True Loves Diary
This is a story of love, bravery and great sacrifice, when love was all they needed to survive. This was in the time when girls were there only to cook and clean while the boys and men did the real jobs. However, two children disobeyed. It isn't like they didn't try to do as they were told, but they just wanted to have fun. Karolina and Josef liked to have fun and play in the woods. Karolina didn't like to act like a normal girl. She would tie her dress out of the way and climb trees and race with Josef. The adults didn't know what they did, but all the children knew of the tales of adventure that these two went on. They would tell the other children their adventures, about going up the rocky hillsides and playing down by the glistening lakes, away from adult eyes. They were as close as any two children could be.
As they got older the climbing trees and races would stop, and everybody grew aware of Karolina's beauty. All the girls wanted to be like her, with her long, shiny red hair and soft lips. Her eyes sparkled like the seas and were the most beautiful shade of green. Everyone also grew aware of how handsome Josef had grown to be, his soft, curly brown hair and magnificent brown eyes glistened and portrayed so much emotion that his stare was intense and girls were in love with him. He grew broader and his muscles become defined, he was a god in human form, so beautiful that he always stood out among the people. However, know matter how many guys were in love with the beauty that was Karolina or the god-like Josef, they had eyes for only each other. Their friendship grew until one day it was more than friends. Now this would be fine if it wasn't for Karolina's parents. They were not aware of the deep emotions that she felt for her friend and wanted her to be wed to another, Luka von Chider. Luka was from the richest family in the village and if Karolina married him, she could get away from the poor life she led. Karolina did not want to marry Luka though, the man she really wanted was Josef, but Josef was a woodcutter and they both knew Karolina's parents would never allow, they would rather her live a rich life to a man she did not love than a poor life to the only man she would ever love.
One day Karolina snuck into the forest as she usually did, to watch her lover work. During his break, they had arranged for Josef to sneak way and meet her deep in the forest, away from Karolina's father.
"Karolina!" exclaimed Josef as he neared her.
"Oh Josef, I missed you!" Cried Karolina.
"You know we cannot keep doing this, for you will be wed to Luka soon!" He whispered urgently.
"I do not wish to marry Luka, yes he is rich but I do not love him, I love you and that is the way it should be!"
"I love you too, my dear, but Luka can offer you a better life!"
"I want to be with no one else but you, and I do not care how we will do it , but we need to always be together!"
"We could run away, no one will know and we can be together and see the city and the sea! Come with me, come with me and we will be together as we should be! We can leave all this behind and see the city and no one will tell us what to do! Lets just run, we can get our possessions and leave!"
"Oh Josef! If only it was that simple, I can not just leave my family without saying goodbye! And what would every one say?"
"Karolina, when have we ever cared about what people thought of us? When has whispers ever stopped us? Lets do this for us not for anyone else, okay?"
"I am not sure, they are my family!"
"Do love me?"
"Of course, Josef. You know that!"
"Well, then why are you not sure?"
"I do not know. I do not know how my parents will cope! I don't want my parents being heartbroken because I left without goodbye, they will miss me terribly and I will miss them! It seems so sudden!"
"Karolina, you are to be married to a man you do not love in a few short months, it is not sudden it was always going to happen, we just did not know when!"
"Maybe, Josef, I can change their minds, maybe I can convince my parents to let Melina marry Luka instead!"
"Okay but if that does not work, I will meet you her at sunset on the fifth day and we shall run away together!"
"It still seems drastic I am not sure."
"Okay well then I shall give you until sunset on the fifth day to decide, if you are not in the woods by nightfall, then I shall leave without you."
"Okay Josef, I shall make my decision by then."
They kissed and Karolina went back to the village while Josef went back into the woods to where the rest of the woodcutters were.
When Karolina reached her home once more she saw her mother slaving away on the stove and her heart filled with sorrow. She would miss her mother awfully, but she was following her heart which is everything her mother had always told her to do. She sighed and entered the tiny house that she lived in with her mother, father and sister. Her mother smiled as Karolina entered, the pan on the stove bubbles away.
"What's for supper, Mama?" Karolina asked.
""Beef stew, my love." replied her mother. "Oh and Luka is coming for supper, he wishes to get to know you better before you become wed."
"Oh, that shall be great," said Karolina, forcing a smile.
Karolina's sister, Melina, entered the one room that served as the kitchen, dining room and living area from the upper level which served as all their bedrooms. She smiled when she saw Karolina, but the smile was strained. Karolina knew that Melina was in love with Luka and resented her for being betrothed to him. Karolina would do anything for her parents to realise that it wasn't her but her sister who loved Luka truly. Karolina smiled back, the sympathetic sort of smile, but Melina just turned on her heel and strode over to the tiny stove. Karolina walked over to her, and pulled her away to a corner where they would not be overheard.
