She turned in a smile, 'I'd better be getting back to the library, you know how mother likes to get there, early.' 'Yes —' he replied sadly. . . . .
A feeling of uncertainty made her question her decision. Was it just her mother being overprotective. She knew deep down she wanted their blessing, no matter what. It had been nearly seven years; she began to ponder since she had started working at the library. Every Saturday, her mother would always make sure she was there to walk her home, even during the winter months when the night came early, to ensure she got home safely.
In the summer months, she enjoyed the freedom of walking home alone. However, the last few months had been fraught with her mother unexpectedly turning up after work. Occasionally when she was not outside waiting, she would appear rushing out of a shop in the high street, always with a pleasant smile of relief, followed by a mumbling of coincidence which lacked conviction.
She knew full well, it was never a coincidence and that due to her coming home later than usual, her mother had become suspicious. Mathew, who was a few years younger than her, would have to walk a few steps behind, and only when they were confident she was not going to appear would they join as one. At first, Mathew thought it was exciting, but she knew he had grown frustrated by not having the chance to say goodbye to her correctly. She was beginning to doubt her mother’s irrational behaviour.
They had become more daring in their desperate desire for one another, and in the evening, she would sneak out into the garden to meet him. Mary had become increasingly concerned about her mother’s inconstant behaviour and realised the risk they were taking.
His marriage proposal had somehow made her feel complete and more comfortable within herself. She was not afraid of her feelings anymore and wanted her parents to share in her enjoyment. Mathew was kind, understanding and very patient. However, it made her think carefully about whether or not she was doing the right thing, or if there was a selfish, very selfish side to her mother, she had not realised.
‘Wait up!’ Mathew called after her.
‘Oh, sorry,’ she laughed, ‘I nearly forgot about you.’
‘What! So quickly? Well, that’s just nice, that is.’ He laughed sarcastically back.
‘You know, mother says boys are free to do as they like, but girls can’t because in the end they have children an end up living a life of servitude.’
‘Jee’s! — Sounds like I’ve got my work cut out then?’
Instantly, Mary put her arm around him, ‘You — most certainly have,’ she chuckled, ‘What time?’
‘It’s up to you — say around five?’
‘Make it about six-thirty, just to give us time to get in the door.’
The day was glorious; everywhere they looked, there were bright colours of contentment. Couples strolled arm in arm as children ran about them. It was something she always envied, the joy of having a little family and someone to share her every step.
‘What shall I do? — ring the doorbell and introduce myself? Mathew asked, a little less confident.
‘She’s doesn’t bite, you know.’ Mary insisted, ‘I shall come out and meet you at the gate. We’ll go in together.’
‘I’m not afraid, you know. I’m just a little uncertain of what to say.’ He paused reflectively, ‘I mean, it’s not like they know me or anything.
She drew him a little closer, ‘I know you’re not scared,’ she replied in a quiet, suppressed laugh. ‘It will be fine; we’ll have to tell them we knew each other at school.’
‘Come on hurry up! Otherwise, she’ll get there first.’
If only she could be sure that once her mother had met him, everything would be fine. Although it began to cross her mind that maybe it would be better to introduce him before announcing they wanted to get married. In time she would gradually come around to the idea and realise he was not like other men, and hopefully grow fond of him.
‘Let’s make it seven o’clock instead, shall we?’ She said in the spur of the moment.
They had walked over the lush green verge and were about to get onto the shingle path when a middle-aged couple pushing a little girl in a wheelchair came down the path towards them. He held her a moment, waited until they had passed, then whispered, ‘You, don’t think we’re rushing this a bit, do you?’
‘What makes you say that?’
‘Well, it’s just you seem a little — on edge.’
It was not long before they reached the gravel track leading up to the railway crossing, where she knew Mathew would take a keen look over at the boatyard, which runs up to the railway line, on one side. His dreams of owning a yacht one day always fascinated her, considering he could not even swim. She quietly waited until they had reached the turnstile at the railway crossing, allowing him the opportunity to fantasise about becoming a sailor, before she replied.
‘You might be right; maybe I should try and talk to mother first, soften her up a bit.’
A writers, greatest reward is knowing the enjoyment a reader gets from his work. There is always a feeling of uncertainty until he receives a review. Your comments are of great importance in helping me improve my skill and improve your enjoyment. Your comments will be much appreciated and be of great value.
Thank you for your interest, Andrew.
An Inconstant Heart
# A Feeling Of Uncertainty
Original short story by A I Moffat
Illustrations by justanemotion.com
©All rights reserved justanemotion.com 2021
The first image is by Lian.
Illustrations by Annaliseart.
Photo of a boy by Puplicdomainpictures.