Hey everyone! So, right now I should be writing my english essay, but this came into my head and didn't go away, so I had to write and post it hehe. This will be my first potential multi-chapter story depending on the feedback I may or may not receive. If you have read my one-shot, 'Moondance', you'll notice I've made reference to it in this story, so it's a sort of prequel I guess. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it and very much look forward to knowing what you think of it! So here goes...

Disclaimer: I absolutely do not own 'The Sound of Music' or any of the characters (I wish I did!) I'm just playing around with them a bit!:)

"Love is as much of an object as an obsession, everybody wants it, everybody seeks it, but few ever achieve it, those who do will cherish it, be lost in it, and among all, never... never forget it." - Curtis Judalet


Chapter One

The moon shone in the night sky illuminating the beautiful marble floor where she and the Captain were dancing the Ländler almost effortlessly. As the end of the dance approached them, she could feel his gaze on her, as if he was looking straight into her soul. She was left breathless, unable to carry on. They both stopped slowly and stared longingly into each others eyes, forgetting the world around them, there were no children, no baroness.. Just them. The Captain carefully took her chin in his hand and drew her face closer to his. Maria slowly closed her eyes, preparing for the feeling of his kiss when suddenly she felt his touch disappear, she quickly opened her eyes and noticed the Captain and the children who were once surrounding them had vanished. She then found she was no longer at the luxurious villa, but in the middle of nowhere all alone. She was cold, the weather was bitter and thick with fog, the heavy rain was pelting down on her, as if it was trying to push her to the ground. She looked around desperately trying to figure out where she was. As she started to swiftly walk forward, she heard the voice of the Baroness filling the air "There's nothing more irresistible to a man than a woman that's in love with him... He should get over it soon enough, I think. Men do, you know... Goodbye, Maria. I'm sure you'll make a very fine nun."

Maria woke with a start and sat up abruptly to observe her surroundings. Yes, just as she thought: she was back in her little room at the Abbey. Maria rubbed her eyes to fully come out of her dream-like state, annoyed that this had been the third night in a row she'd had this nightmare. It had been a week since Maria had been in seclusion now, not saying a word to anyone, except in prayer, figuring it'd be what she needed to know where her life was going. Only a couple of months ago she was more than convinced that her life was to be devoted to God and pledge her life to his service, but now, after all those strange, wonderful, painful, magical feelings had been awakened within her even just by taking one glance in the Captain's direction, she knew deep down that God wasn't the only one she wanted to give her life to. Her world had been rattled and she now saw it a whole lot differently, somewhere along the line, without her even knowing it, her life had decided to take another route. Maria slipped into a reverie, trying to battle with herself, just like she had been ever since the Baroness had spoke to her during the party: I can't deny these feelings I have.. But it was the will of God that I become a nun, was it not? Didn't I once say to the Reverend Mother that when you find out the will of God, you do it wholeheartedly? She mentally shook herself. Dwelling on what might have been, what could have been was just no good! The Captain was in love with the Baroness, someone Maria could never see herself measuring up to, after all, she was only the governess. No, this was the life she wanted before, the life she had longed for since she was a child.. This was her calling. A gentle yet startling knock on the door make her jump a little, breaking her out of her thoughts. The soft voice of Sister Margaretta from the other side comforted her. "Maria, I know you wish to be left alone. However, the Reverend Mother wishes to speak to you about an urgent matter that has arisen."

Maria sighed, wishing that she could stay shut away, safe from everything and everyone from her tiny cell. However, not wanting to disrespect the Reverend Mother's wishes, she composed herself and followed the Sister to the Mother Superior's study.

Once they had arrived where the Mother Abbess was waiting, Maria waited outside whilst Sister Margaretta went inside waiting to be called in. Once inside, she rushed to elder woman's hand and kissed it, then moved to stand by the large desk in the room, waiting for the Reverend Mother to speak whilst trying to piece together an explanation of why she'd left.

