If you’ve been following Trish Hubschman’s time travel story, your wait for the next part is over.
Here is part three.
If you’d like to read the other two parts and you’ve not done so, send me a note and I’ll pop them out to you.
And now, our story…
Past and Present 3
By Trish Hubschman
Someone was nudging my shoulder.
“It’s time to wake up, Miss. We’ve arrived at your father’s residence in Connecticut,” a male voice said.
The mention of Papa and the man’s voice, it sounded familiar, excited me. My eyes flew open. I was staring into Drakes’ face, the man I fell in love with in Massachusetts in the year 2013. “Yes, of course,” I replied to the horseman who’d driven us back from Boston in Papa’s beautiful carriage. I sat up straighter and smoothed down my long skirts. “Do you know if my father is at home now? I asked.
He had turned and was halfway to the door of the carriage. He turned back to face me. “I think not. It’s still bright as day, so I’m sure he is still at his office,” he replied. I nodded. He was probably right. “Your brother and mother are coming down the front steps now to meet you.” He was outside the carriage, holding his hand out to assist me down.
I moved to the door and accepted his hand. I stepped down. Before I released his hand, I turned to him. “What is your name?” I whispered.
There was a glint in his right eye. They were dark green like Drake’s. “Daniel Andres, Ma’am,” he replied.
Philip came over and scooped me off the ground. Mama was still making her way down the steps. Daniel Andrews had turned away to tend to the horses.
Philip stood in the doorway of the parlor; his arms crossed over his chest. I sat on a settee, my head bowed, reading a book. “So, looks like you got your eyesight back at that fancy blind school in Boston,” he said.
I glanced up. I almost felt guilty about what he said. I smiled. “That’s why I was asked to leave Perkins,” I said. “It’s a school for blind people, Philip. I couldn’t stay there after I regained my sight.” That sounded good, though it didn’t say how it occurred. Philip came into the room and sat down on a wing chair. He leaned closer. “Well, whatever happened at that school that brought you back whole, I’m thrilled.”
I didn’t respond to that. Instead, I changed the subject. “Philip, who is that man who brought me home in Papa’s carriage?” I asked. My question piqued his interest. His eyebrow rose. I went on. “I believe his name is Daniel Andrews.” I knew that was the driver’s name. I just felt uncomfortable by my brother’s too avid curious look.
Philip sat back in his chair and slapped his knees. “I don’t know much about the hired help around here, not specifically, I mean,” he replied. “Papa pays their salaries and they do their jobs. I think Andrews is new. I don’t recall seeing him before. Was the journey home an adequate one?” he asked, suddenly concerned.
I quickly shook my head, then nodded, then shrugged. “It was fine. I was asking because, well, I thought I saw him somewhere before, that’s all.”
At that moment, Mama called us to supper.
I’d been home three days. Not surprising, I was still confused. I kept making mistakes in conversation. In one, Papa and Philip were discussing politics. I came out with “So how is our dear President Mr. Lincoln?” They both stared at me like I was from a different planet. Embarrassed by my error, I quickly brushed over it. “I mean, Mr. Fillmore?” The year was 1851 and Milliard fillmore was in his second year of office as President of the United States. I fanned myself and got to my feet. “I need some air.” I did my best to gracefully leave the room.
On another occasion, Philip came out onto the porch while I sat in the swing reading a Dickens novel. “Is your sight becoming worse again, Margaret?” he asked.
I glanced up. “Not that I know of, why do you inquire?” I replied. I felt a bit frazzled by his close scrutiny of me.
He waved his hand in front of my face. “I notice that you’re holding the book closer to your face today.”
I giggled. I hadn’t noticed anything of the kind. “Oh, Philip, that’s nonsense. If I’m holding the book closer to see it, it’s probably because the print on the page is smudged. It must be an old volume I’m reading.”
With a swift hand, Philip reached out and flipped the cover shut on the book that lay on my lap. I nearly yelped. The Dickens book was re-published the previous year.
I definitely needed to get out. I also needed to see and speak to that horseman who drove me back from Boston, Daniel Andrews. I wanted his story, who was he? If he was an ancestor of Drake, of course, he wouldn’t have any idea what was to happen two centuries from now. I was toying with the idea that Daniel Andrews was, in fact, my Dr. Drake Andrews from the 21st Century.
Philip took the team into town to get supplies. This was the perfect opportunity for me to have some time for me. I went in search of Mama to tell her my plans. I found her in her sewing room. “I’m going down to the stable to visit the horses and possibly go riding,” I told her. I was looking forward to doing both. Mama looked up from her knitting. Her expression was scandalized. I nearly burst into laughter. “I’ve gone riding many times before, Mama,” I protested.
