The Debutante by David R. Denny
In all honesty, her features were less than pristine; some would even say, rather dull. Perhaps it was the prominent forehead that seemed almost to resemble the bow of a great ocean vessel or maybe it was the sheer bulk of the girl—her squared shoulders, lack of a waistline, rounded feet that made any shoe seem ill-fitted, etc. She certainly did not seem like debutante ball material.
The whisperings around town plagued her whenever she ventured out on some innocent errand. She preferred the sideroads and back paths when possible but all too many times there were none and she was forced to face her public. These were the moments that tried her soul. Her heavy heart wondered how she could ever mingle with bankers’ daughters or other elites on the night of the festivities.
It was with glee that she stood one fine morning in front of Sherry’s Clothing store starring in the window. The dress was perfect, gleaming in rare, Ox-blood red, known as rare chic on the streets of Paris but unheard of in this small town. Standing alone before the slim mannequin, lost in a storybook fantasy, she wondered what people would say. She knew it broke all the rules of debutante white, but still, hers had not been a preferred path in life and now was not a time to make changes….
The evening unfolded with feathers and veils. The chosen ones, girls with pedigrees, strolled under lights into the ballroom, their headdresses glowing with stardust. Accompanied by black vested dates, the ladies smiled and curtsied in the custom of grand traditions.
And then a hush fell as a single beam alighted upon the door frame beneath which stood our heroine, swaddled in scarlet, smiling beneath the blessings of heaven’s panoply.
David R. Denny