Frederick was badly injured, was bleeding and lost his consciousness. He was lying in his car alone as Mark and Wilfred, his companions who were mildly injured, set out to arrange for another vehicle to take their friend to a nearby hospital as the car they came in was badly damaged and not in a roadworthy condition. Several onlookers gathered at the spot and made a circle around the car where Frederick was lying.
Suddenly, a young villager girl came forward saying, “Everyone will take fun in the situation but no one will come forward to help”; and she opened the car door and tried to suckle water she had brought in a glass to Frederick. But he didn’t respond at all. “I think we must take him home and do some first aid,” she said. “Wait Lilly, wait,” someone said, “he is not alone, his friends are coming back after arranging for another car to take him to hospital.” “Hospital? But they’ll have to go to Clitheroe for that. They won’t find it here in Downham,” Lilly said.
As Mark and Wilfred were wandering to get another car in the wounded condition, Wilfred could not bear that strain and his unnoticed wound on the leg suddenly exploded and started bleeding profusely. By the time they got a car, they had covered almost half the distance towards Clitheroe town and didn’t have time to come back to Downham. So Mark decided to take Wilfred to hospital first and then come back to Downham village to take Frederick along.
After a long waiting, when no one turned up at the accident spot, Lilly again suggested to take Frederick someone’s home. But no one was ready to take him home at Lilly’s instance maybe because she was not a native of that village. Finally, Lilly took him her home with the help of some of the villagers.
Police personnel also arrived the spot to take a stock of the situation. They concluded that it was an accident and prepared their report. They also informed the nearest automobile dealer to tow the damaged car from the accident spot before going back.
Lilly was alone at home. She looked at the injuries Frederick had sustained. “The wounds don’t seem to be so grave, I think with a proper first aid and doctor’s medicines he will be cured,” she thought.
She called a local doctor who checked Frederick and tied bandage to stop his bleeding. He asked Lilly to use a lotion prescribed by him on his wounds not covered by bandage. He also gave other medicines for Frederick. He asked Lilly to inform him as soon the Frederick gained consciousness.
Mark admitted Wilfred to a hospital but could not return Downham. He was also injured and doctor at the hospital prohibited him from going anywhere outside the hospital. “Let me at least call Fred,” he said and called Frederick’s handphone. But Frederick’s handphone was severely damaged and was not in a working condition hence no conversation could happen between Mark and Frederick, which added to Mark’s worries.
Frederick gained consciousness after some time. “Where am I? Who are you?” he asked Lilly. “Sir, you are at my home in Downham village. My name is Lilly.” He stared at her. “Where are my friends?” “I don’t know. They went to bring a car for you to take you to hospital, but never returned back.” “What senseless are you talking! Where is my phone?” he started to look for his handphone only to find a severely damaged body of his handset. “Oh no! I can’t make a phone call with this. Can you give me your handphone please? I just want to call my friend.” “I don’t use handphone sir.” “Oh god! Where did I get stuck at this place?” “I told you sir, this is Downham village.” “Thanks for your kind update. Now will you please get someone in this village to help me with their handphone or should I go myself?” Frederick almost got up from his bed but could not bear his body pains and collapsed again, yelling loudly.
“Listen sir, you are injured; don’t try to get up from your bed until I tell you to. Be lied down until I call the doctor to check you.” Frederick gave her an irritated look and turned his face to the other side.
The doctor came in a short while and checked Frederick for fractures in his body, if any. But there was no fracture as he could move his limbs, though he felt severe pain while moving his body. “He doesn’t have fractures, just has injuries due to blunt force trauma,” doctor said. “What’s that?” Lilly asked. “This means he has got his muscles hurt but no bones have been cracked. Now please take good care of him for two days, apply the lotion I have prescribed and give him all the medicines.” Then the doctor went back.
