When my mother told me that my curiosity was going to get me in trouble one day, I did not believe her. But now, as I stared at Gideon, unable to decipher the look in his sea green eyes, I knew that my mum was right.
Gideon did not say anything, just kept staring at me, making me fell even more guilty than I normally would have. I, on the other hand, did not know what to do to get myself out of this situation. I did not know how to explain my behavior. Should I lie? Should I tell the truth? Would Gideon throw me out of his home if I opted for the truth?
Well considering what you’ve just been caught doing, kicking you out of the house will be slightly better than all the other things your husband is capable of doing.
Trying to muster up as much as courage as I could, I decided to face this new predicament head on. “Gideon, what are you doing here?” I asked, even though I had no right to ask my husband what he was doing in his own home.
“Well, I got done with my work early so I thought I’ll surprise my wife, but it was I who got surprised when I came to see that my wife had been sneaking around behind my back,” he answered, bitterness and fury dripping from his words.
Taking a deep breath, I continued on. “Gideon, I can explain,” I said, digging my fingers in Elizabeth’s journal, squishing the velvet.
Gideon raised his eyebrow. “Oh please, do explain, I would love to know why you did not respect my privacy and wishes and went down to the archives when I strictly told you not to.” Gideon looked calm, but I knew he was anything but. He wanted to lash out, to be angry, I had no idea why he was acting so calm when both of us knew that he wasn’t.
Suddenly my throat felt dry and I found it difficult to speak. I didn’t know how to explain it to him without sounding like a nosy idiot. I knew I was nosy, and despite trying my best to control my curiosity, I always ended up giving into it; I was weak.
“I—I wa—wanted t—to kn—know ab—about th—the woman on the sev—seventh floor,” I stammered, looking at the floor.
“Why?” He asked, his voice frosty.
“Because...because...” I had no idea what to tell him. I wanted to know about the woman in the portrait because I was a nosy human being? Because I didn’t know when to mind my own bloody business?
My heart started pounding when Gideon strode over to me until he stood mere centimeters from me. Before I could say anything, Gideon snatched Elizabeth’s journal from behind my back, wrenching it free from my grasp. I bit my lip as Gideon flipped through the journal before tossing it on the bean bag.
Taking a deep breath, he asked, “Why?”
That one word held so many questions, I didn’t know how to answer. I just wanted to curl up into a ball and hide. The shame and guilt about what I had done made me wish the ground would open up and swallow me whole. Anything to get away from Gideon and not to see the look he was giving me—full of accusation and bitterness.
“I’m sorry,” I muttered, wishing I had my necklace.
“No, that’s not what I asked. I don’t need an apology Alice; I need a bloody explanation!” He shouted, causing me to jump.
“I—told you, I wa—wanted to kn—know about the woman in the portrait on the seventh floor,” I responded.
“Why?” Gideon questioned.
“Because you weren’t telling me who she was, and told me not to go up there, so...” I trailed off, hoping that Gideon would understand.
“Exactly, I told you not to go up there, and what do you do, you sneak into the archives and start snooping around. Do my wishes and requests mean nothing to you? I thought I could trust you!” He did not bother lowering his voice.
“I’m sorry, I just...I wanted to know who she was. And you were being so secretive, I thought I’ll find out about her by myself,” I stated.
Gideon nodded but there was no understanding in his eyes. “Right, instead of respecting people’s privacy, you go around poking your nose where it doesn’t belong. You know, I was never ashamed of you. Despite you belonging to the lower class, I never felt ashamed of you, but now, today, I am ashamed of you. I am ashamed to call you my wife,” he seethed.
Tears welled up in my eyes upon hearing Gideon’s words. No, no, this couldn’t happen. I tried my best to be a good wife to him, and he couldn’t be ashamed of me. No, no, no. Oh God, what had I done. I never wanted this to happen.
“Gideon, please, don’t say that. I told you I’m sorry, please don’t say you’re ashamed of me.” I clutched Gideon’s arm but he shook out of my grip.
“Why shouldn’t I say it when it’s true. I thought I could trust you. But no, you didn’t care that you were betraying my trust and snooping around my home when I told you not to.” Gideon turned to leave but I stopped him but grabbing his hand and holding it tightly.
“Gideon please, I’m sorry. I promise I won’t do it again, I won’t ever come to the archives again, just please forgive me. Please give me another chance,” I pleaded, but it looked as if it fell on deaf ears.
“Let go of me, Alice. I can’t even look at you right now.” Twisting his hand free from my grasp, Gideon strode out of the archives. I followed after him, wanting him to forgive me. I would apologize a thousand times if that was what he wanted.
“Gideon please, talk to me. Give me another chance. Give me a chance to explain,” I begged, but Gideon kept walking.
“You’ve done enough. I don’t even want to look at you, nor do I want any kind of an explanation. Leave me alone.” He snarled.
“Gideon please, don’t do this. I can explain. Just listen to me. I won’t leave you alone until you listen to me,” I said.
He turned to face, a myriad of emotions flashing in those mesmerizing eyes. “You didn’t respect my wishes before, at least respect them now. Leave me alone. I don’t want to be anywhere near you.” His voice held a note of finality to it, before he stormed out of the library, slamming the giant door shut.
Tears slipped freely from my eyes as I crumbled to the floor, sobbing. Gideon said that he was ashamed to call me his wife, well right now I was ashamed of myself. What was I thinking, snooping around my husband’s castle? I should’ve respected his wishes about keeping his sister a secret. Oh God, what had I done. I was a horrible person, and now Gideon hated me.
Well he has every right to hate you, what you did was awful. I won’t be surprised if he tells you leave the castle and never to show your horrible, traitorous face to him ever again.
