On the day of the birthday celebration, Elle was presented with two gowns to choose from. Aiden, the ever so helpful butler had gone through the efforts of getting her the gowns himself and making sure the fittings were well, also suggesting which one out of the two professionally tailored gowns would compliment her features the most.
Elle, having been born into poverty, had never had the luxury of possessing anything as glorious as the gowns which were lying on her bed after she had tried them, and having embarrassingly asked for them to be loosened a little. To which the butler had informed her that a corset was to go inside the gown and thus the fitting was alright.
She had turned red and wondered if the butler judged her for not being up to the standards the females followed. She was on the healthier side when it came to body shapes, she had too big curves and back when her waist was too slim, more like being malnourished with her ribs poking, she had faced a lot of issues, and the burden on her chest was the minor of the issues, the bigger ones being the attention a figure like hers demanded. So she had deliberately gotten a little extra flesh on her waist and that had resulted in a little curvier thighs .
But when she looked at herself in the mirror, she found that her waist still slimmed down and flared again at her hips. She poked her waist and felt the softness similar to freshly kneaded dough, and then pondered on how she just compared herself to dough. Meant to make bread. Bread that someone must have made in the morning hours for the breakfast. Bread that suddenly made her hungry.
Turning this way and that, she pinched the material of the gown she was wearing from behind and reached the conclusion that indeed, although she had gained a little weight, which clearly showed on the curves of her waist, her body still represented the shape of an hourglass, just a little healthier hourglass, with a little more flesh on her bones. Of course her body would not change it's type, like gaining weight would change her body?
She wondered why she was bothering herself with these thoughts, but that was a lie, she knew well why she was busying herself with irrelevant and unimportant things. She wanted to distract herself from the gowns in her room that overwhelmed her, or of the awaiting gathering of the elites where she was going to be a a duck among geese and swans. She was an outsider with very limited knowledge of the elite society, and whet had happened a few days back? With Damien intruding her private space and the panic attack that followed, she was still wary of him. And the fact that she would have to accompany him was making her more than anxious. She felt threatened, her mind on alert and warning bells ringing all around her.
She turned to the gowns and went over to touch them, the silk with all those layers and frills made her think of the time she used to dress her lady back at Milford's mansion. She had only ever prepared such gowns for others, she would one day wear them herself had been an idea she had often entertained, much like a desire that every woman held in her heart to be pampered and dolled up. She too, like all girls, had wanted to dress up and make up and look good and flaunt herself.
Now? With the gowns at her disposal, she did not feel the enthusiasm and longing that she once felt while tending to her mistress. She knew what was waiting for her, and she was much happy to be in her humble clothes that served the purpose of covering her just fine.
With an astonishing alacrity she realized that all these gowns and elite things were really not meant for her, not because she born poor but because she was born with a humble heart. Being obnoxiously ostentatious and putting on display all the glory that was portrayed in a pretentious manner. She was not cut out of the cloth that made the elites.
In the late afternoon, an hour before they had to leave, she started getting ready. She took a bath and washed her long hair even though it was a mess when it was wet. After the arm workout, which was drying her hair, she decided on on of those gowns. Her friend Amy had come in to help her with the corset and getting into the gown, but after she wore that thing for a few seconds she decided to ditch that thing from hell and wore the gown over her inner chemise directly. The silk was the softest thing her skin had ever felt, teasing her skin wherever it made contact. Unlike the horrible balloon sleeves that women preferred, the gown she wore boat neckline with frills, and sleeves that reached till her elbows from below her neckline. Her gown was also pretty modest, not too much heavy and decorated with jewels.
"What are you going to do about your hair?" Amy asked.
Indeed. That was a question which deserved to be entertained.
What about her hair.
The unruly damp curls had yet not settled and she was sure they would hang in fluffy curls as they dried. She did not know how to discipline her hair and nothing came to her as she raked her mind for ideas to tie her hair. Chignons and buns were a big, fat no. She could not walk into a party with unattended hair though.
In the end she, with the help of Amy, parted her hair in the middle, French braided them on both sides and pinned them behind her hair, allowing her curls free rein. Wisps of baby hair escaped the braids and formed tendrils on both sides.
All in all, very good efforts with mediocre results.
When Elle stood up and went to the box of footwear that was brought in along with the gowns, Amy's brows scrunched in question.
"What about the accessories and make up?" The young woman asked, "You surely aren't just walking out like that, are you?"
In response Elle studied herself in the mirror and she found no flaw in her appearance. She liked the lack of gold and/or diamonds on her body. It made her feel relieved, in a way she felt like being in her own skin, As if although she was going the place which she dislikes, among women who would show off themselves with all the wealth that laid in their treasuries, she would be herself. Her lack of accessories an assurance to herself and a comfort to her troubled mind.
"I don't posses any accessories and I don't fancy them anyway."
Amy frowned even more. Until she shook her head, grabbed her friend's hand and dragged her away, along with the box of shoes.