Lilly started applying lotion on Frederick’s body. “What are you doing? Stay away from me,” said Frederick. “This is the medicine that doctor has asked me to use to cure you; didn’t you hear what he said?” “But can’t you call a professional nurse; do you know anything about this?” “See sir, this is a small village; if you want a nurse, we’ll have to go to Clitheroe town to call one and that will take a lot of time. I will do it properly, don’t worry.” And she started applying the lotion without waiting for his consent. “You have to remove your shirt and trouser too.” “Why?” “Otherwise how can I apply this lotion on your wounds?” “I will not remove my clothes before an uncouth girl like you.” “Very good, then do it yourself,” Lilly said. Finally, Frederick had to remove his clothes to let Lilly apply lotion on his wounds. Then Lilly went in the inner room laughing with herself.
Frederick realized that as long as he had to stay in that house until getting cured, he had no option but to cooperate with Lilly and somewhere, he also felt the selflessness with which, she was nursing him.
“Where are you from, sir?” “I am from London.” “You came here to shoot a film? Many people come here for film-shooting. Do you have a movie camera in your bag?” “No, I just came here to have a vacation with my friends.” “Is this your house? Do you stay here alone?” Frederick asked. “No sir, this is my aunt’s house. She calls me here when she has to go to her son’s house in Cambridge. She is worried about feeding her cow. She also wants the grass grown in the backyard to be cut regularly. I stay in a nearby village called Chipping.” “Lilly, are you a British? Because this doesn’t seem to be a British name.” “Sir, Britain doesn’t only mean London city. You will know it only when you come out of your home like you did today.” “You are very talkative, Lilly.”
“Sir, this is your dinner,” Lilly said. Frederick tasted the food. It was very simple food, but was very deliciously cooked. Never had he liked his food so much. He looked at Lilly and realized for the first time that she was very pretty.
“Lilly, your cooking is as beautiful as you are.” “Thank you sir.” “So beautiful you are, so helpful, ready to stay alone, that too, in your aunt’s house; tell me, how far are you educated?” “Sir, I completed my fifth grade but left the school thereafter.” “Why?” “I don’t like studying; but I like agriculture, milking cows, gardening so I got more into those activities.” “Who all are at your home?” “My father is a school teacher at Chipping village. My mother does household work. I have a younger brother who does some small business and looks after agriculture and cows along with me.”
With lotion applied by Lilly, medicines given by the doctor and sleep at the night, Frederick started feeling better next morning and could even get out of his bed. Lilly helped him dress up in the morning and even changed his bandage. He wanted to call his friends, but Lilly insisted that he waited until late afternoon since she could apply the lotion on his wounds a couple of times more so that he would have recovered better by that time.
In hospital at Clitheroe, both, Mark and Wilfred were recovering due to the doctor’s treatment. Mark called owner of the car hired by him and asked him to take it back from the hospital as he and Wilfred would have had to stay in the hospital for another day.
“Sir, I told you about my background. Tell me about yours also. What do you do in London?” Lilly asked while applying lotion on Frederick’s body. “I work in a company headquartered in USA.” "Sorry, headquarter in ...; what you said?" "USA." “Where’s that?” “You don’t know what USA means? America, America; did you understand now?” “Oh America, it’s a very big country isn’t it?” “Very large and very rich also. You’ve been there anytime?” “Nope. I haven’t even come to London till now. What about you; have you gone to America anytime?” “Yes, many times. I have to go there once in every six months to report to our group company.” “So lucky you are!” Frederick smiled at this.
“I have to apply lotion on your chest now.” Lilly started opening buttons of Frederick’s shirt. “Lilly, when you open buttons of my shirt, it gives me a feeling as if...” “As if what?” Frederick pulled her in his arms and kissed her. “I like you very much; you are so beautiful and intoxicating!” He clasped her. While changing side of his body, he felt a severe pain and groaned helplessly. “Lie down on the bed peacefully. You are not yet fit for these adventures,” said Lilly pushing him behind.
