Life Without Life

Chapter 11:

Josette enters the great hall after her encounter with Timothy only to find it empty. She searches the downstairs and, finding no one, proceeds to the upstairs chambers.

"Hello, Katherine, how have you been?" she says while Katherine is closing a door behind her.

"What have you done to him?!" Katherine accuses.

"Done what to whom? Katherine, kindly explain yourself."

"Little Cousin, I mean, Matthew, is hurt," she replies, her voice now changed from cynical to serene.

"Hurt?! What has happened to him? Did he fall off of his horse? What?!" Josette exclaims, panic stricken.

"Josette, for someone who never seemed to care, you sound so concerned!" Katherine says mockingly. "I cannot explain it. You must see for yourself." She guides Josette into Matthew's bed chamber, the room from which she had just come out of.

They enter the room slowly, cautiously. There, sitting on his bed, is Matthew, a blank stare on his face. His eyes reflect pain and sorrow and suffering.

"Why does he look so?" Josette asks, almost a whisper.

"I do not know why. Ever since earlier today he has been staring out that window at the garden."

"Does he speak with anyone?"

"Nay. He mostly stares and mumbles words like 'wilting willow' or 'my lost Em' or even just 'Em'."

"What can I do to help?"

"You can tell your father and my uncle that you want this betrothal called off! Maybe then he can truly be at peace!"

"Why are you aggravated with me?! This is not my doing! I had nothing to do with what has happened to him!"

"I am not putting the blame on anyone but my uncle and your father! Matthew will not speak to anyone and I am afraid that if he goes through with this, he will never speak again!"

"All right! I shall speak to my father. But I do not believe it will do a bit of good." Josette takes one more look at Matthew and walks out of the chamber.

"All right, Matthew, your little performance is over," Katherine says after she makes certain that Josette is out of sight.

"Am I not a great actor?"

"I will admit, you did quite well for a 'Little Cousin'," she says, and, seeing his eyes light up, quickly adds, "but do not let it go to your head."


chapter 12