Here is a note to all of you readers who received notifications that a new chapter has been added: I have been doing some major editing and I recommend that you reread the whole story. If not that, then starting at CHAPTER 11 would be the next best thing as that is where the major changes start. Chapter 12 is an entirely new scene that I added in after some thought. Sorry and thanks for your understanding ~dress4m~
I searched everywhere for Eliza. Nobody in any town had heard of an Eliza Miller and she seemed to have disappeared completely. I longed for Eliza to be at my wedding and I had to tell her why I had disappeared so suddenly. I felt so guilty for leaving her behind when I could have insisted on dragging her with us. My thoughts were that she could still be with the Confederate army, but there was no chance that I would be able to go back and search for her there. It was not that I didn't want to go, but it was William restraining me from leaving. He would not hear of letting me go back without him, but he couldn't go because of his identity. Eventually, after nothing but failure, I gave up my search. Instead, I focused on being with my family, remembering Robert, and planning for my new life with William.
Winter finally came and somewhere amidst the snow and slush, April began creeping up. When the day of the wedding arrived, we went to the church. Before the ceremony began, my father had said this to me, "I am sad to see you leave so soon after being found again, but I could not let you to a man less worthy. After all he has done for you I know that you two will be very happy." My father's simple words almost brought me to tears. I could faintly hear music in the background and somehow my father must have led me up the aisle, because before I knew it I was staring into William's eyes and all of my nervousness had left me. I had his sole and undivided attention.
Finally, we exchanged rings and he kissed me. It may not have been our first or second kiss (or even our third…), but it was as sweet and pure as any. During our walk down the aisle together, I hadn't been paying attention to where my feet were and I tripped, but he was there to catch me, as always, and nobody noticed me slip.
Two years later when the war ended, William and I found ourselves with a wonderfully mischievous little boy named Robert Forbes McKinley. He looked just like his father, with the exception of my brown eyes.
William had been present when the General Lee had surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox Court House. William had become a trusted advisor once he had known how the Confederate army operated. I had not been there, but I had heard the story numerous times. He said that General Lee had found a few minutes before his departure to speak with him. "Major Davis?" he had asked. William responded, "That would be McKinley, sir." The General shook his head, "I should have known you were a spy. You were much too efficient to be a true officer. Your disappearing with Miss Shaw should have told me completely." William had then looked at him and said, "Goodbye, sir. You truly were a great General," and then he left.
We were shocked with the news of President Lincoln's assassination. We had met with him the week prior to his death when he had congratulated William for his bravery in crossing lines off of the battlefield. His was a tragic loss.
After some time, William had decided to try and reconnect with his friend Major Joseph Thompson. Even though he had been fighting for the Confederacy, he did not agree with their views on slavery and the war because he had been drafted and could not get away from it. After some searching, it was discovered that he was living in West Virginia with his wife. William wrote to him and we were invited to come and visit. Upon our arrival, a surprise greeted us that we had not expected. It had been mentioned that Joseph had been married since last seeing Will, but it was to whom he was married to that was a surprise. His wife was Eliza!
He had fallen in love with her after being wounded at Gettysburg. She had taken care of him and they married soon after. She told me that she had fallen in love with him long before the battle. I suddenly remembered her staring at one of the soldiers on the way to Gettysburg and after glancing at the back of Joseph's head, I knew that it had been him. I had been so wrapped up with my infatuation of "Major Davis" that I had not even noticed Eliza pining for someone herself!
William and Joseph had enjoyed spending time together again and the Thompsons had decided to move to Massachusetts so that we would all be close and so that our children could play together. They had a daughter named Sarah who had inherited her mother's fiery red hair and father's feisty personality. Robert and Sarah had a sort of dislike at the beginning, but their similar personalities soon brought them together to play tricks on everyone. Eliza often fantasized that they would marry each other and while William disapproved of this idea, as he had been put through it, I could not help but think it possible.
And now we go back to William. I had first met him as Major William Simon Davis, a very convincing name that went along with a man who could easily convince you that it was his name. He was the man that I had first fallen in love with, who I fought with in my brain, and yet admired in my heart. Becoming my savior once again by leading me to safety, he proved himself to be very much of the same man, now known as William Ethan McKinley- my husband.
Ours was a storybook ending, left out of the story books. It will be lost to history, forgotten; our names never mentioned in history classes or written in textbooks. No trace of our tale can be found anywhere. But then again, maybe we wanted it that way…