Dear Diary, this is my first and last entry, allow me to explain dear diary, it has been over ten years since I was first incarcerated in this state government establishment for those suffering from, what I call, a deformity of the mind, why write now you ask, today I was given a pair of glasses for the first time in ten years, nothing expensive mind you, just the basic design for those who belong to the destitute of a welfare society, now I can read and write, ironic as tomorrow I am deemed secure enough to be released back into society, why am I here and how did I become a guest of this mental establishment I will tell you. I have the need to now write the true story as I recall of myself, Pierre XXXX. A story to be recorded in the chronicles of times for future generations, and for those who believe that time travel is possible, and also for those who believe that Love can definitely cross all bounds and emotions of the Heart.
To those who have found this document and are reading these words, I will tell you a story that you will find unbelievable beyond comprehension, a story that you may well believe, is deserving of my incarceration in this institution for the mentally insane, the habitat for those whose minds wander from the norm, into a world of unexplained abnormality of the senses, a world where the demons of the night find haven, in the quiet slumbering of the weak minds of those who rest in the childish world of peaceful dreams.
My story begins in the mid 1800’s, the specifics of the year are irrelevant at this time, I was employed as a Valet for one Mister G E Burnes, Burnes was a noted aristocrat at that time, having made his fortune in designing reading glasses in the newly discovered mystery world of ophthalmology, his glasses became an instant hit with the bourgeois of society at that time, his glasses, particularly the scissors glasses were the usual preference for those who still favored the wearing of wigs at that time, but enough of his trade background. Barnes lived in a large mansion on the outskirts of London, where he resided happily with his wife and beautiful daughter; it was into that background that I was employed as a Valet to Mister Burnes. It was that very day of my employment that the torment of my eternal heart began, and was to pursue me for generations and lifetimes to come.
My Heart was smitten, the moment my eyes first cast their glance upon the unbelievable sight before me, let me digress dear reader, and paint as best I can, this beautiful Queen of Angels who stood before me, their daughter Caroline. Caroline was only eighteen, very animated with a charming countenance. Sparkling bold blue eyes, long raven black hair, a very delicate girl with the lines of her body clearly defined. If I had to paint the Goddess of man’s dreams, it would be that fair Caroline. The only fault I could perceive in the artistry of this Goddess was a slight limp of one leg, later I was to find that this was a defect from birth, in my eyes this slight defect faded into insignificance. I was twenty three at this time, of average looks, dark black hair and stood about six feet in stockings, not unattractive but would not stand out in a crowd. My attentions were soon reciprocated, a bond of the hearts soon developed, our love was discreet and lasted for two years, we spoke of undying and eternal love, we swore we would be forever as one. Alas the Gods worked against us, her father had promised her to another, a gentleman of the nobility, one who came with a vast dowry, I begged my Caroline to run away with me, to remember her vows of eternal love, all to no avail, her loyalty to her father’s ambitions overruled our love, he was to profit financially and prestige wise through this arranged marriage, my heart was rent asunder, the tears were constant.
A week after Caroline told me our love could never be, the time for her departure to London to join her new husband arrived, She was leaving on the eight Pm tram trolley, that final day has been etched on my heart ever since, I tried to maintain my decorum within the household of Burnes, I avoided Caroline at every corner. That night I waited in the twilight mist of the gaslights, the lights of the trolley came into view as I emerged from the shadows, into each other’s arms we ran, the tears flowed freely as I swore to Caroline that I would search the world over, her love was mine alone, on bended knee I begged, as such I remained, as the gas lights of the trolley disappeared into the mists of the nighttime drizzling rain.
The house of Burnes became intolerable, the excitement of my everyday tasks became burdensome, without the prospect of seeing Caroline the days dragged by with the silence of a cemetery at dusk, I saw Caroline in every corner of the house, and in every corner of my mind. I tendered my resignation to Burnes and left his employ, the next day I left for London with one purpose in mind, the pursuit of the only flame that ignited the love within my heart.
I took up residence at a small decrepit house off White chapel road, an abode rented by an equally old decrepit landlord, I paid from the small amount of severance pay granted to me by my old employer Burnes, the need for gainful employment was urgent, I soon found employment as a Jewellers apprentice with an elderly gentleman by the name of Thomas Gray, his retail outlet being located off Two Brewers Lane. For ten years Gray took me under his wing and taught me the fine art of jewellery making and design, during this time my mind never wavered from thoughts of finding Caroline, days were spent making jewellery, whilst my nights were occupied in the never ending search for Caroline, I frequented all the best restaurants, the best operas and every beaurocratic or regal balls and occasions, in searching for any clue as to her whereabouts, all to no avail, till one night chance smiled in my favour.
My mentor, Thomas Gray was to host a formal dinner for some of the highest dignitaries of London at that time, as a loyal and trusted employee I was requested to attend, punctually at seven I found myself seated next to a gentleman by the name of Dickens. During the course of the evening I discovered Mister Dickens was an upcoming and distinguished Writer, a writer whose works were being published in all the notable newspapers of the time, he was writing on the subjects of the conditions of the working class in England, and the inequality of the standards of living. As the evening progressed, Dickens took an interest in the story of my search for Caroline, he expressed an interest in supporting my endeavours to the extent he would make inquiries, he assured me that he had a young colleague by the name of Arthur Dodger, who knew the streets and the whereabouts of the residences of all the noted peoples of London, we parted with a new found friendship and a promise of details of his inquiries to follow in a few days time.
Dickens was punctual in his response of assistance, two days later I answered the door to a young sprightly youth who gave his name as Arty Dodger, taking the gold coin I gave to him, he passed a sealed envelope into my hand, with a wink and a thank you Governor, he disappeared into the night life of London’s streets and byways. The envelope contained the very information that I had been seeking for ten long years, it gave Caroline’s address and title, she was known as Lady Caroline Dyke, having married Sir Thomas Dyke, a Lord of Parliament after leaving her father’s home many years ago, it also stated that Lady Caroline was to attend the Governors Ball the following weekend. I was once again to see the very love of my heart.
With support from my employer Mister Gray, I was able to receive an invitation to the ball, I did not want to arrive early but made my presence known approximately half way through the evening, in the shadows of the columns of the ballroom I was able to survey the dance floor, to the strains of Strauss I saw my beloved waltz across the floor in the arms of a tall distinguished gentleman. My heart was crying and my eyes began to water, she was as lovely as I remember, her beauty was divine, her blue eyes shone with the sparkles of a thousand stars, I watched her waltz with elegant grace, the lameness in her leg could not be discerned in the regal movements of her waltz, having described my first meeting with my beloved after so many years, it would be improper for me to not mention one small flaw in her beauty, she had aged yes, the pallor of her skin had taken on a very white hue, a colour that rouge could not hide, apart from that my beloved still held my mesmerized heart in her hands. Thrice she circled the floor, and once I saw a glimmer of recognition in her eyes as she espied me as she waltzed by, I had to speak to her, I had to renew my vows of eternal love, I waited for a break when the music ceased for supper, it was then I was able to approach and speak to her alone, the most exquisite moment in my heart exploded with an eruption of all the pent up emotions of love that man can ever imagine to hold.
To be continued.