The golden sun is beaming down on my freckled nose as I lift my chin towards the sky, soaking in the summer rays. One of the hottest days of the month and just enough for me to start wearing sleeveless dresses and no stockings yet it was labeled not proper for a young lady to not wear any stocking, especially around lunchtime with my older sister, Jane who was often strict and more mature than me.
Jane Bailey was undoubtedly the smartest and if not the most popular girl in the high British society, mostly because she and I are the daughters of the Admiral of the Royal Navy and that she had announced once at the dinner table that she would be engaged. She was more of an avid reader but to me, I would rather read a book with pictures in it which Jane found it pretty childish.
"Have you been catching up on those books I recommended?" Jane asks, taking a large sip from her cup of tea.
It was more like forced to read those boring old books that seemed hard to imagine anything going on in the stories. "Not yet," I shake my head and intentionally lying.
"You need to start reading those books, Elizabeth. When will you get your nose out of those naive books of yours? It's time that you grow up," she lectures and I hate it when she uses this as an argument. "Besides, you're eighteen now."
"I know that but I'm still a kid, Jane. You and mother tell me this all the time," I tell her. It gets exhausting every time when they remind me that I'm three years away from being an adult. With nothing else to say to her, I calmly take a few bites from my lemon cake.
"Listen, I know that I am being harsh on you but you can't have the mind of a little girl anymore. I wish you could be a child again but that's not how life works," she continues, her cup and plate still her hands while trying to sound sympathetic for me.
Of course, she's right and I loathe the fact that she is. I guess I could give those books a try but what would be the point? I am not as brilliant as she is. I will admit that I do have a thing for literature and mostly Lewis Carroll books. I often find myself like Alice in this scenario because we tend to fall asleep in boring lectures from our elder sisters. I want to be like her but she's only a fictional character, drawn to have an imagination.
The bubbling water of the large fountain on our front lawn as I tend to walk alone either to clear my head or ignore the fact that I have to wear a confounded corset and stockings on a hot day. It is in the middle of July and just three days after my 18th birthday. The gardener, Mr. Bennet is whistling while trimming the hedges and the rose thorns. He's one of my favorite people to talk to when it's hard to communicate with my sister sometimes. "Good evening, Mr. Bennet!" I shout and he smiles.