Part 1 ― Chapter 4

Third Person POV

The sun was slowly but surely rising, signaling the beginning of another day. When Carol Anne awoke, she wasn't exactly surprised when Mary didn't come in to make sure she was getting dressed and ready.

As she combed through her tangled hair, she remembered that she still had to give the dress that she borrowed back to the Averys' maid. She had left it outside to dry yesterday and never brought it back inside. Hopefully it wasn't damp from any morning mist.

With that worry in mind, she quickly got dressed in similar clothing as the day before. She wasn't worried about her appearance; Mary wasn't bothering her and Carol Anne was just running an errand. She braided her hair loosely and rushed towards the back door in the kitchen. There was no sign of anyone awake, but a dress neatly folded on the kitchen table with a note resting on it caught Carol Anne's eye.

She paused. Her eyebrows furrowed in curiosity as she neared the note and picked it up. Carol Anne's name was written on it in perfect cursive on the front so she opened it. It was from Grace, who wanted to inform her that she had found the dress hanging outside on the clothesline and she had brought it in for her. She also warned her to be careful around food that day, which made Carol Anne smirk.

Smiling softly at her thoughtfulness, she put the note down and picked up the dress. After she put the note into a small pocket on her dress, she began to search for leftover biscuits that Grace had made yesterday. They were in the pantry along with the other goods Grace had bought.

A door opened and then slammed shut. Carol Anne froze in her tracks, biscuit in hand, listening to her father enter the house. Where had he been all night? Wherever he'd been, he had been drinking. His heavy footsteps sounded on the wooden floors, along with the noise of a few things crashing over, before his figure appeared in the doorway. He looked exhausted. Carol Anne stayed still, abruptly reminded of her nightmare she had the other night.

Richard saw her despite her attempts to become invisible. The glare he gave her made it clear that he did not want to see her at all.

"Good morning, Father," Carol Anne murmured loud enough for him to hear, tilting her head down slightly in respect. She knew that being on her best behavior and staying out of his way were the best actions when he was drunk, especially since he was so furious at her.

"Where do you think you're going?" he sneered, clearly agitated.

"I was going to return this dress to the Avery's," she explained, motioning to the dress draped over her arm. "Their maid let me borrow it after the incident at their house."

"Is that so?" he asked after a moment of deadly silence.

Carol Anne nodded, trying to keep any fear off her face. Richard crept forward menacingly and Carol Anne lowered her head even more, not making eye contact with him. After deafening silence rang in Carol Anne's ears, Richard spoke up. "Where is that damn maid? Grace? Grace!"

Carol Anne breathed a small sigh of relief when he backed off of her, knowing that she would be safe for a little while longer. All she had to do was excuse herself or hope that Richard would leave the kitchen.

"Grace isn't here today, she'll be here tomorrow," she quietly said to Richard to get him to stop yelling for Grace. She was sure that he had woken Mary.

"Don't speak to me that way, you little bitch!"

Carol Anne's eyes widened at Richard's sudden burst of anger and she flinched as he stepped towards her. But this time, he grabbed her arm and threw her in the direction of the kitchen table. Carol Anne's hip hit the end of the table and she toppled to the ground, knocking her head on a chair. A pained breath escaped her lips as she held her bruised hip and looked up at Richard. To her relief, he seemed to have lost interest in her.

Richard simply grabbed the biscuit she had dropped and didn't give her another glance as he left the kitchen, heading for the bedroom. He acted as if nothing had happened. Carol Anne sighed and rubbed the spot on her head where a small bump was forming before rising to her feet. She adjusted her skirts before taking another biscuit and the dress. She was going to get out of the house before anything else happened.


On the walk to the Avery's, the busy bustling of the town on a weekday morning soothed her. As usual, children ran in the streets, stray dogs and cats trailed merchants and folks carrying anything edible, and townswomen gossiped here and there. A few men recovering from a hangover were always a common sight. Carol Anne was thankful though for the normalcy of the day.

Visiting the Avery's was uneventful as well. Henry and Charles were either not in the house, or they just refused to see her. The kind maid, Sinead, was the one to greet her at the door but they only exchanged a few words before Carol Anne left again.

She longed for some time alone. This was strange considering how much time she had spent alone lately, but when she said alone, she meant away from people who knew her. So, she decided it would be wise to head towards the sea. After all, not many people she knew ventured onto the beach or docks in fear of ruining their clothes or something stupid like that.

The smell of the sea grew stronger as she neared the docks and sounds of seagulls reached her ears. Carol Anne couldn't help the small smile on her face as she heard the sounds of sailor's voices shouting commands at each other. During some of the free time she had at home, Carol Anne enjoyed researched and reading about sailing. It interested her. The strange words and amounts of intricate work that a ship needed to function amazed her.

Carol Anne had never been on a boat, much less a ship, before unless you counted David's father's boat. But she had never been on it while it was moving. Carol Anne was born in Saint John's, so making the extravagant voyage from England to the Americas was never something she could say she did. But she hoped that someday she would be able to travel distances like that. Being there in Saint John's just didn't feel right. She didn't quite fit in like everyone else did and everyone made it pretty clear whenever they got the chance. Carol Anne hated the looks they gave her; jealously, hatred, annoyance, pity… All she wanted was a place where she didn't get those stares; a place where she wouldn't have to worry about being fancy, polite, or anything of those things. The way Carol Anne looked at her life now, she decided that she would rather live any other life just to get away from hers. Perhaps, all she wanted was change.