"You've been unhappy. I'm sorry. Sit down, Maria", said the Reverend Mother sympathetically.

"Reverend Mother."

"Although we need to talk about you returning from the Von Trapp household, there is something I also must speak with you about", Maria looked across at the older woman confused, prompting her to continue. "Maria, it is with the deepest sympathy that I inform you that your uncle passed away yesterday", she looked across at the younger woman awaiting an answer, but instead Maria continued to stare in front of her whilst she processed the information just given to her, then it hit her, and her eyes widened. A rush of emotions washed over her, but none of hurt or discomfort, mainly ease and relief. She now was truly free of her uncle, the one that caused her pain and grief, who stole away whatever he could of her free spirit and experiences that every child should encounter, replacing those experiences with fear, upset, neglect and abuse. There was no way she'd ever have to come into contact with him again. She felt elevated and genuinely felt good since returning to the Abbey. Maria heard the Reverend Mother speak again. "Your uncle's belongings were sent to us to give to you." She pulled up a sealed box and lay it on the table in front of Maria. "I suggest you return to your room, take a look through and when you're ready, come and talk to me? Once again, I am very sorry." Maria took the box from her, almost dreading the contents of what may be inside it, thanked the Mother Superior, and returned to her room.

Once back in her room, she opened the box, intending to have a quick rummage through and discard it. However, once she opened the first letter addressed to her, she quickly realised that these were not her uncles possessions. The items in the box belonged to her mother. She vaguely remembered her before she was diagnosed with a fatal case of scarlet fever, she had no memory of her father whatsoever as he had died before she was born. Intrigued by the letter, she lay on her bed with it in her hands, it read:

My darling daughter, Maria,

If you are reading this now, then it must be your eighteenth birthday! Words cannot describe how wonderful it felt when I first held you in my arms the day you decided to enter the world. You were beautiful! I have never been more proud of anything in my life, from that moment I told myself and made a promise to your father that I would do anything and everything in my power to protect, nurture and care for you. I'm so sorry that I'm not with you physically helping you grow into the beautiful woman I know you'll become and share the laughter and tears that the world throws at us, but I'll always be with you in spirit looking down on you. When I was told I was dying of my illness, I wrote this letter in the hope that you live your life as purposeful and fulfilled as possible. You see, after your father died, there was only one other man I ever loved, but I pushed him away denying myself the right to love someone else after losing someone so close, and I've never regretted anything as much. So, my only wish is that if you find someone you have so much love for that you find it hard to live without that person, don't let it go! Everyone was born to live their life and sometimes God gives us an insight at what we could have, but to achieve what we desire, we must search for it. Look for your life, Maria and enjoy it! You are in charge of your own destiny.

So, until we meet again, have a happy life. Make me, your father and most importantly yourself proud!

All my love, sweetheart,

Your mother

P.S. Look in the package I left as a present to you for your birthday, what you'll find in there was your great-grandmothers, passed down to my mother, then me, and now it's yours. It signifies strength, hope, love and happiness. I hope that one day you pass it onto your daughter for me.

By now, Maria had silent tears streaming down her face, angry at her uncle for keeping this from her but at the same time overwhelmed at the truthful words her mother wrote. She looked down into the box to find the small package mentioned. Enclosed were pictures of herself, her mother and her father. Also, another envelope which contained a dainty necklace with a small, silver plated edelweiss charm hanging from it. She put it on, hiding it under her robe and stored the letter with the package in the drawer beside her bed, she'd have to look through the rest of the box later, but now, she had to speak to the Reverend Mother and seek her advice and wisdom to help her follow the life she was born to live.

Okay! That's where I'll stop it for now. I wasn't too sure how to convey my idea in this chapter, and I'm not entirely happy with it so I don't doubt that I'll be re-writing this in the near future. Anyway, please give feedback whether it be positive or negative, they're both greatly appreciated! This is the first story I'm considering making a multi-chapter story so I'm interested in what you all think of it:)

Charlotte :)