Make Me Insane | Teen Ink

Make Me Insane

October 26, 2016
By LemonCandy, Hinsdale, Illinois
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LemonCandy, Hinsdale, Illinois
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Author's note:

I was inspiried to write this piece because my grandmother often told me awfully tragic stories that she would invent. Whenever I think of her, I think of her imagination and creativity to be able to think up such sad stories. I wanted to write something that could be a token of appreciation to how much she influenced my style of writing. 

 

I hope that people will understand to always cherish what you have right now. 

Prologue


Ivory could feel the loud thumping from the stampede of people as she jolted back in an attempt to avoid the rush of citizens that were bombarding the small town square. She smoothed down her apron and squinted her eyes to glare at the burning sun. She glanced around at the enormous mass of of citizens around her, trying to seek a familiar face. She had no luck.
Ivory Beltford was no patient woman.
Where is Laurence?  She thought, glaring at a young girl who was jumping up and down trying to see the platform. She sighed and covered herself from the blinding light of the sun. She shouldn’t be out here. She shouldn’t have agreed to Laurence’s request to listen to the great news that he would present. Thoughts passed through Ivory’s mind and she rubbed her temple, for it seemed to have been lit on fire.
The young girl next to her never stopped jumping, her pigtails swayed back and forth to the beating of Ivory’s temples.
A man stepped up to the platform and waved, his raven black hair shined in the sun and his bright white teeth did nothing to dim his image. He waved towards the crowd and winked in Ivory’s direction.
Ivory rolled her grey eyes, she was annoyed at how Laurence would always make a suggestion towards her, thinking that she would feel special. Ivory scoffed at the idea. She knew that she should have cut ties with Laurence when Elizabeth visited the manor, but she couldn’t bear to lose her one and only friend.
Another figure stepped onto the platform. It was Lady Elizabeth. Ivory clutched her stomach, she felt as if she would spew forward the contents of last nights supper. She clutched the apple in her apron pocket and she felt the slick juice coating her fingers. The brunette girl took the apple out and rubbed her hands against the once white apron, staring at the figures on the platform.
Lady Elizabeth smiled at the crowd, her teeth shone like the pearls that she wore against her chest. Elizabeth’s small hands only emphasized her delicate figure along with the gorgeous tresses of platinum blonde hair that ran down her back and small, dainty feet that completed her beauty.
Laurence stepped up next to Elizabeth, extending his rough hand to grasp her dainty ones. Ivory glanced down to look at her own hands; they were thick and rough from all the manual labor that she has done.
“Hello everyone,” said Laurence, smiling wide at the crowd. He lifted Elizabeth’s and his  entwined hands in the air and smirked, “I am happy to announce that Lady Elizabeth Ruse and I are to be wed.”
Ivory slowly cut herself off from the grand speech that Laurence was making. She had been drowning in lies all this time. She clutched her hands together, for they were now madly shaking. She slowly glanced up into the sky once more. The wide, spacious clouds now hid the sun. She felt the sky’s emotion; a deep, wretched pain tore at her heart. It fell rotten to the ground and was ready for the picking.


***


Ivory bit into the soft apple, her teeth slowly gnawed at the sweet fruit, filling her mouth with its tartness. It was a luxury for her tastebuds. She slowly chewed, crossing her feet in the heated basement kitchen with the cook. “What’s wrong, dear?” asked Cheryl. Cheryl was born in a kitchen and Ivory had no doubt that Cheryl would die in the kitchen.
Ivory bit her swollen lip, it was tainted red with blood and the bottom was puffed out due to the constant biting that made on the delicate piece of flesh. She didn’t know if Cheryl could keep such a forbidden secret. She had promised Laurence that she wouldn’t tell anyone of their ‘love life’. Laurence had promised to keep it blooming, but she could see the roses blooming in his eyes whenever Elizabeth walked by.
“Nothing much,” shrugged Ivory, “Just a bit hungry after walking out in the sun all day. How about you?” Cheryl let out a hearty laugh. “Don’t worry my dear, I know what kind of stomach you have.” She brought forth the wooden spoon that had been spinning the the large black pot. Bits of potato and beef were swirling around in the brown glop of stew. Ivory licked the blood off her lip. Cheryl avoided her question once again; the cook would never answer anything about herself.
Ivory felt her stomach grumble, glancing down at her dirt covered hands before walking over to the large pot of clear water. She stared at the small specks of dirt that stood floating atop the clear mixture.
“Here you go, love,” said Cheryl setting a large pot of stew on the cracked wooden table. She stuck her tongue in, saliva coating her whole mouth as she did so.
“Thank you,” Ivory slurped up the hot concoction and bit down on one of the blocks of potatoes that were floating around. “It’s good.”
Ivory mindlessly stirred the soup, turning the broth into mush.
 

