*-I don’t own these characters.
He knelt down on one knee, offering her the ring. She squealed, and then accepted his proposal and the ring. Both of their families were thrilled. The chapel and banquet hall were booked, the invitations were sent out and the guests confirmed. The menu was planned, the band booked and the gowns and tuxedos for the wedding party purchased. The wedding of Frederick Wentworth and Louisa Musgrove was three weeks away and seemed to be going along without a hitch.
That was, until the groom developed cold feet. Some might say it was normal; after all, it was not often that a man married, but Frederick Wentworth was developing cold feet for another reason.
He was in love with another woman.
Her name was Anne Eliot; they had dated briefly eight years ago and fell madly in love. He had proposed to her impetuously and she had accepted. But their joy was short lived; only a week later, she returned his ring, citing their age and lack of money.
He was heartbroken and swore he would forget her. But he didn’t.
Last year their paths crossed again. He had met Charles Musgrove at the gym and had been invited back to Charles’s house for the game. What Frederick did not anticipate was that Charles Musgrove was brother in law to Anne Eliot.
He also met Charles’s sisters, the twins, Louisa and Henrietta, who had just graduated from college.
Before he knew it, he found himself proposing marriage to Louisa, who eagerly accepted.
Now he was three weeks away from his wedding to a woman whom he did not love and did not know how to tell her.
At dinner, Louisa dropped a bomb on him.
“Anne won’t be at the wedding”.
“Why?” he suddenly dropped his fork
“Something about her thesis, a once in a lifetime opportunity, I don’t remember the details”.
The next day, Frederick learned the rest of the story from Charles.
“It’s true. She got an offer to study at Oxford, on a scholarship. She has to be in London in two weeks”.
When they were in college, Anne had majored in English. Now she was going for her doctorate, her specialty was Shakespeare, her goal, a college professor. Before they broke up, she had spoken about studying in England one day.
His heart dropped, she probably thought the worst of him. She was soon to be half a world away. A lifetime time ago, they had both been foolish. He would not make that mistake again.
That night, he knocked on Louisa’s door, hoping he could figure how to break up with her.
“Your in love with Anne” the words came out of her mouth before Frederick could say anything.
“How did you know?” his mouth hung open.
“I may be young, but I know when someone is in love. It’s ok, I, um actually have a confession of my own to make”.
Now it was her turn to confess.
“It just happened, your friend, James Benwick, we started talking, then we starting making out. I’m sorry, Freddy”.
“Do you like him?”.
“Then you should go for it”.
She took off the ring and handed it back to him. Now that barrier was crossed, he had another barrier to cross.
The next day, Frederick waited. He had hastily written her a letter and as soon as her mail had been delivered, he shoved in and waited.
“I cannot wait any longer, knowing that you will soon be on the other side of the Atlantic. My heart is yours, it was always yours. Do not tell me that you have forgotten me, for I have never forgotten you. I admit I was angry, foolish and prideful, but you were never far from my thoughts. Everything I have done is for you alone, have you not seen that? If I let you go to London without telling you how I feel, I will never forgive myself. Just tell me that the love we had is not dead, for I know that you are the only one I could ever spend my life with.
She smiled the smile he had not seen in eight years. He got out of the car, feeling his heart beating. This was his last chance and he would not blow it.
“What about Louisa?”.
“I cannot marry her, I am in love with you. Besides, she likes Benwick”.
“You do realize that I will be in London in a few weeks, I don’t know when I will be returning”.
“Yes, I do. There is an opening at the London office. I’m going to ask my boss on Monday if he would be willing to let me relocate”.
“You would do that?” Her smile that he loved returned.
“I would go the ends of the earth for you, we can’t undo the past, but I want this, I want us for as long as we are on this earth”.
“I love you, Freddy, I want to be with you, I don’t care what my father thinks, what my aunt thinks or what anyone else thinks”.
She kissed him and he suddenly remembered how sweet she tasted, what it was like to be near her.
“Do you want to come up, I could make some coffee and we could order in?”.
She held out her hand to him and he took it.
They spend day in her apartment together, talking about the past and dreaming about the future. As the sun rose the next morning, they slept on her couch, her head against his shoulder.
He could have woken up, after all, but looking at her sleeping next to him, this was all he ever needed and wanted.