The love that surrounded the happy couple seemed to shimmer in the air. I could not believe that in a few weeks that would probably be me standing there and getting married to someone that I loved utterly and completely. John stood next to me, smiling gently.
"Do you believe in fate, Rose?" he whispered.
"Yes, I think I do," I answered.
"Then will you do me the honor of telling my sister that she need not be afraid of Mama disapproving of Herbert anymore?" John was smiling.
And then I saw it: Herbert and Lady Kingsley where talking and laughing together, as if they had been friends for years.
"Oh John, the world seems perfect right now! If only I could pause it at this moment," I whispered.
"Don't pause the world yet, you still have to be the Rose of another name," John teased.
I smiled at him. John leaned toward me and when our faces were only a small distance away from each other, he whispered:
"Are we to be completely scandalous, Miss Morgans?"
"No indeed, Mr. Kingsley," I answered in my most hoity-toity tone.
"Please call me John."
"When you call me Miss Morgans then you will be Mr. Kingsley."
"Then I shall call you Rose, for you will always be my beautiful flower."
John kissed me on the lips.
"Rose! Look!" Amae's voice came quickly from a short distance away.
John and I looked where she was pointing and, to our great surprise, a woman with long grey hair was in a great carriage along with a girl who looked very ill. 'Twas none other than the Lady Catherine de Borgh and her only daughter, Anne.
Mr. Collins had of course told her where he was going to be and she had decided to come and see her niece off. The happy couple were gone by now, and she was in an uproar.
"Rosie, vat kind of voman is zat?" Amae whispered in supressed horror.
"I don't know, Amae, but let us hope she will not be too much of a nuisance!" I whispered back.
Aunt Lizzy and Uncle Darcy had to be the ones to receive Lady Catherine, as was proper. I saw Aunt Lizzy bite her tongue before she uttered a few rude remarks more than once.
"Rose, it's time to go," John said.
I only nodded and ran to Eva, Maria, Lizzy and Liza. Kissing each of them on the cheek, I bid them a tearful fairwell, for I did not know the next time I would see them. Before long, John and I were in the carriage with Amae, making our way home. And as we rattled and bounced along in the carriage, the only thought that was in my head was "I am to be married in four weeks," echoing over and over again every time we hit a bump.