“Oh, I don’t know. We can play Old Maid, as we used to when we were little girls. I don’t know about you, but I am quite looking forward to laying out in the sun. Doesn’t it ever stop raining in London?”
Isabelle sat down on the edge of my bed and crinkled her nose as she surveyed her arms. They were so white they looked as though they were made out of porcelain.
“Oh, coz, I don’t know about laying out in the sun. I go through so much trouble to keep my skin fair. You know how Mama gets if I so much as sprout one freckle on my nose.”
Isabelle’s mother, my aunt, Valentina, was a highly sensitive creature who believed a woman’s only role was to be a beautiful piece of property, maintained in perfect condition for her future owner – The Husband.
“Oh yes,” I began in a high-pitched voice, doing a fair imitation of my aunt. “We must keep ourselves pristine for The Husband.”
We both erupted in a gale of giggles.
Candace came back in with two valises, mine and Isabelle’s smart red valise. Hers was at least two sizes bigger than mine.
“Hush, girls. Lady Huxtable is coming this way and she is in a frightful mood.”
We both stopped laughing and Isabelle stood up and nervously straightened nonexistent wrinkles in her skirt.
“I was just with her and she seemed all right,” Isabelle said but before Candace could respond, my guardian swept into the room, her eyebrows perched high upon her forehead.
“Candace, I believe you’re needed in the foyer. Millie appears to have lost her broom and you know how that silly girl gets when she’s upset.”