Annabelle had not enjoyed her days off from the ton circuit. She had spent them eating pastries, and now wondered if she would fit into the expensive wardrobe her mother had paid for. She had also spent the week trying not to think about a certain Duke that invaded her thoughts even whilst she slept.
She dressed carefully for the opera. She had never been to the opera before and would most likely never get to again. Especially not in a Ducal box which she would be sharing with Victoria and her older brother John tonight.
“Annabelle, the Duke’s carriage has arrived.” Her mother’s voice rang shrilly through the house. Her mother was more nervous than Annabelle was, if that was possible. She still could not believe that Annabelle had made a friend in a Duke’s daughter when she was more accustomed to talking to farmers and friends of the vicarage.
“I’ll be down in a moment,” Annabelle called out, smoothing her dress down her slim waist and noting the roundness of her full breasts that her opera dress did nothing to disguise.
“Good night mother,” Annabelle kissed her mother on the cheek, grabbed her cloak and headed off into the night with Victoria and her John.
“Good evening to you Miss Collins,” John nodded his head slightly as the carriage did not allow him to stand and make his bow.
“Good evening Mister Dunford. Hello Victoria.” Annabelle breathed, almost unable to get past the anxiety in her stomach she grabbed for her friends hands.
“Oh Victoria, what if I do something wrong? What am I meant to do at the opera? I have never been and I’m so nervous. Please tell me everything.”
Victoria and John both laughed loudly making Annabelle blush crimson.
“You do not do anything other than be yourself. Walk in, watch the opera and walk out.” Victoria smiled confidently and Annabelle felt her stomach drop nervously again.
“But will I have to talk to anyone? Will people be able to see me?” Annabelle stammered again.
This time only John laughed, but Victoria smiled.
“Of course people can see you. That is half the fun of the opera. Being able to see what everyone else is wearing and doing but not having to talk to them.”