Twisting and turning through the night my body burned through the sheets of a fever Mr. Howard could not ever cure again, I was faced with the end of it all. Sebastian Howard was never going to be mine and worst I was never going to be his, he would not look at me with love ever again. From this point and moving forward my heart should have understood the period at the end of this life sentence but it wanted to jump this rule and continue on writing.

"I have loved and I shall never love another..." I cried into my pillow, nothing comforted me, I walked around the room aimlessly, I read Dickens, remembered every moment, every kiss, then finally settled by the window humming a few tunes looking up at the sun coming up the people swarming the streets and my heart pumping with pain. "Never..." I sealed my fate and my heart; it was a conscious decision by the time Edna came in with a breakfast tray for me.

"Milady you are up," she said and I just nodded wanting to not give orders and just be but there was the order of the day ready for me, "there is an invitation for you,"

"Oh you may open it please," I said slowly moving away from the window thinking maybe it was something from Mr. Howard and if so I did not care if it was a secret anymore.

"It is in an invitation to the Duke's Masquerade Ball," Edna was excited for me but I had not been told of this Ball so I just put it aside assuming it was probably Lady Walker's doing.

"Milady?" Mrs. Trudor knocked on the door.

"Yes?"

"I have flowers for you," she walked in with a huge bouquet of flowers.

"Um thank you Mrs. Trudor, you may place them wherever you like please," I said and she brought over the card with a seal of a crest I had never seen before.

"Here it is milady," she handed me the envelope and went out.

"Mr. Henry has never sent you flowers before," Edna noticed right and when I opened it I was taken back by the forwardness of the man who had sent me these.

"No he has not and these are not from him," I handed her the card.

For the siren of music,

Sir Holloway.

"Sir Holloway?"

"I only met him but yesterday."

"And today he has already sent you flowers? How bold of him."

"Yes a little too bold," I smelled the flowers pitying them and decided to keep them.

"And will you go to the Ball?"

"No."

"Excuse me milady but there is a letter for you," Mrs. Trudor interrupted again giving me another letter to open.

"Will all of England deliver to you today?" Edna expressed herself lowly for Mrs. Trudor not to hear.

"Thank you Mrs. Trudor," I nodded letting her go before opening the letter with Edna and saw the seal was from Lady Walker telling me to do the opposite of what I had told Edna.

Lady Alice,

My son has received an invitation to the Ball, if by any chance you receive one call the seamstress and I shall help you pick an outfit. You must accompany him to this ball it is by far the most important event he has ever attended and in return I may grant what you wished sooner rather than later.

Lady Walker.

"Lady Walker?"

"Please call the seamstress; it seems my presence is of consequence at this ball."

"Yes milady, do you need anything else?" She thought me strange and I nodded sipping the tea smiling at her.

"No but you should probably get in the rhythm of how busy things will be once Mr. Henry and I are together, I shall be attending many functions, balls, teas around London society his family is well rounded."

"Yes, I shall be up to snuff I promise."

"I have no doubts; I just wished you to know before things changed."

"Thank you milady you are truly most kind."

"None of that, alright once you have made an appointment with the seamstress please send a letter to Lady Walker telling her when it will take place so she may be here to pick out the right dress for the occasion."

"Yes milady right away." Edna was always happy once I mentioned shopping since I never did unless I was particularly in need though I did not like how Sir Holloway was trying to crawl into my good graces.

Restlessly I put down the tea then remembered how awful I looked the last time I stopped eating and ate at least half of the breakfast though it felt like I had filled my body with but useless things that eased not an inch of my true emptiness.


















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Copyright: All Rights Reserved to A. Sena Gomes.

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