The Last Suitor
Elizabeth Charleston and Mark Charleston contended in a faraway room. They quarreled over Mark’s idea to arrange a marriage for his daughter, Elizabeth. Even though she scared away every single person, he throws at her, by being a little wretch.
“Father, how many times do I have to say this?” Elizabeth asked one more time. Elizabeth stood tall with her hands at her side in tight fists. She looked off at the roaring winds that beat against the windowpane.
“Sweetheart, you know I’m doing this out of love,” Mark repeated himself sitting down in a leather loveseat. He looked up at Elizabeth. Her eyes, a flaming green sea, reminded him of his late wife.
“Just stop, you never listen to my-” The door interrupted the fight with a high pitch squeak. A gasp echoed through the commodious room.
“Who’s there?” Elizabeth asked as she quickly turned around.
“Uh, Krissy, Miss Elizabeth,” Her voice shook in fear, and her face became an apple red. She came forward from the wooden door bringing shame with her.
“Get Out! This is a private matter,” yelled Mark, angered at the rude interruption.
“Sorry for interrupting, sir,” she said and went for the door that she was spying from earlier.
“Wait, Krissy. Stay, I would like your opinion,” Elizabeth called back Krissy. Elizabeth looked back at her father with a bratty smirk.
“As you wish, Miss Elizabeth,” she said, turning around with a smile. She was glad to get some more juicy gossip to share with the other maids.
“Do you think I should give this marriage thing another try?”
“Maybe one last time. This Mr. Ryan Tex sounds interesting. And if you don’t like him, direct him over to the servant corners,” Krissy said boldly, “please,” she added.
“Out!” Mark shouted with passion. His face was full of disgust. “I’m sorry, sir. I miss spoke.”Krissy scuffled out the room with her head down in a subservient way.
Elizabeth crossed her arms, “Maybe you should invest in anger management classes.”
“That was upmost rude!”
“It was a joke, Father.”
“A joke? Never mind that. So what is your decision?” Mark asked impatiently.
“Fine, I’ll meet him. But that doesn’t mean I’ll like him.”
“Oh! Thank you, Elizabeth. I promise this one will be a keeper,” Mark jumped up in joy and went off to tell the happy news to Mr. Tex.
Elizabeth sluggishly walked over to the leather seat and plopped on it with a big sigh, “Why did I say yes?”
One boring week went by. Elizabeth pushed the thought of another suitor to the back of her mind. When the maids led her into a silent room that was so familiar to Elizabeth, the idea came to the front of her mind again. The maids closed the door behind her, leaving Elizabeth in the small library. A man in a blue suit sat in the corner, gazing off at the full bookshelves.
“Uh, Hi,” She said to the man. Elizabeth swiftly glanced over him. New suit and tie, an entitled, rich, jerk.
“Ryan Tex, lovely to meet you. Elizabeth right? We have an arranged marriage, or am I in the wrong place?” He asked, getting up from the chair.
“Oh, yeah. Ryan,” Elizabeth said as if she cared. There was a long pause until she blurted out,
“Let’s just get it over with.”
“What?” Ryan asked with a little shock. “You know we won’t work out, so let’s not even try.”
“Who knows until we do try. We might be a perfect match.”
“Ugh, I’m trying to make this easy-”
“A date?” “No, aren’t you listening to me?”
“Tomorrow, does that work for you?”
“Okay, tomorrow, courtyard, at twelve o’clock,” Ryan said. He smirked as he quickly disappeared out of the room before Elizabeth could reject him.
“I’m not going to come if you were wondering!” Elizabeth yelled to herself.
Elizabeth was processing what just happened as she made her way down the narrow hall. Elizabeth turned the corner to see Krissy acting casual.
“Oh, funny seeing you here,” Krissy laughed in a painful way.
“I live here, Krissy,” Elizabeth snapped.
“Oh, yeah,” silence permeated through the barren halls.
“Do you want something?”
“Uh, sorry for overstepping, but how did it go?” Krissy asked, hinting for all the details.
“He asked me to go on a date in the courtyard tomorrow.”
“You’re going, right?”
“Come on, give him a chance. Or I might steal him away from you.”
Elizabeth looked at Krissy. “He is hot...” Elizabeth paused, “What am I saying!”
“Good! Now, what are you wearing?”
“I’m not wearing anything!” Elizabeth blurted out, “Uh! I mean, I’m not going,” she corrected herself quickly.
“That’s what they all say, now hurry along and pick out an outfit. Or not,” Krissy giggled and scurried off before she got a scolding from Elizabeth.
“Oh my, the people who work here!” Elizabeth said under her breath. She made her way down the halls trying to dodge any more encounters with the nosey maids.
