~ Chapter One ~
“Rosie, you are never going to find a suitable man if you don’t smile. Would so much as smiling kill you?”
“Mother, I am quite fine. I do not need a man in my life. I am perfectly happy on my own.”
“You certainly don’t look very happy!” snorted the busty blonde woman who was Rosie’s mother. “I worry for you darling. You’re twenty three. Twenty three! If you leave it much longer, all the good men will be gone!”
Rosie shook her golden head and rolled her pale blue eyes. “You’re being dramatic. You were always telling me that there were plenty of fish in the sea-”
“When you were seventeen! That was six years ago. The fishers are fishing, Rosie. You are twenty three now-”
“Yes, yes, twenty three, I know.” Rosie breathed under her breath.
“Rosie. Good men are a hunted species, especially at your age. The sea is running out of fish for you to catch…” Rosie’s mother paused, a concerned expression printed on her heavily made up face. “I just worry for you. I don’t want to see you live your life alone and unhappy. I want you to meet a man that will make you smile; someone that you can cherish your life with every hour of the day, someone who will give you children, and will give me grandchildren. Your own family.”
Rosie did not reply. She shared her mother’s concern and fears about her own future. Rosie did want a family. One day. She didn’t feel ready for it yet. She felt pressured from her mother to rise to her expectations. She wanted to scream. She wanted to flip the table. Instead, she remained silent and said nothing.
Her mother bunched up her golden gown in her satin gloved hands and walked over to where Rosie sat. “Think about it, darling. There’s going to be plenty of men- eligible single suitable men- downstairs this evening… Would it hurt you to look? If you don’t look, then you’ll never find him.” Her mother kissed her forehead. “I love you Rosie.”
“I love you too, Mother.” Rosie replied.
Their pale eyes locked and they smiled at each other sadly. They only had each other left. Her mother grabbed her hand and squeezed it softly before leaving the room and gently closing the door.
Rosie sat in front of her large vanity table and stared at her reflection in the mirror. Her red fitted satin dress was tailor-made for her. Similarly, her mother’s dress was also tailored for her; both being made from her father’s remaining inheritance. Rosie’s dad had passed away in the First World War leaving only herself, an only child, and her mother. It had been hard on the both of them and Rosie knew that tonight she wouldn’t be the only one of the two of them to be looking for a suitor.
Rosie sighed, readjusted her pearls around her neck and pushed a fallen strand of golden hair behind her ear. She checked her make-up, stood up, and patted down her dress. After a final inspection, she left the room to join the gathering downstairs.