My mother is gone quite a long time, seeing to the tea. I myself sit stiffly in the chair and listen. I do not have to speak much.
Benjamin, or Ben, as I was later asked to call him, is nice enough, but is so oily in his manner that I feel a need to bathe. He also compliments me about everything- My dark green arabesqued dress, matching my eyes, and my unusually coloured hair.
I shall admit, I am quite proud of my hair. It is the same colour as Father's and the only trait I have not inherited from my mother. And here she steps in, carrying a tea tray.
"Tea is served," she proclaims proudly.
"Thank you, Mistress Deramoore, but I'm afraid I must be going. I am sure my father will be in need of my assistance. A pleasure, I'm sure, Miss Chasity," he adds stiffly as an afterthought, with a nod to me.
"It was all mine," I say. The first words I have said within a tenth of an hour.
He leaves the parlour without further comment, and dimly I hear the front door slam. Quite an un-gentlemanly turn from an hour ago.
Sighing with relief, I rise. This one did not last nearly as long as the others- some have stayed for hours, vying for attention I had refused to give them. I was not trying to be impolite or rude, but the fact is I was, and still am, rather disinterested.
"Not quite that fast, Chasity," my mother hisses from the parlour entrance.
"Yes, mother?" I ask innocently. I know full well what's coming.
"I am displeased with the way you conducted yourself. Benjamin Wells was your last chance of any type of marriage. Even his father has only a courtesy title, and I shall die before you marry a village commoner," she straightens to her full height, three inches above mine. A cold fire is in her eyes.
"Disinterest," she spats. "You would be disinterested if the next King came calling."
"It is a disgrace for a lady as beautiful and well bred as you to die a spinster." With this she turns away, seemingly disgusted.
With one last sweeping glance of the room that stinks with failure, I ascend the staircase to my bedroom.