The sun rose to a new day. The sun glided across the sky until the clock was a tick away from twelve. Elizabeth gazed out the window of her room, not daring to go out on the balcony. She watched Ryan lay down a blanket and start to place the dishes out from a wooden basket.
“Such a pity he made all that food for two. But only one will eat it,” Elizabeth said to herself with a little laugh. She turned away from the window and grabbed the book thrown upon the side table.
“I guess I’ll read in here,” and she laid back, making herself comfy in the leather loveseat.
Down in the servant corners, two more women looked out a window.
“Oh, poor Mr. Tex,” Kissy said to another maid, Malissa.
“I can’t believe that Miss Elizabeth would actually not take up this guy. He’s just so... handsome,” Malissa said, gazing romantically at the waiting man.
“Off-limits, I called dibs.”
“No fair, I thought he would be an old man like all the others,” Malissa said, crossing her arms. She pouted for some time as Krissy folds laundry.
“You look like a maid, and you always will now stop daydreaming,” Malissa said.
“You’re just jealous, and I think I’ll go out there.”
Krissy strolled out to the courtyard casually. She came to Ryan, starting to put back the dishes into the wooden box. Ryan tried to hide his disappointment when Krissy approached.
“What might be the problem, sir?” Krissy asked like she knew nothing.
“Oh, just a little too hopeful,” Ryan replied, getting up to greet Krissy, “Ryan Tex.”
“Krissy Bell. Very nice to meet you,” She said with a blushing smile.
Back in the quiet room where Elizabeth was reading. She got caught off guard by voices chatting down below. She sneaked over to the window, spying on Krissy, talking with Ryan. Elizabeth’s mouth dropped open. Krissy’s giggle ignited a fire in Elizabeth’s eyes.
“That little chit!” Elizabeth shouted.
Elizabeth pulled up her long skirt and hastily went down the many stairs. The stomp of her heels could be heard from a mile away. Malissa watched Elizabeth trudge out to the clean-cut field. Malissa let out a cackle and went back to her chores.
Elizabeth’s face was red, hot, and ready to scream at Krissy. Elizabeth approached, and Ryan’s face lit up.
“Elizabeth, I knew you would come!” He cheered.
“Uh,” Elizabeth stopped in her tracks.
“I’ll leave you two alone,” Krissy said, walking back to the manor.
As Krissy passed Elizabeth, Krissy whispered to her, “I knew you would come.”
Before Elizabeth could react in any way, Ryan took her by the hand, “Sit, please?” Ryan asked. Ryan’s hand pushed up Elizabeth’s sleeve to expose her scarred wrist.
Elizabeth covered her wrist, but Ryan noticed it and asked, “Your wrist?”
“I’m fine,” Elizabeth said as she pulled away. “Wait, Elizabeth. I’m sorry for asking. May you please just sit and have this picnic with me.” Ryan pleaded as he grabbed her upper arm.
“Very well...”Elizabeth, very reluctant, took a deep breath and sat down.
“Now, would you like some tea?” Ryan’s asked, his eyes were full of joy and hope.
While Ryan poured the glass of tea, Krissy and Malissa looked out from the manor.
“You tricky imp,” Malissa said to Krissy with a grin.
“Oldest trick in the book.”
“Did Mark pay you?” Malissa asked boldly.
“What are you trying to say?”
“He seemed a little desperate to get her to like Mr. Tex, or even in the same room in that matter.”
“Back to chores,” Krissy said, pulling away from the conversation.
Malissa followed Krissy, “He did pay you!”
“That’s not relevant.”
“Not relevant! How much did he fork up?”
“Back it up, Malissa.”
“Okay,” Malissa said, rolling her eyes.
As Malissa left the room, she called to Krissy, “I’ll need more details soon!”
“It’s never going to happen!” Krissy called back.
Back in the peaceful courtyard.
“Did you always live here?” Ryan asked.
“Yeah, this is my childhood home. My father built it for my mother when she was pregnant with me,” Elizabeth looked down at her tea as memories filled her head.
“My parents always had to travel. I never stayed in the same home for more than a year,” Ryan said.
“Well, at least you got to see places. My father won’t even let me out of these gates!”
“So, if you had to visit one place where you go?”
“Paris. Since I was a kid, I’ve been in love with it.”
There was a pause of silence. Ryan smiled, and at this moment, something dawned on Elizabeth.
“Ah, thanks for the picnic, uh. Bye,” Elizabeth quickly got up and rushed off back to her room.
“Wait, Elizabeth?” Ryan got up, trying to see where she was going. Ryan looked down at the barely eaten food. “Is this good or a bad sign?” he contemplated as he started to clean up the picnic once again.
Elizabeth rushed up the stairs, “I’m not supposed to like him!” she said in an angry tone. She swung open her door just to be shut again. Elizabeth fell back on her bed. She stared at the tall white ceiling.
“I wasn’t supposed to like him...”