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To the Tower Top to Reminisce | Sunday Sunset 18th CD

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Darlene stopped in the stairwell a few moments, to try catch her breath, and leaned back against the cold stone wall finding comfort in it's immovableness. 

It reminded her of Thomas, but this entire excursion was about him. 

To think it was nearly three years ago now, they had been engaged when he'd brought her up here.   

This morning when Cumberland had spoken of visiting battlements, it had seeded thought to return to that place herself.  It was silly she knew, really, but knowing a yearning was foolish had never stopped her in the past.

Taking a big breath she hitched up handful of her skirts again, and resumed her climb.  Had the stairs been this steep last time? Had there been so very many of them? Had Thomas helped her up as he climbed behind her? 

Nearly three years was a long time, she knew she was very different to the girl she'd been at 18.  Perhaps Thomas had changed during their marriage too? Perhaps he also owned some of the blame for the mess it had become. 

She needed to sit down for her next rest on the stairs.  There was a skinny window near, and looking out it she could see some of the Thames winding off towards London.  She remembered the time that Thomas had taken her barging upon the Thames, and how he had mentioned Catherine. Perhaps he should have married Catherine, though it would have broken her heart if he had.

Her right slipper pinched and hurt, so slipping it off she resumed her climb in stockinged feet, all while hoping she was nearly at the top.  She and Thomas had made such sensible plans that day they had looked out at the View of England covered in snow.  And she had really thought that she'd sensibly be able to stick to those plans.  But plans were very difficult for Darlene.  She grew bored of them far too quickly...

The light grew brighter as she neared the top, and her determination to reach the platform without resting again grew too. Till finally she erupted into the light, drawing in the very freshness of the air - feeling joyful of the achievement.  Done all by herself. 

Turning around she could so easily remember when Thomas had stepped from stairwell into the light with her. 

Moving away from that place, she looked out over the wall at the view, housing private thoughts that she knew were perfectly silly too. 


The sun was sinking in the sky now, as silent tears slid down her cheeks. She reminisced of Thomas who had been her great love. Even if it had not gone as she had hoped.  But she had truly loved him, it had not felt like these feelings she'd had for Charles, or Charles, or Charles. Those others had been constructs of her imagination... those had been love imagined, the gentleman had never truly reciprocated. Not like Thomas. 

This realisation, while sad, was a relief to understand.  It was not her fault that none wanted to marry her, because that was their choice not hers.  And she still had her memory of the happy times she'd shared with Thomas.  Closing her eyes, she remembered the brush of his lips on her cheek.  She'd disappointed Thomas as his wife, but perhaps now, she could appease him as his widow. Perhaps she could honour the love that they had once known with a faithfulness. To stop looking for another, and to try find happiness in what she had. 

As the skies colours deepened into dark Darlene pressed her hands to her bosom and prayed for, or was that to, the man she was certain watched down from heaven with love still.  And hoped, his love would heal her. 

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