It’s been a long time since Lady Lidya has risen before the sun, longer still since she has been allowed to sit and enjoy the peaceful tranquility that comes with it. There are always things to do, luncheons she has to sit through, parties she is compelled to attend. Not that there's anything wrong with such things, it’s just that, after so many years, the novelty of being able to attend such festivities has worn off. She is no longer so inclined to rub elbows with foreign dignitaries and noble men, with people whose attention only extends as far as her beauty and elegance does. Whose smiles and polite speech only exist as far as the eye and ear can reach.
She isn’t the same person she was in her youth. The silly little girl who used to trip over herself with excitement at the suggestion of accompanying her father to such an advent, had long since disappeared. Years upon years of dealing with lascivious glances and people who only admired her for her looks, had done that to her. They had taken her and molded her into the person she is today. Someone who is, quite frankly... Tired was the word.
Lidya is tired of it all. Of the people around her, the life she leads. She is exhausted. It has been so long since she found something that caught her attention, even longer than it’s been since she last saw a sunrise.
Lidya sighs as she continues to stare off into the distance, the first rays of light just starting to peak up from beyond the horizon. But not even that manages to excite her anymore, she marvels dryly, continuing to watch. Her younger self would have been leaping from the furniture in joy at seeing such a sight, but now everything just seems plain. The bright pinks and light blues that would have once inspired her, now seem dull, ordinary. Not worth the energy it takes to rise early enough to see it.
Another sigh escapes her as she turns back to her room and away from the window. She doesn't feel much like watching the slow slide of the sun as it takes its time rising any more. What would be the point anyway, it isn’t like she is able to appreciate it anymore.
Duke Ansley, is, by habit more so than necessity, an early riser. Years of military service had honed and trained his internal clock until he ran like a machine: in bed no later than 10:00 o’clock and awake hours before the sun has even risen over the horizon. Not that he minds, Ansley has always enjoyed watching the sun rise. He finds it to be a soothing and gratifying experience.
Or at least he usually does.
Recently, or maybe not so recently depending on how he thought about it, something had changed. The joy he usually found in watching the simple yet extraordinary explosion of colors had dimmed to a dull simmer. He wonders when that could have happened.
He blames it on his ever growing age, though he knows thirty three isn’t quite that old. It’s the lie he tells himself though, so he doesn’t have to admit the real cause of his steadily deteriorating ability to enjoy the simple things in life. And what a comfortable lie it is.
Far better than admitting the real reason had to do with the coldness of his sheets in the early hours of the morning. The countless nights spent alone in his bed meant for two, waiting for someone he knew wouldn’t come.
Ansley has never spoken aloud of his wife's infidelity, but that doesn’t make the reality of it any less true. Nor does it make the pain it causes go away.
They had married very young. It was one of those marriages that were arranged between parents without the input of their children, and at first he had opposed it. But Ansley has always been a romantic and with Aldora, who’s sharp wit and bright smile could melt even the iciest of hearts, love hadn’t been difficult to find. He had fallen for her so utterly and completely that by the time their wedding came around he couldn’t see himself with anyone else. However, as he found out quite quickly into the marriage, Aldora did not share his feelings.
She resents him, not that anyone would know it by looking at her, she is far too proper to show her discontent with him. She would never let on how miserable she is living in his house, being his wife, baring his children. It makes him sad to think of it. To think that she had been in love with someone else before their marriage contract was signed, but couldn’t marry him because he was below her station.
Most of all though, it makes him sad to think that he stole her happiness away from her. He would give it back to her if he could. He would denounce their marriage contract and file for annulment, but that would only disgrace her, a far worse outcome in their world than suffering a failed marriage in silence.
He turns to the window, trying to shake off the cold fingers of despair settling in around him. The pressing weight of loneliness gathering against him, threatening to crush him. And as he sits alone on the edge of his bed, staring at the ever brightening sky, he wishes that someone, somewhere, could be watching it with him.