There used to be a time when you could count on a “happily ever after” in all of your books and movies. That time is gone. It’s gone for a good reason, that got too predictable and therefore difficult to engage in. However, with that predictability gone sad sad endings occur.
Obviously, I have a thing for books. The last couple of “Musings” I have written have been about books. Hell, some of my best relationships have been with characters in books (judge me how you will). When I was about 20, I started reading a series by Liz Curtis Higgs. The first book in that series is Thorn in My Heart. I’m not gonna lie, I had my most cathartic moment ever with this first book. I cried, I bawled, I screamed, I nearly beat my breast and pulled my hair. My attachment to her main character, Leana, was intense. When she hurt, I hurt more because I hurt for her and for me. I felt her losses in the very core of my being, in the deepest depths of my soul. It was not simply sympathy for a fictional character, it was empathy for a person I deemed as real. I knew her pain – or at least a form of it. I have never since experience the kind of pain that I felt for Leana. I’m not sure I want to. That kind of pain is, well, painful – to say the least.
Believe it or not, this particular musing is not about Leana or Higgs, it is actually about Lord Harold Trowbridge (Jane and the Lordship’s Legacy by Stephanie Barron). [SPOILER ALERT] In book 7 of this particular series, Lord Trowbridge died. He died. For seven books I had gotten to know and had fallen in love with the dark and mysterious Gentleman Rogue. I had high hopes for him and Jane Austen (even though the real life story tells me nothing could have happened – I still allowed myself to hope against history). But not only did our dear Jane love him, I loved him! Damnit! I loved him too. And then he is killed off. He died in a way that a hero should not have died, he deserved a much more daring and romantic death (if he really had to die). Anyway, I have read a half dozen other books since I finally put aside book 7 – the dreaded book in which my Gentleman Rogue died (I’m still having a hard time believing it). I have been hesitant to pick up book 8, Jane and the Lordship’s Legacy, because I am afraid to delve into a book where my sweet Gentleman Rogue is no longer a part of the story. Alas, life must go on and so must the books, but it breaks my heart knowing that I am about to start a book where my dearest Trowbridge will not be joining us. It’s like walking into a room of a lost loved one, reminders and memories everywhere, and no hope that the loved one will walk in to rejoin the story.
So, in my meager way, I am saying goodbye to my (yes, I declare him mine) my Gentleman Rogue. Goodnight, Sweet Dreams, I bid you farewell, I hope that in this next journey, your memory will at least keep me company.