“Yes, of course, dear,” she agreed. “Why don’t you wait until your brother returns from town?” she asked. I didn’t respond to that directly. “I won’t go riding by myself, Mama. Maybe one of Papa’s horsemen will accompany me.”
She still looked doubtful, but didn’t protest. I left the room and was out of the house and pretty much skipped down the path to the stable.
I stood in the doorway of Papa’s pride and joy, twenty-stall horse stable. Two men were scooping fresh hay into the stalls. More than half were empty of horses. Daniel Andrews was one of the men. George was the other. He had been here for years and was older than Daniel.
George looked up. “Miss Margaret,” he said in greeting. “What brings you down here today? Your brother’s in town.”
I nodded. “Hello George,” I said. “I know Philip is away from home today.” I glanced toward Daniel. He was looking at me. “Since I’ve been home now nearly a week, I thought it about time I came down to see the horses and, well, I thought maybe I’d go riding. It’s such a lovely day.” I cocked my head to the side.
That got a small smile from Daniel. I smiled back. George wasn’t s taken by my attempt to flirt.
“I don’t think your father would approve of you going riding without your brother,” George said.
I shook my head. “I spoke to Mama. She said it would be fine,” I replied bending the truth ever-so-slightly.
“I can take her out,” Daniel offered. I can’t say he sounded overly pleased by his own suggestion.
George still wasn’t sure what to do. He looked back and forth from Daniel to me, finally, nodding, then shrugging. “Just bring her back in one piece, kid, or the mister, will have our heads.”
So, it was decided.
Daniel and I rode in silence for a long time. I didn’t know how to broach what I bought him out here to say. Finally, I blurted it out. “Who are you, Mr. Andrews? Where did you come from? What is your story?” I hoped I didn’t sound like I was accusing him of anything. To my astonishment, Daniel cracked an amused smile. That irritated me. “What?” I sputtered. As far as I know, I hadn’t said anything funny.
“Those are silly and rather forward questions, wouldn’t you say, especially for the lady of the manor,” he said.
I felt heat rising in me, but I wasn’t going to let it overwhelm me. “Possibly, yes,” I agreed. “but how else am I going to find anything out unless I come right out and ask?”
Daniel nodded. “I gather it would be useless to remind you that your mother probably wouldn’t approve of this, ma’am, what should I call it, intimacy,” he said. That time, my cheeks did burn. “Okay,” he decided. “What is it you want to know about me, Margaret?”
I noticed that he used the more familiar way to address me. I liked it. “Do you know Drake Andrews?” I asked.
He thought about it a second and shook his head. “Should I? Is he supposed to be a relative of mine?”
Not in this century, I thought. I plunged forward and told him about the year 2013 at Perkins in Boston, meeting Drake, him doing my eye surgery, regaining my sight and falling in love with my surgeon. Daniel listened intently as our horses walked along.
When I finished, he looked at me. His words weren’t accusing. “And you want me to be him?”
My breath caught. Oh God, is that what I wanted? “I don’t know, Daniel. I think I just want to know if you’re a part of him or he’s a part of you somewhere down the line.”
Daniel nodded and got off his horse. He dropped his bridle and came around the horse to mine. He reached up both arms and lifted me off the saddle. “We can see,” he said, pulling me closer to him and bringing his lips down on mine.
My sight was diminishing. This didn’t surprise or upset me. I was a teacher and I could adapt with working with blind children. Fairfield, Connecticut wasn’t a major center for the blind though. I’d have to go to a big city like New York or Boston. I was also with child. That complicated things. MY family knew about the first and urged me to go back to Perkins. Daniel knew about both and agreed with my family. His reason was different.
“You have to see if you can find the door back into the future," he said. “I don’t think the child is meant to be in this century.”
I half agreed with him, maybe more. I lowered my eyes. “
But what if I can’t find my way into the 21st Century again and to Drake?”
“Then contact me and I’ll come to Boston. We’ll get married. We can’t come back here, not for a time. I don’t think people will accept us as husband and wife.”
He was right, I knew, and it was decided.
I hugged the three members of my family. I held onto Mama the longest. This might be the last time I saw them. They didn’t know this.
“Are you ready to go, Miss?” Daniel asked. He stood by the open carriage door. “It’s a long journey to Boston. We should set off.”
“He’s right,” Papa agreed. “Now, take my daughter to Boston and come right back,” he instructed Daniel.
Daniel tipped his hat. “Yes, sir.”
Tears had pooled in my eyes. I turned and allowed Daniel to help me into the carriage. I settled myself onto the plank seat and turned my head to the window. I smiled and waved as the horses trotted off.