"Melina, listen-" she started..
"No, you listen. You do not care about how I feel, and you know that I love Luka more than you do, more than you have ever done. You just want all the attention, like always. Perfect Karolina, beautiful Karolina, why would you ever want to hand over that attention to me?"
"Melina, I do not want to marry Luka and I know you would. I wish to be with Josef, we shall convince Mama and Papa that Luka is perfect for you, not me. We will also show Luka that you are better than me, so he will choose you not me!"
"That will never work, why would he choose, imperfect, flawed Melina over perfect flawless Karolina?"
"It might, I think he feels pressured to be married to the woman his mother has chose not who he wants. If we can get him to see that it isn't me he should be marrying then maybe, you will be in my place and I will be free to live my life with my true love, Josef!"
"Josef, he is just a woodcutter, but I suppose that means that I get the rich heir and you can be left with the poor woodcutter!"
"I do not care about money or titles, I just want to be with the one I love!"
"Well, it worth a shot but I doubt it will work!"
"We shall give it our best shot!"
Later that night, the sisters put their plan into action. Karolina had lent Melina her best dress for Karolina had always got the best clothes because she was the older, more beautiful of the two. She had made Melina look amazing and they hoped it would be enough to change Luka and her parents minds. The girls ran down into the dining room and stood waiting to welcome their guest of honour to their humble home. Karolina's father stumped in a few minutes before Luka was due to arrive and sat down at the table, seemingly forgetting what was happening tonight.
"Stefan, you do know that Karolina's betrothed will be arriving soon?" Whispered Karolina's mother urgently.
"Yes, Marie, I know and I shall welcome him as I shall welcome any other guest onto this home."
"But he isn't just any other guest, he is Luka Von Chider, he is from a powerful family and we want him to marry our dear Karolina."
"Hmm… well, are you sure Karolina wishes to marry him?"
"I do not know what goes through her head but she is a good girl and will do what her parents tell her!"
"Mama, Papa, he is here!" cried Melina, smoothing her dress and hair.
"Why should you care, it is your sister he is here for, not you, silly girl!" snapped Marie, gazing fondly at Karolina.
There was a knock on the door and Marie rushed to answer it.
"Luka, welcome to our home, you know Stefan," Luka nodded, "And this is Melina, my youngest daughter and this is Karolina."
"Ah, Karolina," Luka said, gently kissing Karolina's hand. "And Melina, how - er- pleasant - to meet you."
"Nice to meet you too, sir," she breathed, evidently delighted that he was talking to her, even if it was unenthusiastically.
"Come through Luka, come through," ushered Marie, glaring at Melina for trying to steal her spotlight. "Ignore Melina, she just wants a bit of attention, like she does not get enough already, dressing like she does!"
Melina liked to dress in short, revealing dresses with tight corsets that made her chest very visible. Karolina knew she only did this to get noticed and stop living in her sisters shadow.
"Well, I guess with a beautiful sister like Karolina, she will need to be noticed some how."
"I guess but it is quite inappropriate!" sighed Marie.
She sat Luka down at the table and dragged Karolina next to him, moving Melina away from him and seating her at the opposite end. Karolina shuffled uncomfortably in her seat, while she tried to make polite conversation. She was finding this extremely difficult, however, as Luka kept staring at her and her sister was throwing jealous glances their way, while her mother was making hand gestures to show her to keep the conversation flowing. Karolina tried to include Melina in the conversation and drop hints that it was Melina, not her, that liked Luka. Luka didn't seem to want to include Melina in the conversation in any way and tried to steer the conversation back to their wedding and future. Karolina started to panic, it seemed her plan wouldn't work and she would have to leave, breaking her whole families hearts.
It was a long evening and by the time it was over, Karolina was positively dreading marrying Luka. It seemed all he wanted to talk about was him and his money, he didn't seem to care about Karolina, or, in any way whatsoever, Melina. After Luka had left and they were cleaning up, Melina dragged Karolina into the shared bedroom.
"Karolina, you did not even try to make me look good and you never tried to include me! I knew that it would be hard for you to draw the attention away from yourself but you never even tried to do so!"
"Listen to me Melina, I tried to include you, honestly I did, but Luka did not want to. He kept drawing the conversation away from you and I am surprised you wish to marry him! All he does is talk about his money and never spared a thought for either of us. I am scared he will not treat you right and you will become miserable for he does not love you back!"
