Although it is bad, it is far worse if one doesn’t have nerves of steel
I awoke in my own bedroom.
The familiar light chiffon canopy was blurry. I could not tell what time it was, but it looked like I woke up at my usual time. I slept well and I feel refreshed.
‘Marie, are you there?’ I called out as I rose out of bed. I got a quick response,‘Milady…’
Marie appeared, pulling back the canopy. She looked gloomy, her voice was sad. This was very out of character. She looked like someone had died.
‘What happened? Did something happen?’ I asked.
‘….Are you alright?’ she asked holding my hands she fell to her knees before the bed. Her hands were cold and trembling.I took a deep breath and asked her what was wrong. Marie’s lips trembled and her eyes filled with tears.
On no! Something terrible must have happened. Had father…had father died?!
How come? Before I left for the ball, he had had been full of energy. The end of all existence was darkness. Well, there would be a plethora of things to do; it was a good thing that the engagement was now broken.
‘For such a terrible thing to happen to young Miss. Being made a spectacle of: Your engagement being broken in front of so many people, so callously. And then after…such a thing you…you were attacked.’
I guess I was really pitiful for large tears fell from Marie’s eyes, dropping with a pitter-patter on the sheets. She looked rather adorable.
Then I remembered something. Panic set in.But I was able to overcome it and I restarted slowly.
‘Why do you think so, Marie?’ I asked her slowly so she would calm down. But I already know the answer.
‘Because…because, my lady, your knickers were not there!’
I ran into General Brennan and pretended to faint when my knickers were seen on the floor. But now I was in my nightdress, so Marie must have changed my clothes.…I wonder though. I suppose it was an assumption to make, even if one was a familiar husband, to see that under my skirts I had no knickers on. Well, it could not be helped. It did tear.
‘Well did you tell anyone?’
‘To the Master and the Mistress, and Mr Oliver,’ Mr Oliver was our butler.
This is why one shouldn’t show weakness at home.
A frown marred my brow as I went deep in thought. I murmured to myself as I sank back into bed. Ah it was too troublesome; I should just stay in bed for now.
My principle was to do today what can be done today, but this was also a huge conundrum. What to do? What to do?
I pulled the covers over my head.
‘Milady! Are you alright?’ Marie cried.It was unusual for Marie to be this distressed.
Well, I suppose I should at least explain to Marie what happened. Her distress was all a misunderstanding. I pushed my bedcovers away to find my parents and Oliver standing over me.
‘…and that is what happened.’
I concluded the recount of the evening. I was now washed and dressed in my day dress and brand new knickers, of course. This one seems very durable.
‘Well, after this I hope you will be discouraged from wearing your underwear till it is in tatters.’ My mother said.
My father gave a small smile.‘Are you sure you’re not disappointed you didn’t get to dance at the ball?’
Oh what is this? I felt a bit lighter and was laughing easily, but was this subtle lightness because I was no longer tied to that fellow? And because I didn’t have to dance? Eugene ended it before the dancing began.
Marie cried a lot, so much she had to regain her lost moisture so she went with Oliver to prepare tea.
‘We were so distracted by the missing underwear- what will we do about the broken engagement?’
It had been an arranged marriage, the break up had wiped out an opportunity to join our family with a Duke, I could not help but feel responsible and bemoan my charm as a woman.
If one listened to all that Society said, they would hear that our family bought our title with money.
In truth, my great-grandfather was a wealthy merchant, during a long war with one of our neighbouring countries; the country fell into financial ruin so my grandfather surrendered his wealth to help finance the army. Grandfather had been very rich, so the money had just been accumulating, he was able to help save the national budget, yo~
With his negotiating skills, he was able to assist in bringing about a cease fire with conditions favourable to the country and eventually, the war ended.
The King was deeply moved by my great-grandpa, so he awarded him the title of Viscount. This was met with repulsion from the aristocracy, and with that we come to the present day.My family was full of people who were talented in business and good at making money. We are so rich, the gold pretty much rots away for we are a family that like living simply and frugally.
However, this means the money keeps accumulating. It was undignified in High Society for a titled family to work for their money. Yet, excess was the very essence of nobility. And as the bride of a duke’s heir, I was only picked because I came with a hefty dowry, and they would be connected to a financial power. I had been made painfully aware of that during the bride selection tea party by the other bride candidates, ever-so politely of course. Yet, while there may have been gentlemen I admired, there hadn’t been anyone that I had particularly favoured, so I didn’t opposed the engagement. Yet for it to be broken now left me with a complex feeling. ‘For me to be engaged to a duke’s son and get discarded so publicly, I most certainly will not sell.’
At a ball, full of High Society, my engagement dissolved so flashily; my only recourse was to become a nun or be the second wife of a lecherous old man. I would have really liked to be married at least once and become erotic newlyweds with my husband. Oh no! Was that too obvious?
‘Well, we won’t marry you off by force; you can work like a horse for the family for the rest of your life. It would be more fun than walking behind some pompous Duke?’
‘Oh well, we have Ernest as an heir, so do not worry about it. If need be, we can just get you a stud and get you pregnant.’
Mother…Both of them treat me like a prized mare.
Ernest was my first cousin, a year older than me.
‘My lady!’ Marie rushed in and gave a shriek.
‘Ge-General Brennan wants to call upon you!’
What is this?!