[A/N- Hi everyone! Thank you so much for reading this! I just wanted to say that I'm still a total newbie at the whole writing fiction thing, so please feel free to make any suggestions, including grammatical errors/typos, general advice, writing tips, and ideas for where the story should go! Oh, and BTW, I've been having a problem lately with sticking with first person and/or time as far as the POV goes, so if you notice that be sure to let me know! Thanks again! :)]
"Re-GIIIIIIII-na!" My mother called. Actually, it was less of a
call and more of a shriek.
"Re-GI-na!!!!!" My mother shrieked.
"Yes, mother?" I responded, trying to sound innocent, while wondering what I'd done wrong this time.
Just then my mother appeared in the doorway of my room.
"Regina! You must get ready at once! We haven't 5 and 20 minutes before we must leave for the Pembroke's manor!"
"Yes, Mother." I said without emotion. I was definitely not looking forward to spending tea with Mrs. Pembroke. All she was ever concerned about was the latest gossip- who wore what to the last ball, who danced with whom, so-and-so has worn the same dress to the last three balls, blah-blah-blah.
"SARAH!" My mother shrieked again. Sarah was one of the few maids we had tending the Banfield Estate.
"Yes m'lady?" Sarah responded hurriedly.
"Make sure Regina is dressed appropriately." I sighed quietly. I don't know why I can't dress myself. I am 16 and a half, after all. Why was I expected to go to boring social outings with only gossipy old women to keep me company but not allowed to dress myself?
Sarah walked over to my armoire and laid out three dresses for me to choose from. I chose one that was very light blue and otherwise relatively plain. Mother would probably not approve, but I didn't mind. Blue was my favorite color, and I liked the way the light blue brought out my gray eyes. My skin wasn't as dark as I would've liked it to be, but was much darker than Mother wanted it. I was normally very pale, but I tanned easily. Consequently Mother had forbidden me from gardening, riding, or even going outside at all without a huge sunhat she'd brought back from town for me. I really did hate the hat, it was forever cumbersome, but I love going outside more than I dislike that he. Since we live a five hour's drive away from the only shops Mother lets me go in, buying a new one was out of the question. So, I just suffer through it and try not to think about it. Sometimes I even sneak it off when it is really beautiful outside, but only for a few minutes so I can be sure Mother wouldn't notice.
Mother notices everything. It is as if she has spies in the trees surrounding my favorite meadow and my best friend's garden. Sometimes I think she really has.
There are only three girls in town that were of age: myself, Mary Claire Annesley, and Matilda Shrewsbury. Mary Claire was my best friend in the whole world. She was kind of old to be single still- nineteen- but I loved her anyway. She was the only person in the world I could talk to about some things, things not even my sister, who was 25 and married with two children, would understand. My sister, Lydia, has been married for too long now- she has forgotten what it is like to be single. Being single is like holding your breath whilst racing the other girls in town with the rest of the town watching your every stride, waiting- no, longing- for you to trip and fall so they will have something to talk about. I can't remember the last time I did something without thinking about the consequences of it, did something just because I'm young and it's fun. No, being young is much more of a burden than being old. When you're young, everyone wants you to mess up. Once you're old, no one cares about you anymore, which is just what I wanted.
"Miss Regina?" Sarah asked, snapping me out of my reverie. "Miss
Regina?" She repeated, slightly less patient.
"Hmm? What?" I asked, somewhat dazed.
"Do you like it, Miss Regina?"
"Do I like what?"
Sarah sighed. "Your hair, Miss Regina. Do you like how I did your hair?"
"Oh. Yes, of course. It looks great. Thank you Sarah."
"'Tis my pleasure, Miss Regina."
Sarah had put my hair up in a neat, tight bun on the back of my head. My hair was forever straight, so, as Mother forever reminded me, I couldn't do much with it other than that. Mother would often say things like "Oh Regina, how I wish you'd been born with curly hair like me, or even wavy hair like your sister's. Her hair always curled beautifully anyway, unlike yours."
It was true that my hair did not curl properly. I'd tried everything Sarah and I had thought of, and even some of Mother's ridiculous ideas, but nothing lasted for more than an hour, so I figured it wasn't worth it. Unfortunately, Mother would disagree, so Sarah and I kept that our secret.
I walked downstairs and into the carriage with the help of Billy, our "helping boy," as Mother liked to call him, even though he was older than me. Once I got in, I was subjected to the endless prattering of my mother. I nodded and said yes at the appropriate times, all the while wondering what boring gossip Mrs. Pembroke had for us today.