Marita Peters - friend to Sean, secretary
Sean Logan - friend to Marita, tobacco grower
MH - Marita's heart
MM - Marita's mind
SH - Sean's heart
SM - Sean's mind
Isaac and Marita had watched as Alice and Lexy had raced down the long dusty path which lead to the Logan home. Marita noted that Clay and Sean beamed with pride as they had watched the race unfold. Their hope to enter a horse in the derby was a real one now. With continued training it was inevitable that the Logans would find themselves in the winner's circle. Alice announced that she had dinner to prepare and that Lexy needed to return home for her lesson with Ms. Forrester. To top it all off, Ned, the Logan patriarch, would soon be returning home with an orphan to live with them. Clay was not happy about this and let the others know how he felt. As Clay and Lexy ran off to the house and Alice walked slowly down the same path, Sean lingered thanking Isaac for taking the horses to the stables. Marita stared at Sean and noticed how her stomach shook as she did this. He was her dearest friend, the two of them had shared so much. The mere thought of their friendship still left her in awe. Sean was a good person, much like Ned, or so Marita thought. But, she also knew more than anyone he was most like Libby, his mother. He had Libby's way of analyzing things, that same sincere kindness and willingness to give people the benefit of the doubt. On the other hand, like Ned, Sean was strong-minded and somewhat stubborn, though he'd call this stubbornness "determination". Physically, he reminded her of his mother too. His skin was like hers peaches and cream and smooth. He had the same dark hair as Libby had, not Ned's flaxen locks. And most strikingly, he had her smile. A smile that could take your breath away. Marita missed Libby so much. It had been Libby who took over after her own mother had died. Libby prided herself in being with Marita. She truly loved her as if she had given birth to her. Marita smiled to herself at the memories. After Libby's death, Ned had taken charge and tried to be everything for his children. Though his attempt was honorable, Marita knew that he would never outshine the memory of Libby. Ned was a good man and a doting father. Now, he was expanding his family and sharing his love with someone who had no family. Marita thought that this man was truly kind-hearted. Then, unexpectantly she caught Sean's eyes upon her. Her face became hot, her stomach flipped and then she smiled.
"I think what your father is doing is wonderful", Marita says.
Sean nods his head and smiles. He turns to go to the house and Marita turns to go home. As if on queue, they each turn for one last look.
"She's so cute" SM
"Cute? She's beautiful" SH
"He is a mess" MM
"But you like it" MH
Marita stood near a group of workers. She had come out to see how the day was going. This was part of her job. Not only was she Ned's secretary, but she was responsible for letting Ned know if the workers were not happy, if things seemed too odd or peculiar. She'd go to the workers and talk with them. They talked about their families, their health, and their feelings about work. Everyone knew Marita as a kind girl and a competent woman, but more so, Isaac's daughter! She had just completed a conversation with Riley and had begun to walk farther out to see some of the others. She had walked down this dusty path many a time. She loved her life here though she longed to find life, no love one day.
Storming across the Logan land was Sean. He had just returned from a prime piece of land at the outskirts of the Logan property. It was magnificent, so he thought. An open meadow near a hill on the other side of a stream. In his minds-eye, Sean could clearly see his home in this spot. He could imagine being happy here , having a family . Sean closed his eyes and tried to visualize his dream. He saw himself and a woman standing in front of a house. In the distance he could hear children's laughter and he smiled. Then he imagined he leaned down and smelled her hair- it smelled like roses! But, strangely he could not see the woman's face. He turned to focus on her face and just as he started to see the auburn curls come into focus, the sound of rustling leaves brought him back to reality. He shook his head as if trying to regain his composure. He knew what he had to do.
"I gotta find Marita. She needs to see the new spot I found for the house. There she is" SM
"Wanna go for a ride", Sean says.
"I can't. I'm working", Marita says.
"Who's looking?" Sean says.
"I am, you heathen!" Marita laughs.
