Meet Constance, Michael, and Gerard
Constance Walker had never intended to fall in love, she did not believe in such a thing. She had always believed it was something that was made up for people who wished not to grow old alone. Constance had no such fear. She had everything she needed; she would not become a women who depended on a man to take care of her. Love, she scoffed, was for unsuccessful women, and she would be anything but.
Constance had moved to the country side of New Jersey when she was fifteen, and it was already at that age that she had begun to display her beauty. Because her family lived far from others, stories of her beauty were not believed until they saw it, which was rare. She did not visit town very much; her parents had everything they needed at the house, and what they lacked was delivered when needed. Constance did not feel any anger towards her parents for such things. She was content at home.
Adelaide Walker believed education to be extremely important for her children, despite the criticism of her peers, but the remoteness of their location made it a terrible feat for a tutor to come every day, but more so, there were very few tutors available. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how one looked upon it, the Way family, whom they lived closest to, had already hired the most highly recommended tutor. After discussions with Donald Way, it was agreed that Constance and her brother Isaac would join the two sons of the Ways for tutoring in English Literature, Italian, and French. While Constance hated learning, she was eager to make new friends, and although they were boys, they were better than no one.
Gerard and Michael Way were two very different people, despite their relation to the other. Michael had always upstaged Gerard, even though he was younger than his brother. He was more intelligent, more handsome, and more pleasant to be around. Gerard was not altogether unpleasant, he was just different. He was never into what interested his brother; he was quiet, although if one struck up a conversation with him he could converse for hours. He knew that in most cases, his brother was preferred, and he accepted the matter with great dignity. He needed not to be accepted by anyone, he believed; he was strong by himself.
Constance got on fine with Gerard and Michael, they were fine study companions. Michael was completely taken with Constance before she had even opened her mouth. She was the most beautiful creature he had ever laid eyes on. Her eyes sparkled at any angle, her smile lit up the entire room, and her voice was as beautiful as a song. It did not take long for him to fall in love with her, and although they were only fifteen, he intended on making her his wife before anyone could.
Gerard had taken to Constance like a moth to a flame, but he never showed it. In his eyes, love was a weakness, and he was not weak.
When Constance turned 17, Michael had already spoken to her about marriage, but she would not hear of such things. She simply told him she was far too young to marry, even though Constance's older brother by one year, Isaac had been married off to a lovely Parisian girl on his eighteenth birthday.
Gerard knew how much Michael loved Constance, and he had come to accept the fact that, although Constance did not want to marry too young, she would one day give into Michael. One afternoon, however, Constance gave him the slightest glimmer of hope, and that afternoon, Gerard had decided not to settle: he would make Constance his.
The cloudy sky, as gray as ash, rumbled at steady intervals but with no sign of lightning. Constance had woken up that morning, and when she had pushed back her blue velvet curtain, she wanted ever so much to return to the warmth of her bed. Ever since her older brother had moved out of the country to be with his French wife, she could not stand to go to her study lessons at the Way Residence. Michael, charming as he was, caused little but irritation in her. She found Gerard to be more to her liking, because he so rarely spoke when he needed not to. Not only so, but there was something about his beautiful, almond shaped hazel eyes that she was particularly fond of.
After her lady had finally gotten her bathed, changed, and fed, Constance gathered her books and waited in the drawing room for the Way carriage to pick her up. She detested that her parents had agreed to let Michael escort her to and from their home each day. Michael said he was just to make sure she met no harm, but Constance knew better. His dry conversation was not something to become excited over, but that morning, something was different. Habitually, Michael arrived early as if hoping this gesture would show Constance his devotion; the gesture was lost on her. But on that miserable gray morning, he did not arrive early. The dreaded sound of a hand rapping on the wooden door came late.Constance waited for one the maids to answer the door, she had prepared herself to be cross with Michael, for lateness was not acceptable. But when his older brother walked through the door all words were lost; Gerard stood where Michael should have been.
