Everything was blurry at first, but the presence of light helped in rousing her awake. She had sat up in an effort to further waken her senses, but only experienced confusion. The daze yielded from a very good night’s sleep persisted as she tried to recognize her unknown surroundings. At first, she noted how the room was nothing like her cell at Nonnatus House. It was larger, the walls a lighter tone, and even the window letting in the morning’s rays was different.
Her pain went unspoken for many months, weeks, and days leading up to her release. She had shielded her thoughts, the effect was akin to a thunderstorm, brewing in the distance. She never wished to make a fuss, choosing to suffer in silence, but he took notice of her. He saw her when no one else did and in turn, their feelings were realized.
She didn’t expect the extent of her bodily pain nor the emotional scarring following her surgery. She was fooling herself in believing everything would fall back into place once they arrived home. Shelagh had left many tears behind on the patient bed of Dr. Horringer, on the road from Harley Street to their flat. But the tears continued on even when Patrick held her, through his endless kisses, and when he would let go.
“I wrote to you.”
“Yes,” but a moment of silence had passed between them. In that split second, he took a moment to recount what his letters had held for her. In their previous exchange, he had unknowingly relied on his clinical diagnosis. He was unable to find words of true comfort, for he too was disheartened by her situation. He was scared that if he divulged too much too soon, she wouldn’t be ready to hear it.
He took his time to find his words and wrote out the secrets of his heart to the only other woman that had stolen it. He had patiently waited and now it was his turn to respond.
“I don’t know if I said too much. Or not enough.”
“You said, what was necessary,” clutching the phone tightly. She took her time in finding her words, careful in their exchange. Her decision to leave Saint Anne represented a great deal more to come and was afraid the other occupants would hear their discussion. She had made the decision to follow her heart, to live a life that was different and true to God’s plans for her.
A choice reaffirmed by his letters…
I can’t seem to bear it any longer. I can feel the vacancy you left and I don’t want to be without you. I know this may be selfish, but I had to tell you that I love you.
I would like to tell you not to pick me. I don’t want you to choose between Him and me. Your Lord who was there for you, who gave you a family filled with Sisters and your current life. Then again, if I thought that I wouldn’t be writing to you, which is why I’m telling you to choose me. Please let me love you, let me hold you, and let me make you happy Sister Bernadette.
Companion piece to “Living the Wrong Life” and finally added since I decided to put my shorter stories under the category of Tumblr ficlets.