I felt like the butterflies battering around in my stomach wanted to burst out. I was not even running this time, yet the corridors stilled seemed a blur. Ophelia, I thought with immeasurable happiness. She’s here!
The sound of Isabelle’s voice dragged me out from my joy filled daydreams and back to harsh reality.
“Lady Haynes,” I nodded towards her, trying to cover the disappointment in my voice. I longed to be with Ophelia again.
Isabelle noticed my lack of enthusiasm and grabbed hold of my arm to stop me from passing her.
“Jacque,” she said. I became aware that she believed we were on first name bases now. “Won’t you come take a stroll in the gardens with me?” Her grip on my forearm slid down until she was holding my hand.
“Not today, Miss Haynes.” I releases her hand and turned to walk away, but she spun me back around.
“Please Jacque,” she said leaning towards me. “Call me Isabelle.”
I smiled, ensuring it was not my usual amused smirk. This girl who I thought of yesterday as my equal and someone who could take Ophelia’s place was flirting with me. Flirting!
It was rather obvious Isabelle did not normally flirt with guys. I knew this because she was nervous and had not yet made physical contact with me – a vital step in alluring guys. She was keeping her distance and was worried about stepping into my personal space.
“Give it up, Isabelle,” I sighed. Her eyes flashed in hurt. “If you’re gunna flirt with a guy, well, you gotta be more confident.”
“I said if you are going to court a man, you have to be more confident.” What?! What did I just say before? Why did I sound so...So...I was confused beyond belief but Isabelle’s smile distracted me.
She was no longer afraid of getting into my personal space. Stepping closer to me, she shot me a challenging look. Bring it were the only words I could think of to describe it.
“So tell me, Jac.” She paused before carrying. “How does one...flirt?” I backed up until I was pressed against a wall but she still managed to push herself against me. When I did not response, she whispered “You’re not scared are you?” I gulped.
“Is...I don’t think...Well I don’t think we should be doing this. It’s not you, it’s me.”
A new memory formed in my brain, much like the one about the car accident.
I was sitting on a stack of benches...No, bleachers. It was empty except from one other girl who looked like an upset Margaret. She was sitting next to me wearing odd clothes that showed more of her than a corset did. It would have been unacceptable in a place like the Manor, but here it seemed completely normal.
“It’s not you, it’s me,” the words left my mouth and it made her cry even harder.
The memory ended.
Two things happened after that. The first thing was that Isabelle’s hands slid underneath my top. The second thing was that William Ashbrook appeared from around the corner.