In the afternoon, Frederick felt much better and fresher due to the lotion and taking rest. “I must call my friends now.” “Alright sir.” He went with his damaged handset, found out a mobile repairing shop and got his calling card inserted into another handset from where he called Mark. He came to know that both of his friends were in hospital. Mark was relieved to know that Frederick was better. Frederick informed Mark that he was going to meet him and Wilfred in the hospital.
Frederick returned Lilly’s home happily and told her that he found trace of his friends who were admitted to a hospital and he had to leave immediately after collecting his luggage. It was evening by the time he returned home.
“Immediately?” asked Lilly getting disheartened. “Yes immediately; why?” “When will you return then?” “Why should I return? We all will go back to London from there.” “That means we will never meet again?” Lilly’s tone was lumped and a tear started rolling down her cheek deceitfully without her intent. “Lilly, my darling!” Frederick took her in his arms, rolled fingers through her hair and showered kisses on her.
“I love you sir.” “Stupid! Call me Frederick or just Fred.” “Frederick, don’t go today night. I will make this the most memorable night for you.” “But Lilly, I have already informed my friends that I am coming tonight.” “You have your phone with you. You can inform them that you are coming tomorrow instead of today.” Frederick also didn’t feel like leaving Lilly alone that night. He informed Mark accordingly.
They had dinner together and also spent time in chatting thereafter. “Continue your treatment even after going to London. You are not yet fully cured,” she said. “Surely darling.”
Frederick returned to bed. Lilly came near him. She was looking absolutely gorgeous in pink gown. “Lilly! Is this a reality or am I seeing a dream?” He got up and took her in arms. “Frederick, my love,” Lilly kissed him intensely and clasped him. Frederick immersed his head into Lilly’s open hair. Soon, the two loving souls were united with intimacy between them.
Next morning, Frederick got ready with his luggage to go to his friends. “Frederick, I can’t stop you now. Just tell me one thing – whatever happened between us yesterday night; do you commit yourself to me or was it just a one night affair?” “Lilly, I don’t want to keep you in illusion. I am really grateful for whatever you did for me during last two days, but one cannot be expected to choose a life partner based on two days’ company.” “So, you will never meet me again?” “You are a nice girl, Lilly. I will like to meet you and help you in whatever ways possible; but our paths are divergent. I am an educated urban guy; you are an illiterate villager. I wish all the happiness to you in your life. Keep this with you,” Frederick gave Lilly ten thousand Pounds. “Ten thousand Pounds! I’ve never seen so much money in my life.” “So are you happy now?” “Is this the price of my love for you?” “Don’t misunderstand Lilly, I’m your wellwisher and will pray for your wellbeing. Now give me a final kiss before leaving,” he kissed Lilly before going but this time there was no delight and intimacy in her touch.
Frederick met his friends in the hospital at Clitheroe. They were also recovered by now. All of them had already spent nearly three days in recovering from their injuries and there was no point in continuing the vacation any longer. So they decided to return back to London. Since they did not have the car at their disposal, they took a bus. It took a week for all of them to fully recover from their injuries.
Two months passed after this incident. All the three friends were busy in their routines. One day Frederick’s boss called him in his cabin to inform that he would have to go to Chicago the following week. When Frederick pointed out that his Chicago visit was due the following month, the boss informed him that the group company had won a large order from a major customer to be executed from various locations of the company across the globe; Frederick had to go to Chicago to attend a meeting organized by the group company to understand plan for the same.
The next week, Frederick went to Chicago and attended the meeting with management of group company at its headquarters. After the meeting got over, the group manager Nick said, “Alright guys, so we have won the customer and a big order. We are celebrating this a big way tonight. Let’s all meet at the party. And yes, we have also invited our customer at the party.”
It was a wonderful party at a five star hotel in Chicago. The order secured by Frederick’s group company was so significant that a couple of directors on the board of the company also attended the party. Even from the cutomer’s side, their Managing Director who was personally involved in negotiating the deal with Frederick’s group company was invited.
