Hegwood Estate in the normal course of action, which is to say anything but normal. Perhaps it is the normal custom for the Hegwoods to sooth an aching heart and empty space by integrating themselves in society on a nightly basis, but for my part I so desperately crave and am in want of solitude and peace. Since the Doctor left, I have had little to no taste for any company other than my own melancholy mind. I have since taken to spending long hours in the back parlor, larger and the most removed from where there is the potential of unwanted, and for that matter any, attention and conversation. That room provides me with the most privacy and solitude, as well as boasts the better of the two pianos in the house, and I have found a balm for the empty space I feel exceedingly by playing for hours, and occasionally singing. Dear Mr. Hegwood, the quieter and gentler of the two, has taken to wandering in and out when mrs. Hegwood is away, sometimes sitting to listen, and offering no interruption other than the quiet click as he closes the door behind him when he leaves, but for the larger portion of my time spent there, I am so wonderfully, and so dismally, alone.
I have begun to watch daily for the post, hoping each time for a letter from the Doctor, though it is but three days since his departure and he left me with no promise of writing to me. The routine of waiting, however; has left me with something else to fill the loss, when the music is not always enough. I did, however, receive another note from Georgiana, as well as a wonderful gift of positively sublime silk in a shade of olive green that I do so adore. Such a kind gift did wonders for my heart, and now I must decide what I wish to do with it, a task which I can be assured will take much of my mind away from the dear Doctor.
Autumn has finally arrived with no want of ceremony, supplying a spectacular display of colors spanning from the brightest yellows and golds to the deepest and richest of reds and auburn. I have taken to the gardens in the afternoons when the weather is warm enough to try and capture the beauty of the patchwork hills around the Estate in watercolors and oils, with few successes, as the beauty is so striking and wild I cannot seem to capture it on canvas. I have sent the only ones I felt suitable to keep on to Mama and Papa for their pleasure, and one also to Kathryn to place in her home. I have heard very little from them all, but it is to be expected as Kathryn's condition progresses. I believe I now have to place my desires for familial comforts in the all too capable hands of the Hegwoods, who have by all accounts supplied me with more of the sort than I have ever had in recent memory, even in my own home.
Mrs. Hegwood has begun her 'duty', one could say, of fulfilling that service by inviting all sorts of varying company in what I suspect is her attempt to distract me from my ever persistent doleful and disconsolate temperament, and to find for me a suitable companion other than Abigail and the household cat, who I would prefer over any body presented to me as she cannot speak, and therefore cannot annoy. I have named her Penelope, and we have grown attached to one another, and she has even taken on the colder nights to sleeping beside me, much to Mrs. Hegwood's antipathy.
Yet for all of my detachment from these current events, one person in the parade of bodies in and out of the house in the past three days has in fact provided me with adequate distraction, though I am sure it is not in any way the manner which Mrs. Hegwood had intended. Mrs. Hegwood's closest friend, Mrs. Vincent, a very loquacious woman with stories often as expansive as her figure, has taken to including her eldest son in her visits, which I can only attribute to Mrs. Hegwoods suggestion for my benefit, as he was first introduced to me the very day the Doctor left. I can only surmise Mrs. Hegwood thought me in want of company on such a day of somber events, though my actual desires could not have been more contrary to her assumptions. The Vincents dined with us that night, and after supper I entertained our little group by playing the piano, then singing whilst Mrs. Hegwood accompanied me. Mrs. Vincent, in her usual fashion, praised and lauded the entire show far above and beyond what was necessary for the performance for much too long, only so that she could hear herself make pretty speeches. Mr. Vincent, so drastically the opposite, said no more than ten words to any of us gathered the entire course of the evening, but every time I chanced a glimpse in his direction, his gaze was affixed upon me in a most unsettling manner. Mr. Vincent outwardly is not an unpleasant person, as his features were very fine and pleasant indeed, but I fear if he always carries on in such an awkward and uncomfortable manner, that they alone will be his only saving grace.
The Vincents came again this evening, and it was much the same as it was the first time. Mrs. Vincent scarce drawing breath, and seemingly determined to talk us to death or crush us with the absurdity of her recollections, whilst Mr. Vincent spoke hardly a sentence longer than five words if you were lucky enough to pull one from him, but all the while watching me! After we dined, instead of providing more musical entertainment, I was obliged at the request of Mr. Vincent to participate in a game of chess with him, though I have little skill and even less desire for it. Again and again I tried to make some attempt of pleasant conversation, but it was very akin to speaking with a piece of furniture, or perhaps a plant, and when he was not deciding his next move, he persisted in watching me with no emotion. He made me so dreadfully uncomfortable that I could bear it no longer, and pleading unwell, I made a hasty retreat and escaped to my fortress of peace and sanity, with my favourite of companions waiting for me; the cat.
I am informed by way of Mr. Hegwood wishing me a good night, that Mr. Vincent means to call tomorrow afternoon, this time without his absurd counterpart, Mrs. Vincent. For reasons I cannot explain, I find this knowledge vexatious and distressing, and I dread the moment where I must be confined to his presence for sake of polite company. Even now, in my mind, I can still see his wretched gaze, staring at me through unfeeling blue eyes, and it quite honestly, they frighten me. How I wish the Doctor were here.