Chapter 29

Scarlett stood on the deck of the ship, her face concealed behind a white veil that was a part of her smart new bonnet. She had left Charleston port just an hour back and the ship was already in the open sea. She recalled the final picture of Rhett standing at the dock and waving her goodbye. He had promised to come to Atlanta! He had promised so many things. Scarlett's heart seemed to skip for joy. She could scarcely believe that she had won him back. But she had done it!. And Rhett was finally back.

Her brow furrowed. She now understood that although Rhett had promised to come back to her, he spoke his feelings only when he was absolutely sure that she wouldn't rebuff him. Scarlett bit her lip. This was exactly where Scarlett herself differed from Rhett. While she too found it difficult to speak her feelings, she had never sought for love and then blamed herself when her love failed. It was that way with Ashley. As much as she desired a life with Ashley, the startling revelation of the weakness of his character only helped in steeling herself and accepting that she had never loved him at all. She did not cry for Ashley. But Rhett was very different. He desired a life with Scarlett and seemed to persecute himself with his jealousy.

"He is a coward" realized Scarlett, as she strolled on the sun-lit deck, her head protected by a white lace parasol. She recalled the time when he proposed to her. The first two times when he kissed her, he said he wanted to make her faint and he nearly did. But when she told him that she didn't love him, he kissed her as if to hurt or humiliate her. "He must have envied that I was stronger than him" smiled Scarlett to herself. She was stronger than him. She knew that now.

"And that covert glance.. like a cat watching mouse hole" thought Scarlett. "That must have been because he was waiting for me to make the first move and declare that I loved him" Scarlett laughed softly. He had definitely given her the upper hand in their marriage because deep down he knew that she was stronger than him. But that was only because she had never been in touch with herself throughout her childhood. She had always been brutal when it came to her beaus. She was the one who tantalized them and allowed a kiss only when it pleased her to. No, she never ever blamed herself for anything. Perhaps this brazenness was the reason Ellen O Hara had spoken to her sternly about hellfire for one's sins. Perhaps her words had been to instill a fear in Scarlett for her soul.

Scarlett squared her shoulders. Well, she wasn't afraid for her soul anymore. Now that she had Rhett back, she knew she could make everything better. Starting with her own children. "I simply mustn't be so strictly practical all the time!" decided Scarlett, admonishing herself. "Wade is quite silly when it comes to books, picking stories that were too fantastic to be true. But I mustn't discourage him. And Ella.. I've got to do something about her. Perhaps necklaces and pretty frocks are not the things she really needs- Perhaps she needs to play with little girls of her own age instead of Beau and Wade."

Scarlett smiled to herself. And Rhett.. his shrewd caginess would rear its ugly head again. It would be a long time before he admits his feelings openly without encouragement from her side. She knew that. Perhaps he never will. Perhaps the last conversation of two hours would be the last time they'd ever speak from their hearts.

Whatever it was, she was happy and she looked forward to her new beginning with Rhett.

~~~~THE END~~~~

Author's Note: Dear readers, I decided to continue this under a new story "Tara". I hope you enjoyed it so far. I know I dragged everything a bit but I really do think that Rhett and Scarlett are made for each other. And as I said, she is definitely stronger than him. I realized this when I read the chapter in the book where he cries to Melanie and says that he's killed Scarlett. Scarlett herself would never get that much desperate or nerve-wracked :) Even when Rhett leaves her, she tries to look dignified. That says a lot about the difference of maturity in handling rejection. And Rhett would have come back because if he really wanted to leave her, he could have divorced her after the fiasco at Melly's reception. It's funny because he even leaves the choice of divorce to Scarlett. Heehee.. He leaves everything up to Scarlett actually.

So, I think he would have come back to her eventually.

Scarlett's insensitivity is both a gift and a curse. It makes her stay unaffected by many things which should have rightfully broken a soft-hearted woman and she escapes many unhappy scenarios by sheer luck. Her marriage to Charles (he dies in two months), her marriage to Frank, her near-rape, the fall down the staircase and even Melly's reception. She endures everything because she is out of touch with herself. She never bursts into tears. And that's why she is the right person for Rhett. He would need someone like her to make him overcome his own demons. And she would need him for everything else.. more exposure to the good life, raising her children, moving in society and generally having fun.. :)

So, I'll continue all this in my new story.

Thanks for reading! :)


25.02.2015 : Dear Guest, thank you for the review. My story is continued in "Tara" :)