But she was stuck in Saint John's unless some miracle happened. But the thought was so unrealistic that Carol Anne almost laughed.

The sound of soft waves grew louder and she stopped when the sand was only a step away. She saw an unfamiliar merchant had just docked and men were unloading cargo. A few officials who worked for the East India Trading Company were taking down notes, names, and numbers. Carol Anne watched them for awhile before she heard an unusual splash. Her gaze traveled to where she had heard the noise and saw David. He was sitting on the rock they had previously met on and he was skipping stones. Skipping stones in the ocean was hard and he wasn't having too much luck.

Carol Anne made her way over to him, not speaking as she clambered over the rocks even though David saw her coming. Only slipping a few times, she finally got to the rock and sat. David took a seat next to her, rubbing a smooth, black stone in his hands.

"Good morning," David greeted, his tone a bit cheerful. Carol Anne gave him a small but weak smile and made eye contact once before staring at the blue waves of the ocean.

"Good morning," she returned, her tone less than cheerful but her attempt at sounding happy was evident. She picked up a small rock that was lying nearby and rubbed her fingers against it. It wasn't smooth at all but it was rather rough and coarse. She continued rubbing the jagged rock anyway.

David gave Carol Anne a concerned look which she saw out of the corner of her eye but she ignored him, letting the faint sound of sailors at the dock calm her. Neither of them spoke for a moment and Carol Anne didn't mind; but David did.

"Mary Margaret sure has taken a liking to baking. I guess we have Grace to blame for that," he said jokingly, waiting for her reaction. She didn't say anything but smiled weakly. "She claims she's going to be the best baker there ever was which seems a bit dramatic. But the bread she learned to make is wonderful, you'll have to have a loaf. I have to admit, I was a bit surprised that she was able to make something that tasted good but she did it."

Carol Anne knew he was rambling, making up for her lack of conversation. She even detected a hint of nervousness from him but she couldn't quite place what it was for.

"It must be the new shipment my father brought in a few weeks ago. Grain from up North is amazing and the sugar from Haiti is by far the best. Well, so I hear. Speaking of Haiti and sugar, my father should be returning soon with a few crates. My brothers and I were going to help him unload, do you want to help?" he asked, a bit too earnest for her reply.

"Of course, you know I'd love to," Carol Anne responded politely and David nodded in content, happy with her answer. "David, what do you want to do with your life?"

Carol Anne paused and David didn't speak either so she tried to clarify. "I mean, what do you want to become? What do you want to accomplish?

She was the one who turned to look at him this time and David didn't meet her gaze. He was in thought, his eyebrows drawn slightly together and he chewed on the inside of his cheek.

"I always thought I'd become a merchant like my father but I supposed I want to do something great. I want to discover and explore places that haven't been explored before. Like the North, where the Indians live or where the slaves live in Africa. I've tried to read about the vast jungles that grow there but there's so little about them." David grew more and more animated as he talked, his passion shining through his usual collectiveness. Carol Anne had known that he was interested in maps and such but she had to admit, she was bit surprised about his daring dream.

She nodded absentmindedly and David returned the question. She pondered the question, realizing that she'd never really thought about what she wanted. Well, in a way, she had. Who hadn't? Usually it was a passing desire for a pastry or a new dress. And of course, she had wished for her parents to not be so hard on her. But had she ever really planned on what she actually wanted to become?

"I don't quite know, to be honest. But I do know that I want to be free. I want to be able to do anything that I want, whenever I want without anyone telling me what to do," she said, her voice hardened and defiant. There was a certain look to her eyes, one of will and desire. David was giving her a solemn and pitiful look. He must have known why she wanted freedom so badly.

"I understand, Carol Anne. I'm sorry about your parents and all. It must be with them. Your mother puts you through so much and your father…" he trailed off and instead of giving his intended purpose of making her feel better, she was getting angry. She could feel it all building up, the stress and the pressure of it all.

The anger of David trying to relate to her only added to it. What did he know about my life? About how I felt? How could he say such things in front of me? Like he knew what it was like to live with my parents. Her fists clenched in rage and she turned to glare at him.

"Enough, David! Stop speaking to me as if I'm a child! I am through with everyone pitying me and treating me like a fragile plaything. And I most certainly don't need someone like you getting into my personal life and pretending to feel bad for me. You probably talk behind my back like everyone else in this damned town!" she yelled, her voice rising with each accusation. David looked shocked, his eyes wide with hurt and confusion.

"Carol Anne―"

"No! Just leave me alone!" she growled, getting to her feet and hopping onto the grass. David followed her but she ignored him, continuing to storm away.

"Carol Anne, please. Just listen!" David protested, right behind her. She continued to ignore him until he grabbed her hand, forcing her to stop walking.