"You mean to tell me you can't take ten minutes out of your day to go see where I'm gonna build the house." Sean insists.
"Oh, you found another "perfect" location?" Marita teases.
"Hop on. I need your opinion." Sean extends his hand to her.
"I can't! I'm working" Marita mocked. "Besides, don't you have company coming for tea?"
"What is that pain in my chest?" MM
"Its me!!!!!" MH
"What? I can't hear you" MM
"Who? That's right. I forgot. Vivian. I gotta change my clothes or maybe not. I don't have to change do I?" Sean asks.
"For tea with Vivian?" questions Marita.
"I better change. Alright. But tomorrow, tomorrow we're going for that ride" Sean promises.
"I'll see if I can fit it in my busy schedule" Marita says.
"Alright, then" Sean says as he rides off.
"Poor Sean. Tea with Vivian. If I could be a fly on the wall... Oh, there is that pain again. I wonder if I have heartburn." MM
"No you don't have heartburn. You have heart ache" MH
"What? I cant hear you" MM
Vivian and Sean at "Tea"
"Sean, father is giving us a trip to Paris as a wedding gift. We can stay for a whole year" says Vivian.
"A whole year? I can't take a whole year. Are you sure you want to be gone for a whole year?" Sean says tightly.
"Is she crazy? I have a business to start. Marita would never do this. She knows how important it is to me to start a business of my own. She supports me. Why doesn't Vivian?" SM
"Yes, she is. Crazy that is. I'm not going to be away from Marita for a whole year!" SH
Marita just finished her last entries for the day. It was time to go home. After tidying up her desk, Marita headed out of the Logan house. She started down the dusty trail home.
"I didn't see Sean all day. I guess he forgot about seeing the spot for his house." MM
"Yes, I missed that sexy voice, those blue eyes, that smile of his, the warm feelings I have when he is around. I wonder if he is with Vivian." MH
"She's good for him. She's beautiful, classy and rich. What more could he ask for?" MM
"A faithful friend, a supporter, a lover of his soul, a confidant..." MH
Marita hears a horse coming swiftly behind her.
"Sean's here." MH
Marita turns to see Sean slowing down as he nears her.
"Sneaking off so you would not have to go for our ride?" Sean says.
"No. I hadn't seen you all day and thought you had forgotten." Marita admits.
"Forget? How can I forget about a ride with my best girl? I had more work to do today than I thought. I wanted to get everything done so we would not have to rush to get back from our ride." Sean smiles.
Sean dismounts and helps Marita onto the horse. He climbs on behind her and they head off the see the latest "perfect" spot for the house.
When they reached the "perfect" spot, Marita knew this was the perfect spot. The green hills and clear blue stream spelled P-E- R-F-E-C-T. Marita could clearly see his home in this spot. She saw him being happy here and having a family. She heard children's laughter. She saw Sean standing in front of the house. She saw herself...
"Come back to reality" MM
"How was tea with Vivian?" Marita teases.
"Oh that hurt!" MH
"Somebody once asked me 'Do I really have to answer that?'. You know I hate that stuff. Vivian and Alice were talking about this and that. I was thinking about my tobacco crop." Sean says with disgust.
"See he doesn't enjoy himself with Vivian." MH
"She's good for him." MM
"So, what do you think?" Sean asks as he looks over the land.
"Sean you have found the 'perfect' spot. It is so beautiful here." Marita said.
"Well that settles it. If you say it is perfect, then this is where I'm going to build the house." Sean states.
They sit down on the lush grass and share the day's events. They reminisce about their childhood antics and realize they can't ever remember not knowing each other. They laugh as they remember all the trouble they used to get into. They are saddened as they remember the loses they have had. They are comforted as they remember that they have always been there for one another. They are encouraged as they remember that, together, they have conquered every obstacle in their path. The love that has been there since they were children is beginning, unbeknown to them, to blossom.
Sean and Vivian were walking across the field to get a seat for the horse race. Vivian was chatting about the color of some dress. She wanted Sean's opinion about how a certain color would look on her.
