Alone (Chapter 45)
Dinner by oneself is a lonely affair.
I listen to the rain outside as I sit at the table by myself. Stuck eating the last of four courses as a member of the household staff watches on.
I can’t wait for this dinner to be over.
I can’t help but be put out by Giddean not showing up to dinner. I know it’s not fair; he has spent that last few evenings staying up late into the evening talking to me. He must be a busy guy- he’s a senator for goodness sake. But I can’t help but feel a little lonely, perhaps even… rejected.
Disgusted with myself, I stand up from the table, the chair scraping along the floor.
“Thank you, Andrew” I mutter to the as I escape the dining room. Walking down the hallway my skirt swishes along with my steps. The rain tapping on the roof is the only other sound in the empty house.
I head towards my room. If I’m going to spend the evening alone, it’s going to be curled up in bed under the covers reading. It’s not cold, it’s hot and sticky with the dampness of the rain, but I will curl up anyways as a sort of comfort, a shield from everything I just don’t feel like thinking about anymore.
I had felt for the first time in weeks a sense of place. A bit of normalcy. Talking with Giddean was so similar to how I use to chat with my colleagues at the museum. Only instead of the debating the role of the law in influencing 19th century family structures, I was debating the merits of government owned waste management organizations.
It was fun.
It was engaging.
It was useful.
It was something productive for my mind that was being wasted talking to other chosen about dresses or events or children. Not that I don’t want to make friends, I do. And it’s not like I don’t realize that the women have been forced into these roles of perpetual mindless chatter, shut out of any productive work. I do. But the dull gossip is drawing on me and I was eager to engage with something intellectual, if only for a little while.
But perhaps Giddean has grown bored of my arguments. After all, there has to be people he can discuss policies with that know far more about the laws, history, and politics of Pinn than me. People who have devoted their lives to understanding those things. Perhaps James or his Senator’s friends, or maybe the Captain. I haven’t seen him in a while…
I am still counting on the Captain to help me escape in a few months. I mean, I feel like it is a false hope, something that will never actually happen. The Captain just distracting me from truly escaping. Yet I cling to the idea, even though I am not sure wherever I would escape to on the planet would be better than here.
“If you are looking for the Senator, he’s in the courtyard”
I look up to see Sean is standing further down the hallway having just come out of a room.
“Oh um… thanks” I mumble as I pass him heading back to my room.
“You’re not going to the courtyard?” Sean asks after noting my direction.
I turn back to him and look up at Sean into is dark judging eyes so similar to his brother’s.
And I try to shrug nonchalantly, “I wasn’t planning on it.”
“You should go”
“He knew where I was if he wanted to talk to me” I retort.
Sean just raises his eyebrow at me. God, I sound like a moody teenager. So pathetic.
I take a deep breath and force out: “Why should I go to the courtyard?”
“You just should” is all Sean replies before turning around and goes back to wherever it is that he hangs out when he wasn’t needed. Blasted man.
I resist the urge to scream in frustration and stomp my foot.
“Fine” I say to myself as I turn and stomp my way to the courtyard. Again my damn skirt rustling against the floor and constricting my movement. The humidity making it stick to my legs.
My childish stomps lead me to the door to the courtyard. Perhaps in retrospect I will be happy that no one was around to witness my tantrum, but right now I don’t care.
I push open the door like a boss. Yes, I said it, like a pissed off boss.
Everything in the courtyard was dim and grey and shadows. It smells of damp humidity so thick it hits you in the face. It was particularly dark on the two level veranda that borders the courtyard. Heavy rain patters on the leaves of the garden and forms small puddles on the damp ground. But I am safely dry save for the occasional mist which makes its way into the protected space when it bounces off the railing on the edge of the veranda.
It takes a moment for my eyes to adjust to the dim light as I just stand there.
Then I see him, in the corner, lounging in one of the chairs, his feet up on another. A glass in hand, a carafe on the table next to him. I have never seen the stiff Giddean in such a relaxed pose, it was positively shocking. Who knew the man could sit in any other way than perfectly straight?
I storm up to him, arms crossed, pissed that he left me alone for dinner and then I had to go crawling to him on the orders of his brother. Ugh, not orders… I am being a bit dramatic, suggestion.
“Oh…Ivy! Come here!” He says in a slurry singsong voice as he wobbles and he takes his feet off the chair and gestures for me to sit in it.
He’s drunk. Charming.
I walk towards him and sit in the chair almost fuming. Great. Sean sent me to take care of a drunk.