Winter Dreams, the alternate text, by F. Scott Fitzgerald Pt. 2

Winter Dreams, the alternate text, Pt. 2

by Asa Montreaux

Later that afternoon they set off on the single-lane road that ran along the lake, to the other cabins. Amory and Genevra sat in front and their boy, Archer, sat in the back silently. Amory had only had one drink before they left to make sure he was in the mood when they arrived. In his day it was normal to drink lots. People were unaware of the consequences of drinking alcohol, and did not temper their intake of it.

He drove a little slowly, conscientious of the precious cargo in the back. He cared about his son’s health, he was the link to the future. Other than his writing, his son would be the only thing to carry his legacy forward. Archer was very likeable, and he fit into the family plans nicely.

The road curved and curved around the lake. The car moved at a gentle pace of fifteen miles an hour, and they reached the other cabins in twenty minutes. 

Amory approached the cabins, driving past the nearest one, and parking his car directly in front of the middle cabin, where Richard and his family resided. 

He turned off the engine, and he and Genevra exited the vehicle. She helped the baby out of his seat belt, and then lifted him to the ground. They walked up to the porch where Richard had opened the door since their car arrived, and was already waiting.

‘Hello, Amory,’ he said, grinning warmly. ‘Hello, Genevra,’ he said.

‘Richard, the great doctor,’ Amory replied.

‘Perhaps,’ Richard replied. ‘And Amory, the great writer.

‘Most certainly, Richard,’ replied Amory. ‘Most certainly.’

Richard directed them inside, taking their coats himself, before passing them off to a house maid. He led them to the sitting room, where waiting for them, was his wife, Rosemary, and their daughter, Rosaline.

‘They’ve been waiting to see you all day, Amory,’ Richard said. 

‘We sort of have had,’ said Rosemary. She stood and greeted Amory and Genvera with two kisses on the cheeks each. 

Rosemary was incredibly beautiful woman, only twenty-two. Richard had courted her on the Riviera of France, falling in love with her youthful looks and good-heartedness. And upon returning to the mainland, had eventually looked her up while travelling to her city, and had then truly fallen in love.

Their daughter was three years old, and remarkably healthy looking. She seemed like she would grow to be just as beautiful a woman as her mother. 

The three of them sat down together, and the house maid led the two children off to the play area where there were some toys and puzzles for them to have fun with.

Richard had hardly looked old, though he was presently thirty-seven years old. His previous marriage had worn on him in the end, though past the extreme stress of it, he had had found new health and vitality. Out of the scorching sun of the Riviera, his skin regained a shinier, less wrinkled look, and the beaten, burned look of the sun disappeared. Though he had been drinking a lot with his mates on the Riviera, he had found a new sobriety back in America.

He reserved drinking only for very special occasions. He no longer drank at lunch in his garden, or had a nightly dinner party with his two fellow expat mates and their wives, or attended every party in town. He had found a new sobriety now in the quiet peace of the mid-west, of more isolated, and boring places. 

As he began chatting with Amory and Genevra, he wondered whether he would have a few drinks, or just one. He felt no need to match Amory, who he could tell had already had a drink before he came. It had occurred to Richard that it was obviously only for the purpose of loosening up slightly.

All the same, Amory was a remarkably intelligent and sophisticated young man. While you could tell when he was drunk, Amory still behaved in a very respectable manner.

‘And that was the thing about the ski-hill,’ Amory was saying. ‘Although you reached the bottom in one piece, there was no doubt about that, the moguls had absolutely tired you out by the end of it.’

Amory and Richard had been skiing together in the nearby mountains. It was a feat of athletic strength and endurance, though it was fun. Gaining speed as you went down the hills was perhaps just as fun for Richard and Amory as most other riders.

‘That you don’t get hurt, travelling down that hill at those speeds, Amory, is remarkable.’ 

‘Why thank you, Richard. But the fact is the way you ski makes you seem more of a young Hercules than an old man.’

‘Amory, I am hardly an old man. Though I know as well the feeling of being the center of attention. Popularity does tend to be something for younger folk.’

‘For an older gentleman, you are quite popular. Even off the Riviera, and in retirement from the party world. No one will ever do it quite like Dick Diver had.’

It was funny Richard thought, no one had called him that since he left France. This Amory had seemed to know more about things that most people. Richard figured he’d shrug it off. It was only a minor annoyance. 

‘Will you be returning to New York, Amory? Given the atmosphere with this economic depression, and what not.’

‘Well, eventually, Richard. To be honest I am supposed to be writing every day, but sometimes I have lost faith what I am writing is the next big thing. So I even begin a new story. One day, the economic conditions, and the conditions of my soul, will be right, for a return to New York.’

‘I honestly don’t want to go back yet. It’s always all the same people, and all the same restaurants.’

‘Yes, there are some arguments for us to return to New York at an even later date,’ Amory said.

‘I see. I’ll actually be moving along soon. My residency at the college is ending,’ Richard said. ‘My book is almost finished. I just finished the last essay. Now I am working on revisions.’

‘Well, we will miss you,’ Amory said. ‘That it is not the same here without you, is for sure a fact.’



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