"You are the most beautiful woman I've every seen and I will be very lucky to have you as my wife" Sean says with a TIGHT smile on his face. Sean's whole being is TIGHT. His suit is TIGHT, his hair is TIGHT, his face is TIGHT, his butt is TIGHT. Everything is TIGHT. It's like this when he is around Vivian.
"Oh, I feel stupid. If Marita saw this, she would be a laughing hyena" SM
"You should feel stupid!!! You just told the biggest bold faced lie!!! Marita is the most beautiful woman you've ever seen!" SH
"Oh Sean." Vivian smiles and takes her seat.
The day had been lovely. Alice, Lexy and Jeremy were out in the field
playing stick ball. Jeremy had taught them the game and told them of the many times that he'd played the game in the streets of New York. They laughed and ran until they could no more. They were youthful and at that moment the world was a magical place. Ned, Sean and Vivian sat on a blanket watching the three play. Vivian was as prim and proper as ever. She smiled at Sean and then Ned. She felt that Ned should go and stop Alice from playing that stupid game. "For heaven's sake, she's a lady." she thought. When the three youngsters returned to the blanket, Vivian voiced her concerns but no one seemed the least bit concerned. Ned looked over at Sean with raised eyebrows and grinned.
"Mr. Logan, can Lexy come to NY with us for the season before we go to Paris?" says Vivian.
"Gees, she never stops. WE ARE NOT GOING TO PARIS!!!!!!!! Marita and I would discuss going to NY before announcing it to the family. She is nothing like Marita" SM
"Vivian, we have not decided on Paris yet" Sean smiles TIGHTLY.
Sean walked Vivian to her carriage. She was furious with him. How dare he embarrass her in front of everyone. There was no need for them to discuss their honeymoon. It was a gift from her father and they would be taking it! She could barely stand it when he'd snapped this as she'd asked Ned if Lexy could go with them . The look he'd given her was cold, detached. All she wanted to do now was go home - the place where her word was law.
Sean could not believe Vivian's audacity.
"She just assumes I'm going to drop my life for whatever she wants. I need to be with a woman I can talk to, someone who listens to my thoughts and helps me find solutions." SM
He suddenly realized that he'd never talked to Vivian about anything of
importance. Thank God Marita was in his life. She'd been there to talk
during the good times and bad times. When his mother had died, Marita had
been the one who'd talked to him and brought him back to life. Sean and Vivian had discussed horses, Paris, William, her father and the color of her new dresses. But, they never really had a heart to heart about what he wanted from life. Sure, he'd let it be known that he was going to be a tobacco farmer, but Vivian had never seemed truly interested in that topic. Marita had though. She had been so excited for him when he made the decision to branch out. She'd said she was proud of him. A marriage is about compromise and it seems this is the farthest thing from Vivian's mind. He shook his head and looked over to her. At that moment he felt small and inconsequential. Vivian was a pretty girl, a refined and respected lady. He should have been satisfied, but he could not shake the ill feeling that came over him when they were together.
"Why couldn't Vivian make me feel the way Marita does? Whenever I'm near Marita, I feel alive and confident. Around Vivian I feel like a shell of the man I truly am, a second class citizen." SM
"She completes me...I like...I lo..." SH
He glanced up to the sky and wished he could talk to his mother. Once at the carriage, Sean put out his hand to help her but she refused to acknowledge him and instead took the hand of her footman. Without a word uttered from Vivian the carriage pulled away, leaving Sean stunned. He stood watching it fade into the distance. He felt small and childish. His mind was a mass of confusion.
"What am I doing. This is not going to work." SM
"Finally!!! You are listening to me. Let's go see the most beautiful woman in the world" SH
He turns and runs toward the garden.
"There she is" SM
"I ... I could stand here and look at her for hours " SH
"Sean is here" MH
"How long have you been standing there?" says Marita.
