She had never believed in fate. She still did not. It would be nonsense of freedom of will and choice, and it was through such freedom that we worked our way through life and learned what we needed to learn. But sometimes, it seemed to her, there was something, some sign, to nudge one along in a certain direction. What one chose to do with that nudge was up to that person.
And infatuated be damned. He was near to being blinded by his attraction to her. He was in love, damn it all. He disliked her, he resented her, he disapproved of almost everything about her, yet he was head over ears in love with her, like a foolish schoolboy.He wondered grimly what he was going to do about it.He was not amused.Or in any way pleased.
It was now twenty minutes past four in the morning, allowing for the fact that the clock in the library of his town house was four minutes slow, as it had been for as far back as he could remember.He eyed it with a frown of concentration. Now that he came to think about it, he must have it set right one of these days.Why should a clock be forced to go throught its entire existence four minutes behind the rest of the world? It was not logical.The trouble was though, that if the clock were suddenly right, he would be forever confused and arriving four minutes early -- or did he mena late? -- for meals and various other appointments. That would agitate his servants and cause consternation in the kitchen.It was probably better to leave the clock as it was.
Falling in love was as much about receiving as it was giving, was it? It seemed selfish. It was not, though. It was the opposite. Keeping oneself from being loved was to refuse the ultimate gift. He had thought himself done with romantic love. He had thought himself an incurable cynic. He was not, though.He was only someone whose heart and mind, and very soul, had been battered and bruised. It was still - and always - safe to give since there was a certain deal of control to be exerted over giving. Taking, or allowing oneself to receive, was an altogether more risky business. For receiving meant opening up the heart again.Perhaps to rejection.Or disillusionment.Or pain.Or even heart break.It was all terribly risky.And all terribly necessary.And of course, there was the whole issue of trust...
It was the challenge of life too, was it not? People could never be fully understood. They were ever changing, different people at different times and under different circumstances and influences. And always growing, always creating themselves anew.How impossible it was to know another human being.How impossible to know even oneself.
Now I must live with the consequences of the choice I made. And I will not call it the wrong choice. That would be foolish and pointless. That choice led me to everything that has happened since, including this very moment, and the choices I make today or tomorrow or next week will lead me to the next and next present moments in my life. It is all a journey, Miss Jewell. I have come to understand that that is what life is all about-a journey and the courage and energy always to take the next step and the next without judgement about what was right and what was wrong.
Did she ever feel nostalgia for any of her girlhood dreams? But life was made up of a succession of dreams, some few to be realized, most to be set aside as time went on, one or two to persist for a lifetime. It was knowing when to abandon a dream, perhaps, that mattered and distinguished the successful people in life from the sad, embittered persons who never moved on from the first of life's great disappointments. Or from the airy dreamers who never really lived life at all.