The Arrangement

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Dream Trip

A knock came to Elizabeth’s door. She laid silent, pretending to sleep.

Another knock tapped the wood, “Miss Elizabeth, breakfast is ready,” Krissy called.

“Go away, Krissy!” Elizabeth yelled back, covering her ears with her satin pillows.

A click of a lock brought the door open.

“What’s the matter?” Krissy asked, opening the curtains to let in the sun.

“Nothing!” Elizabeth buried her head into her sheets.

Krissy sat on the bed next to Elizabeth and rolled her eyes, “You haven’t eaten since yesterday’s lunch, you need your breakfast.”

“Go away, Krissy,” Elizabeth’s voice was muffled under all the bedding.

“Is this about Mr. Tex?”

“Maybe,” Elizabeth came up out of her covers.

“Do you like him?”

Elizabeth was quiet. She stared out through the window, “What would make you think that?”

“Because I think he likes you.”

“Oh, really?”

“What is so bad about getting married, it’s not the end of the world?”

“It feels like it is. Father has to be always in control. I thought my love life was my love life. Not his.”

“He just wants the best for you.”

“Yeah, Yeah. I know. Go down and bring me a platter of breakfast.”

“Of course, Miss Elizabeth,” Krissy said, rushing down the stairs.

Elizabeth laid back down on her soft mattress. Another knock came on the open door. Elizabeth quickly sat up and looked over at the door. Mark stood there, holding an envelope.

“What is it, Father?” Elizabeth said, annoyed, falling back down on her bed.

“I have a present for you,” Mark said, walking into the room and sat on the bed.

“A present? What got you into this mood?”

“What do you mean by mood? I love giving presents to my favorite Daughter.”

“I’m your only daughter,” Elizabeth responded, turning on her side, away from Mark.

“Well, do you want to open it, or will I have to give it to somebody else?”

“I’ll open it,” Elizabeth turned back to Mark and sat up.

She carefully tore the envelope open. Curiosity filled her body. Finally, she was able to grab the paper inside. It was a plane ticket.

“Father, what is this?”

“I remember you saying you wanted to go to Paris a while back.”

“Oh, Father! Thank You!” Elizabeth jumped on Mark gave him a huge hug, “But, why am I taking a commercial flight? Why can’t I take your private jet, Father?”

“Well, Daughter, I thought you wanted to see what the outside world is like. But do not fret, I bought you First Class.”

“Thank you! Oh, Paris, my dreams are finally coming true!” Elizabeth bounced out of her sheets and grabbed her suitcase up on the wardrobe. It is covered in dust. She wiped it off and opened it up.

“The plane is leaving tomorrow at 10, Mr. Duchin will drive you to the airport,” Mark told Elizabeth as he exited the room.

Before he could go down the stairs, Elizabeth gave him another big bear hug, “Thank you!”

Elizabeth wasted no time, she had everything in order by dinner time. The thought of Ryan was not present for the whole day.

Elizabeth and Mark sat at a long table. The room was filled with candlelight, and platters waited on servants’ arms.

“Can I come?” Krissy asked at dinner.

“Can you come? What kind of question is that?” Elizabeth asked.

“Oh, well, I always wanted to go to Paris too,” Krissy said, placing down a platter of food.

“Well, too bad, Krissy. This trip I’ll take all alone. Finally, independence.”

“Yes,” Mark said, uncomfortable.

“You already gave me the plane ticket, so you can’t stop me now, Father.”

“I know. And I’m happy to see you live your dreams.”

“What made you loosen up your controlling grip, Father?”

“First of all, I’m not controlling. Second, I just thought to do something nice for my Daughter.”

“Thank you, Father!”

Nothing could get in the way of Elizabeth and the door the next day. She woke up early, before the birds. She made sure her makeup was perfect and her clothes gorgeous. At 8:30, her bags were waiting by the door for Mr. Duchin coming at 10. The wait killed Elizabeth deeply. She sat on the bench next to the door for a good hour and 30 minutes, reading an intriguing novel. Elizabeth became so invested that when 10 rolled around, and Mr. Duchin opened the door, Elizabeth jumped from the unexpected movement.

“About time you arrived, Mr. Duchin,” Elizabeth said, she stood up, straightening out her messed up dress.

“I am early, Miss,” Mr. Duchin said, picking up Elizabeth’s hefty suitcase.

Mark followed Elizabeth out to the car. As Mr. Duchin thought on how to stuff the wide suitcase into the Mercedes-Benz’s trunk, Elizabeth and Mark said goodbye.

“Thank you again, Father,” Elizabeth said, hugging Mark.

“Now make sure not to get into any trouble, I will not be there to protect you.”

“Silly, I’ll be fine.”

Mr. Duchin slammed the trunk, the sound blasted across the estate, “I am ready when you are, Miss.”

“See you in a week, Father,” Elizabeth kisses Mark’s cheek.

Elizabeth hastily walked to the car door in her heels, and plopped into the lush seat.

“Goodbye, Daughter!” Mark called as Mr. Duchin closed Elizabeth’s door.

Mr. Duchin escorted Elizabeth through the whole airport. Her eyes darted all around. Finally, she was able to explore the world outside the Gate. She felt important every time somebody read her name, Charleston. People’s eyes widen, and they even held down their heads as if they were bowing.

The wait was the death of Elizabeth. Her impatient manner was making the trip miserable.

“Mr. Duchin,” Elizabeth called, “When will I be in Paris!” Elizabeth started to pout in the uncomfortable chairs.

“You will be boarding soon, Miss.”

“But, why can’t I board now! I have a First Class!”

“Calm down, Miss. You will be in the air very soon.”

“Wait, I almost forgot. I’ll be in the air. Oh my! What if we crash! Mr. Duchin, I can’t get on the plane. I’ve never flown before. What does it feel like? Oh, Mr. Duchin, come on the plane with me, please,” Elizabeth pleaded, she started pacing around the waiting area.

“No need to fret, Miss. You will be fine.”

“Oh, no, I won’t be Mr. Duchin. I’ll be in the air, what if I get sick, or even worse, what if we crash!?”

“Calm down, Miss. You are causing a scene,” Mr. Duchin said, raising his voice.

“I know,” Elizabeth sat back down, “but, Mr. Duchin-”

“It looks like it is time to board, Miss. Go, you will be fine,” Mr. Duchin directs Elizabeth over to the gate.

“Bye, Mr. Duchin. Let’s hope I don’t die,” Elizabeth said, reluctantly following the crowd into the plane.

“Goodbye, Elizabeth,” Mr. Duchin said as he waved.

Mr. Duchin got smaller and smaller, till Elizabeth couldn’t see him anymore.

Elizabeth sat in her First Class seat, nervously rearranging her stuff multiple times. She started breathing, faster, and faster.

“You okay?” a familiar voice asked.

Elizabeth whipped her head around to stare at the man, “Mr. Tex?”

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