Can a man have more then one shot at love?
| He was the talk of the town, Baron Washington, descendant of George Washington. Richest man in the town, and an eligible bachelor at that. The rumor was that his brother, who lived in New York City, had been in love with the same girl as him. Baron had been best man at his brother's wedding to the one girl he loved. Baron had stayed behind in the small town to overlook the factory, while his brother managed finances from New York. It was town legend that he had vowed never to love again. These were the rumors I heard as a young school teacher. The children would murmur stories of the man who was loveless. I remember laughing day as I walked around the schoolhouse, hearing them whisper their secrets. "I've heard he took his heart out of his chest and put it in a box." One third grader would mutter. "No, I heard he froze it, and keeps it in his iceboxes." a fifth grader would mutter back to the third grader. "I've heard he locks himself in that stately mansion, because he fears women." a sixth grader would butt in. "I heard that one time, a woman came from a foreign country, and tried to impress him. She left a few days later, because he wouldn't see her once." a fourth grader said. That's when I called the class to attention.
Yes, there was no doubt that Baron was a mystery to the town, and to me. Yet while many people acted like it was just Baron's ways, I was curious. I first met Baron Washington when he came up to the school house to introduce himself. I was sitting at my desk, trying to figure out my plans for tomorrow. "Excuse me." he said walking in. He was wearing a black suit, and a hat. He had black hair that was slicked back, a clean shaven face, and icy blue eyes. What shocked me the most, was he was almost as young as me. No older then twenty-five. "I am Baron Washington." he said. "Hello, I am Miss Watkins. I'm the new school teacher." I said."So I've heard." he said. His eyes swept over me. He smiled at me. "I was wondering how our youth are holding up. They are the future." he said. "I believe so sir. Mr. Washington-" "Please call me Baron. Mr. Washington is my brother's name." Baron said. "Baron, I have to go home, but it was nice to meet you." I said. As I walked off, I felt the eyes of the loveless man on me for far longer then was necessary.
My neighbor, Danielle Parker, invited me over to lunch. During our visit I recounted my experience with Baron Washington. "The same Baron I know?" she said. "Hah, that man is cold and cruel. He cares for no one but himself! Especially not the "future of tommorow." Poor boy his heart was broken. Not that I feel any sympathy for him. He stays in that large mansion all the time. He doesn't go to church. I guess he is too high and mighty for us!" Seeing I got my neighbor in a flutter, I changed the topic.
However, that was not the only time Baron stopped by my schoolhouse. He visited once every two weeks or so to make sure I had enough supplies for the children and other such necessities. We talked about books, and other such things. Soon fall turned to winter. Baron then came almost every other day to make sure we had enough wood, to keep the school room. That's when I started hearing the mutterings around town. Danielle Parker, invited me over one day to lunch. "Now, Marie, you might want to sit down." Danielle said. "What is it Danielle?" I asked. "Well there have been some...rumors... some whispers if you will, crisscrossing town, saying that you have captured the heart of Baron Washington! That you are to be married! I stared at her for a minute, and then started laughing. "Danielle, you cannot be serious!" I said. "Baron is nothing but a dear friend and benefactor. He cares for the children."
Though I reassured my friend, a seed of doubt was placed into my mind. Was Baron in love with me? and more importantly, was I with him? I thought about our long talks, and the way he would look at me. Yet I laughed still. Baron Washington was incapable of love. It was impossible. He was probably to be married to some rich woman to make sure his status in life was kept. Yes, I could see that being it. A high and mighty woman. Not some drab school teacher, who could barely afford lunch. I reassured myself and walked home. Though I had reassured myself that Baron could and never would love anyone, I felt a deep sadness in my stomach.
That evening as I was reading in my house, I heard a knock at the door. I opened it to find Baron on my porch. "Baron?" I asked. He came in. "Yes, you can come in Baron." I muttered. "I have struggled. I have done everything." he started. "I have labored against Eros' arrow for too long. You must understand when I was younger, I fell in love and thought it could only happen once. But you, Miss Watkins, Marie. Oh Marie, you made me feel things I never thought I'd feel again. You made me believe in love again. Please, don't break my heart again." He kneeled on the ground. I caught by breath. "Please Marie, I want to say your name everyday and know it's mine. I want to hear your laughter and watch you read. I want to hear people call you Mrs. Washington. Please, will you marry me?" I was so shocked, I stared. I had talked myself out of his love and here he was proposing. "I,I don't know what to say Baron." I said. "Please say yes. I want to hear you say my name til the day I die." Baron pleaded. I looked into his eyes, and saw something I had never seen before. It almost looked like his eyes had thawed out. "Please." he muttered. I nodded, smiling. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Baron. He swept me into a kiss, and the deal was sealed.