Life, as Harmony had known it, was over.
With a heavy sigh, she stared into the small square of mirror hung over the scarred dresser top. Had she really become so pale in so short a time? The ocean voyage had lasted scarcely a week.
Before that, however, there had been the weeks spent at her mother’s bedside, and the sleepless nights, grieving in advance of the inevitable. Then the funeral, and the long, dark days of mourning. No, it had not been a short time at all. It was simply far longer than she remembered. So long, in fact, she could not recall the last time she had sat astride her favorite mount and loped across the meadow grass in the shadow of the majestic mountains. It was no wonder the honey tone had vanished from her skin. Even her flame-colored tresses seemed to have dimmed. She had not seen the sun in a long, long time. Harmony wondered if she would see it ever again.
A painful ball of grief replaced the area her heart and lungs had once occupied and then burst, sending shards of agony throughout her entire body. Perhaps the pain she felt was so much greater because she mourned more than the loss of her beloved parents. Gone, too, were sunlit days under impossibly blue skies, the wind in her face, the smell of horse and fer¬tile earth in her nostrils, the feeling of freedom as she galloped across the plains of tall, dry grass.
A single tear slipped down Harmony’s cheek, and she quickly swiped it away, afraid that if the dam broke she would never be able to stop crying. The life she had left behind was gone, perhaps forever. She must learn to live with the knowledge, no matter how pain¬ful. Her life was in England now.
“Miss, are you in there? Hello?”
Startled, Harmony whirled toward the door. The cloudy dream of her former life evaporated as if it had never been.
“Thank you. I’ll be along in a moment.” Harmony watched the girl leave with the single bag she had taken up with her for the night then glanced around to make sure she had left nothing behind. It was easy to see, in the sparsely furnished room, nothing personal remained. All that was left was her lingering disap¬pointment in Agatha’s welcome.
Harmony had enjoyed her building excitement as the ship on which she had voyaged made its slow, stately way up the Thames to the London docksides. For a time the sun had come out from behind the cloud cover of homesickness. The bustling river traffic had distracted her and the scenes along the riverbanks quickly piqued her interest. Like it or not, this was her new home. She should get to know it. When the teem¬ing streets of the fabled city came into view, Harmony found her fingers curled tightly around the deck rail¬ing. Her heart pounded and she began searching the crowded wharves for a glimpse of her sister.
Never in her life had she seen so many people. She studied their apparel curiously then glanced at the skirt of her sapphire blue suit and exhaled a quiet sigh of relief. She was appropriately, even smartly clad, based on her measure of the most well-dressed ladies and gentlemen in the throng.
Harmony briefly pressed her knuckles to her eyes to suppress the sudden hot sting of tears. The suit, along with several other lovely gowns and accessories, had been purchased on one of her infrequent trips to New York with her mother and father before her father, a successful and wealthy cattle rancher, had passed away. The...
Helen A. Rosburg (Author)
Helen A. Rosburg is a publisher, an equestrian, and the author of By Honor Bound, Call of the Trumpet, and The Dream Thief. She lives in Odessa, Florida.
Helen A. Rosberg (Author)
Helen A. Rosburg is a writer and the owner of Medallion Press. She is the author of Blaze of Lightning, Roar of Thunder; By Honor Bound; Call of the Trumpet; Circle of Promise; Dream Thief; and Ellie and the Elven King. She lives in Odessa, Florida.