"Cordelia, could you please take Commodore Norrington's coat to his chambers? He appeared to have spilt something on it earlier, I had Edith clear it up for him ." Cordelia stood there praying that another maid would walk by and take her duty off her hands, alas, no one did. "Oh and do tell him dear to be more careful, especially on days like these."
"Of course Mrs Worrall." Cordelia curtsied to her housekeeper, took Commodore Norrington's coat and proceeded to his chambers. As she worked the halls of his grand home, she silently prayed to herself that he would not be present to see her, for it would be most inconvenient witnessing each other on this momentous day. She ascended the deep sounding mahogany staircase, passing the chamber maids as they addressed her. Being the daughter of the Housekeeper wasn't the most rewarding job, especially when she couldn't address her as her own mother, but it did give her an advantage when she enquired about and maid openings at the household and was awarded 'Housemaid', although she did not know what future lay ahead for her. She stood outside the door of the bedroom in the west wing. Knocked twice and entered.
She opened the door to Commodore Norrington gazing at his reflection in the mirror adjusting the waistline of his breeches. Her heart filled with dread and despair as she froze in front of the closing door.
"Oh Sir! Commodore! I apologize, for I did not think you were to be in here. Foolish I know, but I apologize all the same." James eyes caught Cordelia's in the mirror. He turned quickly to check he was not mistaken.
"Miss Cordelia." He held out hand wanting to say something more. "You're looking...quite...ravishing and might I say handsome on this fine day."
"As do you Sir." They stood there bewildered by one another's presence.
"Mrs Worrall gave me this to deliver to your chambers, she also told me to advise you to be more careful on days like these." Cordelia stepped over to the bed where she placed his blue silk frock coat. "Now Sir...Commodore, if you'll excuse me I have other duties to attend to." She curtsied and went to head towards the door when she felt and sturdy hand holding her arm.
"Miss Fletcher. Please."
"What would you crave me to say Commodore? I am but a maid in your household, my opinion does not count here."
"It does to me." With that he turned Cordelia round so he could lay his eyes on her delicate face. "Please Cordelia, tell me what you think because I haven't heard you speak a word since I told you of my engagement. Your voice is one that I treasure and trust."
"Is it?" With that she stepped back until she felt the smooth frame of the teak bed frame.
"What do you mean by that?"
"I'm not a girl who can be fooled James, I know men like you. I know how you are and I know backgrounds that you come from. Girls feel lucky just to be around you and pray that you be infatuated with them someday."
"What in heavens are going on about?"
"The kiss James." Cordelia stated without a shake in her voice. James strode about the room trying to keep in his frustration.
"You mean you felt something?" He walked pleadingly toward hoping for something that he knows he may never hear.
"How can I? I'm too lower class to even receive a second glance from you." She spat the words out at him as if they were poison in her mouth. With that James lost all control he had held inside and wiped his hand across his desk, forcing any documents he had onto the floor.
"By the gods Cordelia!"
"Excuse me, is everything-"
"Everything is fine Miss." With that chambermaid quickly exited the room noticing the single tear that ran the face of Cordelia's reflection.
She laughed to herself as she corrected her posture walking towards the man that she had admired for these years. A slight smile grew on her face as she took James rough jawline in her petite hands.
"What do you say to a man that you fear but somehow, at the same time admire?"
"Anything you wish to my love." Cordelia paced the room taking in the furnishings, the walls, the dark navy lining of the wall borders, how the silk curtains hung so delicately. His brown hair falling across his reddened and tired green eyes, his shirt covering the body she longed to hold onto. Another tear rolled down her face as she searched longingly for his eyes.
"Please don't marry her. I know my timings not the greatest and I know that I have no right or authority to ask this of you, but I cannot stand here watching you like this and think that I may have lost my chance." James eyes were locked on the floor astounded by the words he was hearing.
"And what would you have me do Cordelia? Explain this situation my mother? People of my class have to marry suitable and eligible matches that can secure a good and strong future for our bloodline." His hands were running through his hair with frustration.
"You are marrying a women you may not love to please your families?"
"Yes! Who else am I supposed to marry for?! You think a great empire is built on the backs of mere children like yourself based on love? She does not love me? So please do advise me on whom I have to please if I cannot please my family or her? You?!" His hand pointed at Cordelia like a soldier in battle holding a sword to his enemies neck.
"Yourself. You have to marry for yourself, you are meant to follow where your heart requires you. Not your family, not Elizabeth, not Governor Swann, not even me. Where does your heart lead you James?" She placed her hand upon his chest as she closed her eyes, wishing that she had not been there when the great James Norrington had laid his eyes upon her when they were formally introduced and his father and left him his stately home when he passed. Be careful Cee, women like us were never born to receive companionship from a man like James Norrington. She felt the the warm moisture of of his lips on her forehead as his hand squeezed her dark auburn hair.
"I used to imagine that we could run away when we younger. That my- our families wouldn't have a care whether they would send out a search party to bring us home because they'd know that at any place in the world, we would be happy." His hands didn't want to let this apparition disappear. "I have to marry her Cordelia. I wouldn't survive in this world if I didn't. I need men like Governor Swann to support my vessels." James hands slipped down cradle Cordelia's face, her squeezing out any more tears she had inside of her.
"Well I-uh. I need a man like you to remind me how lucky I was. I close I became to having perfect ending." His hands fell to her arms tracing patterns as if they were lace.
"I promise to somehow find that for you someday." Cordelia looked to floor knowing that however much he promised her, he would not be able to keep it. There was no man like James Norrington, and they wouldn't ever be.
"I don't think that's quite possible, I'll just 'run away' and try to forget what little existence I had here...Yo-you have a wedding to be dressing for." His feet lead him to where his flock coat lay before him. Yes, but not the wedding I had imagined it to be. He heard Cordelia's shoes walking slowly towards the door, the creak of of the door as it opened and a the voice that he loved to hear.
"Is there anything else you will be needing from me Commodore?"
"Cordelia-"James walked towards her desperately before her flexed hand stopped him from proceeding any further."...No. No there isn't" Cordelia turned on her heels without even a second look walking straight down the stairs, down the hall and into kitchen as if nothing had even taken place for her heart, at the young age of 18 had truly been broken.
James watched her leave his room, wanting to scream out for her not to go but they both knew something like that would render pointless. His feet quickly lead him out of door to follow her but she had already long gone.
"Commodore Norrington?! I'm sorry Sir! Is there anything I can help you with?" The startled voice of Edna Worrall screeched through the hall, but he saw her fire hair flowing through wind as stepped into the carriage. He knew he had lost her, and sooner or later he would Miss Swann. But for now he would let her travel around on her adventure while he went on his. His adventure to fulfil his promise.
"Someday my love, I promise."