Popuri was just turning away from the shop window in the high street of Costal city when she glimpsed someone coming out of the changing rooms near the back of the shop. The woman was big and wearing what looked like several thousand dollars worth of gems. She was buying some of the dresses the shop specialized in, they were dresses to fit a woman that had a big budget, her size and shape were secondary to the size of the purse she brought with her.
For the few seconds that Popuri had seen her she would have sworn on the goddess's pool that she recognised that shape and smile. However, in that few seconds her perception was already starting to bend away from what she knew she was looking at and what she knew could not be. The person she knew did not shop at this address anymore then she did (except for window shopping and dreaming of being able to).
As Popuri tried to get another look at the lady, in her mind the jewels and dress were enough to merit the elevation from woman to lady, her view was obscured by racks.
A few moments later, as she was still trying to get a better angle to see, her mind noted that someone had exited the shop and was getting into a limo. She spun to see if it was the same lady but only caught the sight of a very expensive shoe, one that she would have had to pay a months wage to own. As it's owner entered the car and before she could "casually walk over" to peer into the back of the limo the dark windowed door was closed by the driver denying her any chance of seeing anything.
"Vesta" said Popuri, "Have you got a sister or other relative living in the city?"
"No, I'm an only child and as far as I know and I have no living relatives going back two generation. Why?" was the perplexed reply.
"Oh, it's just that I was in town over the weekend and thought I saw someone that looked a little like you that's all"
Vesta smiled and said that Jack had also said the same thing a few months back after he had gone to the city.
"Well, maybe you have a rich long lost cousin or something? " said Popuri with a smile, and since she could not think how to explain further decided to forget the whole affair. After all no way could it have been Vesta, not in a million years as they say.
Later that night as Vesta was just getting into bed she opened her bedside drawer and took out a photo album, opened it near the centre and looked at the picture of a good looking man that was smiling at a young girl on his lap and as she gazed the memories flooded back.
At eighteen Vesta had left the valley to travel and experience life, as she romantically thought of her leaving, little knowing how much experience she was to acquire over the next five years. After six months of working as a dancer and waitress she met the love of her life, Adam. He used to say he loved her for her wonderful love of life, her smile and her body. As a dancer she had developed a hard, trim, long legged body that she would always dream of recapturing one day, but knew that now she never would. After a whirlwind romance of four months he had taken her home and introduced her to the family as the lady of his dreams and his wife to be, if she would accept. Adam it seemed had kept a few secrets about himself, which took Vesta a while to get used to. First, Adam was rich and titled, his father was no less then a Duke. She accepted this because they accepted her.
Four years later Vesta was Lady Vesta, mother to a two year old daughter and expecting their second child. Unhappily that's when it all fell apart.
At seven months pregnant and considering the problems she had had with her first birth the family doctors had forbidden her to fly, so as Adam and their daughter Aster flew off to a state affair she was left at home. When she was told of the crash and loss of all passengers the strain had caused her to lose the child she was carrying, he would have been a beautiful boy.
She knew that she could not no longer bear to live in the same home that Adam and Aster had lived, it was just too full of memories. So she had wished Adam's younger brother, the new Duke, all her love and best wishes and left to find the peace she had had as a child in the Valley. She could not be Lady Vesta here; she just wanted to be Vesta, the young girl who had left so few years before. She bought a small business and settled down to a quiet life. Over the years she slipped back for a few days at a time when "Lady Vesta" was required to attend things like a family funeral (like a few months ago) or a marriage (like this weekend just gone).
Vesta smiled, just a little, at the thought of what Popuri would think if she knew the woman she thought as just someone else in the valley, was in fact a true Lady, had several millions of dollars in the bank and related to some of the most powerful people in the a sigh she closed the album and returned it to the drawer and turned off the light.