12th of April 1912
The minute I woke up, Jane informed me of what seemed to be the most stirring news, rather, gossip I have heard in my life. She immediately pulled my arms and gasped at me, demanding for me to come at my senses at once.
After she helped me did my morning routine, I could hear her giggling as we walked back to my bed. It was not I who sparked up the gossip, but I could not stop Jane for sharing such information! In a hush and fast manner, she said:
‘On my way to your room, Sierra, I heard voices inside Ms Abram’s cabin!’ She nodded excitedly. “It is true!”
Sitting next to her, I was yawing as she continued.
‘I believe the other voice belonged to… erm… you did say that she met a guy last night, am I correct?’
I nodded. ‘He was Mr McSomething?’ I shrugged. ‘Henri pointed him out when he saw them talking, coquettishly.’ I yawned again.
Jane’s giggles became louder. ‘Right! He was in there! Perhaps, still!’ She clutched my hands and looked at me with her big, brown eyes, wide opened, and filled with conspiracy and hope. ‘Do you think something happened between them? Or, rather, they are now madly in love with each other?’
She was in awe; it was clear! She got caught up in, her namesake, Austen’s world to be dreaming of meeting stunning lads with intriguing personalities, Mr Darcy, for example. I supposed I should not have read to her before since she became highly obsessed with her creations.
The thought of it made me laugh.
‘Oh, dear Jane!’ I giggled again. ‘You must not confuse fiction with reality. We all know Ms Abram, and how virtuous she is, she would never do such a scandalous interaction. Although, I am positively sure that she has taken into liking him. Besides, we must not gossip about them! We simply must let them be.’
The flames in her eyes deflected. ‘Oh! But to think, she will be less grumpy!’
She then straightened up and went to get my clothes. She was humming as I tried to make the bed. When all of a sudden, she turned around, gasping. Her hands holding tight onto the hanger.
‘You naughty little bird!’ she panted.
My heart quickened. It must be instinctive to think that I had done something wrong from the tone of her voice. I squinted at her and questioned, ‘What does that suppose to mean, Jane?’
‘Don’t go proper on me, Sierra!’ she giggled. ‘You and Mr Sanders disappeared last night at the party! But to be honest, I was not worried since he has some security sense in him.’
Involuntarily, I nodded while smiling.
She immediately caught the sight and pointed at me. ‘Don’t you dare leave me hanging! Tell me all that happened!’
Jane tried her best to pull a begging face; she even pouted her lips.
‘Or you could tell me once Ms Abram and Mr Colinsfirth join us for breakfast?’
My eyes went wide, and she laughed. ‘All right! I’ll tell you everything as you help me get dressed.’
She rolled her eyes and pulled me up. As I got out of my nightgown and got pampered, I chose the words carefully, not wanting Jane to have wishful thoughts about me and Alec. I told her every dance, every accidentally touches, and all the details that happened last night. But even though I tried to act civil and composed, my tone was betraying my will.
She lightly hit my arms a couple of times when she got giddy at some point of my telling. She and I went into giggle fits as she tightened my corset around my waist.
When I got to the point when Alec and I were in the poop deck to breathe some fresh air, I was all ready and pretty to start the day. Jane and I were at the table in my sitting room, and she had her hands on her jaws, listening intently, hanging onto every word coming out from my mouth. Her eyes were shining in delight as I recalled Alec’s arms around me as he and I conversed about family.
Purposefully, I left out the part I cried my eyes out in his arms.
‘And then he took me back here,’ I finally said.
Her sparkling eyes shone even brighter, ‘Did he steal a kiss?’
My eyebrows contorted in confusion. ‘No, although, he took my hand and pressed his lips against my knuckles.’
She squealed so loud that I had to put my hands on my ears. She jumped and giggled excitedly. ‘Are you going to meet Mr Sanders today?!’
‘Unfortunately, no.’ I smiled politely.
She gasped, ‘But why not?!’
I stood up and switched back to my proper self as I headed to the door. ‘Alec is a busy man, Jane. You do understand that, right?’
Noticeably, her shoulders slumped in dissatisfaction.
Giggling, I said, ‘Now, let us go and break our fast. Stop pouting! We have the whole day ahead of us to enjoy the amenities of this ship!’ She dragged her feet as I demanded, ‘Come on!’
I pulled her with me and headed out to meet Henri and Ms Abram. Our uproarious laughter rang inside the B deck’s hall. When all of a sudden, a door swung open.
‘You girls, surely, are in a good mood in this fine morning!’ greeted Henri.
His golden hair usually pomaded and pushed back, but today, he had it down, and some flowed to the left side of his face. In his hand, he had his can of pomade.
Jane bowed. ‘Good morning, sir.’
Henri beamed at us, and I smiled.
I approached the opened doorway and said, ‘You ought to continue making yourself more handsome, Henri. We’ll see you at breakfast.’ I kissed him on the cheek, and he ruffled my hair.
After chatting and eating, Ms Abram left early and gave me a free day from lessons. Jane and I shared a look as she walked away. We both giggled and made a theory that she has a rendezvous with Mr McSomeone! I know how rude it is, but I honestly do not remember his name!
Accompanied by Henri, Jane and I headed to the library to browse their books. She wanted to read Austen’s Northanger Abbey, but I was not able to bring my copy. So here we are now at the library.
As Henri helped me sat down, I noticed he was already holding this conversant medium-sized, leather-bound book. Waiting for Jane to have the book she was looking for; I pulled out my drawing and writing materials and observed him as he sat next to me. He opened the pages, and I see his eyes roamed, and him getting lost in the book’s world.
My curiosity intensified when I heard him stifling his laughter and grumbled under his breath. I asked him what it was.
His merry blue-green eyes met mine. He put the book down and grinned. ‘I remember a few years back; I believe you were twelve or thirteen, then.’ He chuckled, closing the book, and showing me the brown, dog-eared leather. ‘It was all you talked about. My! You even had Daniel convinced to see a play of it, and when he was unsuccessful, he put up a crew to have it performed on your birthday with Celeste!’
I titled my head, muddled. ‘Enlighten me, Henri, you know how much I love to read, it could be anything!’
He held his stomach and laughed. ‘Twelfth Night, my dear,’ he said as he held my hand.
My eyes lit up and gasped. It’s one of my favourite plays of William Shakespeare. ‘And you’re just reading it for the very first time?!’ I squeezed his hand atop mine.
He nodded, ‘Yes, now, hush. It’s getting interesting!’
I giggled, ‘I’m thrilled to see how much it’s entertaining you.’
He shifted his gaze to me and smiled.
My heart is in webs! Henri looks so handsome with that amused smile! I tucked in a strand of hair behind my ear and started sketching, calming my beating loudly heart and enjoyed the moment.
Jane burst in our atmospheric harmony, and excitedly showed the book, screaming: ‘I found it! I found it!’
Henri and I laughed at the flushed Jane, apologizing to the other patrons inside the library. She then sat opposite of me and started reading.
As the two read in peace, and I, sketched people I observed by the window, I believe we’ll be staying here until luncheon. Now, I’ll go back to sketching, will write again soon, father!
All my love,