Gita and I sat in with our tutor Vincent studying. Our lesson was just about complete for the day.
Vincent closed his lesson book and smiled. "You two are done for the day. Have a good evening." he bowed his head and gathered his things.
Gita and I had become great friends that we have. We seem to have everything in common.
"What do you think of the Marie Antionette woman...that queen?" Gita asked. "I think she was selfish and uncaring of the French peoples. She and her family did nothing for the people in need that they did not." I said. It was quite a coincident that Antionette was exactly the same and shared the same name.
"Isnt it funny how your step mother is exactly the same?" Gita said reading my mind. I smiled. She knew exactly what to say that she did. Antionette was extremely selfish. She makes father invest in the finest kimonos in Japan. She sure doesnt care about anyone but herself.
"Let her eat cake." we said in unison. We stopped and looked at eachother, intrigued by this exchange. We laughed.
"Gita...I decided to have the ball after all." I said to her.
"I knew you would..." She said.
We laughed again.
Louis was smittened with Gita, I could tell. He seemed to always have something to say to her. This truly bothered me that it did.
I knew better than anyone his true colours. He's dangerous. He looks at Gita the way he used to look at me.
But I've decided to keep Gita close to me. I wont have him spoiling anything good. I like Gita and I wont let him defile her.
Father was excited about my change of heart concerning the Ball.
"My dear whatever made you change your mind?" He asked me. I shrugged. "Just decided to do it I suppose.
"Well I'm glad. Josuite will come and fit you for a new gown." Josuite was my dress maker. I nodded and went to my room.
Out on my terrace I could see many things. I could see the courtyard, where I saw Gita and the Professor for the first time.
I could see the garden, where Gita and I became friends.
I could see the windows of father's room, Louis's study, The secondry parlour, and I could see Gita's room.
I drank tea and within boredom I placed my cheek in my palm. I looked at the drapes Gita had in her room. They were a lilac colour. I could see a sillhouette...a femine figure. It was Gita of course. She was approaching her curtains and I watched to see what she was doing. Suddenly the drapes pulled back and there was Gita....
My face got hot, a lump formed in my throat, and my eyes widened.
Gita stood infront of her window naked as the day she was born.
The afternoon sun had a brilliant glow against her bare body.
I couldnt believe what I was seeing...
I couldnt look away though.
I just sat there staring in disbelief.
This had to be the most beautiful thing I've ever witnessed.
Gita was gorgeous...but now she was even more gorgeous exposed.
I gasped. She was looking at me now.
I feared she was going to be angry.
Maybe she wouldnt speak to me again.
But Gita is full of surprises and this surprise I wasnt expecting.
Gita Just smiled and waved to me...
And I waved back...blushing redder than a tomato.
I went to my room after the exchanged outside with a nude Gita.
I was so embarassed.
Did she have no shame at all?
Later that evening Father was preparing a guest list for my ball.
"And the Marions...possibly the Azalias...Antionette what do you think?" I heard father say from his study.
"I think this whole thing is rather strange." She replied dry and bitter.
"And why is that?" Father said with a sigh.
"Kahnna has never shown intrest in these things. You dont find this a bit odd?" She asked with high suspicion in her voice. It was as if she thought I was up to no good. Why?
"I think its strange yes, but Kahnna needs to branch out. She needs to associate with people other than suitors and-" Father stopped. "--And...I have a daughter outside my study listening in on my conversation." He said. I walked in. "Sorry for eavesdropping Father. It's not becoming I know." I said in apology. He nodded. "Sit down darling." Antionette said fakely. I sat down.
"Kahnna Your mother--" He stared and I cringed slightly at him call her my mother. I think she just might have cringed herself. "Antionette and I are worried for your welfare. Is everything alright? You've been acting differently." Father said. "Is this a bad difference?" I asked confused.
"No dear its just...its not--" Father began.
"Its not you." Antionette finished flatly with a slight cough.
I looked at the two of them.
"I see. I'm sorry if I've been acting strangely. I guess after seeing what having company...true company was like, I wanted to experience more."
I said trying to convince them.
"See Dear? Kahnna is just branching out as I said." father said with a joyus approval in his voice. Antionette however, remained unconviced.
