Chapter 1: The Merchant’s family
Her father Nicolas Bentley always wanted a son while his aristocratic wife Eleanor gave birth only once to Helena.
Growing up knowing this fact made Helena challenge all status quo on the hope that she makes her father proud of her... she worked so hard and learnt very quickly. As a young girl, her mother & father thought she will give up in a little while, but she did not. Her Professors would be amazed at her dedication and hard work.
At the age of twenty-one she was officially a university graduate. In fact, she used to annoy her fellow student & best friend Jimmy that she was much cleverer than he was. He was couple of years older and they were close like brother and sister.
Helena: If I were only a boy, I would have had my own business and trade.
Jimmy: I have a proposition then; you make the business in my name and give me all the profits.
Helena laughed and poked his elbow: how modest! What a sacrifice!
Her father was the well-respected well-trusted among the city’s business leaders who were always at their house for parties and social gatherings... He was always proud of her and her opinions and her way to judge on business activities. He was always happy with her support.
However, for her Mother that was not the case, she always worried that she was intimidating all suitors with her success and until that time, she was not engaged or married.
Helena: Mama don’t worry about it. I will marry and have kids once one of these unsecured men would have some courage to propose.
Eleanor: But Nana what was wrong with Judge Black’s son?? He seemed to like you
Helena: he’s so shallow and empty... plus he got so hesitant when we spoke and I told him I’m planning to keep helping papa with his business... he was worried how we will be looked at from the society’s perspective .. I don’t like that Mama... I don’t want a man’s insecurities blocking my way!
Eleanor: but that’s not how it goes sweetheart... Men get so scared if their wives have brains at all... not all men are like your papa!
At this moment, Nicolas came in: who is not like me, sweetheart??
He kissed his daughter’s forehead and hugged his wife for a sweet kiss on her cheek. Helena wished she would be loved the same way her father loved her Mama.
Eleanor: I’m just praying she finds half the man you are Nick!
Nicolas: ooh love... That’s so sweet... I am happy she’s brilliant... but didn’t realize that would be exactly why she wouldn’t have suitors as many as silly girls!! Oh Nana sweetie who would be good enough for you!
Helena laughed: it’s not so bad papa... at least we are avoiding the empty headed!!
She was standing by the window in a moonless night. She prayed for a man sent from heavens who needed her as much as she needed him, who would be her shelter from the world and its wicked people. When she opened her eyes, a shooting star flew beautifully from the skies. She smiled and knew her prayers will be answered.
In another far place lived Dalton who was by his window staring angrily at the skies wondering if his life would brighten with a bit of happiness. “God please... I need you so much... I’ve had my share of pain” in that same moment he saw Helena’s shooting star. A small smile slipped his always-serious rigid face.
Little Angelica ran into the room: Daddy, you promised me a hug before bedtime
Dalton: you washed and prayed??
Angelica jumped at him circling her father’s neck with her arms: I will pray by my bed and ask God for a special gift
Dalton tried to smile: and what would that be??
Angelica: I want a new Mama and a sister or maybe a brother... Adele said God cannot bring back my Mama but can always send a new one
Adele was standing at the door shacking with fear: Mr Dalton... I thought...
Dalton looked at her in anger: and since when Nanny Adele speaks in things that doesn’t concern her... or worse makes promises on behalf of God?
Angelica looked puzzled at her father but she got sad immediately: God cannot send me a Mama??
She started tearing while her father tried to comfort her by patting her shoulder: come Angie... don’t cry sweetheart... how about daddy puts you in bed?? Only tonight,... don’t get used to that!
Angelica smiled between her tears while her dad went up the staircase to tuck her in bed.