"What? What is it, David?" she exclaimed in annoyance, her rage still bubbling. His hand on hers pulled her towards him and before she could react, he kissed her.

It was a short kiss. A chaste one at that. At least that's what she thought, she had never been kissed before. On the cheek, yes, by smitten young boys when she was a child. But never on the lips. The sensation wasn't like she thought it would be. Perhaps, it was because she was filled with anger and hadn't been expecting it.

Carol Anne was shocked yet outraged that David had been daring enough to pull a stunt like that. She yanked away from him, pulling her hand with her and backed away. Her emotions were becoming too much. The guilt, the rage, the surprise, the confusion. They were drowning her. Suffocating her. David looked a bit regretful but confident at the same time.

"Carol Anne, I love you. I've always loved you. Please, let me help you through this," he said but Carol Anne just continued to back away.

She needed to escape, to leave this place. She needed to get away. This was all too overwhelming. David could see her panic and reached out for her but she flinched, making him pull away. She turned on her heel and began to run without even thinking.

David yelled Carol Anne's name but his voice grew distant as her shoes slapped against the dirt and soon the cobblestone. Tears of frustration welled in her eyes but she wiped them away, refusing to let them fall. Her hair was no doubt a knotty mess and she must have looked frazzled beyond belief. She didn't care. She just continued to shove past everyone who got in her way and ignored the questioned remarks and angry yelling.

The swirl of people around her, their angry, confused glares and the colors continuing to overwhelm her. She turned in a circle, trying to find relief from all of the sensations and her eyes caught sight of the symbol of a tavern. She let out a short breath and took off after it, reaching the door quickly. Carol Anne's hand rested on the handle and she hesitated in opening it before swinging the door open.

She slammed the door shut, causing a few eyes to look up at her from their pints. They were mostly sailors, some possible pirates, some merchants looking for a way to wind down. And of course, there were the whores and dancers who liked to slink around. Carol Anne clearly did not belong there and everyone could tell.

But still, they ignored her unless they were sober enough to speculate. There were lustful gazes just as much as there were hateful or curious gazes but Carol Anne just wandered over to the bar where the owner of the tavern stood. She took a seat on a barstool, a man passed out drunk slept a seat or two away from her.

"Wot can I do ya for, miss?" the man asked and Carol Anne swallowed, nervous from never having been to a place such as this before. The man could tell and saw that she looked scattered. "I think a pint of ale should do just fine," he said and she nodded blankly, placing a coin on the wooden bar.

"'Scuse me for askin', miss, but t'was it a rough day?" he asked once he placed a full cup of frothing ale in front of her.

"You could say that…" she trailed off, bringing the dirty mug to her lips. She began to gulp the ale down, clenching her eyes shut at the strong taste of alcohol. She had only tasted ale a few times before at the insistence of her playful, male friends but this was the first time she had an actual drink of it.

Ale was a barbaric drink; something that sailors had after a long day. Or perhaps a hardworking man after a fruitless day. This is what she had been told and she felt as if she had deserved it. She was a tired, poor girl who had been through too much in one day.

Carol Anne had to stop drinking to let the liquid rush down her throat and her mouth puckered in distaste at the flavor. The owner only smirked and shook his head at her before continuing tending to dirty glasses and mugs.

Her head rushed after the drink but she just kept downing the thing, hoping that whatever remedy the pirates and sailors spoke of was in that drink. It didn't take long for the ale to take effect, her tongue felt funny and she felt as if bubbles were filling her head. It was a nice, warm feeling and she longed for more of it.

"Need another, missy?" a rough voice asked and she turned, taking a moment to focus on who was talking. This man was new, he had no doubt been one of the men keeping his distance from Carol Anne awhile ago.

Without waiting for her answer, another pint of ale appeared before her eyes along with a flash of silver. She blinked but took the mug in her hand anyway. The man had a smile on his face that revealed slightly yellow teeth and he emitted the smell of sea and rum. He was a sailor. He could've been a pirate for all Carol Anne knew but none of that occurred to her as her mind continued to slur.

What a lightweight she was! How many pints had she had? She couldn't remember whether it was two or four. How thrilling this day was becoming!

Carol Anne couldn't remember much of what the man was saying to her but he encouraged her to drink until she slipped into a dreamy state. Her balance was off and things just seemed to get funnier and funnier. She could still see what was happening around her and was conscious of the kind man making his intentions clear.

The lust in his eyes was something that was hard to miss and Carol Anne even felt a few coins slip into her hand along with some whispered words that made her blush. Yet she giggled and let the man lead her to a room. She couldn't process where this room happened to be but she didn't much care.

Fear and hesitation started to creep up on her as the man grew more and more hasty with every move he made. Did she really want to do this? What would everyone think? Carol Anne Cambridge gave herself away for money in an old tavern, she could just hear it. Those cynical and criticizing voices.

Those real questions sobered her up quite a bit but reassurance from the man and a bit more drink convinced her. She didn't care what anyone thought and she certainly was not going to take any shit from anyone who thought she did.

All thoughts of David, her parents, courtship, dresses, manners, and being ladylike were shoved out of her head as she stepped into the new and exciting unknown.