Posted on 2014-10-31
Pemberley looked beautiful in the setting October sun. Of course, he was biased, he thought Pemberley, his home where he had bought home his bride and where his son and daughter had been born, was beautiful in any light. But he had to admit Autumn particularly suited Pemberley, particularly the tenth month of the year which was when he had met his wife. He knew that it had been love at first sight, he could not imagine how it could be any other way as it was also the month he'd proposed. To propose so quickly surely must be love at first sight. Or a business transaction. He shook off these unfortunate thoughts and turned his mind to better things.
He could spend eternity watching Pemberley, and it was lucky he felt that way because it looked like that would be the case.
Sometimes he wondered if everyone became a ghost when they passed. This seemed unlikely because he'd never run into any other ghosts and surely others would choose, or have it chosen for them, to be tethered to Pemberley for the afterlife.
It was hard to judge how much time had passed since, well he had passed. He felt he should be able to judge by watching those he knew - or thought that he knew - when he was alive. However when he tried to focus and work who he should know it would float away as if on a breeze. He only remembered, time all compressed, snippets of his life, and above all else Pemberley and his love for it, dominated. He had been master here; maybe the first master? Although he didn't remember building Pemberley which he thought must be something he would be proud of.
It was pointless to worry about the holes in his memory and whether he was fading, instead he found himself enjoying the little family who were now playing in what had once been his halls and his rooms.
Their happiness was radiant. Sometimes he found it difficult to feel and he thought it might be getting worse - a sign that perhaps even ghosts grew old - but this little family's happiness shone through loud and clear. All the more startling when one knew how hard won the happiness was.
So many points when these two individuals could have failed to grasp what was in front of them and turned away from relationship that would never be calm or settled but one that brought great rewards. Many misunderstandings, mistakes and slights lay between them but they had forgiven all and decided to think only of the past as it brought them pleasure.
If he concentrated he thought he could remember a little boy with mud in his hair and a dead frog in his pocket. It seemed miraculous that such a little boy could grow before his eyes into a good landlord and master. Had it been the memory of him that had wrought this transformation? Or was it the guidance of Elizabeth Bennet a woman in the beginning he never thought he would grow to love so well being everything he had been raised to spurn. Or was it just the process of turning into a man?
Whatever it was he was pleased to have left Pemberley in such good hands. His tether did not allow him to go much beyond the home farm but what he could see and hear there made it clear that everything was thriving, although he did not understand some of the discussions. It did not seem possible to him that improvements could be still made with regards to crop rotations and other farming methods but he was happy to be proven wrong.
It seemed that he was destined to be wrong about many things. Wickham for one. He'd certainly been wrong there. It shamed him to realise it; he who should have been far more perceptive than he had been.
But it had all turned out for the best.
Lizzy curved her hand protectively around her stomach as she waddled towards her goal. Her husband would be upset that she was not confining herself to Pemberley when her time was almost upon her; he was protective. Why would he not be, she was about to give him a child.
Sometimes Lizzy wondered how she got here. It had been a long strange road; one full of judgment from society, and misunderstandings between the two of them. But it had been also a road that had showed her the capacity of people to change for the better.
She had also seen how life could just change in the blink of an eye. She'd met Fitzwilliam Darcy and her life had careened down an unexpected path. Elizabeth Bennet of Longbourn was not supposed to be mistress of Pemberley.
Then there had been the fire, and her brave husband pulled the village together to save what they could. She'd sent messages begging her husband to think of himself and his children. While he'd fought the fire, running into three burning buildings himself, she had paced all night.
They'd brought him back to her, claiming all he needed was rest to clear the smoke from his lungs but Lizzy hadn't been fooled. She'd seen the pallor of his skin and he'd been clammy to touch.
He had saved the village. He had been the good master. But in the end he had left her and their two tiny children alone and defenseless in the world. She couldn't blame him. He would always put Pemberley first. He was too good a man.
She ran her fingers over the gravestone, and wondered what he would think about where life had taken her since he died. Perhaps he thought she should always wear the willow weeds. But if he hadn't wanted her to remarry he should not have died.
"Mrs Wickham! I thought I told you to stay in bed!" Lizzy turned to her new husband and smiled.The End