Word Count: 2459
Sunday 19th January 1851
The carved wooden door stood open and light and gay music seeped out into the crisp evening air as I was assisted out of the carriage, following Esther and my mother. Women in large ballgowns and fancy wigs tottered inside.
Mother lead us away, a crimson fan in her hand, that matched the dress and hair slides she wore.
Inside, noise seemed to come from everywhere. There was loud music, chinking glasses and excited chatter everywhere. I must say that had Esther and I been alone we would have been at a complete loss as to what to do or say. Luckily we had Mother to guide us, immediately leading us over to a young man of about nineteen years and introduced us.
" Have you a partner tonight Mr Brockwood?"
"No, I'm sorry to say I haven't."
I looked up and saw his blue eyes and pink lips, curved into a slightly embarrassed smile. I saw Esther shyly smile back, behind her eyelashes.
She really knows how to get the handsome young boys. I thought. I shall have to get some tips from her, step up my game a bit.
Within five minutes Samuel Brockwood was leading her onto the dancefloor at the start of a lively jig.
Mother introduced me to some of her friends, and as I stood there pretending to listen to her chatter, I looked around, taking everything in. It was a large ballroom with marble floor. The music was coming from a band at the top of the room, all of them wearing very smart, black suits.
Most of the woman looked the same, some had very low cut dresses and their ankles showing. I saw Esther, across the room, laughing at something he'd said and tiddling her hair around her finger.
The curtains here thick and dark blue, drawn aside to let in the moonlight, not that it was needed with the large chandeliers that hung from the ceiling. Along one side of the room was a long table with bowls of drinks of various kinds,smaller bowls or fruit and canapes and other things of the sort.
There was everything, jsut crowding into my view, but only one thing caught my eyes; a young girl with dark red hair standing alone in across from me, a cup of blood red wine in her hand. Her hair wasn't pinned back, so it fell in neat, natural ringlets about her pale face. She wore a dark green dress, that glittered in the candlelight. She couldn't have been much older than me. What really struck me was that she was alone. She was at a loud noisy party and she was completely alone, and it didn't seem to bother her. She just stood there, lost in her own thoughts.
".. Aren't we Elizabeth?" Mother's voice broke my thoughts.
"I was just saying about how we are anticipating the opening of the Great Exhibition. I must say it's wuite exciting, don't you agree?"
"Uh.. Yes Mother."
"Anyway, I've just spotted somone I must talk to, nice chatting Mya, my dear!"
And Mother started off across the room with me in tow, towards a dark man, deep in conversation with someone.
"Mr Townsend, good to see you. May I inroduce my daughter, Elizabeth." She ignored the other man.
"You may, Madame." He was obviously irratated at being disturbed while in the middle of something so important.
He took my hand and kissed and I must say I did blush a little. But kiss my hand was all he did, for he then shook his head and went back to his conversation. Mother turned and stalked away, and again, I had no choice but to follow.