She was like a dream, a vision. Upon first glance, I was lovestruck. She seemed to appear from nowhere. The ball was the first social event I had attended after arriving from England. None of my associates seemed to know of her history. “New money, perhaps,” they told me. It mattered not to me. She commanded the room, like royalty.
Our wedding was elaborate to say the least. She claimed to have no family, but she was clearly a child of wealth and privilege. Few of the guests were hers, but with her éclat and my connections, attendance consisted of every prominent person in town. It was the talk of New York City. The most talked about wedding of 1855.
For our honeymoon, we travelled down the mighty Mississippi on a steam ferry. On that first night, we watched a magic show before retreating to our cabin suite. She welcomed me into her arms with an ardour that owned perhaps more to experience than maidenly virtue, but soon concerns of her chastity and all other thought was driven from my mind.
“What fortune brings me such an exquisite bride, my love?” I asked, drinking her in with my eager eyes. She lay quite still, clad only in the moonlight and smiling languorously. Seeing her grin, bright as sunrays, I anticipated her reply.
“Why, Thomas Kinkade, I married you for your money.” Her grin turned into a smile.
“You do not seem at a loss for finances, my love,” I said teasingly. I traced the exquisite line of her cheek gently with my fingertip.
She was silent for a moment. Her eyes sparkled like a little girl about to tell a secret. How could any man be so in love, as I was with this woman? Her charms rendered me helpless.
“You see, my love, I came in a time machine from the future. When I return, my accounts will have accrued so much interest, that I will be peerless in regards to wealth.”
I chuckled. My entire body was warm with happiness.”Enough! Enough! My head is spinning and my heart is full to burst. Your humour shall never cease to warm my soul. I am blessed to have you as my bride. Now my future belongs to you. I will honour you until my dying breath,” I said to her. Never before had I confessed my feelings with such candour.
We arrived in New Orleans on the thirteenth day of February. The town was festooned and gay with the festivities of Mardi Gras. On St. Valentine’s Day, we danced and dined in the grand ballroom.
Isabelle seemed distant at dinner and grew yet quieter after the masquerade.
I opened a bottle of champagne and took two glasses to the balcony of our hotel room, where she stood, looking blankly into the night sky. I was surprised she wasn’t watching the parade, filing down the street. The music was very loud, but she stared up, silently.
“Is everything alright, dear?” I asked her. Her vacant expression made me feel hollow inside. Where had the spark gone?
“Yes, thank you. I love you, Thomas. More than you know.” I thought that I saw a tear form in the corner of her eye.
“I have never questioned your love, darling. Would you like to dance?”
It all seemed surreal. Every event that occurred from the time I arrived in 1855, from Virginia to New York City, seemed like a dream. When I actually laid eyes of Thomas Kinkade, I was surprised to feel my skin tingle, my body warm. I remember the shock and wanting to call the whole thing off. How could I possibly feel this way? He was my mark.
The courtship and engagement was a whirlwind. I found it exciting. I loved the way he doted over me, and always laughed at my jokes. Men in my century had seemed to have forgotten the affects such charms had on a girl. There were actually times when my thighs trembled and warmed, at his gallantry.
The wedding was every girls dream, sublime. I was so glad that I went through the hassle of smuggling the gold bar in my period dress. I arrived in 1855 with only those two things. It was worth every ounce of trouble though, as it bought me a ticket into his world.
I never imagined myself falling in love with Thomas Kinkade. On our wedding night, I told him I was a time traveller. His laugh made me love him even more. I am afraid my performance in the bedroom that night was way out of period. By this time, of course, I was no longer acting and my inhibitions had fallen wayward. He didn’t seem to mind.
I can’t tell you how amazing it was to witness Mardi Gras in 1855. It was like living in a fairy tale—a dream where you know you are sleeping and that no matter how tightly you try to hold on, that dream will soon end.
Thomas died of a heart attack on the fifteenth day of February 1855. That is history, and it broke my heart. I never knew that I was capable of loving a man so completely. I wept everyday. All the lawyers and bankers—the way they pitied me as they created the accounts that would span generations.
Now I am but a broken hearted widow, wealthier than Midas to be sure, but then money isn’t everything, is it?