Entry Forty One

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It is with a weak hand and a weary head that I write this entry.

* * *

The most difficult part of attending any Ball, aside from finding the perfect date, is finding the perfect dress.

On the day of the Ball, time had completely gotten away from me. I spent the afternoon on my hair and makeup and suddenly the Ball was less than an hour away and I found myself with absolutely nothing to wear. I have been blessed to wear many a beautiful ball gown in my time, but none would ever compare to the one I remember from when I was a little girl.

I recall when I was in town with my mother and my sisters for high tea. During our walk we passed a dress shop and when I looked through the window I remember stopping completely still - I was in awe.

The ball gown was the thing of fairytales - simply breathtaking. It was a golden-yellow gown with lace trimmings. Every layer of fabric was sewn together in a way that it cascaded from the bust down to the floor. I had never seen anything like it then and still to this day I have never seen a gown so beautiful.

Of course, I was too young for the dress. Once I was old enough to attend Balls, I asked our dressmaker for a similar gown, which was immediately vetoed by my sisters, who so helpfully informed me that "Yellow did not suit my complexion." So the gown of my dreams would remain just that.

I told Geroux that story once, over one of the many dinners shared, where nothing extraordinary took place. My father told me that I tend to prattle on, once I "got started" and so I assumed that Geroux was doing me the decency of politely listening when I rambled about dresses and my family.

So you could imagine my surprise, with the Ball less than an hour away, to turn around and find the golden-yellow ball gown, exactly as I remembered, displayed on a tailor's mannequin. I may have shed a tear or two.

I still did not understand how things seem to just appear around this place, but I had become accustomed to the oddness of it all.

Eagerly I removed my day clothes and plucked the dress from the mannequin and moved in front of the mirror. As I stepped into the gown I had the horrid realisation that it was about four sizes too large. How on earth did Geroux or whomever made this dress appear out of thin air, get it so wrong?

As I looked at the dress in the mirror, I knew it would take at least an hour of maids pinning this into place, let alone sewing it smaller. Not a moment later the dress suddenly began moving, covering my body and shrinking to fit. The excess material simply ceased to exist. I could feel the laces in the back of the corset weaving themselves up to the top of the gown before tying themselves in a bow.

When I looked back to the mirror, I saw that the saggy and ill-fitting dress had contoured perfectly to my figure.

In addition to the dress, one element that was not included in the window display all those years ago, was an exquisite jewelled brooch, inlaid with canary yellow diamonds, now pinned to the dress, between my breasts. C'est magnifique!

It was almost time to leave, so I quickly slipped my hands into my arm-length white gloves and took one last look in the mirror.

I did not need anyone to tell me that I had never looked so beautiful.

* * *

As I made my way through the halls to the front door, where I was meeting Geroux, I could not help but feel butterflies. Leading up to the Ball, there was a part of me that wanted to be rather petty and "show" everyone else that I had moved on... but that pettiness had vanished. Now, more than anything I just wanted to attend the Ball with Geroux.

In fact I was quite excited.

When I rounded the hall corner and approached the enormous front door I saw Geroux's figure standing there. His blonde hair shone in the darkness, his eyes illuminated golden with the silver beam of the moon.

He was finishing a swig of drink from a tiny bottle - dutch courage, no doubt - and quickly tucked it back into the inner pocket of his coat. That unnerved me somewhat, but I felt then was not the time to bring it up.

The coat. It would be remiss of me to not detail the coat. It was a royal blue, with yellow-gold trim that looked like icing-piped swirls covering every hem. The double-breasted front had ivory buttons in two parallel columns. It must have taken at least eight handmaids to stitch this together.

My corsage complimented his boutonnière and all at once I felt chills cover my entire body.

"You look like a princess," said Geroux in that melting tone of his.

"You look rather princely, yourself," I replied.

Geroux offered his arm. I slipped my glove under his arm, coming to gently hold his inner elbow. So manly, so strong.

As we went to walk outside, Geroux hesitated. Under the beautifully moonlit night, he cautiously moved his hand outside the door, as if he were testing the temperature or something. His face rigid, he turned his hand over, facing the sky.

Then all of a sudden, he smiled, satisfied and turned to me.

"Our carriage awaits," he said, as his lips curled into a curious smile.

* * *

The teapot has just now poured me a cup of tea into the chipped teacup as a way to say "It's time for a break from writing." Apparently, I am looking rather pallid...


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