Cocktail counter was elegantly decorated with various drinks of various brands; all the attendees were relishing the cocktails; starters were ready and people were enjoying those too. Preparations were on to keep the main course ready which included cuisines across various continents. A high level team of the hotel management led by their President was overseeing the ongoing party.
Frederick liked the hotel very much due to its elegant appearance, rich ambiance and delicious food. He also had an occasion to chat with President of the hotel. Though he already knew that the hotel was one in the chain of five star hotels across USA, he came to know that they were in process of expanding the chain in Europe and some of Asian countries as well.
The party was going on in informal atmosphere and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Suddenly, someone entered the party hall and the hotel staff became extra alert and cautious and started attending the guests more hospitably. Marketing Director of the hotel had come there to ensure that everything was going smoothly by mingling with the guests and asking if they were enjoying the party or needed anything.
After some time, the atmosphere became normal again as the hotel staff got used to the Marketing Director’s presence. As Frederick had befriended with President of the hotel, he came to Frederick and said, “Frederick, can you please come with me, I will introduce you to our Marketing Director Jessica Johnson.” “Sure.” Frederick went with him. As the President called his Director, she turned her face towards Frederick. Frederick was shocked to see her. Never had he thought that an illiterate uncouth Lilly of Downham will stand before him after a couple of months as a rich and modern Director of a large chain of hotels in USA. He could not utter anything for a few moments due to the shock and just kept staring at her. “I think … we have…, I… I’m not sure…” said Frederick. “Please enjoy the party Gentleman. Keep my card with you. I can see, you want to discuss something. Can we meet tomorrow morning at 10:30 in my office unless you have anything else scheduled that time?” “Surely, I will make it.” “Excellent! My office is on seventh floor of the same building.”
Frederick was blown away after meeting Jessica and could not sleep the whole night. Next morning he reached Jessica’s office at the given time. “Ma’am, can I ask you a question if you don’t mind?” “What do you want to ask Frederick; how me, a Director of a large chain of hotels happened to go to such a small village as Downham in England; or why I didn’t admit you to a hospital when you were injured; is this what you want to ask?” “Alright; this means Lilly and Jessica is one and the same person. Now that you already know my questions, I would like to have them answered as well.”
“We are based out of New York and I certainly know what U-S-A is. It was for your company's high profile party last night that I personally traveled to Chicago to ensure everything happens as planned. We have bought a mansion in Clitheroe town in England as our personal vacation home. Our caretaker is a native of Downham village. She is the one to attend our family members at our vacation home.
“Apart from running our business, I am also involved in humanitarian activities which include staying among grass-root level people to understand their problems. We decide course of our philanthropic activities based on our study. As a part of this, I stayed in the Downham village a couple of times as the caretaker’s niece while she was at our mansion. I don’t like to disclose my identity before villagers. They know me as Lilly. It was with this reason last time when you happened to meet me accidentally.
“As about admitting you to a hospital, the doctor who checked you, is an expert doctor from London and he clearly said there was no need to admit you to a hospital.”
Frederick was speechless for some time. When he came back to his senses he said, “My respect for you has multiplied after listening to this. You’ve made me feel much smaller and selfish, Ma’am.” “Call me with my name, Frederick.” “Alright Jessica, but how about the local dialect and food cooked by you?” “I picked up the dialect from our caretaker who also taught me to cook a few dishes.”
Jessica continued, "Frederick, I've answered so many of your questions; just answer my one question, did you ever love me?” “I thank you for asking me this question, Jessica; but I’m no match for you. Not just financially, but I am also inferior as a human being, from the way I left you in Downham permanently…” “Fine, so you realized your guilt.” Jessica said. Frederick turned back to return from there.