The carriage rocked back and forth as it moved along and I didn’t feel well, but there was nothing I could do about it. I was happy when the horses took a break, so did we. The nights were nice on the journey, but we seemed to land in Boston far too soon. Normally, I deplore long carriage rides, but this one I wanted to last because I was with Daniel and I didn’t know how much longer that would be.
“We’ll be there first thing in the morning,” Daniel said. We were lying on the carriage floor, our sleeping place on this journey.
“If I make it back into the future, Daniel, I will miss you always and never forget you.”
Tears were pouring down my cheeks.
He stroked my face, then leaned in to kiss me.
I was met in the lobby of the school by one of the older blind children. “Dorothy?” I said in greeting.
She smiled. “Miss Margaret?” she replied, curtsying. “
They sent me down here to get you and bring you to your room. Can I take your satchel?” She held out her hand.
I nodded. “Thank you, Dorothy,” I replied, putting it onto her outstretched arm.
She turned and headed off. I followed. She kept up a banter of what she’d been doing here at Perkins the past few weeks since I’d gone home. I couldn’t believe I’d only been gone such a short time.
I went into my room and closed the door. Nothing had changed, even the coverlet on the bed was still rumpled. I almost laughed. Instead, I sat down on the edge of the bed and leaned over to untie my boots. The bed made a terrible squeaking noise. I slipped off my boots. I curled my legs beneath me and lay back down on the pillow. I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep. I dreamed of Drake and the life we had together in the future. I’m sure I was smiling. But then I opened my eyes. Nothing was different.
Tears slid down my cheeks. I let them fall for a while, then became annoyed at myself and brushed them away. Whether I was here or there, I was not alone, nor was my baby.
Realizing I was famished, I slipped my boots back on and rose to go in search of some food. The only person I found in the dining room was the chef. “Too early for the midday meal, Miss Margaret,” he said. “Come back in thirty minutes.
I nodded. It as a beautiful day. I decided to pass the time by going outside and taking a walk, getting some fresh air. And I did this. I kept walking and walking and walking. It grew hotter and hotter. I felt dizzy and needed to sit down, but there were no benches around. I contemplated what to do. Suddenly, my knees buckled and I slid onto the thick grass at my feet.
“I think she’s coming around,” a male voice said.
“That’s good,” another voice replied. I think it was a woman who spoke that time. “Her blood pressure and heart rate are back to normal, thank goodness," she added.
Despite what they were saying, I didn’t feel at all normal or well, nor was I sure I was ready to open my eyes. For some reason, and this didn’t make sense, I was scared.
“Drake?” I asked in a whisper, my eyes had opened a slit.
A broad smile drew me to his handsome face. “I missed you, Maggie,” he whispered back. He looked up at the other person in the room. “Can you get Margaret a cup of tea and possibly something to eat?” he asked. She must have nodded, rather than spoken a response. I heard footsteps and the door closing. “I’m eager to know where you’ve been, sweetheart,” he went on. “but, first, you have to get some nourishment in your system and get stronger.”
I opened my eyes more fully. “Then we can go home?”
“Yes, then we can go home,” he replied.
The door opened. “Hot tea and a burger coming right up,” Nurse Debbie called out.
My stomach made a protesting noise and I grunted. Drake and Nurse Debbie laughed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND HER WORK…
JUST PUBLISHED: the prequel to the Tracy Gayle mystery series
by Trish Hubschman
Available in e-book and print from Amazon and Smashwords.
Details, cover image, link to a free text sample, and purchasing links: https://www.dldbooks.com/hubschman/
Tidalwave’s tour bus bursts into flames while the band is relaxing on the beach. The band’s leader, Danny Tide, hires private detective Tracy Gayle to do some discreet investigation into the matter. She’s joining the band on tour as security chief. The arsonist is discovered, but much deeper, more dangerous things come to light as well: an assault, an attempted murder, and then two murders. Tracy is faced with far more than she bargained for, and her stint with the band goes further than just that summer tour. She is fully determined to protect America’s favorite rock and roll heartthrob, and they become the best of friends along the way.
About the Author
Trish Hubschman and her husband, Kevin, along with their dog, Henry, recently moved to Northern Pennsylvania. They formerly lived on Long Island, New York. Trish is a graduate of Long Island University’s Southampton Campus and has a Bachelor’s degree in English-Writing. She is the author of the popular Tracy Gayle mystery series, Stiff Competition and Ratings Game. Tidalwave is the eagerly awaited prequel to the series. For more information about Trish’s three books, please visit her website, linked to above.
See her on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14473430.Trish_Hubschman