At the ripe age of sixteen turning seventeen, Catherine had several proposals before she even had her debutante ball. To be fair, one of those was my own.
But her father was content to wait and see what kind of woman he produced and as such all proposals were turned down.
And despite his vehement protests, Catherine was allowed to date. Under strict supervision of course. A woman of her stature and beauty would be no match for a man who wanted to do her harm.
I was, admittedly, one of her constant dates. And I think her father almost liked me by the time she turned seventeen.
Now, this is my favourite part of the story.
Catherine’s father had not saved as much as his daughter needed to be presented to the world. And so she had to trade some of her mother’s maternity clothes for the stretches of white fabric and golden edges she had dreamed of since her mother had told her night after night of what her debutante would be like.
I didn’t see her for weeks after she turned sixteen – her mind was solely focused on finishing her dress. The one time I saw her while she was making her dress she was so upset because she could not acquire the silk ribbons needed for the back of her dress.
Being the gallant gentleman I am, I stole her away to the market, buying her three lengths of the ribbon she wanted.
You should have seen her face, my friend.
The smile that the ribbon brought to her face was simply astonishing.
I swear the world stopped turning and all that ever was, was her.
She lit up the whole world with that one smile.
But I digress, I brought her the ribbon and she couldn’t get home fast enough. I swear, she almost ran – I could hardly keep up with her.
She was just so excited.
I think she forgot I was behind her, and I just followed her into the house, following her to the sewing/study room before I think she really noticed I was there.
She blushed deeply and looked to the floor.
“You can’t see it.” She insisted quietly.
“Why not?” I asked, trying to peek past her into the room.
“Because it’s a surprise.” She smiled and shooed me out of the house before returning to the room to finish off her dress.
It wasn’t a week later when I saw her again, and she was so happy – after all her preparations the dress was finally complete and she was ready. Her father was sending out the invitations that day and the party was to be held within a month’s time.
She stopped short when she was talking – turning to me all at once.
“You will come wont you?” She asked, violet eyes turning wide.
“Of course Catherine” I answered, kissing her knuckles lightly.
Now here I want to stop and explain.
Catherine and I where dating – but I was not her only suitor. But I was also one of her closest friends, so she was always caught off guard when I did things like this.
And it bought a magnificent blush to her cheeks when she remembered she would be debuting as a woman to me and many others.
So to save her from blushing I didn’t act like a suitor very often, only allowing myself subtle hints here and there that I was still here, still waiting.
I think it was then that I decided. Although, to be fair, I am not really sure when it happened. I just sort of knew that I loved her. That I would do anything, pay any price, for her to be mine.