"Milady?" Aunt Elizabeth motioned towards the corner of the room with her hand. Who else was there? Elizabeth – the forceful, yet kind Elizabeth- had shown her everyone. Cousin Jimmy, wonderful Aunt Laura and imaginable Emily. This was her family now. In all her 16 years of life, she had never imagined her father dying, and having to live in New Moon. She used to come here every summer when she was younger, but now it seemed to be a dream.
"This is Perry Miller. The chore boy." Perry took off his hat showing a cluster of large brown curls. He smiled happily at the beautiful girl ahead of him taking in her waist-length raven hair, large green eyes and high class clothing.
"Pleased to meet you." She said before turning back to Elizabeth. "But, please, call me Anneliese. We are family, anyways." Elizabeth smiled at her like a proud mother would smile over an accomplishment made by a child.
Anneliese had almost forgotten what her family at New Moon looked like. Actually, they were a very distant family. But she was ever so grateful at how they took her in, when there was not anybody else.
"Please come to the parlor for some tea." Laura offered, leading the rest of the household. Anneliese picked up the train of her pale blue dress and followed. Sitting on a large couch, Emily came and sat beside her.
"Cousin Anneliese? I absolutely adore what you are wearing!" Emily said, making Anneliese blush. She had always hated these extravagant fashions her father always made her wear. Proper classes should wear proper clothing. Was what he always used to say.
"Why, thank you." She replied taking the cup of tea Laura was handing her.
"So, Anneliese, what have you been up to?" Elizabeth asked sipping the hot tea.
"Nothing, exactly. Just the usual parties that I must attend in honor of my father, speeches that I must absolutely give, travelling, school…. Well, actually, I am done with school now. I graduated early." She added.
"Well done! Which school are you attending for university?" Laura asked kindly. She looked so tired. Anneliese wondered is it was because of Ian Bowles, the man Laura was supposed to marry in the summer.
"I am attending the Charlottetown University. I hope to get a degree in writing." The moment this was said, Emily's eyes lit up. They reminded Anneliese of small stars in a sea of blue.
"Writing?" She said it as though the word itself had been banned from the household.
"Emily loves to write." Cousin Jimmy stammered matter-of- factly as Elizabeth rolled her eyes at the remark.
"Oh, really?" Anneliese stared at Emily. "What do you like to write? Personally, I love writing books – novels if you will- and poetry. But my real degree is going to be in Journalism." She blew over her tea nervously. Emily kept staring.
"Me too! I hope to be a famous writer someday! Would you like to see some of my writing?"
"Emily!" Laura scowled. "Let your cousin finish her tea first."
"Laura it is perfectly all right! I should bring my bags up anyways." She said, walking to retrieve her bag at the end of the couch. Perry quickly stood up and took it from her.
On the way upstairs, Emily grabbed Anneliese's hand and guided her into a dark room.
"So, what's your full name?" Emily asked opening the curtains, letting light flood in.
"Your full name. I only know your first and your last. For example, mine is Emily Byrd Starr."
"Well, that's lovely. But, I am afraid that I cannot tell you." Anneliese crossed her arms in front of her.
"It is very embarrassing and not at least a bit interesting. I mean, it's Romanian for heaven's sake."
"Romanian? Now why would you have a Romanian name?" Perry asked suddenly. Anneliese didn't know that he was still in the room.
"I was born and raised there."
Emily gasped. "But that is where the most dread fullest story is set in! Oh, please tell us your name!" she pleaded again.
"Fine. It is Anneliese Catalina Valerica Murray." She took such a dramatic breath that Emily could not help but laugh and Perry smile.
"Why would you be embarrassed about that? It is a perfectly romantic name!" Emily said opening one of the suitcases.
"Ha! Romance is what I don't want!" Anneliese said, but Emily didn't hear her. Instead, she opened the largest suitcase, eyes widening in shock.
"Whoa." she breathed, pulling out dresses by the dozen. "You have so many lovely things! But they are filthy! I am going to put them in my own, personal laundry and wash them by hand." Before Anneliese could protest, Emily was already out the door. Leaving her alone with Perry Miller.
"She is very quick-witted. You've been friends long?" she asked him awkwardly. He looked away and just nodded. "So then, you must be from Stovepipe town."
He looked up in alarm. How could anyone like her know about Stovepipe Town? "How'd you know?" he asked.
"Oh, well, your rudeness and failure to look me in the eye." She said looking at him straight in the eye. He just stared.
"Oh, geez, thanks." He sarcastically replied. That's when she laughed.
"Calm down! I was only kidding!" she kept on laughing at him. He didn't know whether to be completely irate or to laugh along with her. He suddenly saw her in a whole other light as she was putting away her belongings. At first, all he thought was her to be a very beautiful young lady who cared about manners, and how she looked. Just like what Rhoda Stewart had. But she was different. She had…. Spunk and charisma. And she knew about Stovepipe Town.
"Perry!" Perry's love sick thoughts were interrupted by Jimmy's voice. "I need help with the cows!"
"Well, then, I better go." He tried desperately to hide the disappointment in his voice as he head out the door. But Anneliese stopped him.
"Um, do you have any horses?"
"Yes, we have one."
"Could I possibly help with it? I really won't have anything else to do with my time." Grinning calmly she stared at him with her big green eyes. "Also, I would love to help out on the farm."
Perry was bewildered. A young woman asking to help out on a farm?