"You think I care whether he loves me? You think I care that all he does is talk about his money? No, I do not care and the fact that he can talk so much about his money shows me that he has enough to talk about! I do not care if he does not spare a thought for me, I just want to get away from this life!"
"You just want his money and title! Melina, you can not just marry for that reason it would not be right! You will have money but you will be miserable, I know it!"
"I do not care if I am miserable, if I have money I shall not be!"
"But Melina-" Her sentence was cut short by Marie barging through the door and thrusting a brush into Melina's hands.
"Melina, I know that this has been an exciting evening for Karolina, but you must get back to work!" Karolina moved for the rag to clean the table but her mother stopped her. "Karolina, you have must be exhausted, you should go and get some sleep. You need to keep yourself looking beautiful or he will never agree to marry you."
"But Mama, I thought you had all ready arranged this marriage with him." Karolina said hopefully, maybe it wasn't so final.
"Oh dear, we have but we need him to go through with it! Silly girl, you do not understand adult life yet, but when you are married it will all make perfect sense." She smiled at Karolina, whose heart sank. Maybe it was final after all.
"Mama," Karolina started cautiously, she thought it was now or never, she needed to tell her mother exactly how she felt. "How can I marry Luka if I do not love him?"
"You will learn to love him and you shall be happy that you have a nice life and a wonderful husband instead of ended up like Melina, with somebody like Josef who is a simple woodcutter and would not be able to give her the things she needs. Now, do not look at me like that, I know right now it doesn't seem like something you want but in 10 years you will be thanking me for arranging this. You should be grateful, too, for many girls do not get such an amazing offer as this!"
"I know Mama, but I can not see myself coming to love him, I just see myself miserable with a man who I have no feelings of love for!"
"Well, you will just have to cope, this marriage is going ahead, like it or not, it is what is best for you and you cannot deny it"
"Okay then Mama, I shall get some sleep."
Karolina got into her bed dress and fell into an uneasy sleep filled with visions of the future. She saw herself on her wedding day, looking miserable with Josef on the outskirts looking upset and her sister glaring at them while Marie arranged a wedding between Melina and Josef. She saw herself in the big house surrounded by material possessions with a nanny downstairs looking after the children while she sat by the window wishing for her husband to come home. She saw herself talking to Melina and being accused of stealing what should have been hers while Josef sulks behind them. Then, there was visions of how her life could of been with Josef, woven in through out them. How she would have been smiling at the wedding and how Melina would be smiling at them with one arm around Luka. She saw how, even though she had little material possessions, she was happy and looked after her children by herself and have stew ready for when the man she loved came home from a long day at work and kiss her tenderly on the cheek. How she would visit Melina in the house and talk about how everything had gone to plan. She wanted the life with her dear Josef, but her parents did not seem to want her to be happy but be better off. She was pretty sure Melina was having the same dream to as she could hear her mumbling about how it should have been hers. That night, Karolina made her decision, she would run away with Josef it was the only way they would be able to be together.
Even though she had made her decision, Karolina knew there must be another way, so she tried to show her parents that it was not her, but Melina, who loved Luka, but her parents would not give in. Two days after Luka's visit, Karolina met up with some of the girls from the village. She knew them all well, and considered them friends, but she knew they would never be close as they supported Melina, in saying that Karolina was perfect, and they thought that she was stealing Melina's spotlight again. Prudence, Sofia, Lucianna and Catalina were all waiting for Karolina in the village square, eager to act friendly but talk behind her back when they thought she was not listening. They would talk of her scandals with Josef and talk of how she should not be treated as fairly as other woman and the possibility that she could be a witch. They thought she could be a witch because she was a fast runner and was able to climb the trees only the boys could climb, of course Karolina was no witch she was just able to do more than the other girls. They, the other girls, were jealous of Karolina, much like her sister was, because she was more beautiful than they were and that Josef adored her and that she was to marry into the richest family in the village. At the moment, Karolina was the talk of the town, so to speak. Nobody could believe that a girl from such poor backgrounds could be able to marry into such a well off family. Karolina really could not wait to get away from the stares and whispers but part of her would really miss this small village. She walked into the village square and approached the otherr girls who immediately stopped talking and smiled at her. She knew immediately tht they were talking about he but she did not care.
"Hello girls," Karolina said politely
"Hello Karolina," chimed all four girls in unison.
"I can not wait for sunset on the fifth day," Karolina said absent-mindedly. This was a mistake, and, though she did not know it, a fatal mistake.
"Why not?" asked Sofia, intrigued. Karolina had to think fast to cover her mistake.
