Paul is so much better! I am so happy because today my dearest brother was able to leave his bed for the first time. We walked about his bedroom together and he sat in a chair by the window and looked out at the gardens.
'It is so good to feel the fresh air again, Anne,' he told me when I opened the window for a while. I had begun to think that I should never rise from my bed again.'
'Of course you will,' I said and kissed his cheek. 'You are strong and brave and you deserve to be happy.'
'I am happy here with you,' Paul replied. 'You have been the best companion a brother could want.'
I blushed when he praised me. 'I have done very little. It was a pleasure to me to sit with you, my very dear brother.'
'And I have enjoyed your company,' he said. 'But now you must begin to resume your own life, Anne. Mama is planning to take you to London soon and you should start to gather your wardrobe.'
I knew that he was right. Had he not recovered I do not think that Mama would have carried on her plans for my season, but she had that morning told me that she would be asking a seamstress to call very soon.
'If I must go, I shall,' I told him with a wry look. 'But I am not sure that I wish to marry anyone. I think that I love you better than I shall ever love my husband, Paul.'
He looked at me seriously for a moment and then shook his head. 'The love we bear each other is not that kind of love, Anne. You think that you would be content never to marry at this moment, but I know you. You need a home and children - and for that you need a husband.'
The seamstress came this morning to begin my wardrobe. We were with her for more than two hours and Mama ordered so many new gowas that I am sure I shall never wear the half of them, but she insists that I must be properly dressed.
Something happened today. Mama had a visitor, a lady of some consequence. She called me down to her after her guest had gone and told me that she had heard the engagement of Miss May Chesterfield to Mr Harry Carrington was not to take place after all. She looked at me oddly as she told me the news and for a moment my heart raced madly.
'Are you affected by that news, Anne?'
'No, Mama, except that I am sorry for Miss Chesterfield.'
'It was she who jilted him, Anne, though I do not know why she did such a thing.'
'Oh...' I swallowed hard. 'It does seem unkind of her, Mama, though perhaps she had her reasons.'
'Yes, perhaps,' Mama said and smiled. 'You are a sensible girl, Anne I had wondered if we should cancel our trip to town, but if you are not affected I shall continue with my plans.'
I thanked her and kissed her, though I was not as unaffected as she imagined. To think of Harry is less painful than it was, but I believe I should be very foolish if I allowed him into my heart once more
Sorry this post has been so long in coming, but I have been writing hard to finish my Regency trilogy - and begin the next! Love to all, Anne Herries