I'm not entirely sure where this will take me. This is my first attempt at NaNoWriMo. :)
“Julie,” a man’s voice yelled. “Julie?”
Julie rolled over to look at the clock. Ugh! Seven in the morning? Really?! She pulled the covers over her head.
She heard a knock on the door and knew she couldn’t ignore it any more.
“Yes?” She responded, rolling over so she could look at the door. She watched the doorknob slowly turn and the door swing open. She wondered why it was that her parents felt the need to wake her up so early. It’s not like she had to go anywhere. She could do her homeschooling work from the comfort of her bed.
“Just wanted to see if you were up.”
“Yes, dad. I’m up now. Thanks. Is there something you wanted?”
“We’ll make it to the port in a little bit. I think your mother would like some help with the decorations and set up for the party.” Dad said.
“Okay. Give me a few minutes to shower and get dressed,” Julie said. “Tell mom I’ll be down in a little bit.”
“Sure. I’ll see you downstairs.”
Her dad left, closing the door behind him. Gah! I really wish they weren’t morning people. I’m just not cut out for that lifestyle. She tossed the covers back and walked to her closet to start rummaging for something to wear.
Once she was showered and dressed, she headed upstairs to the main deck. Her home, at least when they were out of port, was a fairly large ship. Mostly it was made of wood, but parts of it, the decorations and such, were iron. Her room was on the bottom of the boat, partially because she liked how isolated it felt. Also, she didn’t like the constant reminder of being at sea. Eventually she’d gotten used to the rocking, but the small porthole windows that provided a view of the water line... that wasn’t okay.
She made her way up to the main deck, greeting the workers on the ship. She found her mother and father in the middle of a debate.
“She’s not too young. She’s the same age as I was.” she overheard her mother saying.
“Of course she is. She’s only 16. She should wait at least another year or so. No need to rush her.”
As they saw her approach, they stopped.
“Dad said you wanted me to help you today mom?” Julie said.
“Oh yes please. I’ve got all the decorations to prepare for the party, and we’ll need to find someone to write out the invitations and mail them out.”
“Just let me know what you’d like me to do.”
“Can you write out the invitations for me? I’ve got a list right here.” Her mother dug through a basket at her feet and dug out a small scroll of paper. “Everyone on this list should get an invitation. Thank you for helping, Jules.”
“No problem mom.” Julie took the scroll and turned to go back downstairs. She could do this from the desk in her bedroom where there was no distractions.
“Jules,” her mom called.
“Yes?” Julie said without turning around.
“If there’s anyone you’d like to invite, send them an invitation too. This should be your party too.”
“Yeah, sure.” Julie rolled her eyes and continued to the stairs. She didn’t have very many friends. Being away for months at a time made making friends difficult. She thought about the other people living in their small port of a town as she walked down stairs.
Her bedroom was small, but at least she didn’t have to share it with anyone like the crew. Her room barely fit her twin sized bed and her desk. She sat down and began to write. Her mother was thoughtful enough to include what she wanted the invitations to say. She dug out some paper and began to write.
Eric and Helen Castillo request your presence tonight at 8pm for a welcome home party. Dinner and refreshments will be served. Dress in your best.
It would be easier if she just posted a sign for everyone to come. Of course that would mean that everyone would come. She began to write. When she finished, she took the fairly large stack of invitations upstairs. She found a crew member to take the invitations and list of names.
“Please take these out as soon as you can. My mother and father would greatly appreciate it.”
“As you wish, miss.” The man bowed and ran off with the stack.
“Oh there you are Jules.” Her mother came up behind her. “I was wondering if I could have a word with you, dear.”
“Of course,” Julie said. She followed her mother to the master bedroom. The bedroom was much larger than hers. A queen sized bed, a desk and a couple of cushioned chairs decorated the room. Julie sat in one of the chairs. Her mother sat in the other.
“Julie, I know that you’re getting close to the marrying age. I thought we should have a conversation about it.”
“Really mom?! I don’t need this conversation.”
“Sure you do, honey. You’re 16 years old now. I was already married and had you by that age.”
“So you’re ready to get rid of me already huh?” Julie tried to fake a smile. “I know this already. What are you trying to say mom?”
“One of the other captains, Alan, has sent word to your father. He’d like you to be his wife. It’d be a great merger for our families. I’d like you to seriously consider his proposal.”
“I haven’t met him before. You expect me to marry a guy I haven’t met?”
“Honey, I don’t expect anything. He’ll be at the party tonight, so you’ll have a chance to meet him then. Just give him a chance. That’s all I’m asking.”
“Sure mom. I’ll give him a chance, but don’t expect anything.”
“Like I said, I”m not. I just thought this party would give you a chance to start looking and considering who you’d like to marry. Alan is just one possibility. That’s all.”
“Fine.” Julie stood up. “We done here?”
“Yes. Although...” Her mom paused and looked over her clothing.
“What? Just spit it out mom.”
“Are you going to wear that tonight?” Her mom pointed to her dress.
“And if I was?” Julie’s hands flew to her hips.
“Well, I just figured you’d make a better attempt to ... look nice.”
“Wow, Are you saying I don’t look nice? Thanks mom. I appreciate it.” Julie turned and left the room, slamming the door behind her. So that is what this party is for. It’s not because we’re going home. They’re trying to get rid of me to expand dad’s fleet. Fabulous.