It was snowing. It was the first snowfall on the season. Emily raised her head and closed her eyes. The flakes dropped like soft petals on to her face. She smiled. It was early in the morning. In a couple of hours, classes would begin. This was where she came every morning. This was where they met. She glanced at her watch. He would be there in ten minutes. Her heart skipped a beat at the thought.
While her family was still sleeping, she had slipped out of her room and come here. The sneaking around, the clandestine meetings were so exciting. She wondered what they would say if they only knew that she and Mr. Andrews, the headmaster were romantically involved with each other. It began shortly after the new school year began. She had transferred from another school. Her mother wanted her to attend the same ivy league school she herself had been privileged to attend.
At first Emily was resentful and resistant because she was leaving all of her friends behind in London but when she met Mr. Andrews her outlook immediately changed. He was a very agreeable, charming and attractive older man. He looked to be in his late thirties, early forties. He reminded her of the men she read about in Mills & Boon. It wasn’t long before she started daydreaming about him. And then, what a thrill it was to find out that her attraction for him was reciprocated.
She wondered what Mommy dearest would say if she only knew about Mr. Andrews. A smile tugged at her mouth. She would probably have one of her fits. Mommy was such a drama queen, always overreacting to things and blowing things way out of proportion like the time when she found her and Edward in her room. They hadn’t been up to any mischief. Edward had kissed and she hadn’t resisted because she was curious to see what it was like to kiss and be kissed. Of course, no amount of protestations and explanations could appease her enraged mother who threw Edward out of the house and warned him never to set foot there again. And Emily was grounded for a month. She was not allowed to go anywhere after school or on the weekends. It was like being a prisoner on death row. Her dislike and resentment for her mother increased. They had never cared for each other. Emily adored her father who indulged her while her mother favored her brother, William.
Her reverie was interrupted when she spotted Mr. Andrews heading towards her. Heart racing, she waited anxiously for him to reach her. When he did, they embraced and then they were kissing passionately. When he drew back to gaze down into her flushed face, she said, “I’m late.”
He shook his head. “No, you’re not. School doesn’t start for another hour or so. We have more than enough time.”
“No, I meant that my period is late.”
His expression changed at once. “Do you think–?”
“I don’t know. It’s possible that I could be or it could be nothing.”
“I hope and pray that you aren’t.”
“Would it be such a terrible thing if I were?”
“It wouldn’t be a good thing at all, Emily.”
“We could get married and–”
He released her then, his face darkening. “No, we can’t,” he informed her tersely, startling her.
“Why not?” she asked, bewildered.
He shoved his fingers through his hair. “Emily, I don’t know quite how to say this. I can’t marry you because I’m engaged.”
The color drained from her face. “Engaged?” she almost choked on the word. “You’re engaged?”
She fumbled for the tree and leaned heavily against it. Her heart was aching now. “To whom?”
“When-when are you getting married?”
“When–when were you going to tell me?”
“I’ve wanted to tell you but couldn’t bring myself to do it.”
“So, you were going to continue sleeping with me although you’re engaged to someone else.”
“Emily–” he tried to touch her but she pushed his hands away, the tears almost blinding her.
“I can’t believe that I was such a fool. I thought you loved me.”
“I care very deeply for you.”
“I hate you! And I hope that I’m not pregnant with your child. I want nothing whatsoever to do with you any more.” She stumbled away from the tree and ran as fast as she could across the snow covered ground.
Weeks later, her period arrived. She requested to be transferred to another school which her father took care of, in spite of her mother’s vehement objections. Emily’s father knew the reason behind the transfer. He wanted to report Mr. Andrews but Emily asked him not to. She never saw Mr. Andrews again. She read about his nuptials online. She didn’t hate him any more. Besides, she had moved on. She was now dating a very nice boy whom she met at her new school.
This was written for the #writephoto Prompt – Imagination at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.