A short excerpt from the novel
In the morning, Andrew told me he had the most marvelous dream. I could tell by the look on his face that it had something to do with me. I asked him what he had dreamed about and he leaned over and whispered it in my ear. I told him, that was a lovely dream and we could skip to the last part if he wanted to. He did want to.
After he left for work, I set about trying to make Andrew’s dream a reality. I went to the candle shop in the mall and bought enough candles to set the house on fire or create a romantic glow. Then I went to the hair salon to get instructions on how to do my hair in a 1850s style, all up on my head with pearls and things. I looked at dresses I googled, from the appropriate time period, on my cell phone. Particularly those that looked like Mamie’s wedding dress. I was having such fun, that before I knew it, it was afternoon and I still had to go find a dress.
Mamie’s dresses were all too fragile and I could just see the look of horror on Andrew’s face if he saw me wearing it. I looked on line again and found that a couple of women in the area made authentic replicas of Civil War dresses. Most were to order but I called and took a chance they might have some premade. I got lucky. One woman who lived between Wilmington and Fayetteville had a few that someone had ordered and not picked up. She might be able to adjust them if needed. It was going to be close. I had to get there and back in a few hours and hope that she had a dress that fit.
I found the house easily thanks to GPS and it must have been my lucky day. She had a gown in my size. It was not like Mamie’s wedding dress but it was gold silk with lace and flowers embroidered at the neckline. It had pearl buttons that ran down the back of the bodice and the skirt was in flounces with pieces of lace underneath. The skirt came to a vee at the front waistline. It suited my needs perfectly and she threw in a hoop crinoline for under the skirt since I paid her extra for helping me on such short notice.
It was three when I got home. A little over two hours to get myself dressed and fix my hair before Andrew got home. I decided on a shower since it was faster. Then I did my hair as best I could. It was not easy. Finally, I put on the dress. I looked in the mirror and was extremely satisfied with what I saw. I set about putting the candles out around the parlor. I was careful to put them where there was less chance of anything catching on fire. It was five p.m. I was ready and Andrew would be there any moment. I had done some crazy things for boyfriends before but nothing like this. I must be in love and that thought warmed me inside and it scared me a bit, in love. Not just like I love you but in love. Like I want to marry you and have your babies in love. There’s a first time for everything.
At five minutes before five thirty, I lit the candles and turned out the lights. I had put some wine and cheese and other little foods on a table by the fireplace. I stood by the window when I saw Andrew pull in and saw the curious look on his face when he saw the candlelight. Then I backed off into the middle of the parlor and waited as he came through the door.
The look of surprise and happiness and love in his eyes was worth every moment of rushing around to make it happen. He was stunned and very quiet. Usually he came in talking about something from his day or something he had found in his research. Now he just stood silently staring at me. I knew he was pleased, so I wasn’t going to ask him if he liked it. I just smiled my most gracious Southern smile and asked him if he would like to come in.
“Bella, you take my breath away,” he said very softly.
“Thank you, Sir. Would you like something to drink?”
“Yes, please, whatever you have.”
“Here is some tea and if you’re hungry there are some things on the table.”
“Thank you Ma’am. I fear I am a bit under dressed,” he was getting into the spirit of things now that the shock was over.
“Why, that’s all right,” I wanted to add you won’t be dressed for long but that wouldn’t have been something a proper lady would have said back then, so I just grinned wickedly at him.
“My dear, are you making a pass at me,” he asked.
“Why Sir, why ever would you think that?”
“Oh, just a wish, I guess.”
“Would you care to dance?” I asked.
I put on an old station I had found that afternoon. It wasn’t quite 1850 but it would do. I had no idea if Andrew could dance, but I was pleasantly surprised once we started. He was a very good dancer. I had been brought up learning the rudiments of ballroom dancing, so I was not too bad either. We began to waltz.
