There’s no party like an Oswald party, for the Oswald party never stopped. Or at least that’s what Xavier conveyed. He was the one in-charge of organizing everything. The responsibility he reluctantly agreed upon.
“Is there anything I can help you with?” I said to to Xavier’s back, watching his head pull up from the clipboard he was holding. He turned with his usual smile, walking me away from the place.
“If I wanted your help, I would have asked for to..”
“No you wouldn’t. You are too shy.” I giggled. His stoic expression hardened at my hilarious take.
“And Roger said you are funny?” He taunted, the corner of his lip rising up. Her hooked eyebrow watched me in astonishment. “He must be high on something to say that. You suck at jokes Arin.”
I shoved him softly. He let out a soft laugh, walking back with me.
“Roger doesn’t do drugs.” It was the one information I was in possession of, thanks to Mrs. Rose. Roger was the clean guy who never required chemical alternate to be high. He was usually too mixed with work to even bother trying. Poor chap.
“Then water perhaps. Because he can’t simply be liking your humor without any catalyst.” Xavier gestured at me completely, shattering my perception of being a good humorist.
Taunting, we walk back to our rooms.
Dad wanted the party to be at the mansion but it was Xavier who convinced him otherwise. So now, I had a suite with my name on it and a bunch of fairy artists whose task was to transform me into Cinderella. I still didn’t get why such pomp and show was needed.
Why can’t we simply print an engagement news in the papers?
By evening, I was powered and caked in layers of foundation, thick enough to form the base of a building. The ironic part, for my own fake engagement party, I had no say. Dad was thrilled to be the host, running around and shouting orders at everyone. I, for one didn’t want to burst his happy bubble, hence played along.
A knock on the door startled me. Roger was quick to enter as if he was trying to evade someone. He hands bolted the double doors following which he walked in. His eyes roamed over me. I braced myself for yet another ‘Ready’. But this time, Roger took me by surprise.
“You look..” He didn’t match my eyes straight away. Evaluating me from top to bottom, he lend his arm, twirling me instead. “Splendid.”
Unprepared for such a reaction, I felt blood rush to my cheeks and all parts near my chest cavity. Finding it difficult to breath, I blamed it on the corseted gown. A white satin clothing which tugged hard at me waist and chest make me feel faintish from the moment I was placed inside. Beautiful array of stonework aligned over the borders near the neck. The exquisite feature of all was the slit. High enough near the leg to leave little to the imagination yet not overexposed.
Roger wore a three piece suit which fit him perfectly, highlighting his features. The navy blue blazer highlighted his ice blue pupils, a feature of his I could be adore for hours. Holding out his palm, he waited. I trembled from inside, the thought of touching him again, even though it was merely his hand was tremulous. I felt a surge of electricity run through me, fluttering my chest and stomach.
Roger, on the other hand, walked as if he was holding a inanimate object. No expression, no emotions.
In the crowded room, murmurs hushed. People turned to adore Roger and watch the new kid, me. He gave my hand a gently squeeze before walking into the crowd of new and old money. With the exception of the queen herself, the entire London was present at this ball, which as dad re-emphasized, wasn’t a ball.
I lost Roger to a sea of people while being surrounded by none. Awkwardness played hide and seek in my. My shoulders hunched as a few passing gazes drifted through me. I moved away from the center and towards the side where fewer people gathered.
Mrs. Rose was one among them. “Nervous?” she questioned.
“You have no idea.” She lent me her champagne flute and I gulped it down as if it was the last of liquid I would ever receive.
“Ohh, thirsty..” a giggling voice made me turn around. It was Georgia. Her smile flashed as so did her crimson colored gown. “So tell me, Arin, how does an heiress behave?” She scanned my gown, while asking the question which I still evaluated. Always on her toes, Georgia helped me ease into the surrounding when I stuttered. “Come on, I was kidding. You look fab, darling.”
After a few more shared laughter, I decided it was time to move back to my room. Surely, the tranquility of those four walls would be a better match than the crowd here and their ignorance.
Before I could move out, dad announced my presence. My worst fears revved up. With reluctance chaining my feet up, I walked over to him. He lent his hand out for a dance. Not that I was opposed to a father daughter dance, this one was clearly for show. A show I detested. It was a play, revealing how lucky the Oswalds were to have found me.
