Sydney Paul

Jane Rogami

Chapter One

In the early light of morning, Jane stood against the back of an old maple tree, watching as the sun rose, to drench her in its beautiful, warm light. When the sun reached the top of the sky, Jane watched as it was first a red streak across the horizon, and become a perfectly circular ball, seeming to grow ever smaller as its light began to reach the rest of the world. Jane Rogami lived in a large estate at the edge of town with her mother, father, and younger sister, Amelia. Her father, Thomas Rogami, was a very wealthy man who wrote many books, such as novels, biographies, and the occasional documentary on the woods or animals.
Elizabeth Rogami stayed home and did her best to teach her girls how to be ladies, though, Jane and Amelia could be troublesome girls at times. They both enjoyed running bare foot about the grounds, chasing one another until they could not run any longer. When they would return to their mother, they would be filthy, out of breath, and extremely happy. Their short hairs would curl from the running and the heat of the day.

Amelia was a bright girl, clever, and incredibly flirtatious with all the men in Brighten it seemed. Her long amber hair had gold highlights that made it seem like she glowed in the sunlight, and it was this feature, combined with her manner of dressing that made her desirable by many. She would often be caught trying to sneak away, and meet with the current man who was courting her. But they did not last long, before she had another worthy bachelor in her sights. Jane was the quiet one in the family; she enjoyed taking walks about the pond. Her favorite times to walk were on warm summer days, just after a rain. The moisture that hung in the air would stick to her skin and dark brown hair, making her shimmer. Jane, unlike her sister, was not in the least interested in chasing men, she would much rather remain unmarried than spend the rest of her life doing as her husband said and raising children.

The Rogami estate was made of stone and had intricate carvings of beautiful meadows, and dangerous battles. The interior of the estate was just as beautifully decorated, from rose patterned walls, to the fine marble ball room. There were one hundred rooms in the Rogami estate, and two floors. Many a ball had taken place there, and it so happened the whole estate was in an uproar, getting ready for a ball that very night.

“Mr. Rogami, wake up. We must prepare the house for the ball tonight” Said Mrs. Rogami. She was standing over her sleeping husband, and was in a frightful state. Her hair was pointing every which way, she had bags under her eyes, and she was wearing her white, frilly night dress. It was only when Amelia began a loud commotion, about how Jane must have taken her red dress,
did Mr. Rogami open his eyes with a tired groan.
“My dear Mrs. Rogami” he said, pushing himself in to a comfortable seated position, “We have maids to take care of the house, what you need very much, is to put on your clothes and prepare yourself for tonight”. At this, she looked down at herself, and hurried out of the room. It was then that Jane arrived home, her skirt was caked up to her knees in mud, and it was the first thing that her mother saw as she walked down the stairs.
“Jane, look at the state of your dress! And I just had the rips mended too, now we will have to have it cleaned as well” Said Mrs. Rogami, Jane came out from where she had tried to hide
“Mum, it is not as if I am going to where this tonight” Said Jane, giving her dress a gesture, “ I would not be very presentable!”, but Mrs. Rogami was too frazzled to pay much attention to her daughter’s reply, instead she hurried towards the kitchen where, she declared, she could smell the pies burning. Jane rolled her eyes as she walked up the stairs, listening to her mother arguing with the cook.

“Jane!” cried Amelia, as Jane tied up her corset, “That is too tight, you are hurting me!” Amelia tried to wiggle herself out of her sisters grip, but Jane was stronger than Amelia and pulled her back, “ It is your own fault” said Jane, trying to hold her sister still, “if you had not bought such a tight dress, you would not have to wear your corset so tight”. Amelia let out an exasperated sigh, and looked fondly at the red dress hanging on the closet door. It was a beautiful dress, with short, flowing sleeves, and silver thread that was sewn around the waist. It embroidered the skirt with what looked like tiny rain drops, cascading down the skirt and then stopping at the hem. Jane’s own dress was white, and had long sleeves going down to her wrists, small pearls were sewn around the neck and flowers were embroidered around them.
After dressing, and having their hair coiled about their heads with small baby’s breath blossoms placed in their curls, they arrived downstairs to greet the first of their guests. The night began with music, dancing and friendly conversation. Amelia was dancing with a young man named Edward, and Jane waited, from where she was sitting with Mr. and Mrs. Rogami, at how the young man seemed to goggle at her sister’s beauty. The mere look on the man’s face made Jane laugh aloud, for the poor man knew nothing of her sister’s heart and how it soon would turn him a blind eye.
The night seemed to fly by, before Jane’ knew it, morning had come and the guests were leaving. As Jane bid farewell to friends, family, and new acquaintances, something caught her eye, something had been hiding behind a flower pot and had made the mistake of showing itself. Jane tried walking closer but when she got to the hiding place, it was gone, like a whisper in the wind.

Amelia woke with a start to the sound of Jane playing the piano. Jane played beautifully, but she chose strange times to play. Once she had even played at midnight, and needed to be persuaded to go back to bed. Amelia stood, and wrapped a woolen shawl about her shivering shoulders, and walked down the white staircase. When she reached the dining room, where the grand piano was kept, Amelia sat down next to her sister, her lively fingers jumping from this key to that. Jane looked up and kissed the top of her sister’s head fondly, “Trouble sleeping sister?” Asked she, ending one song and beginning a new one. “Yes, your piano playing woke me from a very enjoyable dream. Amelia seemed to stare in to the air with a soft gaze, “so when shall poor Edward be tossed aside?” Jan teased. Amelia gave her a playful push.
“This one isn’t like the others” she said standing up, “Edward is such a sweet man, I very much would like to see more of him”
She turned and walked out of the dining room, leaving Jane amazed at her sister’s reply. But weariness took her mind and she too made her way back to bed.