As we danced, I began to sense something different, a sort of movement through time, like I was outside of myself and seeing myself dancing at the same time. I was almost dizzy but not quite. I looked at Andrew and he just nodded that he was experiencing the same thing. Then we were in our bodies but it was 1850 and the walls of my grandmother’s house vanished and we were in a grand ballroom. Andrew was dressed in the clothes a man of that time would wear and looked magnificent. I shut my eyes. If this was my imagination then I never wanted it to end.
Andrew held me as if we had danced like this many times before. Our bodies fit together as if we had come from one mold. He held me close to him and looked in my eyes as he twirled me around the dance floor. Neither of us spoke, yet we knew what the other was thinking.
Towards the end of our third or fourth dance together he danced me into a corner behind a large potted plant. Behind us were glass doors to the outside. He pushed one open and the cool air rushed in. We stood for a moment breathing the air then we left and proceeded down a path to some stairs that led to the river. The stairs were bordered by a small garden hidden from the steps behind a false hedge that opened into a wonderland of flowers and plants and green lawn. Andrew seemed to know exactly where this was and found the opening to the garden easily. Trees shaded the top. It was totally private and once in there, Andrew asked if he might kiss me. I nodded.
The kiss went on forever. Without asking this time, he lay me down on the soft grass on top of a blanket that happened to be sitting on a small stone bench. We continued to kiss as Andrews hands roamed over the front of my dress and then very slowly, inch by inch, he lifted my skirt till I was moaning at just the anticipation of what was going to happen. His hands would slide along the inside of my thighs stopping before he got to where I wanted him to go. He then removed his hand altogether and pulled me toward him so he could undo the buttons on the back of my dress. This he did one leisurely button at a time. He pulled the dress down once the buttons were undone so he could see my breasts.
“They are more beautiful in the moonlight than I could have even imagined. He touched each one so gently, lightly playing with each nipple till they responded to his touch. He moaned now and I looked at his face. He looked back at me. “Bella I love you. You are mine, now and always. Say it.”
“I am yours, now and always.”
He pulled the dress all the way off so that I lay there naked with the moon lighting us from above. He stood to remove his clothes and I watched him with great anticipation.
“You are so beautiful Andrew.”
He laughed. “Not half as beautiful as you lying there naked waiting for me to take you.”
“Yes, please hurry.”
“Yes, Ma’am, I will.”
Once he was down beside me again he said, “I will love you forever.’
It was amazing and wonderful and incredibly real. We walked back to the house slowly and somewhat despondently knowing this would end and when we entered through the door, we were Bella and Andrew again. I wanted to cry. I looked at Andrew and he also had a tear in his eye. “ You made my dream come true, Bella.”
“Yes, because I love you, Andrew.”
“We both saw the same thing, didn’t we?”
“Yes, love, we did.”
“Tomorrow, let’s talk about it tomorrow. Right now let’s just remember this gift we’ve been given.”
“Yes, let’s always remember.”
We blew out the candles. We were both silent as if wanting to hold on to whatever was left of the night. We went upstairs and curled up next to each other and being exhausted, fell into a deep sleep.
Hello. I am the author of the Historical Fiction novel called Mamie Garrison. It is a tale of slavery, abolition, romance and history, set in the years just prior to the Civil War. It is available on Kindle for .99 and on Kindle Unlimited; also in paperback. Mamie Garrison has a dual storyline. The present day story involves Bella and Andrew finding Mamie's journals. Their story includes romance and paranormal aspects. Mamie's story follows her adventures as an abolitionist through her journals. There are some mysteries as well as an unusual background in Mamie's life. I am 59 and married with one adult child and one grandchild. I have always enjoyed the written word and have been a voracious reader from my early youth. I am inspired by many authors in the historical fiction genre. I am also a lover of Russian literature, particularly Tolstoy and Doestoyefsky. I find great inspiration for creating characters by looking at the ones these two authors have created. There is such a depth to them. I have written for most of my life in one form or another. I have dabbled in poetry and songwriting, and have more started novels than finished ones. In my free time, I like reading, history and travel. I am interested in genealogy and working on my family tree. I live in the Midwest United States with my husband, Chris and my dog, Max.