Right, so the thing that wasn't being said? It was said. It only took a shoulder of vodka and much encouragement from many people not even remotely involved for me to do it. It could have gone horrifically wrong. I could be sitting here writing about how everything is so bleak, and really, what is the point of anything...? But I'm not. In fact, I couldn't be happier. This time, for once in my life, it was worth taking the risk. It kind of made me realise why people take risks all the time.
In life, people take risks every day - both big and small - and as someone who has been relatively unlucky in the risks I've taken, I always wondered what the point was. Now I know. (cue cheesy American TV-with-morals bit...)
Even if, time after time, your risks do not pay off, the one time, that one ever elusive moment when something clicks into place and everything seems to fall together at your feet, makes it all worth it.
Time after time I have taken risks, putting myself out there and leaping head first into things. Time after time, I came up short. Then one day, well, I didn't even need to take much of a risk...it just sort of happened. Now the challenge has changed from taking a risk to facing the fear and not running away. This is truly a different kind of challenge, one I personally find harder. It's one thing to take the initial leap, it's another thing altogether to let go of the safety cord and let yourself fly. But that, my friends, is another story for another blog.
Speaking of stories...
Jane took in the man standing before her. He was very tall with brown hair and a somewhat arrogant air. His name signalled something in Jane's memory, but she could not recall what.
"Pleased to meet you, Mr. - Winchester did you say?" she greeted, standing and bowing her head.
"Yes I did. I take it the name rings a bell?" he smiled taking her hand and raising it to his lips.
"Well, yes, actually but I can't quite recall - "
"Ha ha, I'm not surprised. My father, Alfred Winchester? He owns the biggest ship yard in Cork. Everyone knows him."
Now Jane could recall who this young man was. Or at least who his father was. Alfred Winchester was a man much hated by her father. He had started life as a lowly sea merchant and had cheated, swindled and bribed his way to the top of his profession. A few years back Jane's father lost an entire crew of officers on a ship built by Winchester's ship yard. He swore it was because Winchester took shortcuts with the building materials. The loss of those men cut Jane's father's heart deeply. She could not abide listening to this man brag about his father's success a moment longer.
"The biggest shipyard in Cork?" Jane asked.
"Mr Winchester is a very influential and revered man, Jane." Katy supplied. Jane read between the lines of this statement, validating her own suspicions. Mr Winchester was powerful, and feared.
"Well, I suppose that's not hard when it's the only shipyard. Still though, I imagine it's a big achievement for a man who started out as a deck hand."
Jane savoured the gasps of the company and the shock on Mr Edward Winchester's face.
"My dear Katherine, I am rather exhausted, I think I should like to go home now. Will you take a walk with me?" she asked with a sweet smile and feigned fatigue. Katy nodded mutely and hurried to replace her bonnet on her head.
"Miss Granger, I would like to join you in a visit to your aunts house?" the girl by the name of Stephanie asked politely.
"Of course. I'm certain Aunt Victoria will be thrilled to meet my new acquaintances.