Posted on 2010-05-02
She had known him all her life, and they had always been the best of friends. Her father would often smile when he saw them together, an incongruous pair: a boy, almost a young man, stooping slightly so that he could walk hand-in-hand with the little girl. 'Where's the third musketeer?' he would joke, pretending to wonder where the non-existent third party was.
He would often devote hours to her amusement, joining in her games, teaching her how to skip pebbles on the lake, reading aloud to her. He always had time for her, always treated her like an equal and never, never made her feel like she was stupid or childish.
She had looked up to him more than anyone in the world, and had loved him with all the fierceness of a child's unconditional adoration. Blood or no, he was her older brother, her closest friend.
And yet there was something curiously formal about their relationship. Unfailingly he would call her 'Miss' and she would call him 'Mr' – although in her heart he was always George, just George.
Often it would happen that she would be thinking about him, only to look up and find that he was before her. They had wondered over these happy coincidences, and it became a running joke between them that he could read her mind and would heed her silent call.
And yet for some years now it was as if he had lost the talent; he had gone to London, and many other places, far away from her. He had been gone for so long that sometimes when she closed her eyes and tried to picture his face, the features would blur into one another and her memory would fail her. On these occasions she would look at the little miniature of him which she had sketched herself when she was younger. She had never been happy with it, and although he had praised it, she knew it had not captured him accurately.
Walking in the shrubbery now with her head full of thoughts of him, she looked up, and smiled at her own silliness when, just as always, there was nobody there.
Just then, her sharp ears picked up the sound of a footstep on the path behind her, and she whirled around to see him.
Those handsome features, that wide grin, the warmth of a lifetime of shared memories in his eyes – there was no mistaking him. George. He held his arms open. 'Well, Miss Darcy?' he said, smiling. 'Don't I at least get a hug?'
She didn't stop to wonder how he had found out she was at Ramsgate, didn't stop to wonder why he had reappeared in her life so suddenly.
Instead, smile threatening to split her face in two, Georgiana ran into his arms.The End