Ivory happily twirled the bright purple violets in her hand. She picked at the pretty petals that surrounded the bulb. Laurence laughed, his hearty chuckle whistled in the cool air. “Ivory,” he said, “You know that I love you, right?” Ivory giggled and threw the flower on the ground, looking at Laurence, “Of course.”
The young master breathed a sigh of relief before jolting up at the sound of a nearby butler, shouting at him to get back to his studies. He slowly walked to the butler, not sparing a glance at Ivory.
Ivory sat there, the cool dewdrops on the grass tickled her legs and the flowers surrounded her like a large halo. She slowly tucked her feet into the moist mud, hearing the loud stampede of horses in the front yard and she ducked down. Ivory slowly lifted her head up to look at the figure illuminated in the moonlighted. She sucked in a deep breath and squinted her eyes.
The figure was small, yet it was evident that it was wearing a large dress, poofed up with layers of undercoats and large wired hoops.
If the years of tending to Lady Montgomery helped her, then the dress was most likely made of silk with a tight fitting velvet top above the small corset. She longed to touch those beautiful pieces of fabric.
Laurence would often tease her about how she used to duck into his mother’s drawers to slide her hands along the smooth silk from China, the soft cotton from Egypt, and the many golden rings from Africa.
The jewels reminded Ivory of her trinket; a necklace Laurence had given to her last year on their first anniversary.
According to Laurence, the necklace was a promise. It was a promise for them to get married in the future. It was a promise for them to keep their love blooming. It was a promise that Ivory had taken to heart.
Ivory slowly stood up, picking up her worn skirts as she ran to the back of the estate and into the kitchen where the rest of the maids were.
The kitchen was bustling, everyone was working. Cheryl was busy working her plump body around the warm area, the older maids were carefully cutting the ingredients and stirring the soup. Even the younger ones were helping by setting the table.
“Caroline,” hissed Ivory, carefully picking out the pieces of grass that had caught onto her apron. “What’s going on?”
Caroline glanced around her, making sure Cheryl was nowhere in sight. “Don’t always go wandering around, Ivory. You’re going to get caught one day.” Ivory rolled her eyes and raised her eyebrows at Caroline. “Hurry up, Carol.” Caroline crossed her arms and c***ed her head to one side. “Lady Elizabeth is visiting today.”
Ivory picked up a piece of warm peppered bread from a nearby tray, ignoring Caroline’s shouts of fury at her bad manners. “Who is Lady Elizabeth?” Caroline was exasperated by now, turning her back to Ivory and beckoning her forward. Ivory stepped forward to the large pot of carrot soup that Caroline was pointing to, “Stir, I’ll talk while you do that.”
Ivory nodded, picking up the heavy wooden spoon and started to mix the pepper into the soup. She stared at the thick orange mixture and watched a piece of her hair fall in, she ignored it and mixed it to the bottom of the pot.
“Lady Elizabeth is a suitable wife for the young master. Master Montgomery is thinking of arranging a marriage between them. Ivory stopped stirring, paying no mind to the spoon that was slowly sinking.
Caroline puckered her lips and dug it out from the bottom, her whole arm was coated with an orange-y mush. Bits of carrots clung to the sleeves of her blouse. “Honestly, Ivory. I don’t know why I’m even trying to help you. You’re too much of a klutz.” Caroline took a lick at her own arm. “I feel so bad for myself.”
Ivory slowly felt rocks crush down atop her head. She knew that Laurence wouldn’t have stayed with an orphan picked up from the streets like herself.
“Ivory!” she felt a hand swatting at her apron. Caroline looked at Ivory, worry filled eyes stared at her best friend. Ivory blushed and shyly smiled. “Sorry about that, Caroline.” She took the spoon away from Caroline’s hands. “Here, I’ll stir.”
Ivory stirred and stirred, she could feel her heart mixing in with the other emotions that she had never felt before. Anger, sadness, dread, and even a faint trace of relief.
Their relationship had been hidden for so long that Ivory slowly began to think that it was impossible to be with a man of status like Laurence. She slowly closed her eyes, thinking back to all the memories that had once made her happy.
The first time he had gotten her flowers from the garden had made her want to kiss the boy. She could feel the bronze necklace against her neck. It was once warm with her body heat radiating off the small piece of metal. She could feel the cooled piece of metal against her chest It was like ice to her overheating body, yet she did nothing to remove the small trinket. She rested the spoon down on the ground, dirt would collect and ants would soon start picking at the remnants, but Ivory didn’t care of such small frivolous things.
 

