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The Beauty And The Tragedy Part Four
Chapter Four: March, 1857

After they finished with their afternoon tea, Emma took Eva back inside, leaving Claire and Benjamin alone in the garden. Emma normally wouldn’t have been alright with leaving them alone but Eva had pointed out that the grounds keepers would be around so technically they weren’t alone although Eva had only mentioned the grounds keepers so Emma would stop pestering them with questions. Eva had to sit there while Emma went on and on, trying to be subtle about marriage and children. Benjamin at first just tried changing the subject but when Emma dove right back in, he’d flat out asked her to stop talking about it. To that Emma responded with, “Well it doesn’t look like Eva is going to marry. With you I have hope.”

“Mother, I was thinking of going into town tomorrow,” Eva said as they walked together into the sitting room, “I did enjoy my time there. I didn’t have much time to do any shopping. I found many different dresses that I thought were quite lovely.”

“Of course,” Emma said, “The First Footman will escort you on your shopping trip.”

Eva shook her head. If the First Footman was there, he’d be there when she went to visit Eli again. She didn’t want her mother to know she was acknowledging someone of a lower class. Eva didn’t care about rank or wealth at all. In her head, a person’s personality outweighed how rich they were. But her world didn’t work that way, “No Mother. I refused him this morning and I’m refusing him tomorrow. I don’t need to be followed around. I can take care of myself.”

“Oh don’t be silly,” Emma said with a chuckle, “A lady needs a First Footman to escort her.”

“I don’t,” Eva snapped, “I’d rather go on my own. I want to be alone. I am surrounded by people all day long who don’t want to talk to me because they work for you. I liked talking to all the shopkeepers who had nothing to do with you.”

Emma shifted uncomfortably in her seat and folded her hands on her lap, “I suppose you could go alone if you truly wished to. I didn’t realize I was such a bother.”

“You’re not a bother,” Eva lied, trying not to make a face when she said it, “I just want to be outside of you and Robert sometimes.”

“You can do what you want Eva,” Emma said, “But if I hear anything that would cause me concern, you will start being escorted by the first footman, Quincy.”

“I don’t know why you can’t trust me,” Eva sighed. She had to be very secretive tomorrow. Talking to Eli could give her mother a reason to be concerned. She didn’t want her mother to make a fuss over absolutely nothing.

“My deepest apologies,” Benjamin said quickly as soon as Eva had dragged Emma back into the house, “I had no idea Emma was going to mention marriage and children so much.”

“Her mention of marriage didn’t bother me,” Claire said, “I just wish she hadn’t talked about children so much.”

“Why is that?” Benjamin asked. Claire got really quiet, noticing a few of the grounds keepers. She grabbed Benjamin’s arm and the two of them got up and started walking through the garden. She didn’t say anything for awhile, noticing a few of the grounds keepers here and there. Once she was sure they were completely alone, she answered him, “I’ve been told I’m unable to bear children.”

Benjamin watched Claire hang her head sadly and he wrapped a comforting arm around her shoulder. She did tense up for a brief second but she quickly loosened, “I’m the favorite because of the fact that I cannot have children. One of the girls had actually given birth to Joseph’s son about four years ago. Joseph doesn’t pay much attention to him and neither does she. I’ve taken care of little Christopher for the past three years. It does make me sad to take care of him as much as I have. He shouldn’t be living there seeing the things that he does.”

“I find it hard to believe that more girls haven’t had children,” Benjamin said.

“Well, the girls who have to worry about it have ways of protecting themselves,” Claire said. She started to giggle and the genuine smile on her face made Benjamin really happy, “The things they do to avoid a child…you would find them amusing. But some of them do end up having a child. If they don’t get rid of the child, they end up leaving the house to raise it. I wish I had those means of escape.”

“You don’t need a child in order to escape that place,” Benjamin said. Claire stopped and stared deep into his eyes. She smiled and sighed, “I wish that were true. But you see, not all of us have a wealthy father to run home to.”

So Eva's part was a little short so I tried shortening Benjamin's part to make it fair. I think I failed at making his short but I'm not good at judging that haha! And when I'm writing, I have 2 tabs up on my computer. One has a list of domestic servants and the other has pictures of different Victorian style dresses. And trying to find a list of the rooms rich Victorian people had is IMPOSSIBLE HOLY MOTHER OF JESUS hahahaha. No one has just a simple list of the name of the room and what it was used for. COME ON INTERNET! Anyways, enjoy this little filler and hopefully Chapter 5 will not be so boring wink

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