There was even a whole interview about the ‘Lost and found heiress’ in the newspapers which led dad to beam about it for days. On those days, I had committed the horrendous act of questioning his intentions. My mind had pondered if he was indeed happy for my presence or it was another ruse to drive up Oswald’s stock prices.
Everytime the notion of his intention drove up, I felt the pangs of guilt crash in my chest. Dad wanted to meet me and according to my mom, he was good and kind. But since Roger’s contract signing, I always felt out of place, doubting everyone’s intentions.
After a few twirls and a few more bows, dad and I parted. He mingled with the crown and I, moved back to the luxury called penthouse. Drinking around a bunch of nick picking snootiest members of the clan didn’t fall in my comfort zone. I decide to throw a mini fridge party for me in my room.
Drunkenness and I had a love hate relation. Not to brag but I could never handle my drinks well. Every shot warmed my belly and every red floated my head in the sky. Needless to state, in a span of half an hour, I was drunk.
A loud bang on the door had me waver at my steps. The knocking continued with loud thuds but before I could open, it stopped.
Annoyed at the intruder, I flung open the door. Roger stood in front, staring hard at me. If looks could kill, I would have been dead by now.
“What the hell are you doing here?” He said, leaving the door open and walking inside. Soft squeaks from his shoes stopped when he turned around. “You are drinking?”
“Wasn’t I supposed to?” I latched the door and moved in. Too drunk to recollect what I did, I dipped on the couch. Roger removed his blazer, placing it gently over an ottoman. He walked around the place, evaluating.
“How much did you drink?” he asked, his hand running into the back of his neck.
“A gallon.” I tossed my ‘five inch height enhancer’ heels at him. He had the reflex of a jungle cat to have caught them mid-air. His nostrils flared and eyes reddened. Angry Roger wasn’t a treat for the eyes.
“If you can’t help, atleast don’t mess it up further.”
Unnerved by alcohol warming my belly, my face dipped at his words. It was something similar to what my mother would say. Sitting in silence, I watched Roger be the doting fiancé, clearing out my mess. He watched me too, probably confused at my suddenly vow of silence.
Plopping adjacent to me, he looked straight at the display screen in front of us. I, in my infinite wisdom, continued to adore his side features. If only I could bite into his impeccable jaw.
Get a grip you horny woman. Somewhere, my conscience thrived to slap me back to reality.
“Did I say something wrong?” he asked.
I nodded my head vigorously. “It just reminded me of what mom used to say..” Turning, our eyes locked .
“I am so sorry for your loss, Arin.” Although it was a year ago, the pain still continued. “I know it was a while time back.. but still..”
Roger remembered. I recalled our conversation where I gave a mere mention about her. The smallest of his gesture was enough for my heart string to strum. Placing my hand over his, I moved closer as my mind screamed once again.
Ignoring it, I did what I felt like from the moment I saw him today. Cupping my face, Roger was gentle in approach. He pecked my lips softly before deepening it.
I wanted it. I wanted it all along. I wanted to be with Roger.
“Babydoll,” he whispered, pushing me on the couch and sliding over. He dipped his head into the crook of my neck. I felt his trimmed stubble grazing through my skin, lighting fire in its wake.
Moaning softly, he placed his hand over my exposed thigh, sliding it up. I was feeling him for the first. His tender touch was killing me softly and his kissed were creating a poof of desire inside me. Pulling him back, I bit his lower lip before he deepened our play. As I rolled into the sensation, he slid his hands off me slowly and let out a soft gasp.
“No. We can’t..” His raspy voice was only a whisper. Although trying hard to not sound desperate, I portrayed the same when I crocked a, ‘Why.’
Roger stared at me, sadness swirling in his darkened eyes. “It’s a mistake. We can’t cross over. At least I can’t..”
It took minuscular moments within which Roger straightened off the couch and cleared his throat and his coat’s lapel. He left the room with a loud bang from the door in his wake. In the silence of my room, my ears echoed the last of Roger’s voice.
Atleast he can’t.
What did he mean?
Hope you enjoyed the chapter.
What do you think it means? Atleast he can’t?
Let me know in the comments.