The title speaks all. Read if you wish. Skip if you wish. Give feedback if you wish. Join in with Ingrid and Amy's discussion if you wish. Eat chocolate if you wish. Whatever. I don't care. :-P Here's a story snippet which I kinda am a little proud of.
Amy walked home through the cobbled roads after a long day of work. It was raining lightly, and the stones glistened in the silent glow of the few lanterns.
She’d seen her. She knew she had. She would recognise that gorgeous silhouette anywhere, with her dark long wispy eyelashes; and her beautiful curly hair.
Amy dove into the side-street she had seen her vanish in; frantic for her younger sister.“Ingrid? Ingrid, come. Ingrid, please don’t go!”
She looked back, a darling small smile on her face. “Amy, don’t worry about me,” she said. “Just go back home.”
“But – Ingrid! You can’t just go! You’re part of the family. And – and you said you’d help. God knows I could need some right now.”
Her face shone beautifully in the dusk; there were pools of starlight in her brown eyes. “Amy, I meant every word about helping you. And wait till you get back home – I just gave Edmund some money for food, and I gave the younger ones new shoes. Hand-me-downs from David’s nephews and nieces.”
Amy pulled her sister down on the side of the road. She looked at her carefully. She seemed happy; she smelled like lemon and lavender – fresh and cheerful – and she looked like an angel. Her hair was done in the latest fashion, with waves in all the right places, and her hairpins were decorated with beads. She wore a new dress – blue; with lace and with machine-made buttons.
She looked grand and old and glorious – it made Amy so jealous she almost wept. She wished she was Ingrid. Why did she have to fall in love with Lionel? Her heart ached for him; she loved him with her whole heart – but why did it have to be him? He was blind; penniless! He had warned her about her future. She had told him she didn’t care; but now suddenly she did. She wanted to be Ingrid; to be beautiful and rich and apparently powerful enough to save their family from poverty and destruction.
“Oh Ingrid!” Amy cried. “Help me! Help us!”
Ingrid put her arm around Amy, and rubbed her shoulder. She reminded Amy of her mother when she had been in a good, motherly mood – it made her cry even more.
“I have good news,” Ingrid whispered in Amy’s ear. “But I can’t know for sure quite yet.”
“Tell me everything,” Amy said. “And please – may it be a happy story.”
Ingrid’s eyes shone with tears. “Oh Amy, it is. I’ve never been happier.”
“You were fourteen when you met him first. What was your first impression?”
“His looks,” Ingrid smiled. “He was tall and handsome; just like the heroes in story-books. Straight and short hair – cut in a dashing style. His eyes were black and twinkled outrageously. No wonder I fell for him as soon as I looked up into them. They still make my stomach twirl, in the same way that his presence makes me feel giddy and cheerful, like I’m in a ball filled with little lights and feathers. He’s so easy-going and kind and he always smiles – oh, my journey in getting to know him has been better than my wildest dreams.”
“Oh, tosh,” Amy said. “I’ve never heard you speak like that before, Ingrid. You sound like a poetry book!”
Ingrid flushed slightly. She looked down at her hands with a small smile around her lips.
Amy followed her glance and suddenly saw that her sister was wearing a ring.“Oh Ingrid!” she gasped, grabbing her hand. “You’re married!”
“Of course,” Ingrid calmly said. “I would never do anything indecent. Where do you think I’ve been sleeping these past days?” She blushed bright red.
Then she looked at Amy and her voice turned back to how Amy was used to it. “Don’t look at me like that, Amy. One day you’ll know what that feels like, too.”
She went all dreamy again, and started to talk like poetry book number two. “You’ll find yourself yearning to see his face again whenever you’re not with him; and you’ll find yourself looking into a future where everything seems perfect.”
“That’s not how love works,” Amy scoffed.
“Yes it is. Love is like an ironing board – it takes away all the creases and wrinkles.”
Suddenly Amy was furious. She stood up and felt the blisters on her feet burn and the muscles in her legs ache; like they did so often. How could Ingrid say that?! Love wasn’t anything like an ironing board. The last thing it did was smooth out wrinkles – it just made more wrinkles; it just made matters even more complicated.
“What’s the matter?” Ingrid asked. She stood up and neatened her beautiful blue dress. No creases and wrinkles at all. Amy’s dress was nothing but wrinkles – and hole – and soot – and sweat.
“Just, the way you described love,” Amy said, angrily. “It’s not true.”
“It IS true.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. Love is an amazing thing, but it does not solve all problems. Quite the contrary, in most cases it just complicates matters.”
“Well, if that’s the case, it’s not true love.”
Amy thought about Lionel and thought her heart would almost burst with the love she held for him.
“If you say that again Ingrid, I will -”
Amy calmed herself. She shivered in the cold dusk air; hungry and tired to the bone. Ingrid could preach like that, couldn’t she? About true love making life all rosy and gold – while she wore new dresses and slept with a rich husband who could see the world with his own eyes and walk without a stupid stick.
“I will give you an example, Ingrid,” Amy said. “And then I will go home, because it’s late, and tomorrow is an early morning. I can’t sleep in my little featherbed with a handsome husband till the clock strikes nine like you can.”
“What are you so angry about all of a sudden?!”
“I don’t know! Sorry! Just – don’t preach about love!”
“Give me the example then.”
Amy breathed deeply. She suddenly realised she was trembling, and that her heart was beating very fast due to lack of sleep and proper meals.
“What if you fall in love with a blind war hero who cannot earn sufficient amount of money and who cannot earn the approval of your father? Either you don’t marry him; and the love story would come to an end, or either you love each other so much that you are willing to face all the problems – creases and wrinkles, as you put it – the future might hold.”
“Yes, love makes it all work,” Ingrid insisted.
“No, it doesn’t necessarily!” Amy sighed. “If I marry Lionel as well as playing mother number two for all my younger siblings, I will be facing more burdens than I am capable of facing. As much as I love them; sometimes one just is in hard situations.”
“Lionel? Who is Lionel?”
It was quiet for a while. Some people were arguing inside a house. A baby’s faded cry intermingled with their voices, and the wind played music around Amy’s ears.
“Lionel is my fiancé. He’s Erica’s nephew. I met him when I stayed at her house. Erica is your stepmother.”
“Yes, I know about Erica. But – but you never told me you had a beau!”
“You can’t talk,” Amy scoffed.
She didn’t know why she was acting so spiteful against her sister. She was just sick of life; and of problems – she wanted to sleep and wear pretty clothes and kiss Lionel’s face; and never lift a finger in labour again, but she knew she would never get that. It made her enormously jealous of her sister. So jealous, in fact, that she didn’t even want to hear the whole story she had to tell.
But Ingrid sat her down and told her everything.