"'Bout an hour." Sean teases. "I need to talk to you."
"I need you" SH
"OK" Marita said closing her book of poetry and placing it on the bench as she stood. She noticed that her stomach felt nervous again. Why did he always have this effect on her. Was she... no it could not be.
"Well... Um" Sean struggles to find the words.
"Yes" Marita says.
Sean nervously laughs.
"I love you. I love you. I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" SH
"Let's say you have a friend who is about to be engaged to a beautiful woman, but through a series of events, he realizes he doesn't love this woman. In fact, he loves someone else. If he were honest, he would admit he has loved this other woman forever. What do you think he should do?" Sean says as he smiles and searches Marita's face for an answer.
His words hit her like a lead pipe.
"OH GOD he loves me!!!" MH
"Don't be silly. He is probably so nervous about marrying Vivian and is confusing our friendship with love" MM
"Sean..." Marita says nervously. "Why are you telling me this?" she breathes.
"I need to know what you think" Sean answers, his eyes pleading with her.
"I need you. I want you. I love you!!!!!!!" SH
Marita shook her head, she felt a little faint.
"You can't be with him. He's white and you are not!!!!" MM
"There is no hope for your friend and this other woman" Marita states.
"OH GOD, but I lo..." MH
"SHUT UP!!!!!" MM
"I don't know about that." insists Sean.
"I do." says Marita
"I am BREAKING!!!!!!!!!!!!" MH
"I have to go." says Marita and leaves in a hurry.
"Go after her" SH
"DO you enjoy being broken into pieces? She knew you were talking about her and she said there was no chance. Go on and marry Vivian, get the house built, get your tobacco business started and have some grandkids for your PA" SM
"Go after her. She is the only one who can put me back together" SH
Marita rushed through the garden gates, where she was going she did not know.
"Why did he have to tell me this?" Marita asks the wind. Tears begin to flow.
"It was easy loving him..." MM
"SO! You admit you love him!!!" MH
"As a friend" MM
"A friend my aorta! You love him as a MAN. And now you know he loves you as a woman"" MH
"It can't be. We can only be friends" MM
"You will always be friends, but you can be lovers too" MH
"NO, absolutely not. We would have to be married before we became lovers and marriage is against the law!" MM
Marita found herself near the old willow tree. She was far away from
curious eyes. She could now let her true feelings flow. Anguished cries came from Marita and she could no longer hear her Mind or Heart. She was lost.
Sean stood near the punch bowl. He was there physically, but mentally he was miles away. Vivian touched his hand as he handed her a glass of punch.
"I won." SM
"It's kind of your father to invite the servants." Vivian says as she looks over at the attractive colored woman. Deep down she doesn't know why Ned would invite a servant to her engagement party.
Translation: "Why does your father have that colored here?"
"Marita, " says Sean.
"I want her so bad." SH
"Marita is not a servant. She's PA's secretary and a friend of the family"
Translation: "She means more to me than you ever will."
As the crowd stood silent waiting for Sean's inevitable question, Sean feels
a sudden surge of courage. He knows what he has to do.
Meanwhile, Marita stands back and waits to hear him utter the words that will seal his fate. Though she wants to be happy for him, she does not know how she will react when she hears him make a pledge of love and commitment to Vivian.
"Go and share Sean's happy moment" MM
Marita steps from the shadows.
Sean smiles weakly and suddenly senses he is not alone.
"Marita is here." SH
Sean looks from Vivian to Marita.
"Pick Marita!!! Pick Marita!!! Pick Marita!!! Pick Marita!!!" SH
"Vivian" Sean says turning to her.
Marita leans in and prepares herself for the words.
"I'm so happy for Sean" MM
"Liar!!! I'm miserable!!!!" MH
"OH, be quite!!" MM
"Vivian, I can not ask you to marry me." announces Sean.
The gasps from the guests break the silence that had been. Vivian is
irate and embarrassed. All eyes are on her. Suddenly, without warning she slaps Sean's face and then flees from the room. The slap could be heard across the state.
