The Lovebirds

Kingwell By Kingwell, 14th Feb 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3myvly5_/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Romance

A young couple fall in love but complications arise with family members.

Young and In Love

April Cranford pressed her face against the windowpane as she gazed down the narrow winding road excitedly waiting for a familiar figure to come around the bend. Her face flushed from being teased by her twin brother Evan, the twenty-two year old brunette nevertheless took it all in fun and refused to move from the window. . She would get back at him later when he got dressed for his date with Elaine. Her brother had a habit of spending much time before the mirror, making sure he had plenty of grease on his ducktail hairstyle. George and Evelyn, smiled as they listened to their youngest children, knowing that underneath it all the two had a great affection for each other. The trace of a frown appeared on April’s pretty face as she thought again of the fact that she and Frank Goodman, the young man who had fallen head over heels for her, as she had for him was her cousin, and although it was lawful for them to marry, most were not in favour of such unions. April’s parents had said little hoping that it might be a passing fancy but determined to let their daughter decide for herself. Frank, in the meantime had delayed telling his parents, his mother in particular he knew, would vigorously oppose the relationship. Once again April glanced at the clock; it was not like Frank to be late, especially on a Friday evening. Finally, she saw him walking rather slowly she though as though troubled by something, but his face quickly lit up as she ran to greet him.

Frank is read The Riot Act

As Frank had walked home from April’s house on the previous Wednesday, he was determined to tell his parents of their courtship and let the chips fall where they may. It was oblivious that such a relationship could not be kept secret for long in a community with a population of less than 400, and Frank didn‘t want them to hear about it from another. As he entered the house and saw his parents waiting, he realized that it was too late, it was suddenly clear to him that they already knew. Although his father nodded in agreement, it was his mother who read the riot act. Not only was she opposed to any romantic affair between him and his cousin, but furious that she had to learn about it from a neighbour. His family, she reminded him were of fine British stock, and she had no intention of having their name dragged through the mud like some riff-raff. He must she stated, break off the relationship with April immediately. When Frank tried to plead his case, his parents would have none of it. He fought to control his temper as he chose his words carefully. He reminded them that he was 29 years old and it was now 8 years since he had returned from Europe, after spending four years fighting for his country, he believed he said, that he had a right to be heard. “Very well”, his mother said curtly, “you have until Saturday to end this scandalous affair, unless you do so, we will no longer consider you our son”. Unable to believe his ears, Frank stared open-mouthed after his parents as they left the room. Slowly his temper abated, as he sat hands covering his face. Although prepared for an outburst, he had not expected this. Brought up to honour and respect his patents the next three days he felt would be the most difficult of his life, he was however, soon to learn otherwise.

The Parting of Ways

Frank slept little that night and the matter wasn’t mentioned the following day, it was clear however, that his parents considered it already settled. By Friday morning Frank had a clear plan in mind; he had never for a moment considered giving up April, although he had let his parents think so. He had friends in Montreal and knew that he could find work there. They would leave the following week and marry as quickly as possible upon their arrival. They would then find a place of their own and settle down to raise a family. He had no doubts but that his parents would follow through on their threat to disown him, but felt that they would mellow in time, especially if there were grandchildren. There were extra chores to do that evening and Frank knew that April would be concerned if he was late but finally all the work was finished and he hurriedly sat out for the little cove where the Cranfords and three other families lived. Sometimes called Country Cove, It was nevertheless a part of the community of Pilgrims Bight. Despite his determination to defy his parents in this matter, it was natural that he would have some regrets and such were his thoughts until the house came into view. It all left him though, and his heart leapt within him, at the sight of April and her smiling face. She knew at a glance however, that something was troubling him and her smile faded. It was not until later that evening as they sat alone in the parlour of the Cranford home that Frank broke his silence on the encounter with his parents. April cried as he told of their reaction and how they refused to even talk about the relationship and their love for each other. As Frank attempted to console her, he began explaining his plan for them to move to Montreal and get married there. To his dismay, April would have none of it! While professing her love for him, she could not agree, she told him, to his making such a break with his parents. Unless they changed their mind, which seemed very unlikely, they must end their romance. Frank was crushed and begged her to change her mind. It was 1953 he reminded her, and he a 29 year old war veteran, what right had his parents to interfere? She was adamant however, insisting that he may someday regret the decision and that she was not willing to risk. The Grandfather clock chimed twice as their passionate and now-believed last kiss, sent April crying to her bedroom and Frank on a slow and heart wrenching return to his parent’s house. The date was July 24, 1953. It would be thirty years to the day before the two would meet again!

