A/N I'm back! Just to clear things out a bit, this is set in the medieval times or some time around there, it is NOT mean to be historically correct, so don't flame me if something is out of place and Celeste is quite informal with the way she speaks because, well, you could say she's not the, err…, politest of ladies, savvie?
I'm so sorry I took forever on this! It's been like what? MONTHS. You could say, I had a kinda…writer's block? Lol. It's only the second chapter! Thank you SO much to ALL those who reviewed! You really made me happy!
Well, on with the story, hope you like this chapter and remember to R/R!
We arrived at the Royal Gardens. And just as the name suggests, they were gardens that were royal. Belonging to the King, but nobles could use them for important functions if it was certain that no one else was. Of course, simple peasants couldn't use the either, unless they were a part of the crowd. You had to pay to have the gardens for a day. The Gardens were beautiful, a luscious green all over, with the occasional flower bed here and there. There were small hills across the field and bunches of trees. Paths wide enough to fit carriages across were placed.
I stood perfectly with my back straight and head high, my dress, no, gown on properly, not a strand of hair out of place on my head – mother would have been proud if she were not too busy socializing. You see, I was hoping to impress someone.
"My, my, don't we look beautiful today."
I spun around to the person with the very familiar voice behind me. Although it was not the one that I had hoped for, it was still an achievement.
I ran into his arms as he hugged me and spun me around.
Once, long ago, when I was about 9 or so, I had believed myself to be in love with him. And it wasn't hard to believe.
You see, William was very good-looking. He had these big, blue eyes that showered you with innocence and brown hair. He also had this very cheeky smile which made many girls' heart melt.
My heart used to, too. But things have changed. Can you guess why?
"Hmm…," said Will, rubbing his chin effectively, and looking deep into thought, "what made you dress up so nicely today, my lady?"
"Wouldn't you like to know," was my brilliant answer as I glared at him. But of course, he knew.
William had known ever since I had first laid my eyes on Francis, which was about 3 years ago. Francis was a bit older than me and William so I had never, in the world, thought that they knew each other, which was my mistake.
I had squealed and giggled and poked William when I first saw Francis walking down the street, towards us. Back then, I had thought him the most handsome man to walk on the Earth that is until he got within 10 metres of us and then I really saw his face clearly.
As I've said before, the man resembles a monkey. Francis has red hair (which I call orange), that falls into his eyes, and grey eyes that were so boring you could fall asleep whilst staring into them
Now, how does that resemble a monkey? Well, I'll tell you.
He has the widest mouth I have ever seen in the entire universe and I'm not joking. His mouth is as wide as his face.
Well, that all aside (when I had gotten over the fact that I had thought he looked like a monkey), after all the squealing and poking William, you could say that I got the biggest shock of my life when he had walked over to us. I had gotten over the fact that he wasn't as handsome as I thought, yet I was still drawn to him for some reason.
He smiled and waved at us, and I, thinking that the man had waved at me (though in my mind I knew it was impossible), had waved back. But when he came closer, and closer with a smile on his face, as my own face went redder and redder, I was even more shocked when he had greeted William, and hugged him, which William then returned the favour.
I had stood there, gaping like a fish, when William had finally remembered that I was there and introduced us. I was slightly put off by his name at first, but soon recovered when my feelings for him had risen even more, especially when he, like a true gentleman, had bent down and kissed my hand!
Kissed my hand!
I can tell you that never before, had anyone kissed my hand, ever! Though I must admit, the last time I had been formally introduced to a proper gentleman other than my father, was a few years back, and I'm quite sure that I was not yet old enough to be greeted formally by a man thrice my age.
Back to the present though, after Sir Francis had kissed me, as abruptly as he had come, he had left.
I don't know how that happened but apparently he had told us and I was in a daze. This information was from Will, so he could've been lying at the time.
It was from then on, that I realized that Francis was William's other best friend. Why he never told me about him, I don't know. But I never asked him this so I suppose William found no reason to tell him, though I believe that at one stage in my life, he had told me about some boy he had met. I of course, wasn't listening. My dolls were much too important.
"Well, I'm assuming that I already know the answer…" was William's reply to my brilliant answer before.
"Oh, shut up!"
To this, he grinned, knowing that he had won the little argument that we had just had, not that it was much of an argument.
Then, he frowned.
"Nothing…It's just normally, by this time, you would have given me my present?"
I glared at him, was that the only thing on his mind? I decided not to tell him about my little incident earlier this morning and just act as if I had remembered all along - which is what a best friend should have done.
"Well, I don't know, I mean…all you've done is teased me so far…" I trailed off, knowing this would annoy him. William loved getting presents, and so the only thing on his mind when it was his birthday, was presents.
"Celeste? Celeste, is that you?"
That voice – William's mother!
I couldn't be caught toying with William or joking around with him. If William's mother had realised that I was being improper, she would have my head, and go to my mother, insulting my pride.
"Wait right here, and don't tell anyone that you saw me!" I fiercely said to William as I ran away, not giving him a chance to say something about my sudden comment, and anyway, I knew the he knew what I was talking about.
