My Best Friend, Rosalie
I bounced Henry on my knee slowly as I watched Rosalie twirling the ribbons on her dress. Her eyes kept flickering to Henry every few seconds, and I wondered briefly if she wanted to hold him, she always loved to give him attention.
“How is he?” she asked as she nodded towards Henry. It was something she always asked whenever she was visiting.
I smiled down at him, brushing his curls away from his eyes. “He's still a healthy little boy, thank God,” I replied, yet a small crease formed in my brow as I thought about the fever he had last month.
It had scared me and William half to death. Thankfully the new doctor, Carlisle Cullen I think his name was, managed to bring him back to full health. I owed the gentleman my life for what he did.
Rosalie nodded and continued to stare at him. There was something in the way she looked at him - I noticed it every time I caught her looking. It was almost as if she was jealous, but what she was jealous of, I wasn't certain, for she had so much more than I could ever dream of.
“Can I hold him?” she asked eagerly, already holding her hands out for him. I nodded as I passed him to her. I had been right about her wanting to hold him.
As she placed him on her knee, he cooed at her, and reached up to touch her face with his chubby hand.
She smiled down at him as she started to bounce him slowly on her knees, just as I had. He smiled at her, making two small dimples form on each cheek. She began running her fingers through his curls gently, and it was then I was reminded of what a good mother she was going to make one day.
“You're really good with him, Rosalie,” I murmured, looking at them both fondly. She looked so comfortable with him on her lap. In fact, she already looked like a mother.
“You really think so?” she said, happiness lighting up her expression. “I can't wait to have children of my own. They will be so beautiful, just like your Henry.”
The smile on my face fell slightly as I thought about the man Rosalie was going to marry. Royce King belonged to a rich family. His father owned the majority of the town’s largest businesses, and their riches were unending. I sometimes found myself intimidated by the power they had over certain people, but I never admitted it to Rosalie.
She was going to become part of their family soon. She was going to become Rosalie King, and it scared me to think that maybe one day, she wouldn't have time for me. Or that she wouldn't need me as a best friend because I wasn’t part of their societal group. But I pushed the thought from my mind, I hated thinking like that.
The Kings were exactly what she thought she wanted, but I knew my best friend more than what she knew herself sometimes. She may have thought Royce was her fairytale prince, but I knew, deep down, she wanted something more, someone who would love her as my William loved me.
However, once again, I never told Rosalie of my thoughts. I knew what her response would be; I could almost picture it now. She would laugh at me, telling me that she knew exactly what she wanted and that Royce was her everything. Maybe she'd even get angry at me for saying such a thing.
The sound of Henry's laughter brought me back from my thoughts. Rosalie was tickling him on the soles of his tiny feet, somewhere he especially loved to get attention. She knows him so well, I thought to myself.
I was about to comment on how well she knew him when the door opened, and my William stepped in, his cheeks blushed red from the wind. I briefly wondered if the weather would pick up in time for Rosalie's wedding, but the musing was lost as William hung his coat up on the side and came over to us.
“Why hello, Miss Rosalie,” he said, ducking his head in her direction. She smiled, nodding her head in acknowledgement. He then turned to me, bent down and kissed me softly on the cheek, something he always did when returning home from a days work.
“It's very cold out, Miss Rosalie, you'd best have your jacket on when you go to leave,” William continued as he turned back to her. I did not understand why he always called her Miss Rosalie. I could only assume he imagined himself as someone lower than her, someone who had to address people with a title, even if that person was my best friend. The thought saddened me tremendously.
“Thank you, William, I have my jacket just here,” she said, pointing to the beautiful jacket that was lying on the chair next to her. It had pretty brass buttons; I could only assume the jacket was one of the many gifts Royce had given her.
“Actually,” she began, shifting Henry on her lap as she spoke. “I think I should be going soon, it does look very cold out tonight. I would hate to get a chill before the wedding next month.”
I nodded quickly then stood up as she went to pass Henry back to me. I took him in my arms and waited as she put her jacket on, the brass buttons took a long time to fix into place, but finally she was ready to leave.
“I'll see you soon, Vera,” she murmured as we walked towards the door. I nodded as she opened the door and turned back to face us. She hugged me quickly then brushed her hand along Henry's cheek just as William came to stand next to me, wrapping his arm around my waist.
I saw her eyes flicker towards my waist, where they lingered for a second longer. At the same moment, William leant down and kissed me softly on the cheek once again. Rosalie looked up just in time to see the kiss. It confused me to see the sadness in her eyes as she appraised us. Straight away I knew there was something she wasn’t telling me, and that she had no one to truly eradicate that sadness, not even Royce.
There was even the timbre of sadness in her voice. I smiled at her faintly as she turned away and started to walk down the path towards home. I watched until she went out of sight, but even then I didn't move from the doorway.
Her wedding was in less than a month, and in less than a month I could lose my best friend forever. I shuddered at the thought of losing her. I couldn't allow it to happen. I would tell her of my worries; I would tell her that I didn't want to lose my best friend to a man I didn’t trust.
As I turned back inside, shutting the door behind me, I knew that I would visit her tomorrow, and I would have the talk I’d been putting off for so long.
Yes, tomorrow I would see my best friend, Rosalie.