Autumn, Week 2, Year 4
Since the new park, The Gardens of Beckwell, had opened in his neighbourhood, Francis took Antonia to visit it. It was very atmospheric and they spent a lovely autumnal morning playing chess together.
Antonia got bored playing chess and went to explore the water slide in one corner of the park. Francis, however, was delighted to see his sister and her family come sauntering in. She’d clearly had the same idea and once she’d settled the children into playing in the playground, she positioned herself opposite her brother to embroil him in a game of chess and a catch up.
Delighted to see his extended family again, Francis played in the leaves with his eldest nephew. Ethan squealed with delight as his uncle threw him up in the air, dangled him upside down and played aeroplanes with him.
Monday came around quickly and Antonia headed off to Stella’s house to get some more work done on their latest game. She’d quit her job as a Project Manager in the firm Francis still worked for and she couldn’t help worrying about what was going on at the office in her absence. Was Francis meeting other women there without her around?
When he returned from work, Francis invited Antonia out to look at the fountain on the riverbank. While there, he suddenly dropped to one knee.
“Toni, I’ve never been happier than I have these last eighteen months. Will you do me the very great honour of marrying me?”
Antonia gasped. “Yes, yes I will!”
On their way back, the happy couple dropped in on Alexandra and George, to tell them the good news. Alexandra was pleased her brother had finally met someone, although she was surprised she’d not met her soon-to-be sister-in-law sooner.
Their wedding day arrived. Francis had booked the wedding corner in the park for their big day and he’d baked the cake beforehand. They were dressed up in their finery and the guests were starting to arrive.
Antonia was feeling skittish and, in a fit of nerves, made a wish at the little well in the park. She wished with all her heart that her marriage would be a happy one.
The green smoke emitting from the well didn’t give a very good impression and Antonia had the gloomy feeling that her wish had not been granted.
The wedding went off without a hitch, in spite of the bad feelings Antonia had in her gut. The party was a great success, the cake was delicious and the family had a wonderful time.
Clearly, the celebration of their engagement had left its mark because Antonia discovered she was expecting a baby! One of the first things she did, after telling Francis, was phone Stella to take some time off. They had preparations to make!
Baby Louis Stilton was born toward the end of the autumn, to two very excited parents!
A few friends, including Alexandra and George, called round shortly after Louis’ birth to meet the newborn. Antonia made a point of ignoring them all and skulked in the lounge while Francis talked to their guests. She couldn’t stand all the ceremony from Francis’ side of the family.
“I didn’t see Antonia much tonight, Francis old boy,” George exclaimed after the rest of the guests had gone home.
“No, apparently she didn’t want to see anybody,” Francis answered doubtfully. He’d been raised to believe it was courteous to at least greet your guests and was quite put out that Antonia hadn’t even managed that.
“Oh well. Things’ll settle down, I’m sure. See you soon.” George tipped his cap and left, leaving Francis to wonder whether he was right or not.
Up next: The Worthingtons!