On August 31st, 1822, Sophia dreams...
Their house, 16 Rue d’Eglise, was only a couple of streets away from the Anlié residence, on the Rue Plumet, which was a lot more extravagant and fanciful. Since marrying Javert and moving into his modest flat before they moved to Montreuil-sur-Mer, Sophia lost her taste for extravagance and now preferred simplicity. Her father had insisted that she had a portrait of her done, but she had refused because it meant she would be immortally pregnant in the oil painting. She had been six months pregnant at the time. But like any new expectant mother to be, even in upper middle-class like herself, she worried as her due date became nearer. She was due on September 13th approximately and as the end of August loomed nearer, she grew even more anxious by the day and Javert was worried about her. As she sat in the parlour, her delicate hand on her belly, she wondered if she would give her husband a little boy or girl. She was basically slouching, her legs slightly apart to accommodate the weight. At thirty-eight weeks pregnant, she did not leave the house, but she sat in the garden occasionally if she needed to clear her head.
Javert found her out there on August 31st, the day before she would be forced to stay in bed. He watched her from the door, and she looked beautiful, despite her being heavily pregnant. The sun shone down on her golden locks and it gave her a pregnancy glow, which normally she did not have. Her fingers were absent-mindedly caressing a rose which she had picked. He smiled and went into the garden. He was dressed fairly informally- a white shirt (sleeves rolled up so it exposed his forearms), a dark blue waistcoat and trousers with a matching cravat. He sat down next to her and she looked at him.
“The baby’s heavy,” she said softly, her left hand resting on her large abdomen. He tenderly placed his hand over hers, before taking it up and kissed her hand.
“He gave me an Angel as a wife. Only He would know what would happen if I did not marry you,” he told her softly.
Sophia laughed, “I am barely an Angel, Etienne. I may be golden in looks, but you know full well what I am like in the marital bed. You called me the Devil’s whore once.”
“You would tempt a saint,” he said quickly, defending himself and his dignity. He may have called her that in the midst of lovemaking, but he thought she had not heard him say that. He stood up and offered her a hand.
“Come, Sophia, you best come inside,” he told her. She took it reluctantly and he helped her indoors, his hand on the small of her back.
Despite what tradition dictates of a heavily pregnant woman of Sophia’s heritage, she and Javert shared the same bed, perhaps out of habit:- when they wedded and were living in the modest flat Javert owned (much to the dismay of his new, affluent bride), and in Montreuil-sur-Mer, they shared the same bed. She, much to the desperate pleas of the accouchese and midwife, refused to leave her husband’s bed, saying she would rather have him nearby if she went into labour in the night. She had had no intention from the beginning to not be in accouchement when she found out she was expecting back in March- knowing she would only be permitted an hour long visit from her husband at a time.
As she laid in bed, on her back whilst Javert was on his side, his arm draped around her, just above where the curve of her belly begun, she glanced over at her husband, sleeping. This would have never have happened if she had not miscarried their first child. She drifted off to sleep and begun to dream...
...Sophia was fourteen and sulking in her room. She had just met her soon to be fiancé, Etienne Javert, a member of the Parisian police force, and was horrified. She was her father’s little Princesse so why would he have her marry such a man? Who was not at all handsome or rich...and he was old!
“Sophie?” her father was saying, outside the door to her bedroom.
“Go away!” she yelled. She was lying on her stomach on her bed.
“Sophie, my little Princesse, just let me talk to you,” he chided gently. She looked up and saw her father standing in the doorway. He walked over to her. He was in his early sixties, and frail. He sat on the edge of the bed.
“Sophie, I know you don’t want to marry, but Monsieur Javert is a good man, ma chérie and he’ll take care of you. Now he may not be handsome or rich, but he is a good man and I want the best for you.”
“You promised you would get me betrothed to an English Duke or Count!” she snapped.
“That is not always possible, Sophia Alicia, but Monsieur Javert is not yet forty. He is only thirty-seven. He is widely respected, and although admittedly devoted to what he does, I am sure he will show the same amount of devotion to you.”
“Why can’t Valeria marry him? She’s the ugly one.”
“Now, now, Sophie. What have I told you about calling Valeria that?” Monsieur Anlié told her. She scowled and folded her arms...
...Sophia was wishing she could be back home. But this small flat was her home now. Javert took her by the hand and gently kissed her on the mouth. She was terrified- she was not used to this- and in a panic, she stood on his foot and got out of his grasp.
“Leave me alone,” she snapped. He grabbed her by the wrist.
“Now you listen to me, Sophia. Your father chose me as your husband for one reason and one reason alone: he wants you to grow up and see reality. You may dream of living in England, but you need to open your eyes. So he married you to me- a working man so you can see for yourself not everyone is rich. Anlié told me you needed disciplining and you will do as I say.” When they consummated their marriage, he was incredibly tense, and Sophia was aching. Every one of his movements hurt her. She could not believe that this was how children were conceived...
...They had been married a month and they had gotten into a fight about how he did not pay her enough attention and how he worked too much.
“Well if I don’t work, Sophia, then we would be off a lot worse. We would have no source of income...open your eyes, Princesse,” he said, saying the ‘Princesse’ mockingly, “some of us have to work to survive.” When she tried to protest he hit her around the cheek...
...Sophia woke up with a jolt, a pain shooting through her. She sat up, stirring Javert as she did.
“Etienne,” she gasped.
“Yes?” he asked sleepily.
“I think my water’s have broken.”