General Fiction posted October 2, 2017 Chapters:  ...9 10 -11- 12... 

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A cerimony to celebrate the end of term and a party.

A chapter in the book Jenny Revised

End of Term

by antonieta

Adele became destitute when her wealthy father died suddenly.Now, she cannot afford to pay for her expensive school and her future is uncertain. Her best friend is Jenny, a wealthy American girl.
The last week of the Spring term finally arrived. Having completed their education most of the girls would now go home. Jenny was one of them, whilst I still didn't know what future God had planned for me.

Jenny was out once again, while I was left to make the beds and tidy the room. On her return, she told me a most astonishing piece of news.

"Did you know that Lucille was on the Titanic?"

"But she is not dead!" I exclaimed.

"How silly you are. She survived, of course," she said, shouting at me.

"Good heavens."

I tightened my lips, pulling away to stare at her.

"And her real name is Lucy Duff Gordon. Lady Duff Gordon. I am going to visit her shop in London," she went on.

Then she glared at me and saw that I was frowning, with tear-filled eyes, even though I was trying to hide any signs of a sour face.

But Jenny, who had a kind heart, after all, said:

"Don't be sad, Adele, as soon as I am established, (only God knew what she meant by established.) I will send for you."

I was going to ask her how could she possibly help me when Cathy came in like a windstorm.

"What are you wearing this afternoon?" she asked, ignoring me as usual. "May I have a look at your wardrobe?"

I clenched my teeth and left the room, but I could not help hearing her hoarse voice saying.

"I envy your figure, Jenny!" Of course, she did, considering her own plump figure.

In the afternoon, we had a small ceremony for all of us who were finishing school. I wore my cream tulle gown as the dress code demanded. Thank goodness, no ugly black or grey dresses for the occasion, and I was sure the other girls thought the same. In other words, girls wore their best Sunday clothes as a sort of competition: a matter of whoever's gown was more expensive and more exquisite. On the other hand, this was an exceptional event and poor Madame Neuville deserved to have a glimpse of her elegant pupils.

The ceremony went well, I must say. Father Leopold who was also an accomplished pianist accompanied us on the songs. The mistresses sat on the dais wearing their best tailored suits, in black or navy blue - why would they not be wearing lighter coloured frocks? They made the whole thing look more like a funeral service, their costumes contrasting to the mass of pastel and light shades that we, the debutantes, wore.

Mme Neuville's speech lacked originality as usual. The same old spiel she had been spouting for so many years - our bright future as wives and mothers and our duties to our family and countries.

I was surprised, nonetheless, when Miss Sheffield came to talk with me.

"Mme Neuville told me you are going to be a governess to Lord and Lady Montalivet," she said in a cold and measured tone.

"Oh yes, Miss Sheffield," I acquiesced, feeling rather annoyed. Why couldn't Madame keep her mouth shut sometimes?

"I am sure you will be successful. You have always been an excellent pupil, and now it will be time to make use of what you have learnt," she said.

"It's very kind of you, Miss Sheffield." What else could I say?

"The life of a governess is not that bad," she went on.

"Really!" I exclaimed.

"Well, you will never be part of the family, and you are not supposed to mix with the servants. You are sandwiched between the two. But it's not that bad," she continued. Was she teasing me?

"But then I will be very lonely," I said.

"Oh no, there are always plenty of books in the library to keep you company, I suppose. I remembered that I spent my free time reading authors that otherwise I wouldn't have had the opportunity to read. So, you see, it's not that bad. Good luck!"

It's not that bad and I hoped never to see her again! What a hypocrite!

That evening we - Cathy, Dominique, Jenny and maybe some other girls --were going to have a farewell party. We would drink champagne and eat salmon sandwiches among other delicacies, everything sponsored by Jenny. It didn't matter that other girls offered to invest some money in the party, as well, because Jenny wouldn't hear of it. As for me, having no money, it would be impossible to contribute to the party so I felt rather embarrassed when I saw Jenny refusing the girls' proposal. I couldn't help noticing Cathy casting an eye over me, now and then. Was Jenny feeling sorry for me to the point of spending a fortune in champagne, or was it that she just liked to spend money? Anyway, I was looking forward to the party, my last bit of enjoyment, I guessed.

I would be thankful if you take a look at my punctuation. Also, some issues: I couldn't help ( in this case I think I can use "to notice", other options are "notice" or "noticing")
Thanks in advance.
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