Chapter 11

The next morning I felt confused and flustered, with the events that had happened the night before. I decided to avoid Henry for the rest of the morning, I was not ready to hear anymore things that had happened in the past.

My grandparents were completely oblivious to what was happening, especially my grandmother who was completely occupied with the last minute preparations for her christmas party that evening.

I strangely was beginning to miss home, even though my parents barely spoke to me and the Bertha and Ralph story. Maybe that was because life at my grandparents home was always busy, always rushed, and so prestigious. I also was anxious about the party that was going to be held tonight, which was because the guest list consisted of people I knew, people that were family.

As the clock ticked the more nervous I felt and the more the information on Bertha and Ralph stung. Henry showed no nervousness but I barely saw him today, so who knows. An hour before the party, when the house became the most hectic, with servants running about, my grandmother even though in her fragile condition, following behind them, and my grandfather unexpectedly leaving, for an unknown reason, the tension left me, I felt ready to put on my charming mask, and to impress.

Soon enough guests began to arrive, which left the room where the party was being held full of buzz and lively noise, but it was lovely for me nor Henry. Because mainly our family members were attending this party, the guests had no problem asking a lot of questions, especially ones on our personal endeavors and future plans. Both of which Henry and I were rather uncertain off.

After a certain point it became very annoying, this party was more miserable than enjoyable. But I persisted, and managed, being charming with nearby strangers was not a challenge for me. Henry was not taking it so well, and I could clearly see that he wanted to leave.

After some more uncomfortable interactions with family members, I was finally left alone to enjoy the party, even though it wasn’t enjoyable at the least. Before the refreshments were served my grandmother came up to me.

“Shirley, how are you enjoying the party so far?” asked my grandmother.

“I am enjoying it a great deal, you did a splendid job.” I replied trying to sound like I was having a nice time.

“Good, good. Well I just decided to stop by because it seems that Henry has left, could you please find him and bring him back?” she asked.

“Of course.” I replied, sweetly. Inside I was cheering, finally I could get away from this miserable party!

Eagerly I left the room, and looked about for Henry. I knew exactly where Henry would be, the place that he always went when a party got too dull or tedious. So I quickly headed into my grandparent immense and fine library, which was a room full of classics. After looking about and gently pulling at the bookshelves I found the right bookshelf. Slowly I tugged on to the side of the shelf, slowly it moved, revealing a small room.

I was right Henry was inside this room, quietly I entered and closed the shelf behind me, Henry turned around. “I know that I probably should go back to the party, but I cannot take another question on College.” said Henry.

“That’s understandable, I am going to stay with you and keep you company.”I replied, making my decision.

“Are you sure? Grandmother would be furious.” Henry said, slowly.

“Well the party is awful, and we are leaving home soon in a few days, I think our absence would not hurt anyone.” I replied.

“I must agree, Shirley, but at least let us give our grandparents a note.” said Henry, finally giving in.

“Goodie, well do you have a notebook?” I asked, gesturing. Henry nodded as he handed me his small notebook, I quickly wrote a note telling my grandparents that we wanted to leave the party early. 

Then we both left the small hidden room and began looking for a servant, which was easy to find. After handing the note to a servant Henry and I decided to go to his room, and play some cards, which lasted for the rest of the night.

Even though I was not avoiding Henry anymore, I avoided mentioning Bertha and Ralph. There was no use in opening an almost healed wound. So we spoke of small things, things of little to no importance, but things of little importance made life simple and less challenging.


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