"Oh, well I am to visit Luka's house for tea," She lied, hoping they could not tell.
"Well, I hear that he has many kitchen workers and his dining room is simply grand!" said Prudence, buying the lie. Karolina relaxed.
"Yes, it is supposed to be magnificent," added Catalina
"I wish I could go!" sighed Lucianna.
Sofia said nothing only glared suspiciously, Karolina knew she must leave soon.
"Well, I simply can not wait to get to know him better," smiled Karolina, she needed to talk to Josef quickly. "I must be off, he has given me money to buy a wonderful new dress from the shop in the next town."
With this, she set off, into the woods to meet her lover.
As she approached the woods, Karolina heard a twig snap. She spun round but there was no one there. As her breathing subsided, she wondered why she was so scared. Perhaps it was because she was nervous so her senses her heightened, but she could feel eyes on the back of her head. Every few steps she glanced behind her, she had never been scared of the woods before but now she was terrified. After a few more minutes she heard the familiar sound of the woodcutters axes and she stared to relax she would be safe in Josef's arms soon. The area which the woodcutters worked in came in to view and Karolina picked up a pebble and threw it at Josef's back. He turned around and saw her. He smiled at her, looked around and crept through the trees to meet her.
"Karolina, my dear, I thought we arranged sunset on the fifth day?"
"Oh, we had, but I longed to see you now!"
"Of course. How are you, you look frightened, is everything okay?" he asked concerned.
"It felt like I was being watched the whole way here and I heard a twig snap. It was like I was being followed! What if we get found out? What if someone from the village knows of our plan? What will we do?"
"Calm down, my love. It will all be fine. No one knows of our plan and so we shall be okay!"
"Josef, could we leave tomorrow night instead I can not wait for three more days, I have said goodbye to my family and I am ready to go!"
"Of course my dear. The sooner the better!" He smiled reassuringly at her and she felt calm.
"That is good. I must get back, will you walk me to the edge of the woods?"
They walked back through the woods slowly talking only of the next night and what they plan to do once they run away. What they did not know, however, is that their story might draw to a close sooner than they thought.
Once they reached the village, they bade each farewell until sunset the next day. She walked back through the village square, but was careful to make sure the girls did not see her. As she walked down an alley, away from the girls, she bumped into Luka.
"Oh, I am sorry, Luka!" She said politely.
"It is okay," he replied. "Well, I will be seeing you, how about dinner tomorrow or perhaps on the fifth day?"
Karolina's heart stopped, he knew something he had to know something. "Well, maybe not tomorrow, but the fifth day seems better," She replied, knowing that she would certainly not be having dinner with him and making sure everybody knew that she was going to Luka's and that she had not been lying. "However, I do not have a nice dress to wear and not enough money to buy one."
"Well, that can be sorted. I will give you the money for a new dress. Consider it a present from me and my family."
"How very generous of you!"
"Well, what is mine, is yours, so they say." He smiled, and left.
Karolina stood in the dark alley, breathing heavily. He knew something, he had to! She carried on walking, willing to get home as soon as possible. She walked in the front door too expect Maria at the stove, but she was alone. She was glad of this because she needed some time to think over the conversation she had just had with Luka and to pack her possessions for the following night, including her diary in which she wrote her secrets and tales from her day. She threw her travelling cloak and her favourite dresses into the leather satchel she was going to take. She had just finished packing the essentials when her sister walked in the door.
"Karolina!" She called. "Karolina, are you home?"
"Yes, Melina, I shall be down in a moment!" She called back, safely stowing her satchel back in her trunk.
"Hello, Karolina, I hear you are seeing Luka on the fifth day for dinner. Is this true?"
"Yes, how did you know?"
"Sofia tells me everything!" She smiled sweetly, Karolina's heart started racing, Sofia didn't believe her, she knew it.
"Well, I am seeing him and you will not stop me!"
"I was not planning to, I simply wanted to know whether it was true."
"Well, it is!"
"Good. Ah, here comes Papa." They heard heavy footfalls coming up the steps and they knew it must be Stefan.
"Papa, welcome home!" Said Karolina.
"Papa, did you know that Karolina is going to Luka's for dinner on the fifth day?" Asked Melina, desperate to get Karolina into trouble.
"No, I did not. Karolina, did you organise this without my consent?"
"Well, when I was walking home I bumped into Luka and he asked me whether I wanted to and I agreed. Mother wants me to get to know him better!"
"You should of asked me first!"
"Well, it is too late! I am going for I wish to get to know my betrothed properly!" she lied, she did not wish to get to know him better nor was she going to go.
