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    Wren’s Diary II

    Written by Ghost Archer. No comments Posted in: Characters, Fiction

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    The only thing I regretted about my foray into automobile theft was that it cut short my education in Japanese. I resolved, however, to continue that on my own regardless of courses offered at any of my next schools. To this end I determine that two purchases would be necessary.

    To this point in my life I had little use for a computer seeing them as nothing more than expensive toys but my desire to continue my study of Japanese altered that view. With my rather limited connections with the world outside the various establishments I frequented I had no choice but to make my escape at the first opportunity in search of expertise.

    I purposely timed my arrival at my latest school for early on a Saturday morning which gave me sufficient time to catch a train for the nearest major city. In this case Brighton. While I had spent most of my life in the UK, I had never managed a trip to that tourist mecca and found it rather exciting. As chance would have it, the annual Brighton Festival was just beginning and I found myself surrounded by a myriad of possibilities.

    As one might expect, dance became my number one priority. What I found proved to be mostly quaint country folk cavorting to the tunes of quaint country musicians. This should not be interpreted as a lack of appreciation on my part but rather a difference of taste. I found, after perusing the handbills, something far more to my liking scheduled for an evening performance, a ballet. With that in mind I determined that my arrival at St. Someone of the Immaculate Credit Card should be delayed until later on Sunday. This gave me ample time to accomplish my original mission of locating a computer.

    Not one to waste time, I found an unengaged cab and requested the nearest electronics store. Only moments later I found myself assaulted by no less than three overly eager young men anxious to assist me. Two were disappointed as I did not require either television or an MP3 player, the third proved to be more than happy to show me the latest in portable computers.

    To this point my infrequent shopping expeditions mainly concerned apparel and had always been conducted with young women. I found this young man to be condescending to a degree that nearly sent me out seeking other options but I quickly learned that this one store was the only available source of laptop computers. With a sigh, I accepted this annoying young man as my guide into the computer world.

    He began with a tutorial on the basics of a computer, explaining to me as if I were a dull child, the components and their tasks. When he began to repeat himself my patience ended. I asked three questions. Which company was the most reputable? Which model would provide the longest service life? And did they sell the particular software I sought? When he began to explain, once more, the merits of a series of laptops, I stopped him, pointed to the computer I had decided upon and asked for the software.

    What followed was a rather blatant attempt to scare me into the purchase of an ‘extended warrantee’, followed by ‘deals’ on the purchase of a printer, an external hard drive, software for word processing, anti-virus programming and an offer to ‘show me around the festival’. All of my experience to this point in my life, having been essentially raised in an all-female environment, did not prepare me for this last. I was unsure how to react for an instant, then I considered. I am thirteen, he is probably twice my age, not an auspicious first date request. When I informed him of my age it did not appear to deter him which I found disturbing. I declined and also declined giving him my ‘number’ or where I was living. I believe the term is ‘he creeped me out’.

    With my newly acquired laptop in hand I concluded a place to stay for the night, and incidentally deposit my purchases, might be next on the agenda. Unfortunately I did not take into account the hordes of tourists that had descended upon the city. Lodging, it seemed, was at a premium but finally I found a suite at a hotel fronting the beach. It seemed someone in management recognized the name on my AMEX card and I found myself in a rather luxurious room with a reasonable ocean view for a mere £250. This was exorbitant by my estimation as my new high-end laptop had cost only about four times that amount.

    My luggage had been forwarded to St. Someone’s leaving me with nothing but what I wore. On my way through the lobby I had noted a small boutique and that was my next stop. Here I was once more in a comfortable situation and the young woman that helped me soon had me outfitted for the ballet. Seeing the tone of the festival I did not go full formal but I did insist on at least an understated gown and a pair of glorious heels. I included undergarments as I had no desire to wear what I had after a bath.

    The bath, a large claw-foot affair was quite literally in the room with the bed. A folding wall was provided but being alone I felt no need. I must say that for the price of the suite, the choices of bath salts and such did not disappoint. Selecting appropriate music on the sound system, I shed my soiled clothing and slipped into a nice hot bath.

    I must say that I am easily seduced by a good bath and found on emerging that over an hour had passed, not that I was in a hurry. Using the hand shower I quickly washed my hair then wrapped in a towel, sat at the vanity. The last few hours, both on the flight from Strasbourg and train ride to Brighton, had ruined what little makeup I employed. With the hotel provided hairdryer, I considered my face.

    My skin was darker than the average ‘white’ person though obviously natural and not a tan. Olive, I have been told, inherited partly from my Arabic mother but mixed with the pale tones of my Irish father. My hair, too, was a mixture, with the lustrous black of my mother but the curl of my father’s auburn. A highlight of red had been commented on in the past when I stood in direct sunlight. The ambient lighting of the room was not enough for me to pick this out.

    Many of my features melded mother and father but one was all my mother’s, my height and body structure. I was tall for a thirteen year old. I was also tall for a woman in general and suspected I was not finished growing. At nearly 175 cm I secretly hoped I would not be growing any more as I had first-hand knowledge of the height differences in couples. My mother was 180 cm and my father 170 cm. This difference was even more pronounced when my mother wore anything other than flats and Heaven forbid that she should wear even 7.5 cm heels.

    My mother’s genetics has also given me her slender figure though I had yet to develop in the area general thought of as attractive to males. I was not totally flat but a bra was not yet a necessity. This evening I wore one however, not wanting to ruin the lines of my gown. Perhaps one day I might more nearly equal my mother? Another thing I was forced to adopt by the cut of my gown was pantyhose. I detest pantyhose but for the sake of the fall of the gown, I would endure.

    Forty-five minute before the curtain, a car provided by the hotel arrived at the entrance to whisk me away to the theater. My first shock of the evening came when a young man in livery opened the door for me. At least a dozen people began taking pictures with one rather pushy woman thrusting a microphone in my face. I was not prepared for this though it was not unfamiliar. Apparently my name had escaped from the hotel and I was now doomed to be hounded by people with nothing better to do than harass innocents noted only for their parents.

    My second surprise came when I reached the ticket office. I had not considered that a ballet in Brighton would be so well attended. When I asked for a seat, the ticket agent apologized and informed me that they were sold out. Crestfallen, I resigned myself to calling a cab and returning to the hotel when a gentleman in evening wear offered me a seat in his box. It first I did not recognize him, having paid only minimal attention to my father’s career but when he introduced himself I did recognize the name. Over the years he had directed my father in a series of action movies that even now had fans clamoring for the next sequel.

    The evening provided a third surprise in the ballet. It turned out to be far better than I had anticipated. The leads displayed a precision and depth of emotion unexpected in a minor ‘country’ troop. At the end, even I found myself on my feet with cries of ‘bravo’. When my evening companion and I emerged, a steady rain had sprung up and I despaired at finding a cab but when the director’s car appeared, he graciously offered me a ride back to the hotel. All and all, it was a pleasant evening but being soaked to the skin, it did require a second hot bath.

    I do enjoy the small things.

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