When Vanna posed the question a few weeks ago, I felt that I was choking on my heart and that to breathe would be impossible. I had already been grieving the loss of my dear little brother, who had denied me my earnest wish, but when he came home from sea a second time I thought that perhaps he had reconsidered. But, alas! Vanna stepped silently into our room that night, and sat a moment rather unsure of herself before the words were on her lips.
"Jacob wants me to go with him," she blurted out, "to Europe. He wants me to become a sailor."
A million thoughts rushed themselves upon me. My sister? A sailor? I knew not what to say for what seemed an hour. It being the most unheard of statements, and I being entirely flabbergasted and distressed as to what to say, lest I lose her as well as Jacob, I appealed to her sensitive side, crying out in such a manner which I knew father would have thought opposed my more docile nature, "Oh, Vanna! Surely you won't go! You shan't consider it! You will go off and leave me, who has only been the best of sisters to you and to whom you have been the dearest of friends?"
From her sigh and then the burst of sobs, I knew that she desperately wanted to go.
"Oh, Claire, I wish I had never asked you!"
Then she fled the room, and my heart broke.
In our bedroom that night, sleep would not bring its sweet relief to my anxiety. I lay awake with my eyes shut, while Vanna tossed and turned. While my night was one of fear, her’s must have been one of struggle, struggle between conscience and excitement. Struggle between home and adventure. At daybreak, Vanna rose and departed. With my eyes half shut, I watched as she snatched up her journal and left. Jacob's ship had arrived with the rising sun, and with that new dawning, a new life awaited for them. For me, morning awoke when night should have been closing in.
Kat and I only have one thing to rejoice upon. Father came yesterday.
"I can't bear the separation any more, my dear." He said to me privately. He appeared to be so weary and a bit ill. "I can see it has taken a toll upon you. Surely it has upon me. I need my little girl to come and take care of us just as before, and I need to take care of you. I can only think that if I had been here maybe she wouldn't have gone..."
I wouldn't let him dwell on it. The sorrowful look on his face made me afraid, so I burst out instead in the joy of the prospect he had just proposed.
"Home! Oh, home!" I cried. "Father how happy you have just made me! To see our house again, and our dear city! Yet, it is only special because you will be there."
Kat heard and cried because she was so happy. It was good to see her joyful again. All she has talked of for the past day has been her mare, who is waiting in Williamsburg for her mistress to come home.