AN: I had to write this for a school English Paper. I would like to update my other stories, but i figured i would show you what i've been doing in the time i haven't been updating. I am rather busy, BUT that is no excuse, i sincerely apologize my loyal readers! Please Review, it really helps! Slan!
Epilogue: We make our own Expectations.
"We are friends…."
I had taken her hand in mine, and together we rose up into the mist surrounding the garden, the sun sinking below the ruined Satis house. The scene gave out an air of finality to the dark and bleak world I had not so long ago been a part of. With renewed hope in my heart I watched as we walked down the path, our shadow never breaking.
Throughout this past month, I can't count how many times I have thought myself blessed for this second chance. The simple statement of "we are friends" gave me a life more meaningful than anything money could've bought. My brain finally cleared, and I saw the world fresh and new.
I dress in the common man's attire I have owned since I left for Cairo. Apart from my cloak, which I kept after the Satis fire, I look every bit the common man I am. I am proud of this fact, and though I am displeased with the actions of my past, I know I cannot forget the choices I made, and I don't want to. It made me who I am today.
I glance to the window of a shop on the street and look at my reflection. I notice time has caught up to my previous youthfulness, but I still hold most of the childhood glee I gained back years ago. My eyes seem to dance, and my hands are fidgeting in my pockets. I quickly pat down the strands of hair at the back of my head that don't want to stay down and continue my brisk walk to the docks.
I am thirty feet away when I see her form standing out from the eternal blue ocean. As if synchronized, both wind, Estella and ocean are as calm as a night sky. She is wearing a long and dark blue dress that form fits until it reaches her hips, where it falls off into modest cascades of fabric to her ankles. The dress itself is of Estella's own making, a simple garment, meant for travel. An old cloak is wrapped around her shoulders, her hood is down allowing the reddish-brown braid to fall from her neck, across her shoulder and down to her mid-section. The sun caught the loose strands and set them ablaze; she is truly stunning.
It is now as I remember my deep infatuation with her person in my twentieth years, that I realize I could never ask for such a love from her as we currently stand. My love has grown deeper; deeper, I feel, than even a nuptial love could grant. I feel as though, through our Expectations, we have grown from born opposites, to that of such familiarity that one could not dare say we were not one person. Not so much a marriageable love, but a sibling love; at least on her part and for her sake, on mine. Of course, I cannot deny my remaining feelings of love, the natural feeling one has for that of the opposite sex; but her experiences have brought a bitter feeling to the word marriage. Thus, I stand knowing we must remain friends, but also, knowing that it would be unjust to ask such a thing from Estella.
I meet up with her on the dock she is occupying, and we embrace. It is a warm embrace, that which a friend would give another friend. I can tell she has lost her callousness and vanity. Not that it was so much vanity then, but a sense of nobility. She is in touch with the world. She smiles at me, a smile that lights her whole face and sends a shudder through my whole being, she brings a laugh from me. We are free from this dismal place, we are free from our Expectations.
We take a ship from England over through the North Sea, and into the Rhine River where we make our way down to Mainz, Germany. We spend two months in Germany before leaving for Normandy. We don't travel to Paris, as Estella had lived there for an amount of time, so we go directly to Saint Valery en Caux. It's a small little fisher village with beautiful cliffs dropping down into the rock beaches. I look at Estella and know that we will stay a while.
Before we left England, I had made sure to remove most my savings from the bank to carry with us; Estella sold what property she could, excluding the garden we first met in, and gave clear instructions that it was not to be built upon. The years we were apart, though not friends previously, had grown us closer; now I have the privilege of taking her across Europe where we will be able to continue our friendship while traveling to the places she or I have dreamed of going.
Many months pass as we travel from Normandy to Zaragoza, Aragon…an enormous city filled with beautiful Baroque architecture, including the Basilica Pilar. From there we came to Lyon and then Turin, where we see the Alps from a new angle along with the newly finished Gran Madre di Dio, a Church located in front of the Piazza Vittorio Veneto. The Church was dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele I, the returned King. Estella had studied architecture for a small time while schooling in Paris, so she was able to recognize the Neoclassical style they used when designing it.
After visiting Napoli and Venice we made our way back up to Muenchen, Germany, where we stayed over at a friend's house that we meet on our first stay in here. The previously engaged couple, Margarethe and Stefan are now married with a newborn baby boy. Ironically, they had named him Joseph. It pangs me to remember that I hadn't said goodbye to my uncle, but I couldn't bring myself to hurt him, he looked so happy.
I sigh to myself, allowing a reminiscent smile to cross my face. I look up from the table we are all sitting at and glance across from me where Estella is sitting, she gives me a questioning look before turning back to converse with Margarethe.
