Sophie looked at Anastasia and smiled. She cared for this child, but she kept fighting off these motherly feelings. Prepared for a student-teacher bond, especially working one on one, such emotions caught her off guard. She felt a growing attachment to the child, even in these few weeks, and she knew her little Miss sensed the connection as well.
Emptiness filled her heart with a longing to communicate with God, but in her present spiritual state, that void remained unmet. In the deepest depths of her spirit, she knew where to turn, but stubbornness, and more importantly, a deep sorrow, halted any progress in her relationship with the Father.
“You’re very deep in thought.”
That statement brought Sophie back into the moment. “Um…yes, I guess so.”
Much to her relief, Sebastian courteously let the subject go. Instead, he surged ahead with a safe topic, Anastasia. “She’s out like a light, almost right after lunch. I didn’t expect her to get so winded. We’ve only been out for a little over an hour.”
“I think she just needs some time. She’s not used to such an active day. But I know she enjoyed it.” Sophie gazed at her young charge. “She’s so precious.”
“Yes, she is. My father decided to stay in England for now because he heard such glowing reports of his granddaughter’s new tutor.”
“Oh, so he was coming to check up on me?”
“I guess so. He dotes on Ana more than me.”
“No, that’s not possible,” Sophie teased.
“Sophie Baird, I must say that you are indeed most refreshingly down to earth. You're much different than most of the high society ladies I associate with here and in England.”
“Thank you,” she responded quietly. “That’s the nicest compliment I’ve had in a while, and I don’t think you give them out easily.”
“You’re right, I don’t.”
Sophie put his words in the bank of her heart and savored them. She remained quiet for a while and stared out at the serene lake. Basking in the warmth of the sun, she ventured to ask, “Where does your property line run along the lake?”
Sophie looked back in surprise.
“I own the lake.”
“Oh. That’s nice,” she replied lamely, remembering one of her mum’s lectures on social graces. Anastasia sat up suddenly. “I’m sorry, did I wake you?”
Wiping the sleepiness from her eyes, Anastasia shook her head. “No, I just woke up.” She looked around. “Are we at the house yet?”
“Almost, my dear,” Sebastian responded. “Just lay back and relax. We’ll be there soon.”
“No.” Her firm tone startled both adults, and they leaned close, waiting for her to continue. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say it so loud.” She paused, and Sophie instinctively knew the child needed to share something important. “I want to tell you both something. I know I am getting better. I prayed about it. God healed me.” She stopped, almost waiting for an argument. When no debate came, Anastasia settled into the crook of her father’s arm. He and Sophie both acknowledged their support. The rest of the boat ride continued in an unspoken, agreed upon silence.
Mr. Shipley's Governess
By: Joanne Troppello
Published By: Wild Horse Press
Published: Nov 09, 2010
ISBN # 9781456350895
Word Count: 71,400
Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Palm DOC/iSolo, Microsoft Reader, Rocket