Life Without Life

Chapter 18:

"Emmy, are we really free?" questions Thomas John after settling down against a large maple trunk.

"Aye, Thomas, we are free," she says sadly.

"Well, if we are truly free, why do you still look sad?"

"It is just that- - -."

"Emily! Emily-Elizabeth!" someone calls from the distance.

"Josette, what are you doing here? How did you know where to find me?"

"I guess you can say it was instinct. That and the fact that you left flower petals on the path." Then she adds sarcastically, "Still playing 'He loves me, he loves me not'?"

"You still have not answered any of my questions, Josette. What are you doing here? You should have either been married to Matthew or off somewhere with Timothy by now."

"For one thing, Timothy is the lowest of the low!"

"But why? I thought he loved you."

"That is besides the point! If it were not for him I would not have had to sneak past the Baron's guards on the manor to get here! Listen, I have come to ask you for a favor."

"I simply cannot believe you came all this way just to ask me for a favor! What, do you need me to talk to Timothy for you?!" she mocks.

"Look, Emily, I did not come here to argue with you. You are about the only friend I have left."

"Friend?! You think I am your friend?! The one whom you insisted you could get out of jail but instead gets her banished and goes off to marry her love?! In my book that is certainly not a friend!"

"I do have to admit, what I did to you was cruel, but you must believe me, I had no other choice!"

"Where have I heard that saying before?" she retorts.

"Please, Emily, you are my only hope!"

"All right, all right! You do not have to sound so catastrophic about it. What is it you want me to do?"

"I need you to go back to the manor."

"What?! Have you lost your senses completely?! They would execute me on the spot for trespassing if I dared to show my face there again!"

"Listen to me, please! Go back there and be with the one you love. If there be only one of us that fate has meant to be happy, then let it be you. I deserve just punishment for the lust of this Blacksmith's apprentice and for being a Baron's daughter. Go back to Matthew, go back to the one you love!" With this last statement not yet completed, she runs off, never to be seen or heard from by Emily-Elizabeth again.

"Come on, Thomas. Go get John and we shall go back."

"Nay, Emily, we are not going," says John Michael, approaching his sister.

"What do you mean you are not going back?"

"Just what I said, we are not going. If you wish to go back to your love, go ahead. But we are not going to be dragged into this once again!"

"What do you mean dragged into this again?!"

"I mean that because of you, we were banished from our home, having to leave our dead sister without a proper burial, and you expect us to go back and face even worse? Nay! Come on, Thomas. Say adieu to Emily, and let us go our own way."

chapter 19