Belle put the diary down, and wiped the tears from her eyes. She couldn’t even begin to fathom the pain her Mother felt. Just a few weeks ago Belle had thought she herself was pregnant. Words couldn’t express the joy she felt. She told Mrs. Potts the exciting news first, and then they were going to plan a special dinner so she could tell Adam and her Papa. But unfortunately, the morning of the big dinner, Mother Nature brought Belle an unexpected and unwanted surprise. She wasn’t pregnant.
She had felt guilty for the longest time for not telling Adam about it, but she hadn’t wanted to hurt him. Besides, she had plenty of hope and faith that one day they would have a baby. But her poor Mother. Going nine months, thinking everything was ok, and then at the very end, everything went wrong. Belle didn’t think she would be able to take it. But at least in her Mothers case things eventually got better, didn’t they? She met Belle’s Father along the way somehow, and they got married and had Belle. Belle sipped her tea and continued reading.
My family thought it would be best for me to get out of Paris for a while. They sent me to a quiet village in the country. I’m staying with my cousin Marie. She is sweet, but she is also the town gossip. I’m almost positive the entire community knows what happened to me. Everywhere I go I get looks of concern and pity. I don’t want their pity; I want to be treated normal and forget that awful thing that happened to me and my family. Here lately I find myself thinking of Auguste quite frequently. Poor dear. He just couldn’t take the heartache of losing our daughter.
The morning after I gave birth, the family priest came by to begin making funeral arrangements. He asked me what her name was. Before I could even think, the name Noële came out of my mouth. Auguste and I had thought that name was beautiful, and since the baby was going to be born around Christmas it just fit. Noële’s funeral was one of the darkest moments of my life. Watching the tiny wooden casket being lowered to the earth, knowing my baby was in there alone and cold. I felt like dying right there. I actually prayed and begged God to take me; to make my heart stop beating. But he didn’t.
When we got home Auguste secluded himself in his study, and wouldn’t let anyone in. It didn’t bother me. I wished to be alone as well, so I went upstairs. I went into the nursery and lay on the floor. I cried for what seemed like hours. I must have fallen asleep because when I came to it was dark outside. I went downstairs to find that most of the family had gone home for the evening. I felt a small amount of relief. I had my feel of family for the past couple of days. My Father sat in the drawing room, smoking his pipe. I went to open the door to the study, but Auguste had put a piece of furniture in front of it to keep people out. I asked him to move it…but he didn’t answer me. I assumed he had drunk himself to sleep. I said his name a few times, thinking I might wake him up, but I didn’t have any luck. I went and got my Father and asked him to help me open the door. I was beginning to get worried. My Father called his name before we tried to make our way through the door, but he still wouldn’t answer. I felt a dark chill go over my body. Something was not right here.
It took us a few good pushes to get the door open, given my Fathers age, and my weakness from not eating the past few days. As I made my way around the bookcase that was in front of the door, my knees gave out when I saw him. My Father caught me just in time before I hit the floor, and he quickly picked me up and carried me out of the room, just the same as he used to when I was a little girl and would fall and hurt myself. I felt so small again in my Fathers arms, like a child. He sat me down on the couch and went to get the butler. Then it began to fully register; what I had seen.
I thought I was grieving. How selfish I was…thinking I was alone in the loss of our daughter. But he was there, the whole time, grieving with me, hurting just as bad, or maybe more. Auguste had locked himself in his study to drink…but not to drink himself into his usual stupor. He was preparing himself. I had written before that when I was on bed rest that he let me teach him how to knit. Well, together, we knitted a pink and blue blanket. It was pink AND blue because he was so sure the baby was going to be a boy, but I knew she was a girl. Anyways, when I came around the bookcase, I saw him, hanging from the chandelier, by that very same blanket. So now I had another funeral to arrange. Now I was a widow.