Summary: She walks in beauty – and in sorrow?
Rating: G Word Count: 501
As I leave Virginia City, I leave a possible happy future behind as well. I have a reputation now that holds me a prisoner in my present life. I never meant for it to be this way. I am not “that kind of woman.” But, perhaps, I am?
My parents were teachers. When they married, mother gave up teaching to raise her little girls. Amelia, my older sister, was the darling of my parents’ affections. She was smart and clever. She fit well in my parents’ intellectual world and held her own with their sophisticated friends. I was just the dumb little sister who played with dolls. She stayed up late with the adults; I was sent to my room.
As we grew up, things changed. We began to “blossom” into womanhood. Amelia may have been the brain, but I was turning into the beauty. Boys began to notice me – they gave me looks and knowing smiles. Hungry for attention, I returned those looks and smiles. The boys taught me things my parents would have been horrified to know I learned. Like my sister, I became a quick learner and an apt student. The boys turned into men; I turned into a beautiful, desirable woman. My childhood “lessons” gave me an education that I learned to employ to my benefit.
My life was one of glitter and adventure and I loved it all. Wealthy men took care of me. Women shunned me, but men loved me. At a dazzling party in San Francisco, my escort and another man fought over me. Guns were drawn and blood was shed. One man was dead. The other wounded. That is when I discovered I had a “reputation.” I was evil and wicked – and hated.
I ran away from San Francisco fleeing to the sanctuary of my sister’s home in Virginia City. Reluctantly, Amelia took me in, but I had to promise to live my life her way. Bewildered and frightened, I agreed to become a demure little sparrow.
She was a wealthy woman with influential friends, among them the Cartwrights. I met Hoss Cartwright. He was different from other men. His heart was soon mine. He loved me as a person; not as an ornament; my past did not matter to him. I was not surprised when he asked me to marry him. I readily accepted.
His family, however, did not accept me with the open love that Hoss did.
Adam Cartwright knew me in San Francisco. He confronted me about my “love” for Hoss and sneered at that so called “love.” At a party at the Ponderosa, Hoss’ home, his father equally discredited me, trying to “protect” Hoss from me. Nothing had really changed; this new life was just a façade. I think I knew it was so all along. But what about Hoss? I knew what I had to do. I just lived up to my reputation.
And so I am leaving Virginia City, my Hoss, and my shattered heart behind.
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