Elisasheva Tupelo hated her plump face – it made her look too much like a child and not a 15 year old girl eligible for marriage and the best of educations. She turned her face, hoping to discover her cheekbones had mysteriously sharpened overnight, and was not at all disappointed to see that she still had the subtle slope there, as well as fading freckles.
The mirror had been a gift form Elisasheva’s aunt, Lady Mai-gaux, for her 14th birthday, and rarely had Elisasheva used it.
Running her fingers over her dark eyebrows and thin lashes, Elisa wondered how her mother’s Zhong Guo eyes suited her, but not Elisa. Perhaps, Elisa thought, it’s because she’s paler than I am.
Exasperated, Elisasheva reached to her vanity on the right for some powder.
Continuing to critique her appearance, Elisa’s gaze moved to her too-plump lips that were always bright red.
“At least these look nice.”
Before Elisasheva could finish powdering her face, there was a rather urgent knock on her door.
“I’m coming!” Elisa announced, tossing her powder onto her table, hearing a loud crack.
Never mind that, she told herself, yanking on her right shoe.
Sprinting across her bedroom’s wooden floor, Elisa arrived at her door just as the person opposite the door was going to knock.
She opened the door, expecting to see her mother or sister, someone who despised how vain Elisa was. Instead, it was her dear friend, Comille.
“Elisa, you must hurry. The boys want to go out to town, and were wondering if you were coming along.”
Excitement rushed over Elisasheva, as she loved to go out with her posse, especially out to town where her group would blend in with all the other youth.
“Give me a moment,” Elisa told Comille, closing the door.
Comille, however, stuck her foot intbetween the door and the frame. “Only if I can come in,” said the girl. Elisa, knowing better than to stop the tall and stocky young woman, relented and allowed for her to come in.
As soon as Elisa had shut the door and locked it, she raced to her vanity to finish fixing her face, and grabbing a bonnet to match her pale yellow and pink dress.
“Alright Comille,” Elisa said, walking out of her bedroom and into the foyer. She grabbed for Comille, before tucking her arm into Comille’s. “Time to go out!”
“Are your parents willing to let you go out on such an afternoon?” inquired Comille, knowing the habits of Elisa’s parents.
“I’m sure they won’t mind my absence for a few hours. I’ve already finished my French lessons, and my pianoforte can wait.”
The two young girls made their way down the spiral staircase, once bumping into a maid and twice running into Elisa’s youngest sister Nera.
Elisa and Comille had reached the door when Elisa’s other sister, Cerise, cried out, “Mamma! Elisa’s going out and she hasn’t finished her French!”