Font size: - +
On the night of dance, Vivienne stared at herself in the mirror. She had done a clumsy job braiding and putting her dark hair up in a bun. Her hair was decorated with a single red rose. Standing there in her cheap, store-bought dress that had already begun show loose threads at the hem, she felt as far from Coral City as could be. Her gown at the masquerade had a collar of exotic feathers carefully selected and applied by artisans by hand. She had been almost literally sewn into the gown. Not a single seam was out of place. The gown was made with pure silk with nighttime flowers embroidered into the lining.
This raspberry monstrosity was baggy in all the wrong places. She wasn’t sure if there even was lining. She just hoped the shoulder straps stayed together long enough to keep her breasts from popping out. As much as she always dreamed of going to the prom with Blake, she never really thought out the logistics of it. She remembered Lady Thorne and her wardrobe of fantastic and otherworldly gowns, some of which she wore just for lounging. Vivienne found herself becoming terribly worried that the fantasy of dating Blake Thorne was simply not meant for reality.
When Vivienne came down the stairs, she momentarily if Blake was going to come to their front door. If he did, how was her father going to react? Was her father even going to recognize him? Would her father forbid her from going?
As Vivienne glazed into the darkness of the living room she immediately saw that her worries were unfounded. Her father was passed out on the couch and snoring.
“Dad?” Vivienne asked. “Hey, I’m heading out now.”
There was no response. Standing there, in the best finery that Remin could produce, Vivienne couldn’t help but to feel sad. She wasn’t sure what she wanted from him. Maybe she was simply too caught up in the fantasy of going to a high school dance. What was she expecting? That he was going to show up to the front door and grill Blake about when he was planning to bring his little girl home? It almost made Vivienne laugh to think that could possibly happen. Her father would probably ask Blake if he wanted to buy his little girl so that he could pay off his gambling debts.
Then again, maybe that was exactly what had happened. The debtors had stopped calling. Her family had miraculously showed up in Remin, exactly where Blake wanted her. Maybe, Blake was behind her family’s sudden ability to make ends meet. If that was so, he probably took extra precautions to conceal his identity from her father as well.
Stepping outside the front door, Vivienne immediately wished she had taken the back door. Standing on the sidewalk outside was Janun and Julian, who were locking lips.
“Ugh,” Vivienne squealed and covered her eyes. “Really? You two have to do that here?”
“Where are we supposed to go?” Janun asked accusingly. “We were thinking about following you guys to your dance. I heard they really decorated the meadows for it.”
Vivienne stood there and glared at her sister until she laughed and tugged at Julian’s arm. “Who wants to go to a kiddie party anyway? Let’s go to the mall.”
Vivienne walked in the opposite direction from the two of them until they were out of sight. A couple of blocks away, she felt a figure appear beside her.
“Oh, it’s you,” Vivienne said in surprise. She guessed that at this point he could sense where she was and find her quite easily. He looked handsome as always but she had to pause and do a double take at what he was wearing. He was wearing a two button blazer onto of a t-shirt with dark, modestly ripped jeans and mud splattered sneakers. Vivienne couldn’t hold back a laugh.
“What?” Blake asked with a slightly embarrassed smirk on his face. “Did you want me to show up in my father’s private jet?”
“No, no, it’s not that.” Vivienne said as she continued laughing harder at his mortification. “I was just expecting something different. That’s all.”
“I was just thinking today that it’s fortunate that my dear mother is dead.” Blake joked. “I can see a skeletal hand reaching out of her grave to force me to put on the white tie.”
Vivienne saw Blake continuously tugging on the lapels of his ill-fitting jacket as though having wrinkles in his clothes made him physically ill. Vivienne decided it was settled, it was easier for a vampire to pretend to be a normal boy than for the a rich, blue-blooded boy to pretend to be poor.
“Oh Blake,” Vivienne said and tried to keep her eyes from wandering over to gawk at how pained he looked in the cheap blazer. “Don’t worry. This will be all over soon and you’ll be reunited with your tailor.”
The meadow was lit by paper lanterns. Although the decorations were simple, Vivienne appreciated the natural beauty of the forest in the flickering candlelight. As she hung onto Blake’s arm and greeted their admiring schoolmates she felt as charismatic as Scarlett O’Hara out for a stroll with Rhett Butler. It occurred to Vivienne that if only the next week wasn’t the time of the harvest, if only the two of them could stay like this forever, it wouldn’t be so terrible.