As per my promise, here is a little more of what I posted yesterday
The words were sweet as honey, soft as silk and heavenly like a chorus of archangels to him. So much of Adelaide lived on in his daughter, their daughter: the mousy-blonde hair and petite nose, the elegant fingers and slender body and even the tone of her voice when it was angry belonged to Adelaide. Sometimes, it was like her ghost was in the room. Every day John was noticing something new about Evelyn: the grey eyes that were flecked with blue, but which were in fact grey, the way her hands trailed along the walls behind her as she walked the corridors, the way she had a habit of playing with her bracelet. Today, it was the way she chewed her food – thoughtfully and carefully. She would gently push her potatoes onto the back of her fork and then lift the fork to her mouth, her full lips closing around the metal and pulling the food into her mouth. Then the thorough chewing, her jaws gently moving up and down and drawing the eyes to her cheekbones and then onwards to her mysterious eyes. Finally, she would swallow as elegantly as any princess and the cycle would repeat itself. It was somehow calming to watch.
John reluctantly snapped himself out of his daze and cleared his throat, the noise echoing through the large room, made even larger by the fact that there was only him and Evelyn sitting at the long oak table. The servant in the corner of the room stood up straighter, awaiting his order, but John addressed daughter.
“As I am certain you are aware, the governor will be attending the party tomorrow. Just so you know, the other senior figures will be Lord Stanley, Sir Arthur Hayhope…”
As he rattled off a list of names, Evelyn nodded politely but did not listen to what he was saying. Her pitaa’s line of work bored her, and his dull friends bored her even more. Most had voices like an elephant’s trumpet, and egos the size of Jaipur.
“…Sir Lexton-Smith will also be attending, as will Lord Willousby, who…”
Evelyn’s ears pricked up at the surname of her friend’s father, and her head snapped upwards, giving her a twinge in her neck.
“Did you say Lord Willousby, pitaa?” she asked, startling John, as Evelyn rarely took any interest in his work, and even less in his colleagues.
“That is correct. What about Lord Willousby?”
“If Lord Willousby is coming, might he bring Rose with him?” She asked as sweetly as possible, widening her eyes and smiling a little in feigned hope.
“Rose? I thought his wife was called Mildred? Who is Rose?” John asked, putting down his fork with a clang and scratching his nose, whilst watching with despair as his fork lost its precarious balance on the edge of the plate and fell into the floor with a thud. The servant instantly rushed forward to retrieve it, but John waved him away, bending down with a suppressed grunt to pick the damned utensil up. Once again, he was made aware of his waistline, which had expanded with startling haste over the past few years. He did not consider himself as fat, far from it, but he was beginning to realise that all the years of luxury were slowly beginning to catch up with him.
“Rose is Lord Willousby’s daughter pitaa, you know that. She’s often been here to see me.” Evelyn said, trying to disguise the irritation in her voice. She often wondered if her pitaa pretended to be ignorant on purpose, but this time he was serious, because whenever her was pretending, he wouldn’t be able to contain himself and crack a smile just as Evelyn was starting to believe that he really had no idea.
“Oh, that charming creature! Oh well, I’ll get a servant to send a telegram to Willousby so he knows to bring her along. It’ll be good for you to have some company.” John said, eyeing up the rest of the turkey on the dish before him and deciding that he should probably not have any more to eat.