Marriage and Divorce for April

Unhappy at home without the love of his life, and now determined to remain a bachelor until such time as she agreed to marry him, Frank left for Montreal three days later. In September, April moved to St John’s with her sister where six months later she met and eventually married, 27 year old Mitchell Rowe, a Sea-going captain who had originally hailed from Trinity. The marriage was a short and unhappy one. April knew nothing of a love affair that Mitchell had been having with a married woman and which did not stop during their courtship and continued after their marriage. In addition to this, he had begun to drink heavily whenever he was in port. April loathed drunkenness and considered ending the marriage on that account, but upon learning of the affair she moved out immediately. Two years later she moved to Toronto, where she filed for and obtained a divorce. Frank in the meantime, continued to lead a reclusive life in Montreal bereft of any female companionship. He had learned of April’s marriage and the subsequent break-up but did not attempt any communication at the time, as she was still legally married to another man. Becoming disillusioned with Montreal, he moved to Boston where an uncle had emigrated more than thirty years before, and where he had now built a thriving construction business. It was while living in Boston that he learned of April’s divorce and soon began a letter correspondence that would continue for the next twenty-five years. Frank and his mother never completely reconciled, although he did return home when she was diagnosed with terminal Cancer in 1979. After his mother’s death, he decided to remain in Newfoundland and went about building a house in Pilgrims Bight. During this time he continued to live with his father whose appearance belied his more than eighty years. The following Spring, Frank took a seasonal job with the Department of Highways, and left the interior of his house to be finished the following winter. During all this time the letter correspondence between him and April continued though few knew about it except him and the local postmaster.

Wedded Bliss

Horatio Goodman died suddenly in his sleep on December 3, 1982. His son Frank, surprised that his father hadn’t risen by 8 o’clock, knocked on his bedroom door and when there was no answer entered the room. He appeared to be sleeping, but Frank knew immediately that his father was dead. The morning would be filled with visits from a doctor sent from nearby Comfort Cove, police from the nearest detachment, and finally the undertaker. Later that afternoon there would be a visit from the parish priest. Horatio had left the old house and had been living with his son, who now spend most of the winter cloistered inside with his beloved books, for reading had long been his passion. His correspondence with April continued and that Spring he suggested that she come home for a visit and perhaps to resume their romance. It was not until July that she arrived in the bight and to the house of her niece, Joyce Oldford. Thereafter, at approximately 8 PM each evening, if one was watching, (and some were), it was a common sight to see a well groomed and tastefully dressed Frank Goodman, the former recluse, walk smartly down the road to the Oldford house. Furthermore, if one stayed up to watch (and again some did), they would see the same, dare I say young man, for so he appeared, returning home at the approach of midnight.
On November 7, 1983 Frank Goodman and April Cranford exchanged vows at City Hall in St. John’s and after a luncheon with a small group of friends, returned to Pilgrims Bight as husband and wife. The lovebirds had nineteen years of wedded bliss together. April died in December of 2002 and Frank three months later.

Tags

Boston, Cancer, Divorce Father, Love, Marriage, Montreal, Mother, Recluse, St Johns, War Veteran, Wedded Bliss, World War I

Meet the author

author avatar Kingwell
I am 75 years old and retired.I like writing short stories, poetry as well other articles of interest.

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know

Comments

author avatar Grumpybear
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Excellent. :)

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank You Grumpybear

Reply to this comment

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Nice post!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Fern

Reply to this comment

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
15th Feb 2014 (#)

an ongoing saga for sure Kingwell...

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Carolina, it is based loosely on a true story. I knew the couple when they were old but the story I got from others.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Mariah
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Loved this Kingwell, what a sad waste of all those years apart,
excellent reading, thank you

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Happy you enjoyed it Mariah. Please read the previous comment to Carolina.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Randhir Bechoo
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Interesting read.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Randhir

Reply to this comment

author avatar Connie McKinney
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Interesting story and a nice romantic one for Valentines' Day. I'm glad they finally found each other.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Connie

Reply to this comment

author avatar Retired
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Lovely story!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
15th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Starrleena

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
16th Feb 2014 (#)

Tales like this are far too common. The heart wants what the heart wants, and some things which are fruitlessly fought are still destined and will occur.

What a lovely piece, Kingwell.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
16th Feb 2014 (#)

Hi Phyl, Thank you for commenting and I agree.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
17th Feb 2014 (#)

Touching and gripping love story, Kingwell. I recall another true to life story in India. Two bosom friends were in college and both took a fancy for a girl, Susan. John thought Susan was his, but to his shock his bosom buddy, James, told him he was going to ask Susan for her hand in marriage. James was not aware of John's feeling for Susan, like Susan herself! John though taken aback wished James best of luck. And James and Susan married and lived happily for many years. John married later. Many years later, James passed on soon followed by the wife of John. John consoled Susan and revealed to her the deep feeling of love he had for her, but did not want to be a competitor to James. Eventually, John and Susan married and lived happily "ever after"! siva

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
17th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you for commenting and I enjoyed the story. These things probably happen more often than we think.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Mariah
17th Feb 2014 (#)

Another touching Story Siva, looking at the two stories here, it seems fate decided that later in life was the right time for these two couples to get together, perhaps if both couples had married when they were young it wouldn't have worked out, the time wasn't right for them then
Happy endings for both now.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
17th Feb 2014 (#)

Thanks Mariah. When I heard about this story I was so touched I keep recalling it every once in a while! Your take could be right as this match was really worth waiting for! siva

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
17th Feb 2014 (#)

Thank you Mariah and I think you may be right.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
17th Feb 2014 (#)

Siva, I'm inclined to agree as well As for my story, I knew the couple when they were older and married to each other. They were probably the happiest couple I've ever met My father knew the man when he was younger.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Delicia Powers
27th Feb 2014 (#)

such unusual history carved a small village town from the rugged past to the present day.. it is this reality that becomes part lore... history so well recorded- is sooo much more than large sweeping events- it is the everyday story of its people... thanks Kingwell

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
27th Feb 2014 (#)

So very true my friend. Thank you.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Username
Can't login?
Password