I tried to forget about Lazarus after that, but four years on (making me sixteen) I still remembered him. How stupid. You join me again at my coming of age ceremony. My father has tried for years to get me to find someone I’d be willing to marry, but to no avail. So here I was, sat at the edge of my own party as they danced away.
My father came and told me to talk to the guests, it was only polite. He was right, so I did. Unfortunately I hate most of the people here. I looked around for a while, rising and walking in a random direction, my father (being the idiot he was) pushed me away and I found myself walking to Master Emerson. I guess I couldn’t say I hated him because I didn’t really know him. I sighed, straightened myself and smiled, curtseying to him. “Master Emerson, welcome,” I smiled, though I knew it was tired. I had worn it for too long, too many times. It had begun to lose its charm.
"Miss Rose," he nodded with a smile to match.
"Umm..." I stammered, "I'm sorry, I'm terribly bad at this sort of thing," I chuckled embarrassingly, I really had no idea how to continue a conversation, never really had to. It comes so easily with others, but between rich people I found it incredibly hard. You didn’t know who you could relax with and who would slap you round the head for mentioning something inappropriate.
"It's perfectly fine,” he sighed, he seemed so terribly bored.
"May I ask, why ever did you come to this dance?"
"Why do you ask?"
"Pure curiosity, that and it's terribly boring."
"Ah," he smiled again, though this time it seemed a little more genuine, "politics. My parents believe I have been alone too long."
"Well that is embarrassing," I mumbled, feeling my cheeks flame to the same colour as my ruby dress. "But, surely you believe in love sir." I winced slightly, expecting him to hit me for the idea, I was still wondering what kind of a guy he was.
"I didn't mean to offend, Miss Rose. I probably would have come regardless of the pressure from my parents," he shook his head, waving his hand dismissively, "regardless, I do believe in love, yes." Not that bad it seems. I like him.
"You didn't offend me at all, sir. Plus, you need not lie. Even I would not come if I had the choice."
He laughed softly, "Parents are a pain, aren't they?"
"You have no idea master Emerson," I mumbled with a slight growl.
"I am twenty six in three weeks, yet my parents do not believe I am capable of looking after myself, simply because I do not have a wife, yet." His parents still did not beat mine in evilness and I’m only talking about my father.
"My father is beating the idea of marriage into my head," no, literally, "but luckily my mother's holding him back so I can find love."
"I wish you the best of luck on your search for love," his smile reappeared, "love appears when you least expect it, I can tell you that much."
"I wish I could believe you..." I paused, looking to the floor for a while to gather a little courage and to build my hope that he wouldn't hit me. "May I call you Gabriel?"
"If you wish," he shrugged.
"Oh thank you." I breathed a sigh of relief, "I'm sixteen, forget my titles and using sir and madam... I'm useless in public situations; I'm never going to find anyone." I shook my head. "Sorry, these aren't your troubles, ignore me."
"I don't mind. I'm sure you'll find someone."
"I beg to differ, sir." I don’t know why I asked if I could call him Gabriel, I had gotten used to calling him ‘sir’ by now.
"Beg all you like, but hear this; if I can find love, so can you,” he does not see how different we are, does he?
"Heh, but you are practically perfect in every way Gabriel. You are as your name depicts."
"I beg to differ," he smirked.
I shook my head and laughed. "Beg all you like," I retorted.
"I found love in completely the wrong place..." he sighed, "listen to me, harping on like a house maid," he shook his head, smiling wryly.
"No, continue, you actually seem to making something of my party," that and our house maids are rather interesting to listen to. When you hate your father and sisters their hidden tales are rather amusing.
"This is hardly the place to talk about it. I apologise,” how interesting, I do believe I have stumbled upon a secret.
"Then may we continue this conversation another place?" I asked in the kindest voice possible, but it came naturally anyway.
"I was once told that curiosity killed the cat," he muttered under his breath, "why so curious, Miss Rose?"
"And satisfaction brought it back,” I retorted, "why so secretive master Emerson?" If it was one thing I was known for it was my quick wit and my sharp tongue often got me into trouble.
"Because love doesn't always conform to expectations," he scowled.
"I assure you I am not here to pass judgement, never was. But your trust is yours to place."
"Forgive me for being so cautious, Miss Rose," eugh, I hate that title. I mean, it ties me to my father and my sisters and sometimes I wish I was adopted. So place me in the stocks, it’s true.
“You need not ask forgiveness from me and please, call me Melissa,” I smiled warmly, finding it becoming more genuine this time.
"Of course, Melissa."
My smile grew and I just caught my father looking at me in my peripheral making me stutter again. "Umm, care to dance? My father's looking." He nodded, taking my hand. I let him lead as I was hopeless at dancing with a partner and found myself looking at the ground a lot. I realise this is my first dance, nothing special about that right?