WELCOME FARA & THANKS TO MARIE LAVENDER FOR ALLOWING YOU TO JOIN US.
I have a real treat for you today. The lovely Fara Bellamont from Upon Your Return is now entering the loft studio where she’ll be interviewed by psychologist Ms. Claire Van Cluer, my dear friend and confidante. She’s known for her blunt questions so hopefully she’ll take it easy on Ms. Bellamont. Oh, there goes the light signaling they’re about to begin. So, its all yours, Claire.
CLAIR: Come in, Fara, and have a seat here by the window. There’s a glass of Iced Tea on the table (A box of Kleenex sits on the floor next to her chair.) Kat said you take sugar.
FARA: Yes, yes I do. Thank you. (She picks up the glass, takes a sip as she sits.) Mmm. Just perfect. Oh, my, what a beautiful view you have.
CLAIR: Nothing like water and trees to relax and help put your mind at ease.
CLAIR: So, Fara. Now that you’re settled in, lets get on with the interview.
CLAIR: Don’t be shy now. If things get too intense, don’t hesitate to slow me down. I may be blunt at times, but I’m not without a heart.
FARA: All right. Thank you.
CLAIR: From what I’ve heard, it seems you had a relatively good childhood, that is, up until a certain point. Exactly, when did things start to fall apart?
FARA: ….Well, when I was almost nine, my mother and father left me with Rosalie, my nursemaid, and went on a voyage.
CLAIR: How did that make you feel?
FARA: I was devastated, of course.
CLAIR: I can see it still bothers you. And that’s understandable, because, they didn’t just leave you. They deserted you, didn’t they.
FARA: (Nods, reaches for Kleenex.) May I? (At Claire’s nod, continues.) ….I never thought of it exactly in that way, but yes, I believe that’s the way I felt. I often wonder what it might’ve been like if my mother hadn’t insisted on accompanying my father on his voyage. But, of course, that really is no comfort to me either.
CLAIR: How did you ever cope?
FARA: I prayed day and night for their safe return.
CLAIR: The worst was yet to come though, wasn’t it?
FARA: Oui. It was.
CLAIR: Tell us about it.
FARA: Well, one day while I was outside playing with my dolls, I…
CLAIR: What happened, Fara?
FARA: I’m sorry. I try not to think of that day. (She pauses to dab away tears.) ….I’d been doing better, thinking only of their return. Rosalie never left my side for long. But that afternoon, she left briefly because there was a messenger. When she returned, I could see something was terribly wrong. A cold chill covered my entire body as she took my hand and drew me beside her on the hanging swing. I’ll never forget the tears streaming down her face as she told me my parents were dead, killed by pirates. You see, she loved them too.
CLAIR: That had to have been a nightmare for you.
FARA: Oui. I grieved for a very long time. I still do at times.
CLAIR: They must’ve known the dangers. Did you ever blame them?
FARA: Yes….I’m afraid I did. I didn’t understand at first. Rosalie had to explain it. I became hurt and angry that they’d even left me. And when they died, I thought I hated them at first. They had to have known there were pirates out there, that it was dangerous. No one had told me just how dangerous it might be.
CLAIR: I’m sorry. (She reaches over and pats her knee.) Its hard to imagine how you found the strength to go on.
FARA: It wasn’t easy. I barely slept for weeks. I cried every day for months.
CLAIR: There was a day when those tears stopped. Do you remember?
FARA: Yes, I do. Very well. I think it was the shock that brought me out of it.
CLAIR: Another shock. Hmm. How much can a child take? Tell me, dear, what happened?
FARA: Rosalie told me to prepare, that my uncle was coming for me.
FARA: I left with him, not quite sure what to expect, but hoping he meant to care for me, and love me.
CLAIR: Did he? Did he love you?
FARA: (Pauses.) No, no, he didn’t. In fact, shortly after, he sent me to a convent.
CLAIR: Such a shame. From what I’ve heard, a convent is not a place for the weak. How’d you keep from falling apart?
FARA: It was difficult. The nuns had no patience. It seemed they lived for the thrill of punishment.
CLAIR: Its unbelievable that with everything you’d already endured, your uncle would send you away. He could’ve at least found something more suitable for your needs.
FARA: That would’ve been nice.
CLAIR: So, when you left the convent, you returned to him.
CLAIR: Yes, and not exactly to a loving home for a young woman.
FARA: I don’t think I could’ve coped if I hadn’t met my good friend Helene at Cluny Abbey, the convent.
CLAIR: Did you have to forgive your parents for leaving you with someone who clearly didn’t have your best interests at heart?
FARA: Oui, I did. I was burdened with that for a long while. With time, my anger dissipated because I simply had to surmise the thing I’d always known, even as a child. My parents were deeply in love, and Maman could not bear to be away from my father. It was this very knowledge of my parents’ connection that kept me believing in true love.
CLAIR: Do you wish you would’ve done anything differently?
FARA: Sometimes I wish only that I hadn’t been sent to Cluny Abbey. I know I would not have met Helene, but I truly believed my uncle and I could have been closer if I had stayed with him and he’d hired a governess for me instead.
CLAIR: Closer? With your uncle? Wouldn’t you say that was naïve on your part? He betrayed you.
FARA: I, well….
CLAIR: My dear. Yes, it would’ve been nice if he had gotten a governess for you. But he didn’t. He sent you away, to a terrible place. Then when you returned he set you up with two fiancées that weren’t fit for a young innocent girl like yourself.
FARA: I didn’t exactly see it that way at first. When I returned from the convent at seventeen, my uncle was quick to introduce me to society, and we attended parties, balls and other social engagements. For a year, I grew to adjust to this change in my life. It wasn’t until I turned eighteen when he announced I was to marry a man….
CLAIR: A virtual stranger who also betrayed you and might’ve had you killed. From my perspective, both of those so-called fiancées belonged in jail.
FARA: Oui. Your point is well taken. I came to realize my uncle’s judgment was overshadowed by his need to rid himself of me or he simply did not realize that my fiancés were lacking in certain moral characters.
CLAIR: You’re being too forgiving.
FARA: ….Well, it did bother me that I wasn’t consulted in advance of these arrangements. And I’m not sure he didn’t try to marry me off to finally fulfill his duty as guardian.
CLAIR: Do you resent him at all for his atrocious behavior?
FARA: I tried not to, but I did harbor some resentment towards him, not only for the convent, the engagements, but also because he didn’t introduce me to my aunt Lina.
CLAIR: But, you found her. And then there is Grant.
FARA: (Smiles secretly.) Yes.
CLAIR: Was it love at first site?
FARA: Yes, I believe it was.
CLAIR: Although, you had many doubts about him at first, didn’t you? I would think after what you’d been through in your young life that trust wouldn’t be one of your first instincts.
FARA: It took a long while for me to realize that I could put my complete trust in Grant. It was a long hard road, many ups and downs, but it ended well.
CLAIR: And you’re still together?
FARA: Yes, we are.
CLAIR: Well, Fara. I sincerely enjoyed this, and I want to thank you for coming and putting up with me.
FARA: It was my pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Marie Lavender, Romance Author