My hand glided along the mahogany balustrades, the silky wood cool beneath my fingertips. The furniture was covered with dust cloths and dotted the rooms of the house like forlorn ghosts. The heavy drapes were drawn closed at the casements, but thin slivers of bright sunlight still managed to slip through, slicing their way across the floor. The house would remain thus for several months before the new family would take possession, but I was moving on.
My life had been condensed into a single steamer trunk. All other personal items had been sold, burned, or sent for safe keeping with Mr. Hedgerly. I felt light. And heavy.
“Are you ready miss?” The coachman was standing silhouetted in the doorway, hat in his hands.
“Yes, yes…just a moment more….”
“As you wish, only…”
“Just a moment, John. I will be there in a moment,” I said sharply. He bowed his head and backed out of the room again. I could hear him pacing in the hallway, cursing under his breath.
My heart felt empty.
One last sigh, a look around, and I walked out the front doors, closing them for the last time behind me.