By the life of her, she could not remember why on earth she had agreed to join her co-workers on this soirée. Granted, the food had been exquisite, if a little on the expensive side, but everything else was loud and overdone, and there was definitely too much alcohol - for them. Soneya herself had barely touched her glass of wine over dinner, not particularly enjoying the taste of the heavy red that seemed to cloud her mind even after just a few sips.
The tavern had been brimming with people and judging from the overall volume, there had been barely anyone present who hadn’t had too much to drink. Or was this how normal people conversed when they were out about town? Soneya really wouldn’t know. She was still on the young side and rarely went out like this. For a meal at times with close friends or her family, but this establishment was technically above her pay-grade. But her co-workers hadn’t exactly accepted no for an answer.
So here she was.
Just as she was about to make a polite exit, Susette came running back from a table further towards the back, where she had been chatting up some guys, and threw herself down on the bench next to Soneya with a squeal. “They invited us along to a big fancy party!”
The other girls immediately got even louder and Soneya tried not to cringe. “What kind of party?” she asked suspiciously.
“Oh, don’t worry your little head, Soneya!” Susette chided with a smile. The other girls were all at least five years older than her, something they tended to forget. “It’s going to be fun, you’ll see! Have you ever been to a theme party before?” When Soneya shook her head, the girls got even more excited.
Half an hour later, Soneya looked up at what could only be described as a mansion and gulped. This was where they were supposed to go? She felt sooo, so underdressed. If the building could make her feel that way…
The girls had done an incredible job though. Apparently, the theme of the party was “nature”. Whatever the purpose of that was supposed to be. The girls had adored it and Freya had run off to buy some impromptu masks for the lot of them, all assorted with the colours of their various clothes. Soneya having worn a blue dress as it was her go-to colour was now sporting a hairdo that made it look as though her hair was a waterfall – she was representing water.
In hindsight, Soneya was pretty sure the girls had planned for this. Susette was fire with a red dress and a fitting mask; Freya was spring with a bright green skirt and top with flowers in her hair, and Lola had “by chance” found some glitter in her bag to turn herself into a night sky with her black clothes.
Not giving her any more time to worry or overthink matters, the girls linked arms with Soneya and dragged her up the stairs, following the boys they had met at the tavern – Soneya had forgotten most of their names again already. There was some kind of security at the door, but they weren’t even asked for an invitation or their names, simply waved inside with bored faces.
The girls giggled happily and Soneya had to admit that she felt the excitement as well and felt her face crease into a smile. It quickly disappeared again when she took in the ballroom. Her mouth fell open, and all she could do was stare in complete and utter awe.
So this was how the upper classes did it?
Shops, street merchants, taverns, brothels and inns situated along the busy Main Street that runs through the middle of the city.
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