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The Governor's Daughter
April 4th, 1731
Will Turner came by today! Mr. Brown, the town blacksmith, came to deliver an order for father and brought Will along. Will, you see, became an apprentice when we brought him to Port Royal. His mother passed of consumption when he was eleven, and he came to the colonies in search of his father. We found him floating around the ruins of a ship; he was the only survivor. I am quite fond of Will. I think if he was not so busy learning his trade we could be great friends. During the visit, Will and I laughed at each other. He made an odd face at me, and I burst into uncontrollable giggles. Lady Mary looked at me sharply over her knitting. When Mr. Brown left with Will, Lady Mary beckoned me over.
"Are you friends with young Mr. Turner?" she asked me.
I told her I was.
"Miss Elizabeth, I must tell you that a friendship with an apprentice is not appropriate at your age. Your coming-out is approaching rapidly, and after that you must not be so casual with those of lower birth."
Lady Mary gazed after Will for a moment and shook her head before resuming her knitting. I heard her mutter under her breath about propriety and peasants.
I never thought of Will Turner as a peasant. I knew he was not rich, yes, but I had never thought about the fact that he might be very poor. Now that I pondered on it, I realized that he must be. Will often wore the same shirt for days at a time, and his face was often stained with dirt. He also worked at the blacksmith shop every day but Sunday, and stood in the back of church rather than sit in the pews like Father and I did.
Is Will poor, or am I rich?
April 10th, 1731
Today I asked Jane what she thought of Will. She said he was quite good-looking for a poor man. (Aha! So he is poor!) Jane thinks that if he was rich, and a year older (Will is fifteen, a year older than me and a year younger than Jane) she would hope he would court her.
"I agree," I replied, "I think Will is quite handsome."
Jane turned an odd shade of pink and said quietly.
"He is not handsome, Miss Elizabeth."
I was confused. "But you said…"
"I merely think him more attractive than other young men his age. He is not handsome, Miss Elizabeth. He is of low birth."
I thought on this for awhile.
"But is it not possible for a rich man to be ugly?"
"Of course, Miss Elizabeth."
"So why cannot Will be handsome?"
Jane picked up her sewing and refused to look at me.
"William Turner is lower than even I, Miss Elizabeth, and someone of low birth cannot possibly be considered handsome. Attractive, yes, but never handsome."
For the rest of the day she avoided the subject. But now I am curious. Is it true that Will can never be considered handsome, simply because he is poor? I do not care what Jane thinks, I finally decided. I thought Will was handsome, and that was that.
April 14th, 1731
Piano lessons today. Charles says I am too stubborn to learn anything. It is not my fault that I do not care for playing.
April 20th, 1731
Father called me into his office today. Usually, when Father and I converse, it is in a more casual manner. Today, though, I was made to sit in a large leather chair opposite Father.
"Elizabeth," he said, looking quite serious, "You are turning fifteen soon, and I believe it is high time you enter society."
I nodded my head.
"Of course, Father."
"Do you know what this means?"
I shook my head.
"You will wear longer dresses, you will attend balls, and will hereby be referred to as 'Miss Swann' rather than Elizabeth."
"Even by Will?" I exclaimed, for Will had always called me Elizabeth.
"It is proper," he said, "I am sorry, my dear."
I simply curtsied and left.
Although I am happy to be officially entering society, as the balls are said to be divine, I do not want to lose my friendship with Will.
Father just sent word-my emergence into society will be held on the twenty-eighth, only a week away.
April 24th, 1731
Jane and Lady Mary are all a-twitter for my upcoming ball. Lady Mary has been looking at multiple shops for a dress, and telling me that if my father had not announced the party on such short notice, a fashionable gown could have been ordered from England. Jane goes on about how beautiful my hair is, and continues to show me boring pamphlets of stylish hairstyles worn by the nobles of England. Honestly, I would rather wear a simple dress and have my hair down, as I like how it looks when it twirls around my face, but Jane says that any girl above twelve must wear the hair up.
This planning is so tedious! Nobody seems to release that the twenty-eighth is not only my coming-out, but also my fifteenth birthday.
April 29th, 1731
The ball is over! I see now why the planning took so long. All night, from the time I was announced to the last guest I said farewell to, I was stared at by the elder women of Port Royal. I certainly looked the part of an elegant socialite. Mary (I see no reason why I should further refer to her as 'Lady' in the privacy of my own diary) finally settled on a gold-coloured gown. It was lovely. The sleeves ended in a wide bell slightly past my elbow, and it was made of a soft silk. When I first put it on, I thought it extraordinarily comfortable. However, by the end of the night, I was flushed and sweating. How I hate longer dresses!
I was aware of the men watching me all night. At first, I thought it to be only because I was the guest of honor. Jane later informed me that after a lady's (yes, I am now a lady, now longer a girl) coming-out, she is eligible for marriage. Jane says that as the governor's only daughter, many men will be interested in my hand!
Jane also explained to me that no longer will my birthdays be a thing of importance. Once a certain age, she says, a lady must not celebrate her birthdays. She says a lady must always be thought of as younger than she really is. This is so odd!
Another odd thing: I specifically requested that Will Turner be invited. I am unsure of why I did not see him. He must have come, as Will never would have declined such an invitation without an excuse. I will talk to him later, and find out.
April 30th, 1731
Well I now know why Will did not attend the ball. It seems he never received his invitation! I told him it was a complete mistake and that I had wished he could come, but he merely shrugged it off. He was acting quite peculiarly; he would not look me in the eye, and he did not laugh and make faces as he used to. When I left, he addressed me as 'Miss Swann', and I fully realized what Jane, Mary, and Father meant: I could no longer be friends with Will. I cry now, in the privacy of my chambers, for the loss of a dear friend, and for the loss of my childhood.
A/N: Well? What'd you think?