Chapter 2 - The Dinner (Draft 1 - Part 1)
My bedroom. Neat and tidy as always, cleaned by the servants. Everything in its place, my desk the only thing untouched by my specific instructions to Terrance. The large oak bay window frames the Thames lake perfectly, as it reflects the rich of New London, our palatial manors gazing onto its natural beauty with disdain. This should be my refuge. The place where I can just get away from everyone. My family know that I don’t like being disturbed when I am in here. The twins know that and always take it to their advantage. Slipping into my room when I am out, messing up things and trying to find my journals. Rather annoying but thankfully they are too busy to find me in the gardens or trade docks. They both worship Edmund though, as does everyone else. He is the sensible one, protecting and caring for all in the family like if we didn’t have a father he would be the one taking his place. At least in the family situation anyway. The business would probably be left for mother and Elmira. she seems to have an odd intuition for politics, I shudder for any who get in the way of what she wants.
I turn on the taps and steam rises and quickly fills the air as the hot water slowly fills the bathtub. The water pumped directly from our private purifier tank, through the boilers below the house. The fog in the room all most concealing me as I get undressed. Even though it is not winter anymore, it still is cold and the water almost burns my skin.
"Harold dear. I have your clothes here. I want you on your best behaviour and make sure you’re clean."
I wonder why she chose my clothes. The Fhiads Have been here many times before.
I can’t be bothered to worry about it so I just try and relax a bit more and just enjoy the bath. Like mother always says, make sure your clean. The actual New Londoners obviously don’t have this privilege, or even enough fresh water every day to clean the house or cook with. It is sad really. I wish I could do more for them, but I know my circumstances with never allow me too.
Time passes and I get up. The Ottoman Clipper probably well and truly settled in our little dock, and all their luggage offloaded into the guest quarters on the opposite wing of the house. My parents and Edmund are probably keeping them entertained, they may even show off Ophelia, she always likes meeting the Fhiads. I reach out for my towel to dry myself as fast as possible to keep the heat in, as the water drains out of the bath. Opening the door back into my room mother has laid out the clothes on my bed. My best suit nonetheless a dark blue three piece affair with a gold cravat. As I dress my brain goes into overdrive wondering what is going to happen tonight. Just before I leave I stuff A Passage to India in my pocket and brace myself for company.