Midnight was merely a few moments off when Juliet finally made up her mind to approach Rosaline. She still hadn’t moved from her spot on the ballroom’s wall, and Juliet had reasoned that she probably preferred the relative quiet it provided, as opposed to the pomp and bustle in the center of the room. The few times Juliet had seen another try to speak to her, they were quickly turned away, their faces bitter. Each time such an incident took place, Juliet had begun to make her way towards Rosaline, and each rejection had left her feeling just as rebuffed as the poor soul who’d tried to make conversation. But if I never try myself I’ll never know if I could’ve been the one to speak to her, Juliet reasoned as she again began the trek towards Rosaline. It seemed like a flimsy reason, but nevertheless it propelled her across the ballroom.
Rosaline was stunning up close. Juliet was ten feet from her, and that was already clear. She’d never felt so weak before, and she was unsure if she could survive beginning a conversation when Rosaline turned to her and spoke.
“I’m glad to see you’ve finally come to talk.” Rosaline said, her voice just as musical as Juliet had imagined. It took her a second to actually hear the sentence, and realizing that she had been staring as awe as she processed Rosaline’s words, Juliet wrenched her gaze away, her cheeks red.
“Finally?”, Juliet stammered out after what felt like an age, “What do you mean by finally?”
“Simply that I was worried you would stare at me all evening instead of gracing me with a conversation.” Juliet hadn’t thought she could become more flushed, but more blood began to rush to her cheeks.
“I‘m so sorry about that I was just...” Stricken by you “Worried you were lonely.”
“You misunderstand me, I’m perfectly happy to be stared at by a lovely creature like you, I simply prefer conversation as well”. Juliet’s heart caught in her throat at that. She couldn’t mean it, she thought to herself, she couldn’t possibly mean-
“You’re Juliet, right? My name is Rosaline.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Juliet said, slipping into a memorized response, “I’m surprised you know my name, I don’t think we’ve met before?”
“We haven’t, but I’ve heard the other guests speak of you, and assumed you were the charming woman they were discussing” Juliet could feel her spirits drop at that, and Rosaline let out a small chuckle at her horrified expression.
“It was nothing but praise Juliet, not whatever would create such fear”. Juliet let out a small sigh of relief at Rosaline’s words, and let her body relax.
“It’s just that -” Juliet began, but the clock cut her off, as it proclaimed the time to be midnight. As soon as it’s noise stopped, Rosaline began to speak.
“I am sorry Juliet, I would love to continue this, but I have to leave.” She took Juliet’s hands in her own and leaned down to kiss them before continuing, her voice urgent. “I’m staying in the Gravina’s estate, I would be honored if you called upon me there so I could properly speak to you”.
Juliet nodded frantically, as she tried to keep up with sudden change in tone and the sudden affectionate gesture.
“Of course I’ll visit it you, but why are you leaving like this?” Rosaline smiled sadly, as she let go of Juliet’s hands with a sigh.
“I’ll explain another time. For now, just know that it is through no fault of yours.” Rosaline had barely finished speaking before she began to move away from Juliet, towards the doors. As soon as Rosaline left the room seemed darker, and yet Juliet found she couldn’t stop smiling.
“She liked me,” Juliet whispered, incredulous. “And she wants to see me again”. Juliet could barely contain a shout of glee. She would have to speak to the other guests again soon, play the host’s gracious daughter, but she took another moment to stand and let her heart settle.
“Rosaline likes me.”