"I won!" SH
"I believe you have" SM
Marita is stunned. She never expected Sean to react as he had. She was also shocked at the realization of what this meant. Sean turned to look at her, he had declared his love for her in front of all of Lexington society, though only she and Sean knew the significance of what had just occurred.
"Thank you GOD!" MH is barely audible. (MH has been mysteriously
"Oh my. What is Sean doing? He's going to need someone to talk to" MM
Marita flees the house, leaving Sean to face his demons, his father and Asa Winter's.
The air in the barn was crisp and warm. Sean slowly moved the tobacco
plants from one area to another. He was really and truly alone now. He'd told his father he would be leaving Lexington, and he meant it. He had handled this entire incident badly and was ashamed of his actions, though he was not ashamed of the reason he had not asked Vivian to marry him. He could never be ashamed of his feelings for Marita. But, he could not stay here where she was knowing they would never be together. That he would never get the chance to hold her, caress her beautiful face or capture her soft lips with his own. He stood frozen thinking of Marita, wondering how she felt and what her hair smelled like. He could hear her voice, her laughter. She was haunting him. Then all of a sudden he felt a warm feeling in this chest. He'd felt it before when she'd appeared behind him at the party.
"Marita's here" SH
Sean looks up but does not turn around as Marita approaches. Marita brushes his arm and looks at him. Sean looks at her and smiles weakly.
"I could always talk to my mother" says Sean
"I remember" says Marita
"I could always talk to you too" Sean says.
"That's why I love you so much" SH
"You still can. We are friends forever, right?" Marita smiles.
"Forever" Sean smiles. "I'm leaving."
"WHY?" Marita asks.
"I can't stay here, see you everyday and know there is no hope." Sean says, as a frown covers his face.
"He's distraught over the situation with Vivian. He doesn't love her and thinks his friendship with me is love." MM
"It is love to him and you too, admit it." MH
"There is nothing to admit." MM
"Sean, when I said there was no hope..." her eyes (eyes that don't lie) say "I love you" but her mind is not allowing her to have hope.
"I know what you meant." Sean said, his eyes are misty and clouded by the
love he feels for her. "I want you to know..."
Sean looks at her with all the love he feels for her in his eyes.
"that I could never marry anyone..."
"unless... unless I feel about them..."
Sean chokes up.
"the way I feel about you."
Translation: I'll be single for the rest of my life.
He stares at her to see if she accepts what he is saying.
"No.." Marita feels physically ill. He can't go and leave her here alone.
Her life would never be the same. She would not survive without him. Her
face felt hot, a knot formed in her throat.
"If he is going to leave, you should at least kiss him goodbye. What am I saying?! MH must be using mind control on me" MM
No words are spoken. Marita turns toward Sean and searches for an answer in his eyes. His heart is breaking. Slowly, they inch closer to each other. They know what will come next. Sean's lips touch Marita's. The kiss is as soft as butterflies' wings. She slides her arms around his waist as Sean slides his hands in her hair. The kiss is warm and passion filled. The longer they kissed the more heated it became. Suddenly, Sean parted Marita's lips with his own. His tongue entered her mouth and the sensation took the breath away from both of them. Sean's hands took liberties that he'd never imagined he'd have a chance to. Marita was lost in his arms. They were at the point of no return. Something wet fell down Marita's cheeks, she slowly realizes that she is crying.
A sigh escaped from deep within Sean's chest. He was in heaven.
"There is hope in this kiss" SH
"I must admit you are right. I don't think we will be leaving" SM
Sean pulls away and looks at her face. They stare at each other and smile.
Marita noticed that Sean's face is stained with tears too. Neither one of them
says a word. Though he wanted to proclaim his undying love, he remained silent.
"Be smart. Don't scare her off." SM
"OK. I'll bide my time. She can't hold out forever because Ma said 'love never fails' " SH
To Be Continued............