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 The Physician's Lady

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cindergirl6
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PostSubject: The Physician's Lady   Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:55 pm

They were a handsome couple, Jenny thought. She found herself wondering what it might be like to love like that. To experience so wholesome of an affection as was the burgeoning love between her brother and her closest friend. It was as if they were born to be together. For as long as she could remember Eva had been drawn to Jesse and he equally so to her. To experience that, love in it’s purest form as a life long romance seemed something that was only meant for other people.
Jenny had never felt that way towards anyone. There was another member of their little group of school companions that Jenny once thought she might be attracted to. Tristan Lawrence was Jesse’s best friend and it seemed only natural that she should be drawn to him. He was handsome, heir to the Lawrence wealth, witty and always a true gentleman. Eva tried her best to negotiate a relationship between the two of them but any love she felt towards him could never be more than that which she might feel towards a brother-like figure.
She hadn’t seen him in two years, not since he left to finish his schooling at West Point. But before he left she noticed that his eyes seemed to befall on a most willing recipient; her sister Mary. Jenny wasn’t sure if she should encourage his affections toward her younger sister for she was two years their junior and hardly at an acceptable age to be called upon. She was almost relieved when he left for West Point, thinking that time away from one another perhaps, would dissolve the kindling flames of young love.
Jenny decided that she best go look for her sister.
She found her standing next to Eva as they watched the guests as they waltzed around the dance floor. Next to Eva, Mary looked like she could be her little sister rather than Jenny’s. Both had dark ebony hair, swept up off their necks in elegant twist and both were tiny framed and when dressed in the hoop skirted evening dresses, Jenny thought that it looked as if they had been sculpted out of marble with the perfection in there features.
Jenny sighed and decided to go to them and at least attempt to be sociable. But the elegance of the evening and the guest revelries hardly seemed appropriate in her opinion when the whole of the country seemed to be on the verge of war.
Eva paused from fanning her face when Jenny stopped to stand quietly in between she and Mary.
“What has got in to you this evening, Jennifer? Tom…”
“Oh, are we on a first name basis with him now? What would my brother say about that?”
Eva sighed. “Don’t be curt with me, Jennifer Virginia. Remember that I am your best friend. Which means I know when something is bothering you.”
Jenny shook her head and aimlessly scanned the crowd. She paused for a moment, hardly believing her own eyes when they fell upon a young man walking their way. The tall-blond haired man was well built and handsome as he flashed a grin in their direction. He looked so debonair in his West Point uniform and carried himself in such a familiar way that Jenny at once recognized him to be their friend Tristan Lawrence.
Jenny felt Mary stiffen next to her and she glanced over to see that her sister’s face grew more red as Tristan neared them.
Jenny began to question her opposition to him. There truly wasn’t anything about Tristan that shouldn’t attract her to him. His looks were accompanied by charm, wit and he could always make her laugh no matter how badly she felt. But, when his golden eyes trailed over to meet with Mary’s, she remembered why she had never pursued him within the bounds of decency.
“Good evening ladies,” his voice seemed more mature as well. “Eva, thank you for inviting me. Your parties are always spectacular.”
“Well, I knew you would be home for the holidays. We have missed you around here. Some of us perhaps more than others,” Eva gestured towards Mary and then winked at him.
“Mary Lou, that can’t be you,” he said as he reached to turn her face up to look at him. “My God, you have grown, haven’t you?”
Mary felt her face go warm with another blush.
Not grown enough, Jenny thought.
He offered Mary his arm. “Will you dance with me, Miss Bryant?”
Eva and Jenny turned to each other, Jenny seemingly more shocked than Eva.
“Yes, of course I will, Mr. Lawrence.” Mary took his arm and he led her to the dance floor.
“Well, isn’t that nice,” Eva said. “It’s as if they were never apart one second. Who would’ve thought that little Mary would…”
“Can you believe it, Eva? He didn’t say one word to me. Hardly even knew I was here.”
“Why Jennifer, is that a bit of jealousy I hear. I never thought you had any feelings for Tristan.”
“Yes, but he did pursue me at one time and now he acted as if a wasn’t even standing here.”
“If I remember correctly, he attempted to court you and you turned him down. Now, he seems to be infatuated with your sister.”
“It isn’t decent, Eva. You of all people should know that she is simply too young for courting.”
“She is fourteen. Certainly, decent enough with the proper chaperones. And since when did you care if people seemed to notice you? You don’t even like dancing.”
“I might like dancing.”
Eva gave her usual musical sounding laugh. “Oh, my friend. We are in a mood tonight aren’t we.”
