For this Monday’s “Inspiration for the Book” post, I thought I’d compare the same scene from different points of view. Since Falling In Love With Her Husband has been out for a few years, I’d like to post the scene from Ann’s point of view first.
Ann’s point of view is given in first person.
“Miss Ann, you have a caller,” Ginny announced.
I turned from my bedroom mirror in anticipation.
“Do I look alright?” I asked her. I wore a dark blue satin dress. He liked the color blue the best.
“You look as beautiful as usual. Come along. It wouldn’t be right to keep him waiting.”
I took a deep breath to calm my nerves. When I entered the parlor, my heart raced with excitement. He looked to be larger than life with his broad shoulders and tall frame. “Good afternoon, Kent,” I greeted warmly as I approached him. “It’s good to see you. Will you sit down?”
“No thank you, Miss Ann.”
Surprised by his formality, I stood awkwardly. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Ginny shrug, just as bewildered as I was. I waited for him to speak but he refused to look at me. I knew something was wrong, so I took great care in asking my question. “Did you have a bad day?”
“No. I…I have to tell you something,” he mumbled, staring at the lace curtains on the other side of the room.
I was afraid of what he had to say, so I didn’t press him to continue.
He sighed loudly. “I don’t know how to tell you this.”
I remained silent. Part of me needed to know while another part wished to remain ignorant. At last, I asked, “Is someone in your family ill?”
“No, nothing like that.”
By now, I was squirming. When I could not stand the awful silence anymore, I demanded, “What is it?”
“I cannot call on you again.”
“What?” I dumbly asked.
“I love Rebecca Johnson, and I intend to marry her.”
“How…When…?” I couldn’t manage to finish my question.
“It just happened. I didn’t plan it. I don’t think anyone can plan things like this,” he hastily explained.
Before I could reply, he walked to the front door. “I hope there won’t be any hard feelings between us. I’ll see you in church tomorrow. Good-bye, Miss Statesman.”
And just like that he was out of my house and out of my life. I didn’t know how long I sat in the chair, staring blankly at the wall in front of me. All I kept wondering was how he could claim to love me one day and claim to love someone else the next. Ginny sat by me. I took small comfort in her presence. I appreciated the fact that I didn’t have to talk to her. I wished to be alone with my thoughts for awhile.
Now that we’ve seen Ann’s view of things, here’s Kent’s. I found doing it from his point of view made the whole scene appear different, which reminds me that we can look at the same event but it’s how we perceive that event that makes all the difference. 😀 This was a lot of fun to see that more was going on than Ann realized.
Kent’s point of view is given in third person.
Kent took a deep breath to steel his resolve before he knocked on the door. He had to do this. It was no longer a question of what he wanted to do. It was now a matter of doing the right thing. If he could take back the previous night, he’d do it in a heartbeat. But he couldn’t, and no amount of wishing he could turn back the clock would make it so. It was his sin to bear, and he’d bear it for the rest of his life. Resigned to his fate, he knocked on the Statesmans’ front door again.
One of Ann’s servants answered the door and he asked to see her, hoping her father wasn’t there. He’d already made enough of a mess without having to deal with her father once more. The man should be content because after today, he would win. Kent would be out of Ann’s life. Swallowing back some tears, he followed her servant into the parlor and waited for her.
He scanned the parlor, recalling the times he’d come over to show her pictures or talk about New York. They’d made plans in this room, plans for the future that would no longer come true. Letting out a heavy sigh, he removed his hat. He felt as if he were at a funeral and in some ways, he was. He’d come to end the best thing that ever happened to him.
One of Ann’s female servants came into the parlor, followed by Ann, and it took all of his willpower not to get on his knees and beg her forgiveness. This was going to hurt her, something he once swore he’d never do.
“Good afternoon, Kent,” she greeted, her smile lighting up her face. “It’s good to see you. Will you sit down?”
“No thank you, Miss Ann,” he replied then, in shame, he lowered his gaze.
She remained standing, shifting uneasily from one foot to another, and after a long moment, she asked, “Did you have a bad day?”
“No. I…I have to tell you something.” He took another deep breath, doing his best to ignore the way the clock ticked, ever reminding him he’d never get to be in her parlor again. “I don’t know how to tell you this.”
“Is someone in your family ill?”
“No, nothing like that.”
“What is it?”
He had to do this. There was no choice. He gripped his hat and forced out, “I cannot call on you again.”
“What?” she asked, her jaw dropped in shock.
“I love Rebecca Johnson,” he quickly explained, hoping she didn’t notice the way he winced, “and I intend to marry her.”
“It just happened. I didn’t plan it. I don’t think anyone can plan things like this.”
If only he hadn’t drank alcohol, then this wouldn’t be happening. But wishing it was no use. Before he could break down and beg her forgiveness for how things turned out, he headed for the front door. His father and Rebecca had agreed that no one—not even her parents—would know about him being in bed with her, and that meant he couldn’t tell anyone, not even Ann. But if Ann knew, she’d lose all respect for him, and then she’d never love him. That would be worse. Maybe it was selfish, but he wanted Ann to always love him, even if he couldn’t be with her.
Clearing his throat, he forced out, “I hope there won’t be any hard feelings between us. I’ll see you in church tomorrow. Good-bye, Miss Statesman.”
He noted the way she winced and gritted his teeth as he opened the door and left her house. Once he made it down the steps of her porch, he closed his eyes and steadied his nerves. It wouldn’t do to cry. Men didn’t cry, at least not in front of onlookers. When he could trust himself, he opened his eyes and proceeded down the sidewalk, putting one step forward, resigned to the future that loomed ahead of him.