Secretly, because a man of his age should not display his fears, he had been terrified of fulfilling the duty of his brother. Michael had grown ill after night fall, and had maintained thus during the morning. He was in no form to make the trip, but he pleaded with his parents to go. His parents suggested that Gerard go, and it was his obligation to do so. Terrified as he was, he was thrilled even more so. He had never alone spent time with Constanc. The thought of the two of them alone in a carriage sent his blood rushing to his ears and his heart raced.
"Good day Lady Constance," said he, bowing his head slightly while staring into her beautiful eyes. "Please excuse my lateness."
"Thank you Mr. Way, there is no need to apologize. But if I may be so bold as to ask you where your brother is?" Constance smiled tenderly and curtsied. Gerard's smiled faltered, only for a second.
"I am sorry to inform you that he is terribly ill today." Constance and Gerard stood motionless, holding each others eyes. She was the first to look away, her cheeks flushing a bright pink. Gerard smiled; he loved when her cheeks became blossoms on her beautiful face.
"Perhaps we should be on our way," he said after the awkward moment had passed them by.
"Yes, I believe so." Her servant placed her coat upon her slender shoulders, and Gerard escorted her to the carriage. She placed her books inside, and Gerard held out his hand. Constance hesitated briefly before she put her hand into his soft palm. Gerard looked down at her hand in his; pale white on pale white, the feeling was electric, as Constance thought so too. He held her hand for longer than needed; Constance noticed this as she climbed into the carriage.
The two settled themselves before the carriage drove away, both its passengers slightly nervous and unsure of what words would be appropriate. Gerard studied Constance as she looked out of the window. She was too beautiful, it hurt that he knew he was too ordinary for a women like her. All the money in the word would not be able to secure himself such a woman. But he hated that she evoked such feelings in him, he hated that she had become his weakness.
Constance looked over to see Gerard staring at her. She blushed and quickly broke their silence.
"So Mr. Way," Constance's beautiful voice interrupted Gerard's reverie, "I would very much like to know what you plan on doing with your life. You have reached such a point in your life where you ought to decide such things I believe?" Constance knew she was being terribly forward, but with the little time she had alone with Gerard, she had never been alone with Gerard, she wanted to find out who he was. She had always found him to be mysterious and trivial.
"You believe correctly" he replied curtly. He looked out the carriage window, his words carefully forming themselves. "I have every intention of finding myself a suitable wife, before I take over the duties of my father's business" he said, "out of obligation," he added in a whisper. Constance knew his last words were not meant to reach her ears, but they peaked interest within her.
"If it is your obligation, Mr. Way, then what is it that your heart desires?"He studied her a moment, her lovely lips reminding him of cherry blossoms from his favourite season. His eyes slowly lowered to her pale bosom, rising and falling steadily with each breath, and as his eyes glided back to her face, he thought, "my heart desires you and nothing but." He could not tell her such a thing, so he smiled and said, "Perhaps I'll save that for a rainy day."
Constance looked outside; the sun had just began to break the clouds. "Of course, Mr. Way."
"May I ask you a question?"
Gerard inhaled deeply, afraid to ask what he wanted, but his wanting to know was too much to handle, he could not hold it in."Why do you not wish to marry my brother?"
Constance looked rather taken aback, she had not anticipated a question as thus, but quickly she recovered, for she was more witty than anyone knew. "Perhaps I'll save that for a rainy day." She and Gerard exchanged a smile, and neither one spoke again until they arrived at the Way residence.
Michael had positioned himself in his bed so that when the carriage arrived, he would be able to see. His heart quickened when Constance stepped out. She lead the way, Gerard close at her heels, as he cast a quick look up to his brothers window.
Gerard and Constance spent the morning busy with lessons. Constance was a studious student, her mind always on her work. Thus was not the case for Gerard. He could not keep his eyes off the beautiful creature sitting across from him, so close that her breaths very audible, so close that he could see the small freckles along her jaw line. He found it terribly unbearable to be so near to her. He was relieved when their studies were cut short because their teacher had business to attend to. Constance gathered her things, as Gerard dressed himself in his coat. He waited for Constance at the door, her coat over his hand. She walked to the door, and when she saw her coat on Gerard's arm, she smiled.