I was an idiot. Why couldn’t I learn to mind my own business like normal people. Why did I have to be so awfully nosy? And now because of my horrible, curious nature, Gideon hated me, and would probably terminate the contract and kick me out.
Why don’t you leave. That way he won’t kick you out and you will be out of this castle with your dignity intact. My subconscious suggested.
Knowing that I had to look for an apartment anyways, I decided to heed her advice. I would start looking for an apartment as soon as possible. Gideon would probably never forgive me, it would be better if I left—he did say he didn’t want to see me, and wanted me to leave him alone.
Pulling myself together, I wiped my tears away before making my way to my bedroom. Maybe I would sleep in Nico’s bedroom, since the room was Gideon’s and I doubted he wanted to sleep next to me.
Gideon was not in the bedroom when I entered; which was something I expected. Sitting on the bed, I allowed myself to fall back, until my back met the mattress. My feet hung down, as I contemplated what to do next. Apologizing to Gideon again and again was something I knew I would have to do; what I did was unforgivable. I knew Gideon would terminate the contract and kick me out, maybe I should start looking for an apartment. Or should I find a decent job first? I knew I couldn’t work in an unhealthy environment; I was pregnant now, and I would never risk my baby’s health. Speaking of the baby, maybe I should look for a lawyer who would represent me when I would file for joint custody of the baby.
The door of my bedroom opened and Helga entered, her face stiff. Great, it wasn’t like I had enough to deal with and now she had to come. I sat up, wondering what on Earth she wanted from me now.
“Sire Maslow has sent a few instructions for you which you must abide by, because if you don’t there will be serious consequences.” She began. Was it just me, or did Helga looked pleased. Whatever Gideon had to say to me, I knew it was not good, because Helga was happy.
“What are the instructions?” I asked, not wanting her to stay any longer than she had to.
“Mister Maslow has forbidden you to enter any room in this castle. The only rooms you are allowed in are this bedroom and your brother’s room. You are not allowed to enter any other room in this castle. Sire Maslow’s study is completely off limits to you, and so is every other room in the castle. Your food will be brought to you, and you are permitted to visit the grounds. Should you venture into any room other than the designated rooms, Mr. Maslow is going to terminate the contract and you will be send to prison.” She told me.
The tears which I had worked so hard to control, came to the surface once again, but I did not allow them to fall in front of Helga. Instead, I nodded my head, letting her know that I understood.
“I understand, Helga. Can you please let Mr. Maslow know that I will be sleeping in my brother’s room tonight?” I requested.
Helga shook her head. “You are not allowed to sleep anywhere except in this room, this is also one of the instructions,” she replied.
So this was what he was going to do? Hold me prisoner? Take away my freedom? Cage me here until the baby arrived? And then what, he was going to kick me out or would he send me to prison.
Well you kind of deserve it.
“Are there any more instructions?” I enquired, trying not to let my voice break.
“No, just that you are to stay in this room or in your brother’s room. And you are not allowed to visit Mr. Maslow nor make any sort of demands,” she responded coolly.
Nodding my head, I gave her a small smile. “Okay, I understand. Thank you, Helga.” She looked surprised for a moment before composing her features and exiting my room, closing the door behind her.
As soon as Helga left, the tears which I had been holding back for so long, came spilling out. Sobs shook my body as I let myself drop on the mattress and cried my heart out. Cried at my shameful deeds. Cried because of the immense guilt weighing on my mind. Cried because I had broken Gideon’s trust and hurt him in the worst way possible. I cursed myself and my curious nature.
Maybe I should kill myself. Gideon is better off without me anyways. He’ll find a nice woman who would mind her bloody business and not go snooping around. Gideon deserved better.
I didn’t know how long I cried for. Nor did I know how long I cursed myself for, but eventually, I ran out of tears. Pushing myself to a sitting position, I wondered if Gideon would let me borrow his laptop. I needed to look for an apartment. But, it would have to wait till tomorrow as the sun was beginning its decent, and soon it would be dark.
Glancing at my left, I spotted my journal sitting on the nightstand. Thinking that I could use something to lessen the burden of shame and guilt, I grabbed the journal and a pen—which was in the drawer—and begun writing.
I have done a terrible thing. I have hurt my husband, the love of my life, in the worst way possible. And I wish I hadn’t. I wish I had not let my curiosity win. I just wanted to know who the lady on the seventh floor was, hurting Gideon was never my intention. I would rather die than hurt the man I love. But now it’s too late. Gideon hates me.
I am going to start looking for an apartment tomorrow and will try to find a job. I need money to pay for Nico’s education and for the baby. I know Gideon is going to terminate the contract soon, so I need to find a place for me and Nico.
I know what I did was unforgivable, but I wish Gideon forgives me. But if he doesn’t, I would understand. I know I deserve nothing from Gideon. He has done so much for me and Nico, and how do I repay him, by going behind his back and snooping around his home—his territory. I should be slaughtered for my crimes.
Gideon said he is ashamed of me. He is ashamed to call me his wife. I agree with him. I’m the worst person alive. Gideon shouldn’t have married me in the first place. He shouldn’t have made me fall for him. Maybe then, what I have done would not seem so heinous.
Right now, I feel like the worst person on the planet. And maybe I am. I just wish I could take it all back. Because I know now that nothing means more to me than Gideon’s happiness and his trust. And I had taken both of those things from him. I should kill myself.
Not having the strength to write anymore, I let the pen drop from my hand. Clutching the journal to my chest, I let loose a fresh torrent of tears, as guilt and shame, once again washed over me.
Oh God, what was I going to do? How would I ever get back Gideon’s trust again? How would I earn his forgiveness?
What have I done?