When morning breaks Izzy finds that she is all alone in Cecily's room. She can tell it is late in the morning by the sunlight, which is seeping through the shade like liquid gold. I cannot make sleeping late into a habit she thought as she pulled on a deep purple frock. As she quietly descended the stairs she over hears a conversation in the parlor.
Gus' distinctive voice says, "Is there anythin' else I can do for ya? You're doing well and all." Felicity answers, "Oh for pity's sake, I am fine Gus Pike. Just having you here is enough. There is nothing you can do unless you can devise a way to shake some sense into Felix and Izzy."
Gus replies, "Now there me lady, you are talking about two adults. Not much to be done but let 'em work it out."
Felicity's voice seems full of hope, "That might never happen on its own. If she leaves without resolving anything they will both regret it."
"Now there, it sounds like you're setting up to do match-a-makin' that would put Eulalie Bugle to shame," Gus replied with trepidation and disapproval in his voice.
"You know that Izzy and Felix both had nightmares last night. I've read about soldiers and civilians that never recover from what has happened to them and what they have seen on the battlefield. They need to be turning to each other. I know they both have regrets about how they left things, but they love each other. Anyone can see it. I feel like knocking their heads together so they can see it too. They just . . ." Felicity was interrupted by the sound of Izzy coming down the stairs.
"Well speak of the devil, there is the sleeping beauty right now," Gus laughed.
Izzy tried to look surprised, "Why was I the subject of conversation?"
Felicity gave Gus a scathing look that could melt paint off of the wall and replied in a cheery voice, "Don't pay him any attention to him Izzy. Mother had to take Aunt Hetty to see Dr. Snow, Father and Daniel are out doing chores and Cecily is already gone to the telegraph office. Let me get you some breakfast."
She left one person off of the roll call, but Izzy ignored this and followed Felicity into the kitchen. Gus shook his head and let his wife dive into what he was sure to be a very shallow pond.
Felicity sat down to drink a cup of tea with Izzy. "How are you feeling this morning?"
"I'm fine. How are you?" Izzy asked settling her gaze on Felicity's still flat stomach.
"I'd be better if Gus would realize that I am not an invalid. Being in the family way makes me queasy sometimes, but I am still able to do my fair share."
"Gus loves you so much Felicity and you have been through so much together." Izzy seems a thousand miles away as she says it.
"Yes, our separation was unfortunate, but we both learned that we cannot take each other for granted or waste precious time." Felicity said with deep meaning. "You and Felix could take a lesson in not wasting time now."
"You don't know how much I wish we could take up where we left off, but too much has happened." Izzy had tears in her eyes.
"Nonsense, you were both young and foolish, and you have to forgive and forget before it eats you up with guilt." Felicity can feel the silence that ensues after the statement. "Izzy, I know you were up last night after having a nightmare. I didn't finish medical school, but I have some book learning on the subject. In many cases it means that the episode you relive at night has either caused by deep physical or severe emotional trauma."
"And since I don't have any visible scars you assume it is emotional." Izzy guesses Felicity's point.
"It might help if you talk to someone about it. I know that either Gus or I would be very willing to help you work through it. Even Dr. Snow would be willing to try and help you." Felicity reached across the table and lovingly laid her hand across Izzy's arm. "No matter what has happened or how things end up with you and Felix, I hope we can always be friends Izzy. I love you like a sister, and Gus has become very attached to you living with your family. Trust us, and let us feel useful in helping you."
One single tear falls from Izzy's left eye. "I do love you both. I already told everything to Cecily last night, and I think that caused me to fall back into the nightmares. Only one thing will relive me of my agony. I must speak with Felix about everything that has happened and pray that he will understand. Do you know where he is?" Izzy's voice grows stronger with each word as she realizes that she finally has the courage to face the demons of her past.
Both women were unaware that Felix, who had been preparing in his room for a long walk had descended down the back stairs during their conversation. He wasn't proud of the fact that his eavesdropping had put him in such an awkward situation, but if his military training had taught him anything, it had taught him to face a problem when it arose. "I'm right here Iz."