Looting The Ballroom

Ella Veal couldn't imagine life on land, sea was all she knew. But, when the age of pirating ends, and she's forced to live with her cousin, what happens?

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2. Chapter 2

It seemed my doom was inevitable, no one would listen to me when I tried to squirm my way out of it. Not even Vera, she said it was the best for me, as if she'd know. I was the only one not loosing my head on this ship. The days went by too quick, I spent most of my time just enjoying the last few days I'd get to feel so alive as I did on a ship. 

When we got to Nassau, my dad saw right through my first attempt to escape. I was planning on running away once we hit land, waiting at Nassau for a bit, then joining another crew. He assigned Peter Easton to stay by me, which was smart considering he was the biggest guy on the ship. 

With that plan foiled, I looked around Nassau, it was pretty impressive considering it was new. They already had lots of trade set up, plus we had some things to offer from India they didn't have a lot of yet. I was looking for books, that's what I really liked to get at Royal, and I usually did since my dad liked me studying.

This time however, I was instructed to look for beauty products, and Peter was making sure I got what I needed. It was bad enough not being able to get a book, I only had a few pages left in King Lear, and I would probably finish it soon, well before we got to Whitby. 

It was the fourth of May by the time we had gotten to Whitby. It was the nicest time of year, at least for me. In spring, there were light storms, not fierce like in winter, but gentle, and the rain would feel so good on your face up on the lookout post. I wouldn't be able to do that anymore though, I'd be forced inside for most of the time, women didn't do hard work, they did house chores, like Vera.

My cousin met us at the port. She had bright orange hair, fair skin and was wearing a ridiculously big blue dress. Ainslee was small too, and the dress looked like it was eating her alive. Her face was plastered with makeup. I had no clue how we could possibly be related. She must have been from my mother's side, since my father's side were all from Spain.

"Hello Ella, I'm Ainslee, my apartment isn't far from here, just a fifteen minute walk, we should probably get going. Wouldn't want to keep your father waiting. Do you like tea? It's all I have in the house right now. And water of course, but tea tastes better. I know I have sugar, but I'm not sure about milk..." Ainslee kept on talking, but I sure as hell wasn't listening.

She didn't shut up for the entire walk. I was fine with it, which kind of surprised me. She never asked me to talk, which I was grateful for. Ainslee was content simply to hear herself talk. Turns out, she did only have tea, which was fine. I took it plain, milk spoiled easily so we never had much on board, and I never liked sweet things much.

Ainslee's apartment was huge, not something you'd picture when you hear apartment. She lived on the top floor of a three story building, and there were too many rooms to count. I assumed an apartment would mean a dingy little one room thing, living in extremely close quarters. I had my own room, which was probably twice the size of the one I used to share with Vera. I missed Vera already.

She had offered to come, but we both knew she couldn't. As much as the crew teased her, we both knew she was needed more than anyone. She was not just a mom to me, but one to everyone else too. She cared about all of them, and even though they don't show it much, they care about her too.

So instead, I was left with my overly talkative cousin and frilly little dresses. Life was a bitch sometimes. Eventually, I was forced into bed. My sleeping habits were horrible, as I loved night shift so much. 

I went to go and change as I was wearing work clothes and they weren't very good for sleeping. I opened my closet to find only dresses and nightgowns. Neither of which I had ever worn. My sleep clothes were just old clothes I had worn too much to work in, but they got really soft. I slipped into a nightgown, I heard it sound like it was breaking so I assumed I was putting it on wrong.

I tried to get to sleep, but I found the material of the night gown itchy and uncomfortable. I tossed and turned all night, not able to find a position comfortable enough for me to finally drift off into sleep. Also, I was so used to falling asleep in the daytime, I found the night a strange time to be sleeping. I wanted to be outside, working or being helpful, I felt more energetic during these hours.

Eventually, dawn came saving me from the boredom of my room. I had gotten up a few times to walk around, but I couldn't do much since Ainslee was asleep. I was exhausted all though the day. Ainslee noticed, but she wouldn't let me lie down and sleep. She said if I was exhausted by the night time, I'd sleep. 

I learned how to do house chores all day long. Ainslee said that the dresses in the closet weren't for everyday, there were more casual ones that weren't as fancy more towards the back. It was still suffocating and uncomfortable. There was something wrapped around my stomach to keep it sucked in at all times. I had almost no fat on my body, it was all muscle from doing the hard work no one wanted to on board. 

That just made it that much harder to stuff inside the dress. The muscle didn't want to move, and I was giving up. Ainslee still didn't seem like she was giving up on it anytime soon. I had been shot in the arm as a kid, but the zipper getting caught on my back skin hurt more than that. It was then that I suggested what was apparently the most awful thing in the world to Ainslee.

"Why don't I just get some bigger dresses?" I asked.

"Are you kidding me? You really want to go through the embarrassment of telling the people at the store you're too fat for these dresses? No, I don't know how you used to do things, but if a dress is too small, you squeeze into it. Your size is your life, going up is bad, down is good." Ainslee explained.

This was all way too bizarre for me. I couldn't afford to be skinny on board. The scrawny ones couldn't earn their keep, we had a few, they couldn't even lift a fraction of their weight, meanwhile the rest of us on board could pick up something twice our weight. So, I was muscular, it wasn't the end of the world, in fact it was pretty useful. 

Life in England was hard, and Ainslee sure wasn't making this easier.

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