“So?” They all looked expectantly at her. She could see in their eyes the excitement.
She knew the pressure of expectations; she understood what she was supposed to do, to be. She pressed her hands to her chest. She was about to disappoint them all. They were her friends though; she wondered for an instant if they would remain so…
She did repress a shiver… it would be different after that. She knew it. But she wouldn’t change her mind for all the world. She made a choice and she wouldn’t change her mind. She wasn’t made to follow expectations, to crack under peer’s pressure. She took a deep breath.
“I will not.”
The collective gasp was no more repressed than the shock. The noises erupted and ‘you cannot’ and ‘but how can you?’ were pronounced more times than she cared to count. That didn’t impress her a whole lot; they were no less than she’d expected and no more than her mother’s ranting against her choice. They all pressed at her, asking for more explanations. She knew she must give some but she wasn’t willing to say much. They all imagined that they were coming to congratulate her on her engagement, that they would plan her nuptials, speak of baby names. But instead she unsettled their understand of her and what she wanted.
After all it was her life. And she would not live it according to society’s requirements. She didn’t want to marry, she didn’t want children. She wanted to travel to the New World, where her standing would not matter, where whose daughter she was would be irrelevant.
So no, she would not get married to a man she barely knew, nor would she carry his children. She might be the laughingstock of the good society, but she would not let anyone repress her and her dreams. She would make her life somewhere else and be the woman she wanted to be. Free.
In response to Linda G Hill’s stream of consciousness prompt Press