This is a short story that I am working on, exploring domestic violence, and how behaviors continue generation after generation. These are only a few pages, and wanted to test the waters with all of you. I appreciate your feedback.
Photo Jordan 2018
The Sun set down to the west and it was time for Rose to get ready for her engagement ball at the Queen’s Palace. Her sister’s Evelyn and Mary helped her prepare and laid out her gown, shoes and jewelry. In fact, her dress was hand sewn by her sisters, who were dressmakers to the Queen. It was taffeta and jade green with embroidered collar and hem.
Her Mother had arranged a large engagement party. She invited more than two hundred relatives and friends. Excited, she planned the festivities. They would have fine food, live classical music and dancing afterward.
Anxious, Rose began to get dressed. Their engagement was a year in the making, and she longed for her own home, husband and children.
Admiring herself in the mirror, she knew she was attractive. She had full lips, a round face, large brown eyes, and deep dimples that accentuated her lovely smile. Indeed, everything about Rose was round with a full figure, round breasts, round hips and a heart of gold.
Alas, her sisters called for her, the car had arrived to take her to the ball. Rose and her family arrived at the Palace and made their way through the large foyer. They greeted the guests as they sauntered down the long hall.
The guests continued to flood the large ballroom. It had glasslike marble floor, Ionic columns and ceilings so high they seemed to touch the sky.
The Queen offered the ballroom in the palace as a wedding gift to Rose’s family. She also insisted on catering the event. And planned caviar, fine wines, various cheeses, fruit, meats, salads and deserts.
However, the generous Queen chose not to join so that Rose could be the Queen for the evening.
The groom had not yet arrived and was already long overdue. Demetrius was a handsome man and many women would flaunt themselves in front of him. A real flirt he was, as well as narcissistic, arrogant, and domineering. He was tall, dark and handsome with broad shoulders, wide cheekbones and a twisted smile. Rose used to the entourage of women, would generally shy away.
The marriage was arranged by their Mother’s as customary in that era circa 1950’s. Rose and Demetrius rarely had time alone and never engaged in meaningful conversation. Their rendezvous were always chaperoned by close relatives.
Rose taken in by Demetrius’ good looks, felt honored to be with such a fine catch. His work was humble, having resigned from the Army, he took on working at his Father’s carpentry shop. Rose didn’t mind, she was happy to marry at the late age of 27 to a fine man, younger than her by a few years.
And yet there she was standing in the corner, waiting for his arrival. She did not want to risk going out into the crowd with out him. Another half an hour went by before Rose’ Mother went to bring her out onto the floor to continue mingling. Rose grew anxious, she seemed to instinctively know that it would be wrong to do before he arrived. Nonetheless, she followed her Mother’s instruction and began to enjoy herself.
Finally, an hour later Demetrius arrived, he floated into the room and took over the show and every eye was upon him. He laughed, greeted the guests, shook hands, hugged his friends and worked the room like a movie star. Never once setting eyes upon his bride to be, never once acknowledging her presence.
Rose began to shrink, contracting from the denial, knowing she should have stayed back and waited for him. She thought that he might call off the engagement in this large public setting. Horrified, she sunk back into the corner waiting for a sign.
She saw Demetrius flirting with an old flame, kissing another on the cheek, taking another sip of courage and yet still never once looked in her direction.
Again, her Mother came to get her, this time with Rose’s eldest brother Lawrence. Lawrence greeted her and said, “my dear sister, let us bring you to Demetrius to announce the betrothal.”
A deep instinctual fear arose in Rose’ gut as she walked between her Mother and brother to find Demetrius. But he noticed, and scurried to greet them. As Demetrius took her hand, Rose tried to calm her fear. He then whisked her away to the front of the ballroom to announce their engagement.
Everyone cheered, and several guests made long toasts. Yet while they congratulated Demetrius, very few would look at Rose. People tend to notice the imperceptible tension between two people. They did not want to acknowledge her hidden shame, and would not look at her.
Deep inside she shrunk even more. She became as small as an ant, her smile turned pale and the beautiful Rose wilted from the inside out.
It was time to go and Demetrius said that he would walk her home alone, now that their engagement was now formal. They said their goodbye’s to all the guests and took their leave.
As they walked hand in hand, Rose grew courageous and asked him why he didn’t greet her right away. He became furious with her, how dare she ask such a stupid question, stupid woman, “I’ll teach you!” he said, and dragged her around a corner and threw her against a dark tree. Lifting and ripping her gorgeous jade green taffeta dress… Our dear Rose with tears streaming down her face, he exclaimed, “you are mine now, don’t ever talk back to me, I own you.”