“Frederick, just a minute, please come here,” Jessica said. Frederick turned back again. “Please take with you these ten thousand pounds you had given to Lilly. She doesn’t need them, she is affluent enough.” “Why Jessica; why are you beating the already dead man? Oh Lilly! I’m sorry my love; I hurt you, I put a price tag on your love,” Frederick could not control his tears. Jessica got up from her seat and patted him gently. Slowly, Frederick recovered himself and said, ““I’m sorry; I lost my balance and couldn’t hold my tears.” “That’s alright Frederick; all I wanted to do is make you realize about your own feelings for me. So, you love me, don’t you?” “I love the Lilly I met in Downham and you have left me nowhere to deny this, Jessica.” “But Frederick, Lilly is a fiction, Jessica is a reality.” “Maybe, but I believed in what I saw and experienced myself. Lilly was loving and approachable; Jessica is a rich and modern girl, but beyond my reach. I have to maintain a distance from her.”
“Wrong, Frederick! When you were lying unconscious in your car, it was Jessica who felt for you and brought you inside the caretaker’s home; it was Jessica in Lilly’s disguise, who applied lotion on your wounds; when you kissed me the first time, it was Jessica who felt delighted; when you wanted to go abruptly to your friends that evening, tears rolled down from Jessica’s eyes; it was Jessica and not Lilly, who loved you and longed to unite with you that night and when you priced my love for you at ten thousand pounds, it was Jessica who felt deeply hurt.”
This created an impact on Frederick. He said, “Jessica, I’m sorry to have hurt you; you’ve opened my eyes. I was committing a mistake of looking only at outwardly appearances and ignoring inner feelings. You are not only rich and modern, but also a great lady. I am proud that I love you from the bottom of my heart. But I have offended you; you can reject me and I will happily accept your decision.”
“You are too credulous, Frederick. What if I tell you that you are in Chicago today because of me?” "What do you mean?" "Frederick, I was in love with you the moment I saw you lying unconscious in your car. Otherwise why should I nurse you myself when I could have arranged a professional nurse from anywhere? Why shouldn't I let you talk to your friends for almost twenty four hours? This was to get as closer to you as possible." "But what do these things have to do with my present Chicago tour?"
"Let me make it clear. I couldn't have expected you to accept me in Lilly's form as your life partner, given the kind of a character she was. After you left me, I got contact details of your friends from the Clitheroe hospital and from them, details of your company." "Is this true? But my friends never told me about this." "They would never have come to know; this was done most informally by my men after befriending your friends. Then our company contacted your headquarters in Chicago and got to know about an event being planned for winning a new order. I wanted to know who from UK would attend the party; but we were denied this information by your company. So, I decided to sponsor you for yesterday's party organised by your company to which, your company agreed. Your company's party is just an excuse. I wanted you to know who I really am, that's how you are here before me. I'm madly in love with you, Frederick and you know, I don't give up what I want so easily. Let’s get married as soon as possible.”
Frederick was stunned. He said, “Jessica, you are giving me one shock after the other. Before I surrender myself to your love, I want just one assurance - you will not tell me any more lies and be truthful to me." "I'm sorry, Frederick for all the lies I told in Lilly's disguise. I assure, I will always be truthful to you." Jessica pulled him in her arms and kissed fervently.
"Jessica, I want you to fulfil my one wish.” “Tell me Frederick.” “I wish that our wedding should be solemnized in Clitheroe town and our first night should be in your caretaker’s house in Downham and you should come in Lilly’s appearance. I want to live those moments again.” “Oh Frederick, what a childlike demand,” Jessica started laughing and said, “But fine, let’s relive those moments.”
To marry Jessica, Frederick shifted his base from London to New York, where her company was headquartered while his parents happily continued to stay in London. As Frederick’s company didn't have any establishment in New York, he left the job and joined Jessica’s chain of hotels as Operations Director. Frederick and Jessica are married for quite some years now and are staying happily together.
Author Notes: If anyone feels I have done injustice with any character in the story, please get back to me. I will clarify my position.