What? I thought as I saw him there. He told me he wasn’t coming. My father pulled me along into the room–our arms joined, I had no choice. I couldn’t take my eyes off Peter and would have stumbled over the ottoman had I not been linked to my father. He barely noticed because he was propelling me to meet the new Minister who was a potential husband for young women like me.
Peter looked resplendent in the new fashion of the day. His blue eyes shone, so beautifully complimented by the dark blue velvet waistcoat. He must have felt my stare as suddenly he looked upon me, as if I were there unexpectedly too. I quickly turned away, as I felt the blood rush into my pale cheeks. He came and he was not alone. My heart sank. I had built a fantasy in my mind of a future with Peter, a fantasy of course, but not unusual for an unmarried woman of eighteen. My sisters were all married and mothers by the age of eighteen. This fact all the more clear to me as my father insisted I meet every eligible man in the county.
I heard Peter’s laugh and it pierced my heart as if I held a thorny rose to my breast. I strained to hear his conversation as my father introduced me to the Minister. I mumbled a few polite words and managed a small curtsy as was the expected form, but my attention was across the room.
I excused myself to retrieve a glass of punch and to be closer to Peter and his companion. I barely lifted the glass when I felt his presence too close to my side. Once again the rush of color to my face as I felt his breath on my neck. “Tomorrow?” was the only word I heard and then he left.