"Well, I guess I can not stop you wanting to get to know him better. Fine! You may go to dinner!"
"Okay, thank you Papa!" Karolina went back to her room and smiled to herself. The more people who believed her the better. She had managed to catch a glimpse of her sisters face as she left the room and she was furious. Karolina had avoided getting into trouble and was still going to Luka's for dinner, or so Melina thought. Marie arrived home soon afterwards and they ate supper in silence. Karolina excused herself from the table and went to bed early, she would be travelling through the night and did not wish to stop until they were certain they were away from the village.
She woke late the next day and hurriedly got dressed, she was alone so she packed food for the journey and went into the village to spend one last day there. She saw Luka in the village and walked over to him. No sooner had she approached him, he narrowed his eyes suspiciously and hurried away. It was strange behaviour, even stranger than yesterday. Karolina walked home, quickly and without looking at anyone, wondering what could be making Luka act like that. When she got home she saw Maria slaving away over the stove again. She smiled when Karolina walked in but didn't say anything. Karolina was glad of this for she did not know what to say to her. The sun was starting to set, so Karolina ran upstairs to get the satchel with her clothes in and grabbed the basket of food.
"I am just going to the market before it ends," she said hastily to her mother, who did not seem to be listening.
She walked through the village and then broke into a run when she reached the woods. She got to the familiar clearing just as night was beginning to fall.
"Karolina, I thought you would not make it!" cried Josef, in relief.
"I am sorry, I could not run through the village it would have drawn to much attention to me," she explained.
"Well, lets go before the rest of the men come!"
Josef grabbed Karolina's hand and set off but before they could start to run, they heard a voice behind them.
"Now, where do you think you are going at such a late hour?" It said.
The lovers turned round and saw Luka standing by a tree.
"Luka what are you doing here?" Asked Karolina.
"I followed you!" he answered
"You were the person who followed me yesterday!" Karolina realised.
"Yes, I was! I heard your conversation with the girls and knew you were planning something, I followed you and was nearly discovered but I kept quiet. Then I heard you arrange to meet Josef here and I knew you were going to run away. Oh what would your parents say if they knew?"
"Nothing, they would not know anything!"
"Oh, but they would find out!"
"You would not dare tell them!"
"Oh, I would! But come with me and they shall never know!"
"No! I do not wish to go with you, I do not want to be with you and because I am being forced my only option is to run away!"
"Josef of course!"
"I do not think so!"
"What do you mean? Of course she will run away with me!" said Josef, angrily.
"She can not run away with you if you can not run!"
"What do you mean?" exclaimed Karolina.
"This!" Luka had produced a bow and arrow and aimed it at Josef's heart.
"NO!" screamed Karolina, as Luka released the arrow and it hit Josef squarely in the chest.
"No, Josef, no!"
"Karolina, I am sorry. I will love you always!" he breathed, he then closed his eyes and went limp in her arms.
"You killed him! You murderer!" She screamed at Luka. "How could you do such a cruel thing?! How?!"
"It was the only way!"
"No it was not! He did not need to die!"
"Oh but he did! Now come with me and we shall be married within the hour!"
"I can not leave him! I can not!"
"Come now, Karolina! It is time to go!" He grabbed her arm and pulled her through the trees, leaving Josef's body behind. They approached the big house where he lived and he pulled her inside. "Get yourself cleaned up, we can not have you looking like for our wedding!"
"I do not want to marry you!" she sobbed.
"Well, you are going to, whether you like it or not! Now get yourself cleaned up while I get the vicar and to make sure you do not run away, I will get a servant to stay with you. Emilie, I want you to keep an eye on her and make sure gets herself cleaned up."
"Yes, Master," said Emilie, bowing low "Here Madam, lets get you out of these bloody clothes and get you washed up."
Soon she was in a fine silk wedding dress that had already been made for her and a veil with a large bouquet of flowers. Luka returned with the vicar who married them and then Luka whisked her away to the city. Karolina soon grew miserable, this was made even more so with the news she was expecting a child she knew to be Josef's. She soon had given birth to a little girl who she named Josephina after her father. She looked in her daughters eyes and she could see the resemblance to Josef and it broke her heart. Soon after the birth of Josephina, Karolina died, leaving her only treasured possession to her daughter, her diary. Josephina made sure it was passed down the female line, its secrets enclosed within the cover. Over the years many have owned this diary but never done anything with it. How I know this story is because it was passed down to me and I decided to let everyone know what really happened to Josef and Karolina and to make sure they are not forgotten. Hopefully now the truth is out they can rest in peace together, forever.