I’m alone at home dressing for the play the next day when I hear a knock the front door.
It’s Father. “I hadn’t expected you back so early,” I stammer, surreptitiously glancing towards the clock. Philip Hamilton should be arriving very soon.
Father’s face is exceptionally haggard. He has been this way ever since Mother died, but today the creases in his face are deeper.
“Theo, someone told me he saw you George Eacker yesterday,” he says. “What am I supposed to make of that?”
What on earth—I had thought the meeting was private! How could anyone have seen me with Eacker? Despite my shock I smile briefly in remembrance of the successful peacemaking. Father seizes upon it.
“Don’t tell me you’re seeing him,” he warns. “How long has this been going on? I’ll not have it.”
“Oh, Father,” I say as lightly as possible, “it was nothing important. I’m sure whatever you heard was blown up by exaggerations.”
He frowns, unconvinced. Again I glance towards the clock. It’s five till six. If I can leave the house now I might be able to intercept Hamilton before he comes to the door. If Father sees him he might just blow up, especially right after hearing about me and George Eacker.
Just as I think this I see Father’s eye glance down at my dress. He frowns again. “Going out?”
“To see a play,” I say, taking a step towards the door.
Suddenly Father’s face brightens. “I’ll go with you,” he says. “I need some relaxation after all the drama at work.”
In spite of myself I feel my face flush. “Oh…Father, I would love to go with you, but I—I can’t, not today…I’m…I’m going with someone…” I trail off, helpless to avoid the arriving explosion.
It deeply saddens me to see the short-lived joy disappear off his face as quickly as it appeared. “Who’s going with you?” he says.
I murmur, “Philip Hamilton.”
He flares red to his ears. “Theodosia!”
“And I thought George Eacker was bad,” he says, almost to himself. “What will people say? Of all people you go see a play with the son of Alexander Hamilton? Don’t you know how he has disgraced himself? I have the Reynolds pamphlet right here somewhere, Theo, would you like to read it? Maybe then you’ll think twice about seeing his son.”
“Father, it’s just a play! And why should a son have to suffer the disgrace of his father?”
“Forget it, Theo. You won’t understand these political matters. I forbid you to go out tonight—”
Three knocks sound on the door, and I catch my breath. With a furtive look back at Father, I reach for the doorknob and open the door.
“Oh,” says Philip Hamilton, as he meets Father’s stony gaze. I take a breath to speak, but the silence between is an eternity.
“Father, this is Mr Philip Hamilton.” I keep my voice as calm and steady as possible. “Mr Hamilton, my father, Senator Aaron Burr.”
Mother would be proud.
I’m impressed at how quickly the young Hamilton recovers from his surprise. He proffers his hand to Father, as he does so cordially saying, “Mr Burr, sir.”
Almost grudgingly Father takes his hand.
“Sir,” says Hamilton, “I’ll have your daughter back before nine.”
I watch him with bated breath.
At last he grunts, but it is at least assent. Elated, I grasp his hands and beam at him. “Thank you, Father!” In a way I have the psychological advantage: I figured out long ago that when I smile a certain way I remind him of Mother.
I may have chosen a wrong moment: a tear appears in Father’s eye and he turns away, clearly embarrassed in front of the both of us. Realising the gravity of the situation I turn to Hamilton and whisper, “Shall we?”
He nods, and we exit the house. But as I shut the door behind me I see Father sink wearily into his armchair, head in his hands as if it hurts. For a moment I remain staring listlessly at the closed door.
“Miss Burr,” says Philip Hamilton, softly.
I snap out of my reverie and look distractedly into his face. Again I’m struck by the vividness of his expression. “I’m sorry,” I whisper. “My father…”
“I understand.” He offers me his arm; I take it and for a moment we walk in silence.
Today’s selection is a bit short because if I added the next bit it’d be abnormally long. I guess you people will just have to wait for next week. I wanted to delve into the relationship between Burr and Theodosia, so here’s my take. There’ll be more OTP moments in the next one, all you fangirls/boys.