Where had she gone?
There was no doubt that she had disappeared into thin air. A magic, dark and powerful, filled with hate and anger and sadness, was involved… I had felt it throw me to the ground. It had crawl into my heart before it recoiled and fled. What did it see there?
I still felt a lingering cold and despair. Was it her despair?
She had said she no longer wanted to live in my shadow. Nathaniel did not love her as he loved me. I felt a certain pride in that fact. I had won after all, hadn’t I?
Her daughters were dead. They were the innocent casualties. I could not feel for them now, faceless as they were.
Was she dead? Or transported to another life, another time? Would she ever come back to haunt me?
Sunlight had broken over the horizon and bathed the rooftops in bright yellow. I shifted my skirts as the carriage made its way to Lauriston Street. The hem of the black mourning crepe was damp from the dew of the graveyard and black dye rubbed off onto my fingers.
No matter. It will dry.
My heart was pounding we came to a stop. A rocking signaled that the driver had stepped down. In seconds he had opened the door with a flourish and held out his hand to me. I placed my black gloved hand in his and stepped out.
The veil did not protect enough from the blinding sun glancing off of the third floor windows of the brownstone to prevent me from squinting as I looked up. It certainly looked respectable enough.
I could live here.
I smiled to myself, relaxing somewhat, and took a step toward the front door. It was shiny and red with a large, simple brass knocker.
“No, Mrs. Brierly. Over there.” That name on his lips startled me. I had given it to myself, to him. Still, to hear it on someone else’s lips….
He handed me the valise and pointed across the narrow street to another brownstone. The windows were dark with grime and the front steps were dirty. The door was propped open halfway, revealing stairs.
I checked the paper again, confused.
“Shall I wait for ye?” He stared at me kindly, expectantly.
I shook my head no silently as I pressed money into his hand.
“Are ye sure, lass?”
“Yes, sir. Thank you.”
I could barely breathe, anxiety and fear gripped my chest.
Had she given me the wrong address on purpose? Was this her revenge?
I did not want this man to serve as witness to my humiliation.
Crossing the street, I stood staring at the steps until I heard the carriage depart. Only then did I push the door open further and entered.