“I couldn’t go. I couldn’t go without … Molly, do I still stand any chance with you?”
“I’ve been such a fool, I know. Yes?”
It was nothing more than a handful of steps that separated them. Ten steps at the absolute most, half that if he lengthened his stride. Roger couldn't help but curse the distance; so near but yet so far. The same frustration that he felt was mirrored on Molly's face and the fact that she shared his frustration eased the sensations fractionally. He made an aborted step forward and smiled ruefully.
“There’s so much I prepared to say to you. how I should have seen that it was you I truly loved. Even before…” All of a sudden, her words registered. She had said yes. It was too good to be true and he found himself needing clarification, “you meant it?”
“I mustn’t come any closer, I promised your father.” As much as Roger loved his nephew, he couldn’t help but curse the young Osborne at this point of time. If he hadn’t contracted scarlet fever then he wouldn’t be forced to keep his distance from Molly at this time. How many women would understand his work, would appreciate it?
“Yes, I know.”
And she did know, he could see that as clearly as the light of day. Truly, was there any other woman in existence as good and as understanding as Molly Gibson? Roger doubted that there were.
“Molly, dear Molly. Will you be my wife?” It was far from the elegant proposal that Molly deserved. She deserved more than a fumbled proposal in the pouring rain in the centre of Hollingford. Her sister would never have stood for it but then Molly wasn't Cynthia.
“Yes. Yes, I will. Yes.”
And Roger had never been so grateful of that because, despite a shambolic proposal in the pouring rain, despite the fact that they couldn’t touch or even come close to each other, Molly Gibson had agreed to be his wife.