I raced down the hill, yes, we had been on a hill, and stopped where I was for a little bit to look down at the people. There were many people here to celebrate William's birthday, and I was surprised that they hadn't flocked him yet. But then again, this was just a social gathering for the majority of people invited here, and once they saw William and had given him their present, they would leave and tend to their own lives. I always thought it was quite rude, but I guess William was always content since he got his presents. It obviously didn't bother him. He probably had no idea who half the people were, where they came from or – wait, I couldn't ponder on this topic any longer. I had to run, run as fast and as far as I could from Lady Annabelle. Not that I could get away, but at least I could make up a suitable excuse for my existence?
As you can probably tell, William's dear mother doesn't like me very much, or I don't like her. I think that she wanted Will to have a normal friendship with a boy and if ever there was a girl, she would have to be one of those typical girls, who have fans always at the ready, giggle at exactly the appropriate times, are beautiful, can sing, can dance and above all – flirt.
Honestly, what does one accomplish when flirting? One would think the girl was a harlot, and at such a young age too. Of course, I have never actually heard anyone say this but I'm sure that if I think it, there must be someone out there who's having the same thoughts.
So, back to running down the hill, I had finally reached my destination. Our carriage, with William's present inside. I peered inside and found the present still intact and nicely on the seat. Luckily, it was not broken. With the present in my hand, I glanced around me to check if anyone was watching me. There was actually no point in me doing that but I thought it necessary all the same. I grabbed the present, which Katie had wrapped, and walked back towards William.
It was a long and tedious walk, as I had to look composed as I saw Lady Annabelle talking to William from a mile away and decided to look good, just in case she saw me too, although I doubt it since she was getting old.
Finally, I was within clear view of William of his mother. Watching my step I walked towards them, plastering a smile on my face and trying to look every bit the lady I was supposed to be.
"Celeste, how are you?" asked Annabelle. She was being polite and I knew it. I could hear the strain in her voice, trying to be nice. I of course, had to return the favour.
"I'm fine, thankyou my Lady. I was just wondering if I could have the pleasure to give William his birthday present," I replied, politeness dripping from my mouth, as well as offering the big bulk to William, who was looking at me with mirth.
"Oh, how nice of you. William, dear, quickly take that and thank Celeste. Come, we must go and meet the other guests."
What sort of manners were those? Who was she, thinking she could just go and whisk my best friend when I had just taken the time and effort to give him a present? Oh right, his mother.
William gave me a nod of the head, in thanks as he looked at me in apology. I understood. No one could disagree with his mother, he couldn't fight back to stay with me. It was times like these when I really wished that William would stand up for himself. But since it was his mother, I let him go. I knew the wrath he would receive from her if he disobeyed. Trust me, I knew.
Well, I was alone. But I guess I could do a little searching of Sir Francis. Mother was always implying that I was lacking social skills. What better way to improve them?
Walking off, I scanned the small crowds of people socialising with each other, hoping to find Francis in one of them. I looked at all the men's heads, hoping to find red sprouting from somewhere. There! The back of a tall redhead, leaning on a tree and not talking to anyone! This was my chance, to talk to Francis and grab his attention!
I walked towards the direction of him, saying 'excuse me' every few seconds as I tried to avoid hitting people. Weaving through the small groups of people, I was finally within a suitable distance of him. I opened my mouth and –
"Sir Francis, how good it is to see you again!" screeched the voice of a sudden woman who popped in from nowhere. I stopped in my tracks. I had seen the lady before. Big bosomed, tight brown ringlets surrounding her square face, and overdressed, she was the Lady Avarie, the oldest flirt known the society, and the worst matchmaker. If I showed up in front of her, showing any interest in Francis, she would probably start analysing me, scrutinize me, and worst of all, set me up with someone who was the total opposite of Francis. And it didn't help that she hated me.
So keeping my eyes on Lady Avarie, hoping she wouldn't see me, I slowly backed away. Walking steadily backwards, I suddenly crashed into a person. I tore my eyes off Lady Avarie, and turned my head to the person who I had crashed into. It was a man, who I had never seen before, so I said sorry, kept on saying it until someone pushed into me. Unfortunately, as it was so sudden, I lost all the balance that I had and started flailing my arms around, and fell –
into a pond.
"AAAAARGH!" It would have helped if my scream was high pitched. Sure, it would've been ear piercing, but at least it would have been better than my voice then. It was low, quite low, and if everyone in the world were blind, they would've immediately assumed that a young man had just fallen into a pond. It also didn't help that I had fallen flat on my back. My non-existent reflexes were such a great help.
Luckily, the pond was quite shallow, and it was more like a very deep puddle. The majority of my skirt was now drenched, my whole back and sides were wet and I was muddy. Oh, and it didn't help that my hair was all messed up with some green things in it.
I sat up, still in the pond, and looked around me. I was definitely the centre of attention now. Some people were staring at me with pity, others, embarrassment, for having such a nuisance like me at one of their social functions and others were just looking at me as if I was a monster.
It was absolutely great, truly.
"Err, lady, are you…alright?"
I looked up to see who had asked such a ridiculous question. My heart stopped beating, and the world went black.
A/N: I hope that was an alright chapter! Once again, deepest apologies for taking so long. Oh, and the little scene with her screaming and having no reflexes? That's dedicated to a little friend of mine, as it happened to her! It's a bit of and inside joke!
Well, now, what you MUST do, is click on the review button! It would do me so good!