Chapter 37 – What Has Anna Been Up To?

Anna felt a pang of guilt. She had purposefully not contacted Molly, wanting to share her news with her in person. Besides, Molly had told her that they were going to be off-grid for a few days before they headed home again.

In some ways, the transition of Patrick’s presence into the Physical World was a natural progression, but at  times it stopped Anna in her tracks, and she would catch herself holding her breath. She would think, ‘How could this be?’ and then shake off her doubt, look at the diamond and emerald ring on the left hand, smile and remind herself, ‘Oh, he is very real Anna, look!’

Patrick, romantic at heart, had organised with Lucy a beautiful luncheon beneath the turning leaves of the fruit trees in the orchard for him and Anna. Over lunch he told her how he had been accepted for a part-time position at the local botanical gardens. Excited about this but also a little disappointed, he read Anna like a book. “Oh don’t you worry my darlin’, it is only for a couple of days in the week. I would like to contribute financially and utilise some of my skills – you know how I love gardening and propagation.” He took her hand in his, stood up from the table,  knelt on one knee and said, “Besides Anna… a good husband must provide well for his wife, do you agree? Anna, will you marry me, will you be my wife?” He asked, looking at her expectantly. Mildly surprised, a little flushed, her heart racing, she agreed, “Yes! Yes Patrick, I would be honoured to be your wife!” And he slipped the gold, diamond and emerald ring onto her finger, which had once belonged to….Grace!”

“Oh Patrick, it is beautiful! It looks so old, where did you get it?” Anna exclaimed.

“A gift from Miss Grace,” Patrick replied. Anna drew her breath in, in surprise, “Oh!” was all she could say and then stated the obvious, “Oh, I-I don’t know what to say!” Patrick’s laughter was joined by that of Grace’s, as she stood beside him, looking at Anna. Anna looked up, tears in her eyes, “Grace! Oh thank you.”

“Welcome to the family, Anna. Callum once gave this ring to me on our engagement. It in turn was his mother’s engagement ring, designed and crafted in the early 1800’s. Emeralds from the Emerald Isle. Patrick, you must take Anna home for your honeymoon!” And then the vision of Grace vanished.

Anna looked lovingly at Patrick, admiration, devotion, joy welled up in her eyes, and she whispered through tears, ‘We’re getting married!” As he kissed her, Anna felt herself falling, swooning, gently spinning back in Time to a memory previously hidden to her, when she and Patrick were courting. “Oh no!” she cried, realising the events that had followed on from that. “Don’t you ever leave me again!” She buried her face into his shoulder and sobbed. She held him tight, wanting the spinning sensation to stop and the fear that had risen in her stomach to go away – forever!

“I have never left you Anna, you were just unable to see me. I have been waiting for the right moment to re-enter your life and to be in the Physical World with you again. I am here, my love, always.”

As he kissed her, the spinning stopped, the fear in her stomach faded and butterflies rose to take its place. She stood back from him, holding him at arms length, looked at him with the biggest smile on her face. “We’re getting married!” She squeaked, her voice choked with emotion.

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