Dinner passes uneventfully until Stefan nudges my arm to divert my attention to him. Moving to the sitting room where little Joe is laying in his bassinet, Stefan looks at me and then glances back into the dinning room where the ladies are sitting. I recognize the face when he looks back and know what he is on about.
"Pip, dear friend, how long are you going to wait?" his eyes stay trained on me with a concerned yet playful glimmer. "Certainly, you remember that you were the one to convince me to ask Margarethe for her hand. If not for you, I have no doubt she would be gone by now." He sits back in his chair and exhales a short laugh, "And, now, I find myself giving you the same advice."
Stephan leans forward, forearms on knees, lips pursed, his hands loosely hanging in between his legs and tells me with much earnest and companionship that my heart may burst with love for Estella to "not waste the chance you have been given, it will only come once; and if you are lucky enough for it to come a second time, you had better damn well know what your heart wants."
We say goodbye early the next morning and I help Estella into the waiting coach. Stefan gives me a last wave with the hand unoccupied by Joseph, and we turn to leave.
It's now been four years from when we left England and Estella and I are in Liscannor, Ireland. We live near a wall of grey cliffs that fall into a long bed of rocks, the waves are constantly crashing against the sides sending up a fresh wave of salt air, often wafting into the house through the sea facing kitchen window. We celebrate Estella's anniversary of birth today, an assumed date, as Miss. Havisham had never celebrated it with her at the Satis house. Our ages tell a different story, but we are living immortal, as kings and queens of the world.
I walk out of the small kitchen in our coastal shanty where Estella has finished the dinner dishes, I set down my towel on the rack set outside for drying garments. We have set up a sort of brother/sister life here, Estella loves it, but secretly I am dying inside. Every day I see the love of my existence dancing around me, and every day there is nothing I can do to get closer with out possibly breaking the bond we have. Perhaps I'm just too scared, would she feel the same if I brought the matter up? There's a crash and I'm thrown out of my thoughts with a jolt. I look to Estella, whose hand is on her hip, leaning into the door frame.
"Pip." It's not a question, it's a demand.
I look to her and see her determination.
"What's going on? You've been off ever since we came here." She moves to me and grasps my hands in hers. Her face is titled up toward mine, almost pleading, "I cannot stand to see my best friend so bothered. What is it, Pip?"
It's like my body turned to jelly when she says this, do I dare to talk of my desires? Even when keeping silent, I am ruining her. It is as though someone has taken a hold of my heart and is tearing it in two. I cannot bear to see her pain, even if it is but a concern for me. With a frustrated growl I throw my hands gently down and jerk away slightly, I pause, and a faint whisper escapes my lips. I hadn't meant to allow it to escape, but my mind and lips betray me,
"I love you. I still love you, Estella, that is the matter." I have my head turned away to keep me from seeing her reaction.
It is silent for a breath, and then the quietest sigh of resignation. A whisper in return and my ears catch her words,
"I…, I love you too, Pip."
With a start I turn around, my eyes shining in question. Has life decided to play an evil trick on my already frail mind? Is this a hoax of my hearings making? Sweet Lord above! My heart soars till it seems to be falling. I am six and ten again, not a care in the world except for the woman in front of me. Still dazed, I walk to her and throw my arms around her waist, lifting her from the ground. With a shout of pure joy, I raise my face to the sky and allow my tears to fall. In ecstasy I laugh, swinging her around and around, tightly pressed to my chest. Our hearts are so near, and I am determined to not let this moment go. Forever and ever shall her heart be near mine. Our eyes meet, and I can see she truly means what she said.
I propose three weeks later.
After two months we are married. Estella wears the same blue dress from the docks; which then symbolized the start of our friendship, now symbolizes the beginning of our marriage. A ridiculous grin is spread across my face, unable to be removed. I watch as my soon-to-be-wife glides up the aisle, wild flowers in hand, and the happiest smile I have ever seen graced upon her features. Surely the world has come to its end, if this is my present time. My ears are filled with a load buzzing, only to be cleared when the last words are spoken,
"I now pronounce you, husband and wife."
I kiss the bride.
Then we leave.
Happy as thieves we steal across the countryside toward my old home and the forge. Long enough had we stayed away from that which made me the man I am today.
Joe and Biddy now have five children; little Pip now being fifteen years old, Sara at thirteen, John at eleven, and the twins, Blaise and Georgiana at seven. I am pleased to see my old friend thriving, but I soon realize that Estella will need consistency, for the sake of sanity in a married life.
After five years of consistent travel through Europe before marriage, Estella and I find a permanent settlement. Our little costal settlement on the cliffs of Moher in Ireland. Together we walk into the home we shared for the months before our visit to England, and our lives begin again.
We made our own Expectations.
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