The Spring Fling

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When the day of the Spring Fling finally came, Ferry had long lost his enthusiasm. It wasn't even a day like any other. That would have been easier. He knew he wouldn't like it. He couldn't have. Matilda had briefly let him know that she would not come because she did not like such a gathering. He also knew from her that neither Ben would come. But he had promised Celia; he knew the ball was important to her, and he didn't want to disappoint her. The only thing that comforted him was that he could at least see May. The rest didn't matter anymore.

After the discussion with Mr. Haughty, Ferry stopped visiting Celia. Anyway, there were only a few days left before the ball, and Celia was pleased with Ferry's dancing achievements.

Now, Ferry looked at his own reflection in the mirror from Lavender's drawing-room. The navy-blue suit fitted perfectly. Touching the fine fabric felt like the surface of peach in ripe. While waiting for Celia's driver, Ferry was lost in thought. He didn't hear his mother coming down and looking at him with a nostalgic smile on her lips.

"You're so handsome," she said. "And so big ... When did you grow up so fast?" she asked looking at him in the mirror. Standing beside her, he looked like a giant looking at a small being.

Ferry turned to her and tried to smile. But his mother knew him better than that, "What is it, my dear? You seem preoccupied lately."

Ferry sat on the sofa near the window to Lavender's garden. His mother sat beside him and wrapped him a warm look, as she usually did.

"I don't know, Mum," Ferry sighed. "I seem to ruin everything, lately ... All I do is wrong ... And I hurt a lot of people in the process. People I care about ..."

"What is it you think you did wrong?" she asked.

"How much time do you have?" he tried to joke.

His mother caressed his cheek, "I know you, Ferry. You couldn't hurt anyone, not even if you wanted to. Why don't you try to feel good at this ball? It's your first one. You should be excited about it..."

"I was ... But then, May--" And Ferry sighed again.

His mother smiled at him, "Ah, young love ... What could be more beautiful?"

"I don't know ... Maybe being with that person?"

But his mother shook her head, "But that's not the purpose of love, Ferry. What would love be without longing, without desire? ... Without pain? ... Isn't it how we realize that we truly love?"

Ferry said nothing. He looked at his polished shoes, so polished that they glittered.

"I wish it wasn't so complicated ... What I feel, I mean ..."

"You should be happy ..." his mother said. "Love at this age is disturbing, and messy, and confusing ... But so beautiful and pure. The first love stays in your heart forever. Cherish these feelings because you don't know if they will ever return."

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