"I never said Daisy" |18+| unedited

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𝒯𝒽𝓇𝑒𝑒

(Storyteller)

The two ladies walk together through a long corridor leading to the kitchen where Theresa and Ellen are preparing lunch.

Once you enter you can see in the middle of the kitchen a huge wooden table where Hattie is sitting and helping with the vegetables.

She must have had a pretty joyful talk with either Theresa or Ellen. You can hear her crystal clear laughter from miles away, her chest shaking joyfully and her head bends back just when Sophie walks in.

“Hattie, my dear, I’m so happy to find you in such a cheerful spirit,” Sophie says showing herself in and walking straight to the young lady.

Hattie lifts her huge green orbs in surprise and her joy grows higher when turning her head and landing her eyes on Sophie.

“Ms. Sophie, what a wonderful surprise!” she says and stands up crossing the room, giving a warm hug to her old friend.

“It’s always lovely to see you, Hattie,” Sophie replies in a sweet voice, thrilled to see the young lady.

“But why are you here? Why didn’t you call me to the salon? I would have come to you if I knew you were here.”

“Nonsense, my dear! Here it’s just as perfect as in any other place. I only need a few minutes of your time. There is something very important I need to talk to you about.” Sophie became suddenly serious which surprises Hattie even more.

They both sit one next to the other while Sophie grabs the hands of the young lady in her own, and asks for Theresa and Ellen to give them a moment.

The two maids, already in awe for seeing a lady like Sophie in their kitchen don’t react immediately making Greta motion them silently to exit the room.

“This is intriguing. I hope nothing is wrong. I hope you are fine Ms. Sophie. Everybody is fine, right? Mrs. Greta?” Hattie becomes anxious, shifting her eyes between the two ladies, the tension increasing by the second.

“Everybody is fine, just fine dear. I’m coming here with a request but not before I scold you a little,” Sophie says and takes a very impetuous posture, straightening her back.

“Young Lady, I understand you do not follow doctor’s recommendations and I believe I should have visited you in your room right now and not in here,” she continues.

“Oh, I’m perfectly fine, Ms. Sophie,” Hattie motions her hand in the air, creeping a smile on her lips. “I do understand your worries but staying in bed the entire day is not going to make me feel better. I’m good in here, I can help here and I’m actually just sitting, only moving my hands, that’s all.”

“Right! Greta...” Sophie agrees, turning her look towards her friend. “I don’t know what you are so worried about,” she continues trying to seem so much on Hattie’s side.

“Oh, no Sophie! No, no. You’re not going to pretend to be on her side. That’s not the way you’ll convince her. You agreed with me on this a minute ago. She should be more careful with her health,” Greta scolds Sophie and she’s just about to start a new brawl as they always do when arguing on something.

“Is someone going to tell me what is this about? Just because I do not stay in bed ...” Hattie snaps interrupting them but suddenly she stops talking, noticing a specific light in the ladies’ eyes as they both stare at her, all smiling “..., well, I’m guessing not ...” she mumbles.

Sophie’s smile widens at Hattie’s cuteness. She adores the young lady and the innocent way she cares about the people in her life. And she knows she can care about Ross just as much.

She clears her throat, straightening her back again, preparing for the big news.

“What is going?” the young lady whispers.

“Hattie, how long do we know each other?” Sophie stars in a serious tone, holding the young woman’s hands in a warm hold.

“Since I was a child, Ms. Sophie,” she replies promptly, still puzzled by the mystery of the conversation.

“Do you trust me?” Sophie continues.

“Like my own mother. Will someone tell me already what is this about? You are both acting strange, do you know that?” Hattie can’t stop her curiosity anymore.

“My daughter Margret, God forgive her, always told me she wished she had a daughter like you. I swear sometimes I feel I see her in you...” Sophie nostalgically says framing Hattie’s face with one hand and gazing into her eyes as if seeing her late daughter in there. ” Sweetie, Greta, and I will not be around here for too long. That’s how life is, sweetie.”

“Please don’t say that. I’ve lost so much already...” Hattie interrupts her with a frown in her eyes and a sad voice, shifting her look to her lap where the fingers knit with each other.

“I know, sweetheart, but that’s how things go around here, on Earth, and this why I need to make sure that you’ll be taken care of, the best way, just as a woman like you deserves. But let’s not dramatize here,” Sophie suddenly changes her mood seeing the young lady saddened. “Because I came with good news and a request that I’m hoping you will grant.”

“Anything,” Hattie rushes to agree without thinking twice.

“Right! Well, let me say it first and then you’ll answer,” Sophie tries to temper her rush and takes a moment to prepare her words because she knows that beyond her enthusiasm, this was indeed one very important step for Hattie and her grandson.

So, she decides to stop running around the bush and say it straightforward.

“If my grandson, Ross, comes here to ask your hand in marriage, will you accept?” Sophie speaks at a slow pace, looking straight into the young lady’s eyes.

“What...” Hattie mumbles hardly breathing, eyes gauging and palms sweating. “Why? How?”

Suddenly it becomes hard for her to form full sentences while her heart springs out of the chest, racing in madness and throbbing in her throat.

“What are you talking about? Me?! What do you mean getting married with... Mr. Ross?! she miraculously regains her powers, Sophie’s news building all sorts of thoughts in her mind, one crazier than the other.