Jenny sighed and looked to the floor trying to see where Mary and Tristan had waltzed to. But when she scanned the heads of the couples dancing she noticed the tall-handsome doctor whirling a beautiful red-head across the floor.
“I can’t believe he is with dancing that no-brain.”
Eva followed her gaze and smiled. “Georgina Hynns is a hopeless flirt, that’s for certain. But, she is Dr. Hynn’s grand-daughter so naturally they must have met long before tonight.”
Eva winced as Georgina’s high pitched laughter echoed across the floor. “Perhaps they are very well acquainted indeed. Is that what‘s bothering you, the new doctor?”
Jenny shook her head then began to look over the crowd once again. She spotted another person she had not seen in a while and the memories she did have of him weren’t exactly fond ones.
“What is he doing here?” She pointed at the object of her dislike, a man just three years their senior. He was a haughty, handsome and wealthy heir from Moultrie.
“Oh, yes,” Eva answered with a sigh. “You remember Alfred Chamber’s then?”
“How could I forget him. He would have to be the most conceded, arrogant man I ever met.”
“Perhaps.”
“His pursuit of you last summer was borderline indecent. How could your father allow him back in your home after what he did?”
Jenny glanced to Eva, noticing the meditative look in her eyes.
“Now who is despondent?”
Eva shook her head as if to remove the thoughts that plagued her mind. “Jennifer, I think it best if we escape awhile.” She smiled, acknowledging a couple that passed by them then turned back to Jenny. “This room is a bit stuffy at the moment. What do you say we get some fresh air?”
“Shall I bring the wine?”
“What would a deep conversation between us be without it?”
Eva took her best friends hand and led her out of the room and towards the east wing of the house. They walked up the stairs to her father’s study and through the double-glass doors that led to the balcony.
The balcony had always been Eva’s escape. It overlooked her mother’s garden and had become especially dear to her since her death just a two short years ago. It brought her comfort to walk out into the fresh breeze of the Georgian night that carried the scents of jasmine blossoms, gardenia’s and roses. She felt her mother’s presence there in a way that was hard to explain.
She knew that the balcony was the best place to take Jenny in that moment. Something was deeply bothering her and she could see that she needed to escape somewhere where all society could not gazed on them with their judging eyes.
The two women threw etiquette aside as they removed their shoes and sat down on the stone floor of the balcony, leaning their heads against the white-washed stone wall of the house. Eva had already retrieved two of her fathers whiskey glasses from the bar in his study and filled them with wine with no care for propriety.
They looked at each other and giggled as they wiggled their bare toes in the cold night air.
“How perfectly indecent of us,” Eva beamed.
“Oh Eva, you always could cheer me up.”
“Now tell me, sweet pea. What has my best girl so cross this evening?”
“I don’t know, Eva. I suppose I am worried about the outcome of the vote for secession. I am afraid that my father and brothers will be sent to fight a war that will tear this nation apart.”
“Jennifer, if Georgia secedes the Union will simply see the error of their ways.”
“I wish I had your optimism.”
“If there is a war, my father says it will not last more than a month or two. The Yankee politician will see that the states have the rights to govern themselves. Don’t you believe that, Jennifer?”
“I do…but I don’t believe slavery is right. I’m sorry Eva, but I can’t see keeping other human beings in bondage.”
Eva scowled and folded her hands in her lap. “But that will end in time as well. We just need to come up with the proper solution. We can’t just release a bunch of slaves to fend for themselves. They could never survive on their own.”
“Then we should teach them as we teach ourselves.”
Eva laughed nervously. “Well, if they would just leave the arguments to the women we would have all the issues solved in a week.” She lifted the bottle of champagne. “And we shall solve these problems of delectable southern fruit-of-the-vine.”
Eva giggled but Jenny hardly reacted. Her melancholy stare fixed upon her empty glass.
“Penny for your thoughts?”
“There is going to be a war, Eva. I can feel it in my bones. Soon, life as we know it well cease to exist. They will all go away to fight…my papa, John, Alex, Shad, Tristan…and Jesse. You know it’s true.”
“I know you’re right, Jennifer. It always irritates me how right you can be all the time.” She smiled a nudged her with her shoulder. “But I love you, Jennifer Bryant. You are my sister in every way but blood.”
“Perhaps one day you will marry Jesse and we truly will be sisters.”
Eva smiled but turned her face away from Jenny. “As you said, change seems to be on the horizon. I fear that we all will be touched by it in ways we can hardly imagine.”
Jenny saw the smile drift from Eva’s beautiful features and she placed her hand over hers.
“Eva?”
“Hmm?”
“I’m not the only one out of sorts tonight.”
Eva heaved a sigh and sipped down the last of her wine.
Jenny wasn’t sure why, but the awkward silence that settled over them caused a wave of fear to twinge her heart.
“Something tells me that this has something to do with Alfred‘s visit?”
“You remember the last time he was here?”
Jenny nodded. “I remember his revolting attempt to court you. I don’t think I have ever met someone so full of himself as he.”
“He asked my father for my hand in marriage.”
