"Isabella, darling, could you come here a moment?" my mother called to me from her store room in our small shop.
"One second, mother." I called back to her, finishing the last two stanzas of my favorite poem in the book, With the Colors by Everard J. Appleton. He was an amazing poet who wrote intense stories about the Germans. I didn't quite understand, but the poems were written so fluently, and perfect, almost as if writing came easy to him.
I walked into the small room, tripping over my dress that I had on at the moment. My mother looked up from the purple dress, she had been working on, and laughed quietly. "Bella…"
"What did you need, mother?" I asked, getting off the floor and smoothing my dress.
"I need to you to slip that on," she said pointing to a royal blue gown that was draped neatly over a chair. "It needs to be hemmed, and I think it is just your size."
I nodded, and picked up the blue dress carefully. All the dresses my mother made were absolutely perfect. The stitches never had a break, the gown never ripped, and we always got good comments from even the most prestigious of families in Chicago.
I took my ragged dress off, and replaced it with the blue silk gown that draped over my bodice perfectly like a blanket.
"Oh love, that looks gorgeous on you!" my mother said before slipping under the skirt, and began to thread. I could feel her movements under me, and began to fall, but I felt a hand take mine.
"My, that would have been quite a fall, wouldn't it have?" said Elizabeth Masen, laughing. "Miss Swan, how are you today?" she asked me.
I always became nervous around Madam Masen, but who wouldn't be? She intimidated most of the other women in town with her extravagant beauty, and charm, and she was most wealthy out of them all.
"I'm well. But please, call me Isabella?" I said releasing her hand.
"Oh my dear, I'm sorry. Then please, call me Elizabeth." Elizabeth Masen was also always extremely kind to everyone in town, no matter how superior she may be to them.
My mother came out from under the dress, and stood to meet Madam Masen. "Elizabeth," my mother walked up to her, and they exchanged kisses on the cheek. "How can I help you? Here for a dress?" my mother asked, motioning to the rack of elegant finished dresses.
"No, but I sure will take a look after I'm finished here. I was actually here for Isabella." She said, her green eyes looking at me.
"M-me?" I stuttered. "Well, I'm not sure what exactly I could do for you Mrs. - I mean, Elizabeth, but—"
She cut me off mid- sentence, and put a hand on my shoulder. "No darling, I'm here to invite you to dinner with my family tonight. Renee, you are welcome to come as well." She said looking at my mother.
"Oh no, I'm sorry. I can't tonight. I'm very busy, but I know that Bella is free." She said looking at me pointedly.
"Y-yes. I am, and I would be honored to join you and your family for dinner." I said smiling wide.
"Thank you, Isabella. Oh they will be so happy to see you!" she said, walking over toward the rack of dresses.
"Yes," she said pulling out a plain yellow one, with a petticoat that would have made the skirt flow out far. "I love this one," she told my mother, handing it to her. "I'm sorry Isabella. My son and my husband."
"Hmm." I said, turning and picking up my dress off the floor.
"Excuse me?" Elizabeth said, as my mother walked out to the main part of the shop.
"It's just that I didn't realize you had a son." I said, going behind one of the curtains used as an area for customers to dress and undress.
"Oh, yes. My son's name is Edward, as well as my husband's you know," she smiled as I peeked my head outside the curtain, and I put my dress back on.
I walked out and draped the blue dress back over the chair, and smiled at her. People, especially women like Madam Masen, never invited people like my mother and I to dinner. We weren't ranked very high on the social scale, but I assumed that it was because Elizabeth was friends with my mother, but I was still curious.
"Madam Masen," I said looking down, a bit embarrassed of the question I was about to ask.
"Yes, Isabella?" she said, looking up at me from the blue dress I had just laid down.
"Why did you invite me to dinner? I'm sure there are plenty of other girls in town just like me. I'm sure much more wealthy, and prettier, and I don't think I deserve to have dinner with you and your family to be honest." I said.
She just looked at me, and smiled. "Where this." She said handing me the dress. "Edward loves blue."
I stared at her in confusion. Edward loves blue? I didn't understand. She was inviting me for…Edward? Edward Masen? I thought back to if I had seen him.
My mother came back into the room, with the yellow dress in her hands. "That will be twenty dollars, Elizabeth." She said.
I saw Elizabeth take out thirty five dollars "Keep it. You do beautiful work, this dress deserves no less than thirty." She smiled. "I'll see you tonight, Isabella!" she waved over her shoulder, and I heard the bell on the door chime.
"Isabella!" my mother said pulling me into a tight hug. "The Masens! Can you believe it? You're having dinner with the Masens!" she said, finally letting me go.
I laughed. "Elizabeth said to wear that blue dress I was wearing when she came in here, she said it looked great on me." I said, not telling her about what she said about Edward.
"Well then, let's get you ready! We have to do your hair, your make up…" my mother said walking out of our store.
I grabbed the dress, and smiled to myself. The Masens.