The InvitationGood Day Madam or Sir,
In two days time, a massive ball will be held for all in the town of Wilksin. It is a Meet and Greet ball so come in your best attire! Please, attend with your entire family as this is a classic ball and another letter will be sent out describing the full details.
Have a good one!
- Sir Wilksin
--- So read the invitation posted in my doorway. I nearly squealed at the sight of it and was very glad to be having something uplifting occurring at the time of moderate depression. I let out my breath even though I didn't know I was holding it. Two days! That was such little time! What would I wear? I ran to my wardrobe and threw it open. My sister had taken many things but she had left me with a few of her dresses. I found the white one which I had always envied her for but I looked at the blue ribbon. A pang of sadness went through me as I looked at the dress. I sniffed back the tears and pulled out the blue ribbon. Even if this was her dress I wanted to make it mine. But now I needed a ribbon. I searched through the box of colorful ribbons but all reminded me of my sister. I needed a new one and that was the only thing that could happen. Quickly, I put on my bonnet and got my purse ready. I ran out of my empty house and onto the rather calm yet still lively streets of Wilksin.
I came to the familiar ribbon shop where Lisa had often brought me to buy pretty things. I entered and started to search through the various decorations. " Hello, miss! What can I help you with? We have a fine selection for you to choose from. Anything special?" A woman with curly brown hair approached me with a warm smile.
"Oh, hello. I was searching for some ribbon for the ball in two days. Do you have any suggestions?" I asked with a smile.
"What did you have in mind? We have a fine lilac satin that will compliment your hair or a fine spring green silk for the gayest of occasions." She said perkily.
"Well, that lilac sounded darling as it would compliment my grey eyes. I would be ever so happy if I could see that, madam." I said thinking of my dress.
"If you don't mind me saying, miss, you're the loveliest lady I've ever seen. If I were half as beautiful as you... goodness! I've said far too much. What shall I fetch for you?" She said while nervously wringing her hands.
"My, ma'am, you flatter me so." I blushed a rosy red." I appreciate your words but do not speak so harshly upon yourself! Surely, you are not ignored by men and envied by many women. And, again, the lilac satin sounded perfect."
"Yes, miss." she nodded her head respectfully and cowered slightly. "How many yards?"
"Oh, I guess I have come unprepared... See, It is going to be a sash around my waist but I do not know the size of my waist or the amount of surplus fabric needed. Would you mind helping?" I said feeling embarrassed.
"Yes, miss." She quickly and expertly made a measure. After she finished, she said, "An even meter of ribbon shall fit your delicate frame with enough for a large bow and tail, which is most fashionable. You shall be the loveliest lady there."
"Madam, I must ask, will you be attending the ball? I would definitely love to talk with you further. You seem like such a kind and loving lady. In fact, if I do not go to far to say, if you are looking for a man to wed, I have two brothers who I think would be very fond of you." I said while handing over 30 pence to pay for the ribbon and tip her on her excellent service.
"What a shame, I would've liked you to be a part of my family. And know, lady, I am not of noble blood. Even if I was, I would not prejudice myself from you because of such egotistic class lines. Also, this is a party unlike others and I do hope, and would stoop to begging, that you would attend. If at all possible, I would like to meet this angel of a man who has't taken you so happily." I handed 4 pence more back to make it an even 20. "I refuse to give you less. Madam, I do sincerely promise to come to your store every day as of the chance to speak to someone worth talking to. I wish you the best of luck and I dream of you at the ball."
She gave a tentative smile and spoke slowly, "I called you noble, not only because of your stature, but I noticed that you did not look down your nose at me. You have a good heart. I would not wish to displease you, but not even the strength of God could give me courage to go to such an event.. or to speak to the man I love. I am sorry, but I haven't the strength." She sighed and her eyes began to water.
I frowned but and idea brought a smile back to my face. "Then would you at least join me for dinner tonight? None of my family is here, as they are all in London for my sister's wedding, and I am not one for being alone. You must tell me more of your secret Romeo and *takes in a breath* I would like a friend and you seem a perfect candidate."
"Is it improper?" She gave a reluctant smile then slowly said, " I do believe I have refused you far too much today. Who am I do defy a lady of such grace and class? I accept your kind offer."
"Oh, excellent!" I said clapping my hands together. "At 7, as usual." I looked to my watch and gasped as I read 6:43. "Oh my! That happens to be in 15 minutes! So sorry but it will not be anything fancy just basics. Oh, I wish I could have given you the royal feast you deserve but I will only be able to provide you with hors-d'oeuvres. I must make hence or we will not be eating anything! I will see you very, very soon, fair lady!" I started to leave but realized, "So, sorry, I am all too flustered; my name is Clarissa Grace."
She smiled happily and said "My name is Henrietta." I smiled thankfully and waved goodbye as I ran off to prepare the house.