Sep. 30th, 2014

xlovebecomesher: (Bats)
Regency London

Beatrix was raised to by her mother to be afraid of "The Garden."

Not the fancy one in the back of their country home (that would be silly) but "The Garden."

The Garden of ruined reputations, lost futures, and horrific marriages (Or so her mother proclaimed in whispered horror).

All of her life, her mother would tell her stories of girls who would be lured into the gardens at various balls with false promises by men who simply wanted to take advantage of them. If they were caught (and her mother pointed out haughtily that 92.8% of girls were caught...where her mother got that number, she'd never know), they were RUINED just simply RUINED! For the unlucky girls who the men would refuse to marry, they were deemed to a life of spinsterhood and living at home for the rest of their lives. If they were "lucky" enough to get married (her mother would make a face here and use air quotes around lucky), her mother then told her stories of women who had to marry beneath their station (oh, the horror) and lead miserable lives where everyone whispered about them behind their backs.

Never mind that her older sister, Arabella, who wandered into "The Garden" with a Duke was now happily married and a Duchess to boot. The ton whispered about her behind her back, falsely kind to her face, but to Arabella, the experience was worth it.

Or her best friend, Eugenie, who followed an Earl into "The Garden", and was now a Countess. Sure, everyone whispered for months about how scandelous it was that she was found in The Garden with her dress to her waist and how exactly 9 months later to the date, little Andrew came into the world. Eugenie didn't care what the rest of ton had to say - she found her happily ever after.

Beatrix's mother didn't care about that. Her mother liked to scoff and remind her that was the exception when Beatrix dared to bring them up. Beatrix was to have a proper marriage - one that involved her not going into "The Garden." She was to be a proper lady at all times, quiet, submissive, and kind, a lady with an impeccable reputation. The kind of lady that would never dream to go There.

But oh, how she dreamed of being one of those girls and to be brave enough to simply go after what she wanted. She would gracefully wrap her arm around the man's proferred arm and the two of them would sneak out into the gardens where he would stare into her eyes and kiss her under the moonlight, reputation be damned.

However, with every dream, came the fear and her mother's voice bursting her bubble. So Beatrix went to the balls and stood against the walls watching the other girls flirt and dance and make their way out into "The Garden." To her mother's dismay, she never danced with any of the men, despite the numerous offers, in fear of being led astray (even though her mother would remind her not so gently that she'd never meet her future husband this way). She would demur and point them towards other girls; the girls more willing to take a chance on life and men.  She preferred to stay in the corner with the other wallflowers, watching and daydreaming. This way she was safe, beyond reproach.

And if she was never to find her husband and live at home as a spinster (which she feared could easily be the case)... well that was the price to pay to not be ruined and keep her spotless reputation.

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