There has never been a day that I could live without talking to Catalina Garnier. It wouldn't surprise me if my first words were trying to say Catalina's name. We've been together since birth, basically inseparable. What neither of us knew was the summer of 1844 would change that. But no one could predict the tragedy that we are living in now.
Holly's disc flew into my face, nearly knocking me off my feet. My first reaction kicked in and I jumped back and shrieked. I knew Catalina didn't mean to, but the bloody scrape on my nose made me think otherwise. "So sorry, Eleanor. I have such a bad aim," Catalina yelled while holding on to Holly's collar. I had to admit, playing with the sweet brown eyed French Bulldog was enjoyable and getting hit in the nose wasn't all that bad. "It's alright Cat. No harm done," I said assuring her that even though my nose was bleeding, I was fine.
Catalina walked over, Holly following closely behind. "So, what's been up with you today?" Catalina questioned while smiling with her killer grin. Catalina was, without a doubt, the most unique girl around. She was not the typical daughter around here and since she has relatives that serve a high ranking position, she is considered to be royalty. Her hair had a natural wave to it that made her stand out around here. Considering the fact that most of us have brown hair and blue eyes, her green eyes and strawberry blonde hair helped. For her personality, Catalina is one of those people who are good at hiding their emotions. I picked this up about 6 months ago when her mother passed away from an unknown disease. Catalina spent hours crying which was possibly the only time I had ever seen her in such a bad condition. Cat and her mother were close and losing her destroyed her on the inside, but no one would ever know that by glancing or even engaging in a conversation with her. I believe she puts her smile on everyday for her younger brother, Calvin.
"Hey, I forgot to tell you, Charlotte received a letter today," Catalina said, smirking. Charlotte, Catalina's old sister, who is around 19 years of age, is only 3 years older than us but thinks she rules over practically everyone. Every time she gets a letter from her boyfriend John, we read them to get a good laugh. Cat read out the leader, stressing her accent to be formal. "Oh my sweet dear Charlotte, nowadays I barely have enough time to write. I apologize a million times for that. Things are getting tough over here at my house. Fredrick has ammonia, but the doctors say he should heal soon. How are Catalina and Calvin? Write soon my love. XOXO, John." As soon as she finished we both looked at each other and snickered. They had barely known each other when they started dating last year and haven't had a conversation in person since he left to go back to his family. He was at the boarding school mostly any kid around this area with money goes to. Being King Herold of Kaysersberg's neice I knew I'd have to go just to keep the family's image. "Awh fiddlesticks, I ran out of sealing to seal this note back up," Catalina muttered. "What about Mrs.Decker's place...?" I questioned, my voice getting higher as I finished the sentence. I knew Catalina didn't like Mrs.Decker because of their common disagreements such as Catalina not being proper enough or not using the manners she was taught. I had come to accept that her unladylike actions were just Catalina's thing and no one could convince her to do anything she didn't want to do.
I opened the door and the familiar scent of paper and sealing filled my nose. Mrs.Decker was tending to her cat, which was one of her daily activities. She turned her head when she heard us come in and grumbled, "What could you girls possibly need?". I spoke before Catalina could snarl something at her. "Just a package of sealing," I managed to spit out. She went to the back and the door opened. Catalina and I both turned and looked at the unfamiliar figure standing in the door. It was an older man around 6 foot that had green eyes and blonde hair, which was rather unusual around here considering most of us have brown hair and blue eyes. As he walked, his footsteps echoed in my ears until he got to the counter. He flashed a smile at us and started to tap his foot. Mrs.Decker came back and handed us a sealing package and I paid 1 euros on her counter. The guy turned and looked right at me and opened his mouth to say something, but then closed it.
Catalina grabbed my arm and pulled me out. "That was creepy, huh?" Catalina muttered to me, pulling me out of the store. I hadn't thought much about it mostly because I was focused on getting the sealing out of the confusing package. "Yeah I guess so," I agreed in response. "Ooh here he comes!" Catalina exclaimed, grabbing my arm once again and dragging me behind a hedge. "And the point of this issss..?" I questioned as my voice trailed off. The man's behaviors were actually quite intriguing; more so than I would imagine for a typical male. My eyes fluttered to the man approaching him and I then realized he didn't come from around here. His accent was rather different for an English speaker. Most of us around here speak French, but the well educated speak some English. The man we had seen in the store was wearing a long black coat with a white strip of frilly material down the middle. The other man who was advancing toward him was now standing in front of him. Neither of them spoke any words that we could hear, so most of the conversation was a disappointment, especially to Catalina. She was always captivated by unusual events around here, such as these unfamiliar men whispering in the middle of the road. One of them nodded and walked away, provoking Catalina to follow him but before she could I pulled her arm. She seemed to understand this gesture because she crouched back down and stayed silent until the other man left. "That was strange huh," I whispered and pondered with the idea of going and asking Mrs.Decker what the man wanted, but I figured she would never tell us.
I stood up and stretched my legs, and looked up at the sky. "I should be getting home," I muttered after looking at the orange sunset and speculating that my parents would be looking for me soon". "Yeah me too," Catalina agreed. I looked down and noticed I was holding onto the letter and sealing still and handed it over to Catalina as we approached her house. "See you tomorrow Eleanor!" She busted out as she nearly ran into her front door. The walk to my house seemed like forever and not even kicking pebbles helped time pass. A little while after I kicked my 100th pebble I looked up and saw the familiar house.
I opened the door and the sound of laughter filled my ears. I peered around the wall and saw my two younger brothers, Edmund and John, playing with a toy train. I heard footsteps beside me and looked to see my dad. "Hello Papa," I said gently and quietly so I didn't interrupt the boys playing. He nodded for me to follow him into the kitchen, and as I stepped into the doorway I inhaled the scent of Chicken Fricassee. "Mama made stew and chicken?" I questioned while watching Mrs.Birday, our house maid, make me a plate. "Yes, she will be back in town late tomorrow night. She left a little while ago," he answered with a worried expression on his face. Papa always worried when Mama went on her trips to take to the other families in towns farther away to let them know what was going on and vice versa. John and Edmund ran into the room and hugged me goodnight, then ran up to their rooms. After I sat down and ate my food, I got up to go to my bedroom when Papa stepped in front of me, gave me a hug, and kissed me on my forehead. I ran up to my room, eager to fall into the bed sheets and finally rest.