“Oh, Eva…no, not him. Certainly your father wouldn’t agree to such.”
“If he did…”
“He won’t,” Jenny said firmly.
“But, if he were to agree to what Alfred offers…”
“But you must stand up for yourself. You don’t love him…why, you hardly even know him. You love my brother.”
“Oh, Jennifer.” Eva looked at her, tears filling her eyes. “Things are not so simple for someone with my…status, if you will. I must do as my father wishes.”
“But what about Jesse?”
“Jesse.” She smiled through her tears, though not with humor. “He can’t even say aloud what he is feeling. At times I wonder if it is real at all. When I’m with him it seems all but a dream.”
“He loves you, always has.”
“Is it enough then to be loved, Jennifer?”
“Sure it is…you deserve happiness.”
“There can be no happiness in uncertainty. Oh, but I wish it were that simple. Just to love and be loved in return…”
“Well, nothing has been said about engagement yet, right?”
Eva shook her head.
“Then, let’s not think ahead of ourselves. I will not ponder over secession tonight, and you will not think of what your father’s decision may or may not be. alright?”
Eva smiled, wiped her eyes with her handkerchief, and lifted the champagne bottle to refill their glasses.
“Solving life’s issues one glass at a time.”
Jenny raised her newly filled glass as if to toast. “To friendship and a lifetime of happiness for us both.”
Eva raised hers in return. “And to life as we know it now. May war never come to us…and may my dear friend not be so coarse to the handsome new doctor that has graced our sleepy town with his presence.”
“Eva!” Jenny exclaimed.
“What? He is handsome and charming, you must admit. And I do believe he had you blushing.”
“He didn’t.” Jenny countered, but even as she denied the earlier occurrence, she felt her cheeks grow warm with another betrayal.
“See you are doing it now. I’ve but to mention his name and your cheeks grow red as a Strawberry. Admit that he is handsome, at least.”
“Eva!”
“Come on, Jennifer.”
“All right, yes. Okay, he is very handsome.”
“Ha!” Eva exclaimed in triumph.
“But that doesn’t mean you can go about with one of your match making schemes. If I appear to be blushing, it‘s only due to the champagne and nothing else.”
Eva giggled. “I will only ask him what he thinks of you.”
“You wouldn’t.”
“A doctor would be a very good catch, Jennifer…with looks and charm to boot.”
“Eva, please…I‘m not out to catch anybody.”
“I’ll never understand you, Jennifer.”
“Some girls wish to get married and live life as a good wife and mother…and that may suit them well. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with that…but I just…I want more. I feel like I was meant for more than that. I want to be somebody, Eva. Not just someone’s wife…just, somebody you know?”
“You speak of marriage as if it is the end of life.”
“The beginning of the end,” Jenny muttered.
“I don’t think so…not if you find someone with the same dreams as you have. You need someone who see’s the world as you do…and when he does come along, he will only add to the adventure you seek.”
“You and I see things so differently sometimes that I wonder how we are friends.”
“We compliment each other,” Eva smiled. “You are the salt to my pepper.”
Jenny laughed. “Well, if we’re going with analogies…I’m clearly the pepper.”
“If you were the pepper then you would have danced with the handsome doctor.”
“For goodness sake, Eva…enough about the handsome doctor!”
“See, you have admitted he is handsome,” Eva teased.
“I never,” Jenny started to deny but when she heard Eva giggle, she couldn’t help but join in.”
“All right, I’ll stop talking about him…for now anyway.”
“Eva!”
“All right, all right. Will you at least be decent to him?”
“Yes, I promise to not be so…overtly honest.”
“Good, because I invited him to Sunday service at the Lost Ball Church, even though he is a Catholic.”
Eva!”

*****************************************
Note from the Author: I am in need of a reader for this series. I would be happy to exchange read and assist you too. If you are interested in assisting with this four part family saga, please message me or e-mail me. G-d Bless!





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PostSubject: Re: The Physician's Lady   Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:08 pm

I have looked over and edited your chapter. If you would like to send me your email, I would be happy to send the revisions to you. It is in Microsoft Word if that is okay?

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PostSubject: Reply   Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:19 pm

I have to give you credit for having a consistent style. It is not the type of story that I enjoy, but I found it rather good. Let me give you credit for a well done job.

I did encounter sections where a number of quotes followed each other. I understand. I once did that myself (and I can give you a sermon as to why). The modern editors however believe that their readers are VERY stupid, so do not want more than three quotes without some identifiers. Thus, learn to put in little details about expressions, paragraphs where the main character provides come commentary, and other things to break the conversation. Note that you are not writing a stage play, but a novel, so action is more imporant than words.

That is about my only comment. You did provide some description. It did not pull me in, but that is my fault for not preferring this type of story. I hope that you find an audience, and I wish you well.
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