Emily

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July 20th

July 20

Things have gone from bad to worse. I honestly don’t know how much longer I can stay here without losing my mind! I was awakened this morning around 5am by the sounds of Mrs. Amherst screaming and crying. I rushed downstairs, but ducked behind the railing when I spied Captain Amherst. He was standing by the door with his bags packed. William (the butler) was trying to keep his composure as he stood by the open door, clutching a large suitcase and looking like he’d rather be anyplace else in the world. Mrs. Amherst took off her delicate white satin slipper and flung it at Captain Amherst. “Why? Why didn’t you tell me you were leaving today?” “I don’t know,” Captain Amherst sneered, “maybe I thought you’d take it badly.” At this Mrs. Amherst collapsed onto the floor sobbing and taking in deep jagged breaths. “Honestly Isabella, I have to go back to work.” “But why are you trying to sneak away from me?” She whimpered. “William, don’t just stand there gawking like a fool. What do I pay you for? Take that bag to the car and tell Matthew to pull the car around front. Goodbye Isabella.” He said coldly, tipping his airline cap at her. He quietly pulled the door shut behind him. I watched as Mrs. Amherst wiped her face with her long silk nightgown. I felt uncomfortable and was about to creep down and try to comfort here, when Madison came busting out of the kitchen as fast as she could. “Oh, Bella, Bella, don’t cry,” she said as she knelt down on the floor to better comfort Mrs. Amherst. I took this moment to slip back up the stairs and quietly shut the door. I took the boys out for a walk today. We had a picnic by the stream and they fell asleep on the picnic blanket. Olivia still hasn’t written me. I wonder if she cares, or if she ever did. In the evening after the boys were in bed I went downstairs and talked to Madison. I could hear thunder and saw a flash of lightning. I don’t know what’s more depressing around here, the situation or the weather. “Be a dear and pick me some mint before the rain sets in, would you?” Madison asked. Happy to be of use I scurried out to the herb garden and began picking mint and stuffing it in my skirt. I glanced up from my work. I heard someone muttering my name. I saw Mrs. Amherst slowly circling the old well. She looked lost and seemed to be having a conversation. Every now and then she’s break off in a crying jag and say, “Oh Emily, oh Emily, where are you? Aren’t you hungry, Emily?” I was terrified. I wrapped the mint in my skirt and ran to the kitchen door. “Madison?” I called. Madison looked up, her face flushed from the heat of the kitchen.” It’s Mrs. Amherst. She’s not well!” Madison rushed out the door and quickly approached Mrs. Amherst. She wrapped her in her shawl, and hugged her frail frame as if she were a child. Mrs. Amherst collapsed into her, and she helped her into the house. I snuck upstairs and slipped into bed. I’ve been here since listening to the thunder and wondering why I’m here and wishing I weren’t.

Emily

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