The Cherry Blossom Tree
I am currently writing a story loosely set in Britain in the late Georgian era called the Cherry Blossom Tree. The book follows the main character, Belinda Kettering, daughter of Lord Kettering of the Readly estate, as she grows up and has to deal with responsibilities and duties, as well morals and what she believes in. More than this, it follows her story with Arthur Pickett, a gardener and servant boy who she has been best friends with since the day she was born.
Here is the prologue:
Worse Things Happen At Sea.
I sit here at the water’s edge, the waves crashing high over the boundaries, soaking the promenade with the brine, carrying debris lost and shattered at sea for so long.
The harbour wall can barely be seen past the mist, spray and torrents of rain. The boats rock violently in the so-called protected harbour. That is, the boats that have survived this storm so far.
Yet the storm raging around me, in a world not my own is so tame; so gentle, compared to that within me that I barely feel the cold wind blowing at my hair and tearing my clothes. The rain, pounding in deluges and streams, is of little importance to me, even as I am soaked through the skin to my very bones.
The kind sailors and ship wrights have long given up persuading Lord Kettering’s darling daughter to come on home, away from this foul place. But I do not stir; I do not move. I sit here on the harbour wall, kneeling before the great tides, holding the dregs (which were once fine curls) from my eyes as I watch the ship depart from this country. It is merely a dot now, bobbing on the edge of the world itself.
I sit here, the lady on the land, with no heart, no oxygen, no soul. My very being is at sea, where the worst things happen.
Love is a peculiar word; for four simple letters strung together so carelessly, it holds so much power, more power than the King of the World himself would hold, for what good is wealth and control if one does not have love? For many, true love is never found, has never even come close. For me, I found its true meaning at the age of sixteen. Some would say I’m lucky, but others, wiser I may claim, warn that true love comes as both a gift and a curse; a double edged blade where trust is all that can keep you from the inevitable.
True love is a complicated and difficult thing, but a beautiful thing; a thing to be cherished and valued above all else. And that’s what has brought me to where I sit now, watching my soul at sea. Pride and morals have brought me only pain and anguish. What’s right has been dictated by those with money, and what’s wrong doesn’t even matter. My gentle tears are shed for all that has gone wrong, all that I have lost, all in the name of love.
That is my story, dear reader, a story which contains grief and sadness, but it is also a story of happiness and the power of self belief. The power of one knowing they are right and remaining true to one’s self. More importantly still, it is a story of the power of love, especially forbidden love. It is the story of my old cherry blossom tree as it watches the scenes unfold beneath its boughs and sings softly to me in the wind. A reminder, perhaps, of the one I love.”