"Oh, um…. Sure, I guess. But there's the rain season comin' and it could get messy out there." He rubbed the back of his head waiting for her to say never mind or I've changed my mind.
"Oh, don't worry about me. I think I can manage." Pointing at her pale blue dress, she stated, "I have some other clothing."
"Alright. If you really want. But I start at dawn."
"Oh, I can assure you that I will be there earlier." She teased motioning him to go. He smiled.
"So, you like the girl. Perry." Cousin Jimmy said as he and Perry were milking the cows. Buttermilk- the oldest of the three cows- bellowed loudly.
"Perry? Perry?" he asked again because Perry was humming too loudly for him to hear anything. Jimmy laughed too himself. He never had seen the boy so smitten. Sure, he saw it when Perry had the phase with Emily and then Ilse, but this was different with Anneliese. Of course, she had grown to become a very pretty girl, but not as pretty as Eve was to him…
"She wants to help out on the farm." Perry randomly said, on the verge of laughing. "Imagine, one of the most beautiful girls to ever come onto this island wants to help me."
"She wants to help in the barn?" Jimmy asked. Of course she would, her father- Jimmy's brother- always was in the barn as a small boy and growing up in Romania, he had bought a large farm. Anneliese must have been there every day as a child. Now that her father was gone, though….
Everything was quiet except from more hollers from the cows, chickens clucking and the wind hitting the barn roof. Suddenly, Perry broke the silence.
"Would you mind?" he asked shyly.
Jimmy knew at once what he was talking about. "Go ahead." He didn't stutter.
Emily and Ilse ran up to the house. Emily was excited to show Ilse her new guest. She felt as though royalty had entered her home.
"So, who is she?"Ilse asked, folowing Emily up the dirt path.
"She's my cousin Anneliese. She is my mother's brother's daughter. You should see her, Ilse! She is absolutely magnificent!"Stepping up on a rock, motioning her hands outward in front of her in adramatic fashion she continued, "Oh, Ilse! It's as if she sprung out of the pages of an epic novel! Long, flowing raven black hair, green eyes like the seaweed on the seashore, porcelain skin like a doll and a smile that lights up all the way to her eyes!"
"Is that it?" Ilse crossed her arms in front of her. "Just her appearance?"
"Of course not! She's also as fierce as a lion. Once- so Ive heard from Jimmy- she was ina rally at the age of nine! Pity, he never told me what for."
"I believe it was for women's rights." Startled, the two young girls turned their heads to see Anneliese in a pale green bathing suit. Her hair was in a shockingly high ponytail.
"Women's rights?! But you were only nine years old!" Emily's eyes were so wide, Anneliese felt as though they would have fallen out of her head.
"Well, when you truly believe in something I feel that you should go ahead and get it yourself. Just remember, that you are always on your own. So, will you please accompany me to this wonderful ocean? Emily and…?"
"Ilsa Burnley, ma'am."
"Very pleased to meet you." She bowed lowly, laughing, "and please call me Anneliese. Ma'am just sounds so old. I am only sixteen years of age. Not one hundred!"
"Only 16?! But I thought that you were at least 20 years old!" Emily called out.
But Anneliese just laughed. "Come on! I'll meet you down there!" Then she ran down the pathway, waving to Perry at the side of the road.
Perry stood there, watching her. A foolish grin was plastered on his face. He was smitten, and it was amazing to him how it was with someone other than Emily. It was true that when he started working in New Moon, that he felt h so much in love with her that he imagined getting married to her in a couple of years and eventually go away with her. He had their whole life planned out. But now, that was different.
"Perry Miller! Close your mouth, you love sick fool! You are going to start drooling!"
Perry turned a deep shade of red as he turned to the two giggling girls who were heading into the house.
"Why don't you come down to the ocean with us? And get Teddy, too!"
Perry pointed to the barn, motioning that he was busy. But when they kept on begging, he finally gave in.
Teddy, Emily, Ilse and Perry headed down the cape, only to find Anneliese already swimming.
Looking up she yelled, "Come on! The water is fantastic!" And with that, she slipped her head underwater.
Running, Emily and Ilse headed down, squealing with excitement.
"She sure is pretty." Teddy Kent whispered to Perry. "Wonder if she's got a beau?"
"Perry's head shot up in alarm, he had never thought Anneliese would have a fiancé. She was at a reasonable age, and any man would be lucky to have her.
"Um, I don't think so. She is only sixteen." He answered awkwardly, desperately wanting to change the subject.
"Sixteen? My, that's only one year older than me!" Looking coyly at Perry he added, "And exactly the same age as you." He pushed him on the shoulder, laughing. "And it's just like you said. She is only sixteen and probably not going to be married."
This time Perry was the one who pushed him.
After a long afternoon swimming, playing and having a grand time, the children went back to New Moon to dry off.
"That was fun!" Emily exclaimed happily as Laura was wiping the ends of her hair with a towel.
"Yes, it was." Perry agreed. Anneliese smiled as Elizabeth walked into the room. Her face showed a smile only Anneliese knew too well. The last time she saw that smile was when she was two years old and Elizabeth was coming to tell her about Aunt Juliet's new child, Emily. It was a pity she was never allowed to see Emily only until now.
"What's going on?" she asked.
Handing out a riped envelope, Elizabeth couldn't help it but laugh with excitement. Actually, it was more like a shriek. Everyone in te room looked up for they had never heard Aunt Elizabeth make such a noi