"They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made."
-The Great Gatsby.
The Hollands up and left one day, with no note, no call, not a single word of notice.
Their butler had only sent a brief telegram since Phoebe and Monty's servants kept calling for Mrs. Holland and received crypt answers.
Granted, such immediate departure from Clapham could only mean one thing; that Lionel found out about Sibella's affair with Monty and that he wanted to move as far away as possible.
Phoebe didn't disagree with his decision. She had thought of doing the same when she first found out about Monty's affair. She understood where Lionel was coming from… she knew how hurt and humiliated he must feel.
But that didn't excuse Sibella's unexpected silence.
Phoebe pondered over the whole situation as she climbed the stairs to go tell Monty. The telegram from the Holland's butler trembled in her hands.
It wasn't like Sibella to just up and leave like this. She would never do such a thing to Monty… or to Phoebe. She couldn't.
Her stomach hurt suddenly, and Phoebe felt tears come to her eyes as the reality of the situation weighed down on her.
Sibella had left, and she was probably never coming back. And she hadn't told them. Hadn't said a word, or made any indication.
She had just vanished. Like a ghost.
Phoebe gripped the banister tightly as her head spun. She wondered how freeing it would be to just up and leave one day, to escape the consequences of her actions, and leave them to the dust?
She envied Sibella but she also hated her for this. Surely the woman would know what this would do to Monty. He'd be crushed, tormented. Phoebe knew that she would have to talk him out of going after her…. Talk him out of killing Lionel for taking her away.
She reached Monty's door and her hands trembled hard. A sudden chill took her.
She didn't know if she could do this… how could she, Monty's loving wife who knew she wasn't her husband's one and only, tell him that his one true love just vanished out of thin air with no notice?
She swallowed hard and opened the door.
Monty looked up from his stack of papers, and for a moment Phoebe was blinded from seeing him due to the glare from the setting sun.
"M-Monty…" she barely got out in a whisper.
"Darling," the papers were quickly forgotten about, "What's wrong?" He pulled her into a chair and looked overly concerned.
His eyes glanced at the telegram. "Phoebe… what is it?"
"It's Sibella… she's gone," she whimpered.
Monty's face paled. "Gone, Phoebe what do you mean? Is she- no she can't be- "Panic set in his eyes.
"She's not dead Monty. But she's gone. She and Lionel… they just left." Phoebe started to cry then.
Monty stiffened besides her, as still as a statue. Phoebe was too concerned with crying to look at him. She couldn't look at him. For as much as she knew that Monty loved Sibella, she had loved her too and this sudden absence of her hurt Phoebe just as much as it hurt Monty.
"She can't be gone," Monty uttered after a while. "That's not…. She can't be…"
"She is…" Phoebe handed him the telegram. He read it over. And then he read it over again, and again, and again as if reading it over and over would change the contents of the telegram.
"Where?" was his next question.
Phoebe shook her head, "I don't know." She sniffled and tried to compose herself.
"Someone must know." Monty got up and began to pace, clutching the telegram in his hand so tightly that he tore through it, "They can't have gone far. I need to go find them."
"Maybe she doesn't want to be found Monty… maybe she left for a reason…" Phoebe found herself speaking suddenly.
Monty whirled around at her. "She couldn't have! She loved me, she loved us! She can't just leave!" he yelled.
"Monty, she's gone…"
He knocked over a stack of papers to the ground in anger. Next, he threw a potted plant she had given him for Christmas across the room into the book shelf. Phoebe jumped when it shattered.
"Monty, we can't do anything if she has decided to leave," she tried to reason with him. "We can't bring her back if she doesn't want to be here."
"But she does. She does want to be here. This is Lionel's doing, I tell you. I know it. He did this, he put her up to this…. I'll kill him if he threatened her," he swore, his voice low, "I'll kill him."
"Monty, stop it, we can't change it. What's done is done."
He looked up at her, hurt.
"How can you say that? How can you say that about her? I thought you loved her too!"
Phoebe snapped then.
"Of course, I loved her too, you idiot! I loved her with every fiber of my being! I lived to see her be happy and I would do anything to see her again, but we can't keep going after her. She's not ours to have, no matter how much we want her."
Afterwards, Phoebe dissipated into tears. She fell to the floor crying. Monty knelt next to her.
"I'm sorry, my darling. I didn't mean to upset you. It's just… emotions are high right now. I'm so sorry, please stop crying," he begged her, kissing at her ear.
She looked up at him with tear stained eyes.
"Just because you are a man doesn't mean that you get to pretend like you are the only she loved or the only one that loved her back," she whispered.
He nodded after a moment. "I know. I'm so sorry. I know you loved her too," he murmured as he pulled her in close and held her.
Phoebe started to cry all over again in his arms.
"Do you think she knows?" she asked after she had stopped crying. The room was dark now. The sun had set.
"Knows what, my love?" he asked as he rubbed her back.
"Do you think she knows how much she's destroyed us by leaving?" Phoebe cried.
He was quiet for a moment.
"I'd like to think so… I'd like to think she's somewhat remorseful for what she's done. But you know, our Sibella, she'll put a smile on her face and pretend like nothing ever happened," Monty said bitterly. "She'll probably lie and say that it was for the best."
"I hate her for doing this," Phoebe whimpered.
"I know. I do too, I do too…"
They spent the rest of the night in Monty's study although neither of them slept at all. They had been up all night, trying to figure out why in the world their lover had just up and left… the memory of her haunted them both like an ever present and lingering spirit.
This one was obviously in Phoebe's POV. I'll be adding Monty's, Sibella's and maybe even Lionel's in the future. Hope you all enjoyed.