My fanfiction and other random ramblings

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Rejection

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A short story about Miss Elizabeth Bennet and what happened at a certain ball.

The sparks in her eyes, so seemingly impish and welcoming just a moment before were now the very flames of hell, as she removed her gloved hand from his grasp.

“You… you disgust me” she uttered, slowly. “How could you… How could you even think that I would accept you, how could you even dream of me, accepting such a… such an offer?”

Her voice trembled with carefully controlled rage as she smoothed her hair.

The ballroom around them halted, the musicians suddenly silent, only the waiter quietly put down a tray of glasses and the bell-like sound reverberated in the chamber.

“How could you expect… I don’t even believe you. I can’t believe my own ears, the very fact that you could have said these… these things! About my family, my father… and myself.”

She was breathing faster and faster, his eyes strayed from her face to her décolletage, which rose and fell dramatically.

“Maybe I missed something? Because somehow I do not remember being courted – well, maybe it is not correct to expect being courted in such a situation! But… I just can’t understand, how – in this situation, in our relative…”

She threw up her arms and he could only stop himself from salivating.

“But my situation in life… Your parents would agree!”

Her eyes narrowed and her hands landed firmly on her hips.

“My parents? Oh, I see. You have been talking to my mother! And what did you promise her? To support her properly after my father’s demise? To make sure she doesn’t have to change anything in her life? Or does she just want to ‘have a daughter safely settled?”

He swallowed. This was becoming a nightmare. He came here, with all the feeling of benevolence towards his distant relatives, to offer for this… this… And that was how she treated it? He couldn’t believe. She had to be playing at something. Probably read one romance too many and though that by refusing him…

“What… What were you exactly trying to gain by offering for me in this place?” she inhales and makes a general gesture around the room. “I know only one reason for making a respectable offer in such a situation – when a man is so in love and so certain of the woman that he knows she will not refuse him and that she will be honoured and moved by his actions.”

Well, she should have been honoured. Apparently the girl was too stupid to see that his superior connections and the benevolence…

“And I can imagine one situation when the intentions are not that honourable. When a man is trying to shame a lady into accepting him – he counts on her being unable to reject him, due to whatever reason – her parent’s pressure, the society judging her as a flirt or her being distracted enough by the setting to accept such an offer without thinking. Or he counts on her mercy and not wanting to make him look ridiculous in front of his peers.”

She took a step back.

“You, sir, however, took your chances with the wrong girl. I’m not merciful. I’m not frightened. My parents will not press me, as I suppose you didn’t consult your suit – if I can call it that – with my father. I have not been flirting with you and if anyone judges me so, I can easily give up their company until they regain their senses. And I’m not distracted enough to accept due to overindulging in wine. Unlike you, I drank only water.”

She shook her hands, as if trying to get rid of something dirty.

“You may think you’re respectable. You may think that with your connections, patrons and prospects you’re someone a young lady like me should accept. You’re wrong, sir.”

Elizabeth Bennet, seventeen, whirled around in her first grown-up gown and stalked away, leaving her coming-out ball, the Meryton assembly hall and a dumbfounded younger son of a baronet.

In her heart she swore to never, ever accept someone who doesn’t even let her know in advance that he thinks he is courting her.

It worked quite well for her in the coming years.

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Written by Srebrna

2013/07/24 at 20:41

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