Lady and Waiter
Since early childhood, girls from aristocratic families of Great Britain would dream to one day attend the Queen Charlotte Ball. It was the first outing for young ladies in high society, and it was essencial to prepare carefully. At the age of 18-21 young ladies took classes, such as ballroom dancing, special curtsey, biblical and other proper teachings.
On the day of the ball, the castle of Highcler seemed to have shifted two hundred years back, tothe era of Queen Charlotte. Сharming debutants in luxurious white dresses were introduced to guests, by turn, in the festively illuminated hall. Then the ball would begin, refined gentlemen invited bashul, yet joyful beauties to a dance. But the main surprise was awaiting the guests of the ball at the very end. The “debutante of the year” was elected by a secret ballot, she was granted the honorable right to cut Charlotte’s cake with the royal sword…
Gracie did her best to avoid participation in this old-fashioned and pretentious event. With much greater pleasure she would go to the club with her friends or to rafting Dee River, or even better – would spend a weekend at her desk, finishing her first novel. But father insisted, arguing that if Gracie refused to participate, it would be misinterpreted in their circle of friends and business partners.
Therefore, the kindhearted Gracie decided to yield. “It will be a reason to laugh with the girls! At the same time, it could inspire a scene for a future novel!” Reluctantly, the girl went to the training courses for the ball, while clenching her teeth, went through the whole ritual of studying «graceful dances», bowing, curtsy, and the rest. The dances never interested her and therefore were not her strong suit. And now, Gracie was angry and felt like a clumsy bear, vainly taught to graceful waltz by the dance coach, who was an elegant and agile partner. As the ball was approaching, the sense of frustration grew. And by the time when the girl, filled with hatred for her long and too revealing ball dress, after surviving the day of preparations, rehearsals and photo sessions, was preparing to be introduced to the guests, Gracie already sincerely hated both the ball, and the castle, the guests, and this wasted evening.
On top of that, she stumbled, when she was coming down the stairs to the guests, and nearly fell during a curtsey at benevolent forced smiles of others and barely restrained laughter of other girls.
“What keeps me here?” thought Gracie. “Why should I stand this?” I have already fulfilled my promise to dad and can safely go back home! “The girl turned resolutely and headed for the exit. And then she was blocked by a waiter holding a tray with champagne.
“Champagne?” – his voice was pleasant and soft.
Gracie looked up and saw a handsome, elegant young waiter in front of her. His eyes were shining with intellect and hidden sparkles of merriment. He smiled simply and openly, half-bowed before Gracie.
– Yes! – Automatically answered the girl. Suddenly she caught herself at the thought that she likes him very much. Tall, handsome, well-built, strong… “Enough! she interrupted herself. – Last thing I need is to get carried away by a person who is not in our circle! That’s exactly what dad wouldn’t have wnated! I should leave now! “
As if reading her thoughts, the waiter continued:
– Today will be the most wonderful ball in the history of balls! I hope you’ll be very pleased. I know that the program is full of surprises for the guests, and the dishes are from the best chef in the UK … And, of course, dancing!
“I don’t like dancing,” Gracie admitted.
“I’d love to, but now I’m too busy,” answered the young man. And suddenly, Gracie, going completely against etiquette and rules, made another statement, unexpected even to herself:
– Take off this jacket and let’s dance!
To her surprise, the young man replied:
– I’ll be back soon. I’ll be happy if you wait for me.
When the waiter disappeared from the hall with the tray, she remained standing in the middle of the festive hall in confusion. Gracie was seized with joyful excitement, unusual warmth spread across her body. And at the same time she yelled at herself: “Why did you stay? What a ridiculous joke? “
The people was already dancing. And there was a lot of gentlement around Gracie. After a while, she began to enjoy it and found the ball not so boring. But in the crowd of guests the girl tried to find a slender figure of the waiter. “I did not even ask his name! But it’s for the best, of course, it’ll be better if I don’t see him again, “she thought.
“Gracie,” came a sudden voice behind her. Recognizing a familiar voice, the girl jerked and turned around. He was wearing an elegant tuxedo.
“Do you know my name?”
“I heard you being introduced to guests.”
– What is your name?
“Damian, at your service, my lady.” May I have the pleasure of a dance?
Unexpectedely for herself Gracie blushed again. For some reason, it was now important for her that she could move elegantly, and how much she would be liked by a simple waiter, who by some miracle was now among the guests at the ball. “Or can the servers be among the guests?” – she asked herself strange questions.
The young man turned out to be an excellent partner. He was attentive, caring and confidently led her.
Gradually Gracie stopped controlling her every move. Having felt, that the girl had calmed down, Damian began to ask her about what she loved and what she did, turning out to be an intelligent and subtle company. Soon they chatted, as if they have known each other for many years and as if there were no class boundaries and distance between them.
– Let’s go to the garden? suggested Damian.
The couple went towards the exit holding hands, followed by the admiring glances of the audience.
– I love you! – either as a joke, or seriously said Gracie.
“I want to be always with you,” Damian answered gravely and simply.
– I agree. Even if my father is against it.
– And why should your father be opposed to intermarry with one of the most famous aristocratic families in the UK?” the young man said coyly.
– You … served at the ball!”
– I just wanted … that the girl of my dreams chose me, not my title,” Damian said seriously.
Time stopped for them. It was already getting dark when Damian and Gracie returned to the guests. In the middle of the hall there stood a huge Charlotte’s cake, and the host solemnly proclaimed:
– The right to cut the royal cake is given to the debutante of the year … Gracie Braose!
Damian released her hand from his hand, and to the enthusiastic applause of the guests, she happily and naturally headed to the cake, laughing happily.