Researching Nathan James, Part 3: The Carriage Crash
The wide cobble stone path is comprised of a mosaic of misshapen gray rocks, fit together like a game of Tetris. Colorful flowers line the walkway that leads up to a large white house with light gray shutters and a generous porch. I feel that it is her childhood home which she has lived in her entire life. The sun is shining without a cloud in the sky. There is a light breeze blowing through her hair. I am experiencing this life through her eyes now. The day is absolutely stunning.
"Do you know the year you are in?" Barbara asked.
Unlike the previous life, I did not see a particular year or date, but rather guessed at a time period. It is very clear to me that I was in a rural town outside of London, though I can't pinpoint the name. I guess that I am in the Victorian Era, based on my clothing. It is the beginning of the Victorian era I assume, due to the fact that I had just experienced a lifetime in the Civil War. The two time periods overlap and are so close that I am beginning to doubt myself, but I try not to focus on the inconsistency in hopes that I will stumble on the time period later.
"Take a moment to examine your shoes," Barbara said.
A pair of leather boots hide beneath a long, heavy skirt. The toes of the boots came to a slight point and the tops lace up around my ankles. The dress I am wearing has many layers even though it looks to be Spring time.
*The specifics of how I looked in this life are a little fuzzy to me now that I retelling it, so I am going to jump right into the action.*
"Is there anyone else with you?" Barbara prompted.
I turn around to see a gentleman extending out an open hand to her. She places a gloved hand into his which he places in the crook of his arm, leading her down the stone walkway into a large garden. She is nervous, not like she is in danger, but like she has butterflies in her stomach. At this point, I am pretty sure she is on a date. A really important date.
"Do you know who this man is from your present life?" Barbara asked.
"Yes. I am pretty sure this is my present day husband, Will."
I can hear Barbara scribbling, but try to tune it out and pay attention to the scene. I don't understand how I know this man is Will. Unlike my own appearance, his is seared into my memory.
He is of medium height, but thin in frame with a full mustache. His hair is dark and his eyes are accented by small crinkles, like he hasn't stopped smiling for a second his whole life. He looks very much like Daniel Day Lewis's character "Bill the Butcher" from "Gangs of New York", but much kinder. He is older than her by at least twenty years, but she doesn't feel uneasy. Unsure maybe, but not uneasy.
"Where is he taking you?" Barbara asked.
"No where. We are just walking and talking," I responded.
"Are you happy?" she followed up.
I can feel her attitude changing toward this man by the minute. Her stomach is beginning to lighten and her demeanor is less fidgety. She seems to be having a lovely time just walking and talking to him.
As their walk comes to a close, she is fairly certain that she wants to marry him. This might seem fast, but from what I am picking up, they have been on many dates and known each other for a long time, but never spent time with just each other. I don't know if this is a generational thing or simply circumstance, but it seems like this was a big step.
The sun is just starting to set as he walks her up the stone pathway to the porch of her home. Before he leaves, he takes her hand, kisses it, and smiles. That moment sticks with me. It's like a bell went off in her brain that they were meant to be together. She felt almost giddy as she watched him descend the stone walkway and climb into his enclosed carriage.
"Take us ahead to the next big event," Barbara prompted.
The scene shifts and the entire air of this life changes. She hasn't heard from the man in weeks. Finally, she is told that he was in a violent accident and died. Though she did not see the accident, a visual of the crash appears in my head. It is as if the sides of the carriage were smashed inward, crushing the man inside. I am unclear on the context of how this happened. I can only feel how badly she is hurting.
At this point, I can actually feel myself crying. It felt like I had really lost someone I loved in that moment. I got the feeling that I wanted to move on and not feel this pain anymore, so I told Barbara I wanted to leave.
"Do you feel comfortable moving further into this life, past the initial pain of this loss?" she asks.
I watch her in the next scene instead of seeing the world through her eyes. She looks old though I think she is still rather young. Her face is weathered, accented by graying hair. She is seated on the porch of that same white house, just staring into the garden. Gardening is the only thing that brings her joy now.
"Are you happy? Did you find another suitor?" Barbara prompted.
"No to both. She feels like she just wants to die."
It is very clear that she has been unhappy her whole life. She has no friends, her family is all deceased. The negativity is making me uncomfortable. She lives in it daily, embracing it like and old friend. At this point, I just wanted to move on. I can feel myself squirming with discomfort.
"Allow yourself to float out of the scene and land into your next destination," she said.
Just like before, I floated up, but it wasn't long until my feet were planted firmly on a cobblestone street. A pair of wing tipped shoes were staring back at me.
Tune in next week for my next adventure which takes place in the 1920's. Spoiler alert: it's a hell of a life.
Till next time,