"She's quite unruly isnt she?" Gita replied to my story of Father and Antionette. "er..yes she is. Gita may I ask why you were naked infront of the window earlier today?" I asked.
Gita giggled. "That was quite straightforward. That's different." She teased.
"Sorry if I have some sort of modesty." I said a tad sharp.
"...I'm sorry...are you implying something kahnna?" She asked squinting her eyes.
"I'm just saying exposing yourself like that isnt ladylike at all. Only lowly, loose women do such things." I said...then realizing what that sounded like I looked up at her immediatly. She looked angry.
"Well let me ease my way out of your presence Princess. Sorry I'm such a floozy." She said leaving my room.
"Lady Kahnna you're still slender as ever." Josuite said to me as he took in the material around my waist. The dress he made for me this time was quite lovely. It was a lavender laced, black gown. The material was silk as usual. Josuite said the silk appealed well with my "pale" skin.
"Tonight you will be gazed upon all night." He said to me.
"You think so?" I asked in a bored tone.
Gita hadnt talked to me since I had said those horrible things to her.
I felt bad..I dont think I said those things to her in spite. I said them perhaps because I was so embarassed about it.
Tonight the manour was filled with strangers and I couldnt find Gita.
I was forced to dance with men that would all pursue me soon.
I was forced to smile and sip my wine with pleasure.
I was forced to pretend I was intrested in conversations that made no sense to me.
I wasnt allowed to be myself tonight.
I soon slipped away outside to the courtyard to get some air.
There Gita was, the moonlight dripping tears into her wavy tresses. She seemed to be gazing into space. Almost as if she wasnt there at all.
"Gita...a word if I may?" I said. She broke from her trance. Her face grew hard and bitter.
"I suppose...make it quick." She said with venom.
I drew back a little. "Gita I was wrong to say those things to you yesterday. May I be honest?" I asked her. She raised a brow.
"Seeing you like that...it was so...overwhelming because I've never seen anything like that...except that of my own body." I said sitting next to her on the steps.
"Is that right?" She said turning her head. "Yes it is. I'm asking for your forgiveness...may I Have it?" I asked trying to see her face. She turned to me. She smiled her sweet smile. "Of course you can."
The ball had been a success in my father's eyes.
It was a waste of an effort in Antionette's eyes.
It was a bore to Louis.
A night of forgiveness and friendship...thats what Gita and I thought.
Gita explained to me that her mother told her it was always good to air the body once and awhile. Constricting the body with hoop skirts and corsettes werent healthy.
I guessed it wasnt horrible what she did any longer.
Still I couldnt explain the feeling I had...when I saw Gita that day.
"What about you Kahnna? What your mother tell you when you were young? I mean your real mother." Gita asked.
"I never knew my real mother." I said.
"Did she die when you were born?" Gita asked.
"I dont think so. You see...My father and Antionette have been together since before I was born. She already had Louis from another marriage. When my father needed to have children...she couldnt concieve. So He went to find the assistance of a mistress."
I explained. Gita seemed very intrested.
"MY father never speaks of her. I dont know whether she is dead or alive. All I know is that once I was born, they took me away and sent her back to Germany." I said.
Gita looked at me with pity. "I'm sorry Kahnna. Do you wish you had known her?" She asked.
"yes...yes I do. But sometimes I think its better than I dont because if I had known her...it probably would have hurt even more to be taken from her. What happened to your parents Gita?"
Gita's eyes had a shot of pain in them.
A few moments of silence passed.
Finally after that moment she spoke...quietly.
"My Mother and Father were killed. And I was the culprit..."
The room was silent again.
"What do you mean Gita?"
"These men wanted my father dead because he was an activist that would have revealed some ugly things about my country's government. They kidnapped me. I was about five or six at the time.
They told him to bring the files and they would exchange. Me for the files...a fair trade." Gita seemed very distant at this moment.
"Then when my father and mother came to get me...the men decided the files werent enough. They decided my father's death was immenant.
They gave him and my mother the courtesy of a last request. They asked to die by my hands..." One tear slipped from her eye. "I had shot them both before help could have arrived..."
Before I knew it I was holding Gita.
"I'm so sorry Gita...it must have been painful for you." I said stroking her hair.
She was full of surprises.
But this surprise really got me.