Day 5 and I am seriously lost. Not to mention it was busy in the cafe today and so I got no writing done there at all (this should feel like a good thing, right?) But I still have some notes from yesterday so I have those to work with. I am introducing Elizabeth here (at the moment prior to the two letters, but still hemming and hawing over that one). And I may edit yesterday’s work down to almost nothing. And a later note I think part of this belongs somewhere else, but will keep it here for now just so I don’t lose it. I guess this will all sort itself out as I go on.
So, installment 5. . .
If you were to ask Miss Elizabeth Lavenza to describe a perfect afternoon, she would describe just this very one, the sun bright but not too bright, the air neither too cool nor too hot, the lake a pool of perfect glass. And the house and the household was without crisis or controversy to take her. And yet on this day it provided her no satisfaction.
The feeling overtook Elizabeth around 2:00. It was not a sudden blow, but crept in through the day until she could hardly bare it. She could not identify it except that she was most dreadfully, unbearably cold. So she fled the house for the lake. This was a strange thing to do when it was cold that she was fleeing and it was always a few degrees cooler by the water, but somehow the cold she was escaping seemed to be something inherent to the house. There were times that the house was just too full of her family, the Frankenstein boys and men dominating every space whether they were present or not. The lake though, was hers.
She had brought with her her usual accompaniments but when she got to the shore she found she had no interest in either her paints or her books and that the feeling had followed her. Perhaps the problem was that there were no controversies at the house. A good deal of her time and thoughts were taken up by the running of the place and by those that lived in it. Today was hers and her mind had nothing to distract it from one pure fact, she was alone. And on this particular day, though she could not say why, she felt particularly alone and particularly in need of an ally, one that was not a Frankenstein, but was like the lake, hers and hers alone. There was no one of course. The Frankensteins were a family that seemed to need nobody but themselves and assumed their ward to be the same so there were no friends to call upon, no confidante to stop by. There was not even a letter from dear Victor for her to reply to, his correspondence having dwindled to nothing, and her own letters to him had been reduced to but the barest facts about family as there seemed no longer any point to opening her heart and relating any of her deeper thoughts and feelings to him.
And then it came to her — what happened to Agatha?
Agatha had not been so much a friend as a fellow outcast. One year it was declared that Victor and Elizabeth must go to school. Victor was to attend a school within the town, but Elizabeth was to be sent off to a school specializing in the appropriate education of young ladies, no doubt to remove any remains of her former, more rustic, foster parents So Elizabeth found herself away from home on a wonderful adventure. This adventure turned out to be not quite what she had anticipated. The other girls did not take to her. It’s not as if they were cruel to her, but they must have had a strange sixth sense, recognizing that she did not belong and would not be staying so they took no time to know her. Agatha DeLacey was equally ignored. These remote students turned out to be quite correct in their assessment. It was deemed that Elizabeth was far too necessary to her mother and her brothers to remain where she was and that she could acquire her education through experience and her parents’ own tutoring. She was not however so necessary that they could not wait until the end of term as no refund would be forthcoming if she left early. Agatha was removed three months after arriving, her tuition apparently unpaid. Elizabeth wrote a handful of letters afterwards, but once she returned home her parents convinced her that to maintain any correspondence between them would not serve her best interests.
She thought again — what happened to Agatha?
Elizabeth decided to make inquiries at her last known address, or at least what she remembered of it. She removed herself from her favourite rock and went back to the house. The weather was taking a sudden turn, a reminder to all that this was November after all, and not the late summer day it appeared. And she would require her desk.