Ivory happily twirled the bright purple violets in her hand. She picked at the pretty petals that surrounded the bulb. Laurence laughed, his hearty chuckle whistled in the cool air. “Ivory,” he said, “You know that I love you, right?” Ivory giggled and threw the flower on the ground, looking at Laurence, “Of course.”
The young master breathed a sigh of relief before jolting up at the sound of a nearby butler, shouting at him to get back to his studies. He slowly walked to the butler, not sparing a glance at Ivory.
Ivory sat there, the cool dewdrops on the grass tickled her legs and the flowers surrounded her like a large halo. She slowly tucked her feet into the moist mud, hearing the loud stampede of horses in the front yard and she ducked down. Ivory slowly lifted her head up to look at the figure illuminated in the moonlighted. She sucked in a deep breath and squinted her eyes.
The figure was small, yet it was evident that it was wearing a large dress, poofed up with layers of undercoats and large wired hoops.
If the years of tending to Lady Montgomery helped her, then the dress was most likely made of silk with a tight fitting velvet top above the small corset. She longed to touch those beautiful pieces of fabric.
Laurence would often tease her about how she used to duck into his mother’s drawers to slide her hands along the smooth silk from China, the soft cotton from Egypt, and the many golden rings from Africa.
The jewels reminded Ivory of her trinket; a necklace Laurence had given to her last year on their first anniversary.
According to Laurence, the necklace was a promise. It was a promise for them to get married in the future. It was a promise for them to keep their love blooming. It was a promise that Ivory had taken to heart.
Ivory slowly stood up, picking up her worn skirts as she ran to the back of the estate and into the kitchen where the rest of the maids were.
The kitchen was bustling, everyone was working. Cheryl was busy working her plump body around the warm area, the older maids were carefully cutting the ingredients and stirring the soup. Even the younger ones were helping by setting the table.
“Caroline,” hissed Ivory, carefully picking out the pieces of grass that had caught onto her apron. “What’s going on?”
Caroline glanced around her, making sure Cheryl was nowhere in sight. “Don’t always go wandering around, Ivory. You’re going to get caught one day.” Ivory rolled her eyes and raised her eyebrows at Caroline. “Hurry up, Carol.” Caroline crossed her arms and c***ed her head to one side. “Lady Elizabeth is visiting today.”
Ivory picked up a piece of warm peppered bread from a nearby tray, ignoring Caroline’s shouts of fury at her bad manners. “Who is Lady Elizabeth?” Caroline was exasperated by now, turning her back to Ivory and beckoning her forward. Ivory stepped forward to the large pot of carrot soup that Caroline was pointing to, “Stir, I’ll talk while you do that.”
Ivory nodded, picking up the heavy wooden spoon and started to mix the pepper into the soup. She stared at the thick orange mixture and watched a piece of her hair fall in, she ignored it and mixed it to the bottom of the pot.
“Lady Elizabeth is a suitable wife for the young master. Master Montgomery is thinking of arranging a marriage between them. Ivory stopped stirring, paying no mind to the spoon that was slowly sinking.
Caroline puckered her lips and dug it out from the bottom, her whole arm was coated with an orange-y mush. Bits of carrots clung to the sleeves of her blouse. “Honestly, Ivory. I don’t know why I’m even trying to help you. You’re too much of a klutz.” Caroline took a lick at her own arm. “I feel so bad for myself.”
Ivory slowly felt rocks crush down atop her head. She knew that Laurence wouldn’t have stayed with an orphan picked up from the streets like herself.
“Ivory!” she felt a hand swatting at her apron. Caroline looked at Ivory, worry filled eyes stared at her best friend. Ivory blushed and shyly smiled. “Sorry about that, Caroline.” She took the spoon away from Caroline’s hands. “Here, I’ll stir.”
Ivory stirred and stirred, she could feel her heart mixing in with the other emotions that she had never felt before. Anger, sadness, dread, and even a faint trace of relief.
Their relationship had been hidden for so long that Ivory slowly began to think that it was impossible to be with a man of status like Laurence. She slowly closed her eyes, thinking back to all the memories that had once made her happy.
The first time he had gotten her flowers from the garden had made her want to kiss the boy. She could feel the bronze necklace against her neck. It was once warm with her body heat radiating off the small piece of metal. She could feel the cooled piece of metal against her chest It was like ice to her overheating body, yet she did nothing to remove the small trinket. She rested the spoon down on the ground, dirt would collect and ants would soon start picking at the remnants, but Ivory didn’t care of such small frivolous things.
 

