The "Look Back" scene is my very favourite of all my many favourite N&S scenes.
To me, this is the one that captures the most emotion, with the swirling snow, and of course, Richard Armitage's face :P
What I always wonder when I'm watching it is; What if she HAD looked back?
Would things have been different? Or not?
I may add another chapter. Let me know what you think!
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Margaret turned, and her heart surged. Mr. Thornton walked into the room. "So, you're going," he said stiffly.
Margaret felt a pang in her chest. Unable to look him in the eyes, she lowered her head. "I've brought you father's Plato," she said, taking the book out from under her cloak. Forcing herself to look at him, she held it out. "I thought that you might like it."
Mr. Thornton took the book from her, and ran his hand over its old cover. "I shall treasure it," he said quietly. He gave the smallest of smiles. "As I will your father's memory. He was a good friend to me."
Margaret smiled at him softly, then looked away.
Mr. Thornton looked at her. Margaret stared at her hands, holding back mysterious tears. There was an awkward silence, and then; "So. You are going."
Margaret looked up sadly, and gave a small nod.
"And you'll never come back?"
Margaret felt like her heart was going to break, but she did not understand why. Didn't she hate Milton?
Taking a deep breath, she forced a smile. "I wish you well, Mr. Thornton," she said politely.
He looked at her, unmoving. For a moment, she thought he would say something, but then he turned, and walked silently out of the room.
Margaret stared after him, vaguely aware of her aunt remarking to Mrs. Thornton; "I must get her home as soon as possible."
"To be sure," Mrs. Thornton replied drily. "As soon as possible."
John raced outside. The cold air blasted his face as he stood on the front step, breathing raggedly. Margaret was leaving. His Margaret was leaving. Forever. She would never come back. And yet…he could have sworn there was something, something between them just now. Maybe, he thought sadly, maybe she does care for me. There was something there, between us, I know there was. I know it!
Painfully, he watched as she was led outside by her aunt, and into the carriage…the carriage that would take her away from him, forever. He walked to the edge of the step. Time seemed to stop. Margaret was getting into the carriage. The coachman was closing the door, and getting onto the carriage. John balled his hands into fists, and then relaxed them.
The carriage started to move. "Look back," he begged quietly, as the snow whirled around him. "Look back at me." He stood for a moment, watching the back of her head remain unmoving through the carriage window. Feeling tears starting to burn his eyes, he turned away. She did not love him. And she was gone. He walked back into the house.
She was leaving Milton. Forever. Margaret sighed, and leaned back against the carriage's cushioned back. She should be happier than she was. She was going to stay with her dear cousin Edith, and finally see her nephew Sholto. But that strange pang she felt in her chest when Mr. Thornton entered the room was still there. She felt tears spring into her eyes. Oh, why did she feel this way? Suddenly, she had an overwhelming urge to look back at the Mill. Shifting in her seat, she turned, and glimpsed Mr. Thornton's figure walking back into his house.
He had been there, watching her? Why? For how long?
The wave of emotion that rolled over her was overwhelming. She understood herself now. She loved him. Oh God, she loved him. But she was leaving. And now, she would never see him again. Her throat choked up, and hot tears rolled down her face.
"Margaret?" Aunt Shaw was looking at her, concerned. "Are you well, dear?"
"Yes. I..." Margaret trailed off.
Aunt Shaw looked at her quizzically. "Margaret?"
"Stop the carriage."
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