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Definition of Happiness

By Evanthia Chrisovitsanou

Children / Romance

Something is missing

He opened his eyes as the first rays of the sun hit his face and enlighten the whole room. Turning to his left side he was greeted with the most beautiful sight, his beautiful sleeping wife. He had found from their first morning as a married couple that he liked to watch her sleeping for a few minutes. She looked so much younger, her features softened while she was sleeping and she had always a smile on her face. As the rays of the sun enlightened the whole room they made her look so young and beautiful. He had a smile on his face as he watched his wife which widened when she opened her eyes and looked at him with the loveliest look, that she only had for her husband.

"Good morning, my darling Elsie.", he said and kissed her softly on the lips.

"Good morning, my love.", she smiled widely at her husband and started laughing. She stopped for a moment when she saw his questioning look. "I just know that you will never stop looking at me while I'm sleeping.", she continued laughing and smiling as she kissed him passionately.

"I can't help it, love. I have the most beautiful woman as my wife and it makes me so happy to see you sleeping peacefully.", he kissed her back as passionately as she had moments ago. "We are already three months married. Happy Anniversary, love.", he kissed her passionately once more.

"Happy Anniversary, love.", she enjoyed very much the attentions of her husband. She smiled at him sadly when he pulled from their kiss and tried hard to hold back her tears. "We have to get up, Charles. We don't want to miss breakfast.", she said as she threw away the covers and put her feet on the floor.

Charles was a bit taken back from her behavior. "Is everything alright, Elsie?", he was a little worried about her the last few days because he had noticed how sad she looked and he didn't know what was wrong.

"Everything is fine, Charles.", she stood up and started gathering her clothes. "Now, I will go first in the bathroom and get ready. I have a lot of work to do today.", after she made sure she got all her clothes, she entered the bathroom and closed the door.

Charles got out of the bed and took his clothes when he heard the bathroom door opening. He kissed her softly on the cheek and entered the bathroom. She stepped into her shoes, looked herself one last time in the mirror and left their bedroom, the bedroom the family had offered them to stay and went downstairs. He was surprised when he didn't find her in the room when he finished and went downstairs for breakfast. He was even more surprised when he entered the servant's hall and saw her leaving. She offered him a small smile that didn't reach her ears as always and closed herself in her sitting room.

As he was eating his breakfast he felt a little weird to have an empty seat next to him but continued to eating. As Beryl entered the room and started picking up the plates with Daisy, she threw a questioning look at the butler but his only answer was the shrug of his shoulders. He decided to start his work in his pantry and not to pressure her, he knew that she needed her time and she would come to him when she was ready.

As she closed the door of her sitting room, she collapsed on the floor and buried her face in her hands. She started crying and shaking uncontrollably. She knew that the butler and the cook had noticed that something was wrong with her but she wasn't ready to talk to them about her feelings. After a few minutes she stood up from the floor and sat in her desk. She needed something to take her mind off of her thoughts and busying herself with work was a solution.

/-00-/

It was lunch time for the servants and he hoped that she would be sitting next to him but when he entered the room he was faced with an empty seat once more. The new head housemaid, Anna, was sitting next to the empty chair informed him that the housekeeper had a lot of work to do and she couldn't be with them for lunch. He wanted to go to his wife and find out what was wrong with her but he decided against it and he took his usual seat at the head of the table. After they had finished their lunch and everyone went back to their work, he decided to go to her sitting room. He had given her enough time alone from the morning but he was getting worried and he couldn't stand without doing anything. He knocked once but didn't receive a response, he knocked twice but again nothing. He opened the door but found that she wasn't there. Suddenly, an idea came to his mind and informed the cook that he would be aside if someone needed him.

He left the house from the back door, passed the courtyard and walked towards the gardens of the estate. As he was walking enjoying the sun along with the smell of the flowers, he spotted his wife sitting in a bench looking someone in the distance. He walked slowly towards the bench and sat down without making any noise. He noticed that she was crying silently and put his arm around her shoulders. She was startled at first, she didn't notice him at the beginning, but seeing the worry and the love in his eyes she buried herself in his arms and continued crying.

After a while her sobs had subsided and she shifted a little so she could still be in his arms but looking in the distance. He noticed that she was watching the fifteen year old Sybil riding her bicycle. "Elsie, please tell me what's wrong.", he was placing soft kisses on her hair and holding her hand. "I can't stand seeing you like this without knowing what's troubling you, my love.", he was speaking to her in a soft, low voice and not in a voice full of anger like she was expecting.

For a few moments they watched the girl riding her bicycle in silence when she took a deep breath wiped the silent tears. "Oh, Charles. I want so much to have a child. I want so much to hear our child calling me 'mama' and you 'papa'. I want a child, our child but I don't know if it's possible in my age.", she finally said it and she buried her face in his chest and started crying again.

He was rubbing soothing circles on her back as he was thinking what he had just heard. He finally understood why she was behaving like this, why she was so sad. They had entered in service without thinking that they would find their love, the other one that they would want to spend the rest of their lives together. They fell in love with each other when she arrived at this house as a head housemaid sixteen years ago and they managed to confess their feelings for each other only five months ago. He knew that she would be a wonderful mother, he knew that from the way she treated the daughters of the family and especially the youngest daughter, Lady Sybil. It was natural for a woman to want children, especially when she was happily married with the man she loved.

He kept holding her tightly and rubbing soothing circles on her back to calm her and to let her know that he was with her. As he watched the young girl bicycling happy he discovered that he wanted a child as well. A child of their own, a child created from their love. Suddenly, a thought came to his mind and he made a decision. As she wiped her eyes and lifted herself from his arms, he took her hands in his and kissed her softly on the lips. "What do you think if I asked Lord Grantham for permission to leave for a week?", he offered her a smile.

"What? Are you sure, Charles?", she wanted so much a week alone with her husband but she didn't want to hope until it was final.

"Of course, Elsie. I would love to have a week alone with you. We could go to London, have a great time and discuss the matter of children on our last days.", he wanted so much to get away from everything for a week along with his wife. He knew that this time would be good for them and he had a few ideas about the matter of children.

"Alright but we have to ask Lord and Lady Grantham. I don't want to hope in case we can't go.", she offered him a smile and threw herself in his arms.

At the end of the same day they were at their cottage packing two suitcases for their week in London. He was so glad to see her smile and make plans for them while they were in London. After packing everything they needed, they sank into their bed exhausted and drifted off to sleep in each other arms. A week in London full of surprises would begin the next morning.
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