The Invitation

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Picture above is of the ball in full swing.
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I threw open my doors, alarmed.

"Mother?" I cried out, worried.

"Rebecca! Come here this instant!" She demands, sounding ecstatic.

I sighed in relief. Goodness, this woman nearly gave me a heart attack! I quickly made my way down the stairs, finding my mother in her night gown by the door.

She grinned at me like a mad woman.

"Rebecca! The Prince is hosting a ball! It's his 21st birthday, so he's invited all the respectable families in the country, including us dear!" She cried, joyously, looking slightly like a small child running amongst a candy store.

I gaped at her slightly. The Prince? I know for a fact all the girls will come. He is in fact, the most gorgeous creature on earth.

I've never met him in person, he's a very busy fellow, but father has. Father said that he was very respectable, and extremely wise for his age.

He is very serious and is a man of few words. Almost every girl in the kingdom wishes to be his wife. I say almost, because I do not wish for that fate at all.

Being a ruler of an entire country? Being the envy of every girl? Having to make life or death decisions on a daily basis? It does not sound like a pleasant life to me.

"He's still single, you know. I wonder if that's what the party is for. Could the young prince be looking for a bride?

Oh, and the party is in just a few days! Goodness me, we have so much to do! We'll have to get started immediately.

Oh, but it is rather late. How about tomorrow morning? It's settled, then," Mother ranted.

I watched her, slightly annoyed. I see this decision is not mine. I sigh, giving in. I know better than to fight with my mother on a subject like this.

"Good night, mother," I say, turning back for the stairs.

"Good night, dear. Oh and don't stay up late reading! You need your beauty sleep," she ordered.

I went wordlessly to my room and shut the door.

The next few days will be horrid.
......

"Mother, do I seriously need to go? This is ridiculous, this plan of the prince marrying off one of the women there tonight. It's even more ridiculous that you think it'll be me!" I cry, fidgeting in my light pink dress.

"Nonsense, Rebecca! You are a beautiful girl, you have just as much chance, if not more, than any other female there tonight," my mother replies stubbornly.

I grumble incoherently, I can't believe this! My mother has gone completely insane. How could she think I have a chance with the prince?

I'm average at best. She finally finished with my make up, smiling approvingly.

"Stunning," she said.

I looked into the mirror and gaped. She was right. I did look beautiful. I looked like a princess. A knock sounded from down stairs.

"The carriage is here!" My mother cried joyously.

Off to the royal ball, I suppose.
.......
The palace was packed full. Carriages were bustling to drop off their guests, and horses clomped impatiently at one another.

I know, why are we taking carriages? Why don't we just drive in limos? Because the prince is fond of the old way of things.

He enjoys the old ball gowns, horse drawn carriages and often refuses to be taken by car to many occasions.

My mother is on edge, fanning herself frantically as we waited to pull up. I watch her, my frustration building by the second. After what seems like an eternity, we finally make it.

The palace is a large, beautiful building that seems to pierce the sky with its glory. Tonight, it was lit up and seemed to glow with excitement.

My mother and I walked down the red carpet, photographers flashing their cameras, attempting to get every detail. I smiled slightly.

No matter how the prince adores the olden days, nothing would have kept the press from the best party in the last twenty years.

"Welcome, Mrs. and Miss. White. Where is Mr. White?" A short man with a parchment of paper and a pen asked.

"I'm afraid he wasn't feeling very well. I believe he's caught the flu, heaven help him. But he sends his regards," my mother replied with a sweet smile.

The man nodded and gestured us in. The room was impeccably large, and had a large, crystal chandelier in the middle of if.

The floors were white marble, as were the walls, and lights were shining everywhere. It looked radiant and classy. I found myself enjoying the view.

I walked with my mother to go and talk to the Morgensteirs, a very close friend of the family.

"Ah! There you are! We thought you'd never make it," the woman, Josephine, commented.

"So did I! The line to get here was as long as the river Nyx!" My mother joked.

They both laughed before lady Josephine turned her attention to me.

"Rebecca! You look beautiful. You know, my son Henry is here. He's become quite the strapping, young fellow," she winked.

I smiled at her.

"I will make sure to say hello, Lady Morgensteir," I said, politely.

She nodded in recognition before she and my mother began their ritual gossip. I snuck away, going to find a glass of champagne.

After my mission had been completed, I walked with my glass, and sipped it soothingly.

"Madam? May I have this dance?" A voice asked.

I turned to see a handsome young fellow with beautiful blonde hair.

"Of course," I replied reluctantly, wishing I could reject his offer.

I placed my champagne down and placed my hand in his. We walked to the dance floor, then I put my hand on his shoulder, and he put his on my waist. 

Then the music began, and I waltzed with the stranger. This went on for a while, I'd be asked to dance a song or two, then I would switch partners.

It didn't stop until the stroke of 12, when the prince was formally introduced. I watched curiously, as the room went silently, and a spot like shined on the door.

Then, the most beautiful man that is ever seen stepped out into the open.

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