Just Say Yes.
The first time I saw him I was in the arms of another man. I swept across the floor in a whirl of gold satin and lace. All eyes lingered on me, but not for the right reasons. My father was a man of importance you see, and this ball was yet another attempt to set me up with a rich respectable gentleman. I tried my hardest to disguise the vacant disinterested look that was probably clear on my face. The hall was full of talk and laughter, ladies in jewel encrusted gowns and wealthy well dressed men. It might be great fun for them but I could think of a thousand places I would rather be. One of them being the balcony outside my bedroom window, simply thinking and watching the sky and those below me. I bid a good night to the man who my father had ushered me to dance with- he was in his mid thirties, far too old for me. I wasn’t ready for marriage.
I reached for the mahogany banister ready to climb the grand marble staircase when I saw a young boy making his way through the crowd. He was also the most handsome boy I had ever set eyes on.
“Hello” he smiled charismatically. Was it me or was the room spinning?
“Would you care to dance?”
If only it could have lasted all night. I danced as I had never danced before, finally finding the fun in it. I felt younger than I ever had and laughed freely with every spin and every jump. My dance instructor always informed me to let the music move me, but it was him who moved me. His eyes were bright and smiling, more beautiful than the stars dotted across the velvet sky outside my bedroom window. We managed to escape the room and ran into the garden. We walked our hands entwined through the blooming flowers and towering trees that shaded us and hid us from watching eyes. I looked up at the sky and it confirmed that his eyes were indeed much brighter than those stars, which looked quite dim in comparison. I scanned his face wondering how mine looked, for I felt as I never had before. I’m fairly sure I’d fallen in love.
Father does not agree. His identity was revealed- Leon Jameson, son of a man who owned a rival business. We did not care for their words or their businesses. We were in love and felt nothing else but that love. We were content simply passing each other in town and sharing a glance or smile. My fathers hand firmly gripped my arm but I barely felt it, momentarily dazed by that one little gesture. I was tugged into the warmth of the bakers and was enveloped by the comforting smell of baking. His face was mere centimetres from mine and his scolding still rang in my ears hours later. I was not to speak to Leon, my love, my Romeo. This was not unexpected- we were prepared for this. We were to meet up in secret that night at our place.
There’s nothing better than his familiar scent or warmth, those arms that held me so gently, though there was no doubt that if it was possible he would not let go. His touch, his kiss was all that mattered. When I was with him I could forget about appearances and material things. There was no pressure no... ties. He cut the cord that bound me to these everyday things, and took me to a place where we could be us. Yes us, there was no me or I or him in this place only us each other and them. They, of course were the people who controlled us. They were our family the ones who supposedly loved us but kept us wrapped up snugly in cotton wool. Sometimes I wondered whether my father truly loved me or just the opportunities that a daughter could bring. I relaxed against Leon’s chest pushing these thoughts from my mind. We were in our place- there was no them only us. I was content and would have spoken to him all night but the hour was late and I knew the occupants of my house would be going to bed. We feared being heard and said our hushed yet loving goodbyes. Every word was a sigh- we had to keep quiet for we were dead if they knew. I closed my eyes as we held one another desperately clinging on to him wanting to escape everything for even a little while. I watched him walk away until he was merely a silhouette, and then was swallowed by the darkness.
I did not go to bed until long after that. I cried on the staircase begging him please don’t go, though he already had, and had no hope of hearing me.
I am inconsolable. Father is hearing none of this ‘foolishness’ as he calls it. I have never felt so depressed to the point where I’m near deafened by my own screams. I try and muffle them into the pillow but it’s hopeless. He was past angry or furious. He said I was a disgraceful naïve little girl who was nothing but trouble to him. Didn’t he raise me, give me nice things, and teach me better than to fall in love with someone such as a Jameson? He had spoken with Leon’s father. How perfectly awful it was to imaging them having the discussion, which I’m sure was a heated one. Leon was to stay away from me or it would be the death of him and if he died I’m sure I would too.
I had to do it. No matter how many a scolding I got when I returned, I’m glad I did it. I ran, fled from the place I had called home for so long that was now a prison. He kept on a brave face, put on a mask of confidence but he was broken, empty.
“Leon, save me. I’m so sick of this- what gives him the right to tell me how to feel? This love is difficult, but it’s real” I sobbed.
“Don’t be afraid. We’ll make it out of this mess” he reassured but those bright eyes no longer shone as they once did.
It has taken me exactly a week to gain enough strength to write this. Leon left with promises of coming back as often as he could. I’m not sure that such a thing is possible. His father is doing this purposely driving us apart. What a tragic love story this is turning out to be, and so sad to think this should be my happy ending. A white dress and bouquet were now were now all that was on my mind rather than all I wished I could get away from. Funny to think that not long ago I was so certain I was not ready for marriage. I’m sure Juliet would have looked at me in such a way if she were not fictional. If she was real and of course not dead, what a conversation we could have- her tales of her suffering and how idiotic I was not to see this coming. The conclusion was becoming oh so clear to me now.
I’m still waiting.
I’m still waiting.
I’m still waiting.
I’m still waiting...
I got tired of waiting for him to come around. It kills me to say that my faith in him is fading. Was this my ending Juliet? I admit I did not see this coming. I was so sure in the love that I was convinced existed. How bittersweet, killed by love in a tragically romantic fashion but the love was never really there. Father was right- I was young foolish and naïve. I was also right in the beginning when I told myself I was too young to get married. That area is one in which someone should be sure of them self. Without him I wasn’t sure who I was. I could not recall a time where we weren’t us. Who had I been before him? I cannot bear to even speak his name so I am for once glad it is taboo in my home.
I met him on the outskirts of town that evening. I was sure I had gone mentally ill but it was no hallucination.
“Leon, save me I’ve been feeling so alone. I kept waiting for you and you never came. Is this in my head I don’t know what to think...?” I cried desperately. Was the love between us lost? He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring.
“Marry me my love and you’ll never have to feel alone. I love you, and that’s all that I really know. I’ve talked with your dad and you’ll go pick out your white dress. I’m in love with you- just say yes”
And oh I did.