“Elizabeth,” said Lady Montgomery, taking a seat across from the young lady. “Lady Montgomery, it’s a pleasure to have you here right now.” Elizabeth said, taking a sip of her tea.
Lady Montgomery, Violet, nodded. Her features remained stiff. “The pleasure is all mine, Lady Ruse. It is only my job to see my future daughter in law. Pardon me for not scheduling a meeting earlier.” Elizabeth dismissively waved her hand, “You are all too kind.”
“I do not happen to think the same,” Violet glared. “You’re too much of a chatterbox, dear. Perhaps Sir Ruse has been much too lenient towards his only daughter. Would you happen to agree?”
“Pardon me for my rudeness, Lady Montgomery.”
“Pay no mind to my bluntness, Elizabeth, but it is no good for you to be here if you cannot carry yourself well.”
Elizabeth swallowed her pride and gritted her teeth through her smile.
“I am terribly sorry for my improper upbringing. I am sure that I will be able to reconnect to my english roots before things get out of hand.” Violet smiled genuinely. Elizabeth reminded her of herself when she was once young. “But, Lady Montgomery, I was pondering last night... I would like to make a visit back to my father before the wedding. Would that be alright?”
Lady Montgomery paused, “That is quite nice of you, Elizabeth. I hold no command over your actions. Do as you please.”
Elizabeth blushed, her cheeks were faintly tainted pink. “I hope if it is not too much to ask if I will be able to take some of the maids with me on my journey.”
Violet sipped some of the lavender tea. It was much too sweet for her tastes. “Who do you plan on taking?”
“Ahh, I do hope that I am not hassling you too much, Lady Montgomery.” Violet frowned, “Please do get on with the point.” Elizabeth nodded, “I would like to Ivory, Michelle and perhaps, Rachel with me on my trip.”
Laurence, as a young child, had always raved about Ivory being the most perfect bride that one could ever dream of. He had recently stopped talking about her, perhaps they had lost touch as the two grew up. It would only make sense. Ivory was only a poor, low class maid, whereas Laurence had a bright future lined with jewels and gold coins in his path. Violet nodded at Elizabeth, “I see nothing wrong with your plans.”
“Thank you Lady Montgomery.”
Violet nodded for courtesy. “Do tell me when you will be leaving,so I can inform Laurence.” Elizabeth bobbed her head, “Of course, Lady Montgomery.”
As soon as Lady Montgomery left the room, Elizabeth started to cackle. “Isn’t this wonderful, Walter?” she whispered to herself.
 

“Ivory!” yelled Elizabeth waving her arms at the frightened young maid. Elizabeth secretly smirked, her eyes narrowing as Ivory nervously walked closer to the young lady.
“Lady Elizabeth, it is an honor to come with you to the Ruse estate.”
“The pleasure is all mine; I hope it isn’t of any inconvenience to you, Ivory.” Elizabeth twirled a plaid hankerchief between her slim fingers. Ivory grimaced, in reality she had no interests in attending the journey with Elizabeth to the Ruse mansion at all. The idea of sitting with the young lady in the same carriage terrified her.
“I don’t think we have enough room on the carriage for.. your baggage,” Elizabeth frowned at the scratched leather suitcase. Ivory raised an eyebrow, “I’ll leave it here then.”
Ivory hesitantly glanced at her bag, slowly tracing her steps back. As soon as she disappeared from Elizabeth, Ivory dug her hands into the depth of her bag, pulling out the broken trinket, and stuffing the small piece of jewelry into the main pocket of her apron.
She let her suitcase stand on the grounds of the manor, the wind blew her hair into her eyes as the clothes started to sway in tune with the wind. She did nothing to protect the many layers of skirts and dresses that were packed into the small suitcase. There was a feeling that she wouldn’t need to see the clothes that she had once owned.
“I’m ready,” Ivory smiled up at the sky, this was the first time that she would be able to leave the town controlled by the Montgomery’s.

