Chapter 9: Little Sunshine in the Estate

It had been months, since Mabelle entered the mansion of the Edwardson family and she had succeeded in getting the Madam, Ema Edwardson, to eat her meals. It started out with small meals, but then the meals became more elaborate to the point that Ema was beginning to look like the picture of health.

With this turn of events, even the master of the house, Frederick Edwardson, was elated and began to make preparations for a social gathering to celebrate the recovery of the Madam, but to his utter disappointment a new problem arouse: the Madam refused to leave her room. It wasn’t that her health suddenly took a turn for the worst, but a new complaint bellowed from her throat: she believed that she was too hideous to be seen by the public. As a woman of high society, looks was everything and taking into account that she was bedridden for so long, it was no wonder that she believed that she wouldn’t match with the beauty standards of her social class.

Frederick tried to convince Ema that her appearance was acceptable, but the word “acceptable” was an insult to her ears and she found that tossing a hard covered book at her husband was justified.  After this confrontation, Frederick refused to see his wife for weeks and so the only person Ema had contact with was with Mabelle, the person she considered to be close to.

One day, after serving the meal of the Madam, Mabelle noticed that Ema’s hands looked rough to the touch. It was as if the moisture was being sucked right out of the Madam’s hands. Mabelle took Ema’s hands gently and asked, “Madam, do you use anything to treat your hands?” Ema shook her head.

“There was never any need to,” muttered Ema as she stared at her cracked skin hands. Mabelle smiled as she placed Ema’s hands on the food tray and stated, “If you will allow, I would like to ask permission to go to the market for the day.”

“The market, but I thought you bought all the needed ingredients yesterday.”

“Ingredients for cooking, Madam, but I plan to buy something else that would please you…at least I hope it will please you.”

Ema pondered to herself for a few moments before giving her consent. She wrote a note on a small piece of paper and handed it to Mabelle instructing her to hand it to Frederick to be granted permission from the Master of the House as well to avoid any unwanted problems in the future. Mabelle nodded and bowed to Ema before taking her leave.

Mabelle ran down the hallway with a straight posture, but stopped in her tracks when she noticed Phillip walking just ahead of her heading in the same direction she was going.

“Phillip?” Mabelle called out as she ran to her senior. Phillip glanced back at her and smiled saying, “Hello, Mabelle.” Mabelle stopped by his side and asked, “Are you headed to the master’s study?”

“Actually, I am headed to the master’s washroom?”

“Washroom…is he bathing at this time?”

Phillip nodded and showed the towel and robe he had draped on his right arm.

“He expects to have these before the end of his bath, so I must hurry.”

Mabelle nodded and stated, “If it is not too much trouble, can you please ask the master to head to his study after he is dressed? I need to get his permission to head to the market.”

“The market, but didn’t you…”

“I am aware that I have visited the market just yesterday, but I am in need of something else and the Madam has already granted her permission as well.”

Phillip pondered for a bit before nodding and said, “I will let the master know, so please wait in the Master’s study.

Mabelle nodded, curtsied and then headed in the direction of the Master’s study.

As she walked off, Phillip stared at her retreating back as a smile creeped onto his face.

She truly brings sunshine into this estate.

            Phillip soon reached the Master’s washroom and knocked two times before getting permission to enter. Phillip opened the door only to see Frederick in the water filled bathtub with his head leaning against the railing of the washroom. Frederick glanced at Phillip with idle eyes saying, “You’re just in time.” Frederick stood up as Phillip ran to his side and began to slip his bathrobe on and handed him a towel to dry his hair. Frederick stepped out of the tub drying his hair with the towel, until Phillip said, “Master, it seems that your hair grew a bit longer.” Frederick held of strand of his hair between his fingers with a frown saying, “I haven’t had the time as of late to get it cut…too busy with work…and my wife.”

Phillip nodded noticing that Frederick’s look grew darker when he mentioned his wife. It was no mystery to Phillip that the affections between his master and the madam was greatly dwindled thanks to the Madam’s temper and sickness, but he still hoped for a way for the husband and wife to come to a “compromise.”

“Master, I know you dislike me mentioning the Madam, but I was wondering if maybe it would be best to make an heir.”

“Why do you say that?”

“I believe creating a child would have a positive effect on the madam’s health, since children are known to bring joy in families.”

“…I’ll think about it.”

Phillip nodded and prepared to leave, but stopped and stated, “Mabelle has something to ask of you.”

“Mabelle?”

Phillip nodded adding, “She will be waiting in your study.” With those words, Phillip bowed and then took his leave.

Frederick stood in the washroom in a daze before drying his hair a bit more with the towel and left through the door to his bedroom to change into proper clothes.

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