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Rion's Reflections

These Words from the Heart are a
Collection of Life Thoughts and Healing Words
by Brenda "Rion" Sewell

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A Life Not Treasured


She sat on a velvet chair along the dance floor wall; her restless fingers folding and unfolding on her lap. Her hands fluttered like two small birds dancing among the folds of her dress of aged silk. Her eyes, blue as a Baltic sea, sparkled with light as she watched the dancers on the floor swirling and twirling like butterflies in a summer meadow. 

Long ago she had danced away a night such as this. She had then sat on a marble balcony and watched the sun greet the dawn as it rose above the azure mountains. She longed for those times of innocence when she knew not of the treacherous hearts hidden behind vests of velvet. Closing her eyes to the spectacle before her, her lashes fluttered against her cheek as a single tear slowly made its way down her cheek.

Lies and deceit had ruled her life after she had married for what she thought was true and heartfelt love. The rough beauty of his young face had told nothing of the treachery hiding beneath the surface. 

He had courted her hand and swept her off her feet with promises of romance and trips to far away lands. Now, she longed to be able to travel backwards to a time of honesty and innocence, to a life free of quiet hurts and whispered threats. 

The music of the ballroom orchestra filled the air as bright laughter floated across the expanse of the hall. The polished marble of the floor held the coolness of the air that entered through doors opened to the night. 

She opened her eyes upon the scene of swirling, chaotic colors to see her husband holding the waist of a young woman as they danced; their heads close together, the young woman’s laughter carried across the room. As he whispered into her ear, his hand traveled down her waist.

He danced with the assurance of one whose life was not governed by rules. As they passed by his wife’s chair, he smiled defiantly in her direction and tightened his grip on his youthful partner. He openly flaunted his new conquest before her, daring her to confront him and make a scene, knowing she would never create a scene in public.

Assured of his place in society, he played with her money. He wanted for nothing; her money allowed him to every debauchery known to man . His days consisted of riding expensive horses and staying in town in his club, partying every night while his wife stayed at home.

He had laughed openly to his friends as he told them about all the money his wife had spent on him. What he did not realize was his wife had had enough. Tonight she began to plan her release from this cruel and heartless existence called a marriage.

According to the details of the trust holding her money, she was to have full access to the account when she married; but laws being what they were, the husband controlled a wife’s money. 

Even though the money was hers and had been given to her by her family, her husband had complete control of her account. Her husband was living under the mistaken belief he had complete control of the finances.

He loved living in luxury and his tastes were as expensive as his treatment of his wife was cruel and insensitive. She had played into his hands and he smiled every time he handed over his marker when he gambled, knowing his wife was paying for his losses. His debts had risen quickly in the last few months as he drank excessively and gambled more and more.

One bright morning found him trudging home after a night on the town. He had lost yet another horse while playing cards. He knew there were other beauties in the stable as he had purchased the best of the equine world, but he was still in a foul mood as it was his favorite gelding. 

The brass knocker announced his entrance as he slammed the large oak front door to the house. Striding defiantly into the hall, he threw his cape and hat onto the floor and called out for his valet. 

As was his custom, he walked into the book-lined library and poured himself a large glass of red wine. The velvet liquor slid down his throat and was just what he needed to end his day. Pouring a second glass, he relished the wonderful smoothness of the wine.

Crystal glass in hand, he walked back out into the grand entrance hall. The wide staircase was carpeted in a dark blue and led to the bedchambers upstairs. He stood for a moment before he realized how quiet the house had become. 

Usually bustling with servants cleaning and dusting early in the morning, the house seemed eerily empty. Calling out again, he waited for an answer. 

Anger began to build in his mind as he walked toward the kitchens in search of someone to discipline. There was no one to be seen, not even the head cook could be found and the fire in the great stove was low. 

This was not the hectic kitchen of a busy household just beginning the day. Frowning, he threw the crystal glass and trickles of the remaining blood red wine sprinkled the floor.

As he came into the foyer, the great oak door opened once more. His wife stood in the doorway, the sun outlining her slight figure. In one delicate hand she carried a small crystal glass, in her other she carried a single rose. 

Striding up to her, he demanded where she had been and where were the servants, he wanted his breakfast and he wanted it now.

She smiled softly. Her eyes red rimmed from tears, she ignored him as she walked into the library. She placed the rose into a golden vase on the side table by the couch. 

Pouring herself another glass of white wine, she turned and offered him some of the elixir. She sipped it slowly as she walked quietly back to his side. 

“No thank you, you know I don’t drink that weak, watery swill. You know I only drink the red.” 

“This is a very fine wine”, she told him. “Smooth and fruity, it gently slides down your throat without any effort at all.”

He watched as her sheer skirt billowed around her body as she walked. Thundering again, he demanded to know where were the servants. Smiling, she sat on the edge of the large leather sofa. She looked like a doll with her porcelain skin and blond curls. 

“There will be no need for servants today, or any other day for that matter”, she told him. “Are you sure you don’t want some wine?” she asked as she slowly sipped from the dainty glass in her hand. 

Feeling the exhaustion of one who has drank too much and slept too little, he was beginning to get annoyed at her and her insipid conversation. If it weren’t for her money, he would never have become involved with her.

“I have already had two glasses of wine. I don’t want anymore wine; I want my breakfast and my bed.” His voice echoed in the room. 

“You won’t need breakfast, you wont have time for it.” She walked to the window and drawing back the heavy drapes, she allowed the sun to enter the shadowy room. Dust motes floated in the streams of sunlight as if a fairy had flown by and dusted the room.

Walking around the room, she trailed her fingers along the spines of the books. “You know, I have learned so much from these books. They have been my comfort and my companions for months. While you have partied and stayed in town, I have read and learned so much.”

She picked up a leather bound volume from one of the shelves and holding it out to him, she said, “This is my favorite.”

His eyes widened as he read the title and his knees weakened causing him to sit down abruptly on the leather couch. As he dropped the book to the floor, the pages seemed to flutter in slow motion before landing on its spine. The book fell open to a much-read section of the book.

His throat tightened as the words “Poisons and Their Properties” soared from the page and his breath caught in his throat. Turning wildly towards his wife, the reality of his fate brought him to his knees. 

Pouring from the decanter on the liquor cart, she softly said, “Have another glass of wine, my dear.” Her voice seemed far, far away.

© January 2002 Brenda “Rion” Sewell

 

All literary works and original artwork by Rion on this page,
unless otherwise noted, are the sole property of Brenda Sewell.
I do not mind sharing but please ask me first.

© 1998 - 2004 Brenda "Rion" Sewell

Email me at brendarion at cfl.rr.com


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