Lily looked into John's endearing eyes and kissed him.  Their tears mingled as they cried together. 

A long, tiresome, starry night turned to morn and as John woke up happily he saw a commotion in Lily's room.  He bolted for it, full of anxiety.  "What's going on?" John demanded worriedly of Lily's mother.

"She's gone," Lily's mother answered tearfully.

"What do you mean?" asked John, who knew perfectly well what had happened.

© 2015 Teagan Amour

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I think the dialogue was well written, the added emotional description made it come alive. The descriptive narative was well written also and in a flowing flowery style. I think technically the writing is good, I can't find anything to fault, and is clear and understandable. The story has conflict all the way through keeping the reader interested, wondering what she will decide or who she will chose. Just before the end I had a feeling she was going to commit suicide. This stired up emotions of me hoping I was wrong. This, I thought, was clever because even though I suspected it, I had to read on to be sure. The end was powerful, more conflict, not the usual end. I always like a good twist.
The only thing I would like to see was more description of the main characters, even though they came alive in the emotional dialoge and narative. I think more description of the characters would have given the reader a clearer picture of them in the mind's eye.
I'm sure this could have been achieved gracefully, judging by the beautiful description of the garden in the opening paragraph.
All in all, really well written.

Posted 8 Years Ago

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All the detail that you put into the beginning of this made it really easy to picture Lily standing on the balcony and overlooking the garden. And the way that you wrote about Lily's inability to decide between Arthur and John, even though she didn't love the former, was probably my favorite part. Overall, this was a really neat story and the ending certainly wasn't what I was expecting it to be.

Posted 8 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on December 5, 2015
Last Updated on December 5, 2015
Tags: romance, tradgedy, love-triangle, love