Chapter 11:The moment of the truth
After 7 years away from France, Hans Axel von Fersen returned. He wanted to see his old friend, Oscar…Then one day, when Oscar and André were shooting, he just appeared.
Oscar and André had just finished the shooting practice and were ready to go home, when André took an apple into his hand. He always carried something they could eat, just in case…
André:” Hey, Oscar. Want an apple?”
Oscar:” I´ll take it.”
And when André threw it into the air, someone shot it into pieces. They turned to look…It was no other than Fersen on a back of a horse. When Oscar saw him, she seemed rather happy…She was relieved, that Fersen had come back alive and well.
Oscar invited him for dinner and then to stay in her manor for a while. She wanted to catch up with the latest news from America. The evening went fast as the three of them talked…
Next morning Oscar woke up early. She went by the window as she always went, and saw Fersen in the garden. She decided to go after him; she wanted to talk with him. She wanted to ask him whether he was going to see Her Majesty.
When Oscar walked to the garden, she saw him sitting…So she sat down next to him and started to talk…
Oscar:“…Her Majesty must be worried about you, too.”
Fersen:“Sooner or later, but…I intend to go back to Sweden without seeing her. Seven years ago, I ran away from Lady Antoinette. Cowardly and selfishly. And that was the end. It was a romance that had to be ended. I only stopped in France…” he stopped…
Fersen:” Oscar, you are my most precious and beautiful friend…” he took her hand and continued:“I have admired you… You are both beautiful and brave and you´re not afraid of risking her life for your beliefs….”
Oscar got scared. Why was he acting like that? Where was this all going to lead?
Fersen:“Oscar, I love you! I have thought of you every day ever since I left to America…Please, marry me! You would make me the happiest man on Earth!”
She was stunned. Marry him? Isn´t that what she had always wanted? She had longed for so long to be with him and now it was possible. He had forgotten about the queen… And also, marrying Fersen and moving to north…That would solve her problem; she could go away from France before the Revolution and avoid her destiny. But she wasn´t happy…Why?
“But what about the people of France? What about my future career in French Guards and my men in Company B?” she thought…“What about…André?!” she started to feel more and more uncomfortable…The man that has been by her side since childhood…the man, who she thought as her one and only trusted friend… Now she knew that their souls had grown together. Even the thought of being apart from him, hurt her…How could she leave him? She twitched her hand from his.
Oscar:“Thank you, Fersen…but I cannot accept it.”
Fersen:“What´s the matter?! We would make an ideal couple! We are both from decent families.”
Oscar:“What do you mean by “we´re both from decent families”?! You mean we´re both from the same social class?! That we are both nobles?! You mean to say that a noble can´t marry a commoner?! Is that what you´re saying?!” All of a sudden she came angry…
Fersen:“Of course. God made classes for a reason! You cannot expect me to marry my chambermaid or you your…stableman!”
Oscar was shocked…What´s wrong with marrying one´s maid…or stableman? What did the word “commoner” mean to her? There has always been a huge distinction between nobles and commoners. Something that she had never really understood: Ever since she was little she had played with André and she saw nothing wrong with that. She had never treated him as if she was better than him. They were equals in every way…
Fersen:“You are thinking of André Grandier, am I right? He can be your lover, but a husband…No way!”
Oscar slapped him. “How dare you speak that way about my André!” she was furious.
Fersen:“Your…Your André? Oscar…It is André you think of.”
Oscar:“Yes…He´d surely…If I were to marry another man…He would not be able to live, because he loves me so much...If he weren´t able to live…if he were unhappy…I´d also become the unhappiest person in the world…” She didn´t want to hurt him, not her André.
Fersen:“I can understand that. You love him! I knew it! It was him all along!” he smiled.
Oscar was shocked…When she looked into Fersen´s eyes, she knew…She no longer loved him, but instead…She was in love with André. She had realized everything: she must have been in love with André for some time already…He was so gentle, he had always been there for her, he loved her more than anything…and she loved him back. She loved him more than anything.
Fersen:“Oscar…I knew that…from experience, you see; there´s always truth behind the rumors.”
Wait a minute…Was that all just fake? Had Fersen done all that for her? Had he pretended to be in love with her and proposed to her, so that she would finally realize that the man for her was always standing by her side? She did need a kick to that direction…She laughed, when she realized that.
Fersen:“Let me give you an advice; be brave and follow your heart before it’s too late. There was never hope for Her Majesty and me, but there is a little hope for you and André. Take it.”
Oscar:“I´m not sure…”
Fersen:“Oscar! I mean it! You have to tell him about your feelings. Trust me, I know…It´s not so easy, but when you have done it…You feel much better. I don´t want you to suffer like I do…André is a good man, and I´m sure that he feels something towards you…”
Oscar knew André did respond to her feelings, but…No! Fersen was right, it was about to talk to André…If she would postpone it, one day she would realize that it would be too late already…
Oscar:“Thank you.” she smiled.
Then André came towards them and sat beside Oscar.
Oscar:“Fersen! You should go to Her Majesty, she needs you. Be with her.”
Fersen:“What do you mean?!”
André:“France…Paris had changed a lot since your parting. It´s no longer save for the nobles, let alone for the queen. There has been countless of attacks against our home…and things get even worse.”
Fersen:“Is that true?!”
Oscar:“Yes. The queen is very much hated by her own people.”
Fersen:“What?! How that can be?!”
Oscar:“You should go to Paris in disguise and find out. Then, please, go to Her Majesty. You are one of those persons who would never abandon her.”
Fersen:“Is this goodbye?”
Oscar:“Yes, I believe it is. I can no longer be beside Her Majesty. I have my own destiny to follow.” Then she looked at André…“Fersen is right, I should seize my happiness before it’s too late…” she thought.
Fersen:“Good luck for you both! I hope that everything will turn out to be fine for you! Au revoir!” he got up and left.
Oscar:“Fersen, take care! Au revoir!” she got up together with André.
Oscar and André stood side by side and watched while Fersen walked away. For a while they didn´t say a word…Then Oscar started to walk towards the manor.
Oscar:“André, let´s go inside. I want you to see something.”
Oscar:“Your grandma had insisted on me having a dress…”
André:“You in a dress?!” He was surprised…Would Oscar really wear a dress? That was something new…
Oscar:“All the trouble making it…I might as well try it on. There´s going to be a ball soon. I want you to take me there.” she smiled as they walked towards the manor hand in hand.
Oscar needed…no, she wanted to confess her feeling towards André and she had decided to do it in the ball soon…She was nervous…She had to figure out the right way…
To be continued…