"Such a gentleman," she commented as he placed her coat on her, his finger tips grazing her shoulder blades. His heart skipped a beat, her breath caught in her throat as her cheeks blushed fervently. The two proceeded outside, and once inside the safety of the carriage, silence once again fell upon them. Constance was deep in thought, the subject of her thoughts was the man that sat across from her. Although words had barely been exchanged before that day, she was very interested in getting to know him, and knew that their relationship had forever changed. It was because she knew nothing about him that left her wanting more knowledge, and already, she was much fonder of him than his younger brother, whom she had not turned her thoughts to all day until that very moment.
They arrived at her house, neither really aware of their arrival until the coachman had come around and opened their door. Constance looked startled for a moment, as did Gerard. He descended the small stairs, and once again held his hand out for Constance to take. Once her palm was in his, his heart picked up. Her hands were beautiful, soft, and warm. Her fingers were long and slender, very much the opposite of his short, stubby fingers.
Constance became aware of a sort of electric feeling in the air, an unspoken connection, and she knew he was very aware of it too by the way he looked at her, and failed to drop her hand once she was out of the carriage. It was as though they were fused together by some invisible source. Neither one had ever experienced such a feeling, and neither one ever wanted to lose it. Regretfully, Gerard let her go, but walked closely by her side, so closely that his fingers brushed the back of her hand. Constance was amazed that a man like Gerard, a man who looked nothing such as the men who might have tempted her in the slightest, could evoke such powerful emotions from within her body.
"Miss Constance, it has been an utmost pleasure to be in your company today. I look forward to our lessons tomorrow. I bid you a wonderful afternoon."
"The pleasure was all mine, I assure you," murmured Constance. "Do wish your brother a fast recovery for me, for I know how much he enjoys our studies but I imagine it would please me ever so much more if I were to find you standing at this very spot tomorrow." She smiled sweetly, curtsied, and disappeared into her home. Gerard's words were lost. He felt as if his heart had swelled to such a degree, it might burst from his chest at any moment. Beyond believable was the feeling that he was not so sure he was awake. Was it possible that Constance Walker was showing more than a mere interest in him, Gerard Way? No girl had ever looked at him with any intent other than wanting to ask a question about his family, and in particular, his younger brother.
When Gerard was back in his home, he climbed the long, winding staircase to the second floor. He quietly crept by his brothers quarters, but his left foot stepped on a creaky floor spot.
"Gerard?" called Michael, who had been waiting for his brother impatiently.
"Yes?" he replied with impatience.
"May I have a word?"
"I would rather not catch your illness, dear brother."
"It shall take but one moment, stand as far away as possible if you must." Gerard sighed impatiently before he obeyed his brother's wishes.
"Whatever do you wish to discuss?"
"How was my dear Constance today? Did she ask upon me? Did she wish to see me? Was she disappointed that it was you to escort her today, and not I?"
"Michael your trivial questions are too many. If you must know, Constance did inquire about your absence, and she wishes you a fast recovery." Gerard did not enjoy speaking about Constance with his brother, it was a sore subject. "Now I pray you, Michael, let me leave before I catch anything."
"I fear that I won't be well tomorrow. Please, let her know I will be at my best as soon as my body allows."
"Whatever you wish, dear brother." Gerard bowed on his way out the door, where he stood to gather his thoughts. He was not betraying his own flesh and blood if he pursued Constance, was he? Constance had showed no interest in Michael, so Gerard had as much right as anyone else to court her. That night, Gerard was having trouble sleeping. His brain was not at rest, and sleep seemed too much of a chore. He arose and decided to walk out to the garden. The moon shone brightly upon the garden making the scene a delightful sight to behold. Gerard looked across the lake, where we could easily make out the Walker home. Gerard wondered what Constance was dreaming of, and it would have pleased him greatly had he known that it was him.