“Ms. Sophie, don’t believe I’m being ashamed of my origins but... I know very well where my place is and that is not next to Mr. Theron.”

Her big, round forest eyes are now wide open still searching for the confirmation of Sophie’s words, wondering where has that come from?

Margret has indeed been teaching her everything a high-class young lady should know.

As a child and having lost her patents in that dreadful fire, Hattie became the protégée of Margret and Greta, and she was grateful for that because that ensures her a better future than her poor mother has had but Ross Theron...

He’s an educated young man, he has lived on the New Continent for the past ten years, he’s the heir of Theron wealth and that means half of their town.

And she never really met him but one time, that day when their eyes locked for a second and the world stopped existing. She was still a child then.

And still, it was as if she knew him since forever because Margret was always talking about her son whenever they didn’t have reading or writing classes.

She knew since then that it was hard to find the right woman for him even among the rich young ladies around, so Hattie thought she was quite out of the proper options.

And besides, he was a convinced bachelor, everybody knew that. When did he start thinking about marriage?

“You’re serious! You really mean it, don’t you, Ms. Sophie?! Ms. Greta?!” she turns around towards her adoptive mother, desperately asking for help but Greta only stands there, silent and not giving any sign to interfere.

“Mrs. Sophie, you’re serious, aren’t you? That’s madness! Mr. Theron never met me, I don’t even think he knows about my existence!” she shouts feeling powerless in front of the ladies’ conspiracy.

Greta avoids Hattie’s eyes as the young woman is still searching for answers.

Sophie is not that cooperative either, she seems adamant to move on with her plan. The wheels in her head are moving fast trying to take in the enormity of the things she’s hearing and judging by the look in Sophie’s eyes.

And a thought strikes Hattie’s mind, knowing the ladies better than they think and she feels her ears cracking with a sharp noise.

“He doesn’t know!” she suddenly realizes and none of the ladies denies. “He has no idea what is going on here! Ms. Sophie, you want me to marry Mr. Theron, but that’s you, not him,” she continues.

“Sweetie, my grandson would not recognize a good woman even if she was to stand in front of him scooping his eyes out, trust me,” Sophie finally speaks feeling she almost loses Hattie’s cooperation.

“My dear, nothing would make me happier than having you as my daughter-in-law. You practically grew under of my eyes, Hattie. I don’t think there’s someone better for Ross.”

“But I’m lacking so much, no wealth, no prestige, no class, no name. And besides, we’ve never met. Of course, I’ve heard so much about him from Ms. Margret, but I have never dared thinking...”

And besides, what a marriage can bring more than constant suffering? Hattie only knew one man, her father, John, who loved her mother but with time drinking became a better company than his family, and the past years had been a dreadful hell for her and her mother.

Poverty, cold, and hunger were forever present in their home till the fire happened and took her family away.

Lately, she even thought about never greeting married. She would not allow that kind of life for herself, and she would have been better off alone.

This is why she has never been upset when no marriage plans are discussed, or better yet, she has been always grateful whenever Greta has constantly found different reasons to refuse the young men coming to ask her hand in marriage.

Of course, she knows time is passing fast, she’s already twenty-two, and no matter how much she has dreamed to meet a handsome man to desperately fall in love with her and marry her, all those plans have crumbled one by one with each year passing by and each suitor rejected by Greta for not being good enough for her.

And now, out of all those non-existing plans of marriage, she can’t believe her ears what Sophie is saying.

It can’t be a joke, Sophie is one of those she has felt the closest to a mother after her own mother has died and Ms. Margret has passed away.

Her face is changing colors and her eyes shift from Sophie to Greta with panic floating and fears building up.

The two old ladies keep silent for a few moments, giving Hattie the time to process the news and pass the shock before she answers.

Sophie moves closer to Hattie, putting two fingers under her chin, and lifts her face towards her, locking their eyes and making sure that, joke aside, Hattie will give a good thought about the proposal.

“I know what you are thinking, Hattie. Ross could never be like your father. I do admit he’s too pleased being a bachelor against my opinion, but still, I know my grandson. Obviously having lived so long in America makes him quite different from the other men around here but his mother has raised him well. He’ll never leave his wife neither in need nor disrespected. He’s a good man for you, Hattie. I know he’ll take good care of you,” Sophie closes her pleading, hoping that now Hattie is convinced he’ll be a good husband.

“But why me, Ms. Sophie? Me of all those young girls of high society that can fit Mr. Theron ....”

“You’re perfect! It hurts me to see you are thinking less of what you actually are. Besides, I could never see Ross tied to one of those prude rich girls and find himself in a few years alone in his marriage. Hattie...” Sophie takes a deep look into Hattie’s eye trying to somehow find a sign that she can grab and convince her. “I don’t want someone shallow for Ross. I could never see him with someone different than you. Your beautiful, smart, hearted...”

“But poor. I have no status, my parents are coming from a low class. Ms. Sophie, I care for you as much I’ve cared for my mother or Ms. Margret. I never want to upset you and bring you sadness. But I don’t think it will work. I don’t want to be an arranged wife. A life of pretending can never work for me. I’ll never allow that I’m the hidden wife, the wife that can never match her husband in society.”

“You’ll never be that! Not with Ross. I know him well. I raised my grandson, and I don’t think I have raised him to be this shallow,” Sophie becomes slightly offended, and the more Hattie tries to reason that she won’t be a good wife for Ross, the stronger her will comes not to give up.

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