      ***
“Walter, you have made sure that everything is ready, haven’t you?” asked Elizabeth, staring out of the windows in the carriage, watching dirty aprons start to drift away with the strong northerly winds.
“Yes madam, I just received a letter from Master Ruse.” Walter said, “A room has been cleared for her.”
Elizabeth smiled, “You know, Walter. I don’t say this much, but don’t expect this until the day of your death. You’re actually a very useful man.” Walter nodded, bowing his head, “Thank you Lady Elizabeth. I appreciate the thought.”
Ivory gasped for air, she had just run across the plush green fields.
Elizabeth twitched her button nose. “You made it on time.”
Walter bowed at the two ladies and stepped out of the small carriage, taking a seat in the carriage up front.
“I-I I’ve just never been out of the Montgomery’s town,” Ivory clutched the ends of her apron in excitement, “I must admit that I am quite excited.”
Elizabeth let out a hearty laugh that filled the cool motionless carriage, “You are quite a sweet person.... For a maid.”
Ivory frowned, “What difference does it make if my status is of the upper class or not?” Elizabeth rolled her gem like eyes, “It matters the whole world,” Elizabeth leaned closer to Ivory, “Don’t you ever want to get married and have a nice life, Ivory?” Elizabeth pouted, “You are quite close with Laurence, are you not?” Ivory gulped, “We are close friends, yes.” Elizabeth smirked, “Only friends Ivory? I hope you are not deceiving me. Laurence is, after all, my fiancee.” Elizabeth smirked, “You can always tell me the truth. I’m sure we can figure something out that would work for everyone.”
Ivory frowned at the facial reactions that Elizabeth kept on featuring. It was like there was an inside joke that she wasn’t in on. She hated how Elizabeth seemed to nudge the truth that had been buried in the lies of friendship all these years. It was so tempting to tell her that Laurence loved Ivory more than his beloved fiancee.
“I have no idea what you happen to be stating, Lady Elizabeth. I do indeed hope that you are not basing your facts upon rumors and assumptions. We mustn't do that.”
Elizabeth gnawed at her teeth. “Be careful of what you say,” the carriage jerked to a halt, making Elizabeth’s words seem more intimidating than they actually were. “You do understand you status, Ivory, do you not? Must I have to remind you another time? You are a mere maid and I would not have any interest in if you did not associate your dirty self with Laurence.”
Ivory slowly zipped her lips together, the carriage lurched forward.
“Lady Elizabeth, do mind my mouth, but why are you telling me all this? I pose as no threat towards you. After all, what could a mere maid do to a person with as much social standing as you?”
Elizabeth chewed at the insides of her cheek. Ivory Beltford was truly getting on her nerves. The young girl simply did not know when to shut her rude mouth.
“Let me be honest here, Lady Elizabeth,” Ivory placed an index finger on her plush lips, “I didn’t come here to help you. Lady Montgomery will raise my payment.”
Elizabeth narrowed her eyes as she frowned at the laughing girl.
The elegant one of the two crossed her arms. ‘It doesn’t matter what she thinks of you, Elizabeth. She’ll be off and dead by the next time you see her.’
“Lovely,” whispered Elizabeth, smiling and grimacing at the same time. “Would you like a cup of tea, Ivory?”
Ivory nodded.
     ***


Ivory could feel the darkness of the tight space that she had been thrust in. She gritted her teeth together, rolling her head to her right shoulder as she leaned herself on the cold wall.
It must have been the tea.
Ivory bit her lip, she knew that Lady Elizabeth was anything but trustworthy, but Ivory had already foolishly agreed to her ridiculous demands and favors out of curiosity and pure enjoyment.
Ivory closed her eyes; this might have been a dream the whole time, she reasoned with herself. After all, why would Elizabeth throw her into a dark cramped place that resembled a dungeon? Elizabeth was a socialite that only had time for parties. She was a classical upper class lady with blond hair, blue eyes, and a brain the size of a pea.
Ivory traced the lines of the cement ground, feeling the slightest grooves between the curve of her palm. “Where am I?” she whispered to herself. She slowly drifted away out of consciousness. She could feel the core of her body float away as she laid down against the cool floors.
The walls were coated with dust, yet the whole cell felt damp. She could taste the water in her mouth. It smelt of overcooked vegetables and month old cheese.
“Where am I?!” Ivory yelled out into the darkness, a sweet scent floated into her senses, the smell of roses and wine. A soft chuckle followed the scent, “Ivory, darling,” a voice said, it drifted through the thick layer of sewer water that seemed to coat the whole area. “You’re a smart woman. Shouldn’t you know by now what you have done wrong?”
Ivory struggled to utter the word aloud, “Elizabeth.”
“None other,” Elizabeth winked, “Surely you know how I can’t settle for anything but the best.” Elizabeth let the left corner of her lip quirk up, “The same rule goes for my fiancee. I will never accept a mere orphan maid as his mistress when he can simple have all of me.”
Ivory closed her eyes, “No, no, no.”
Elizabeth raised her elegantly shaped eyebrow, “What do you mean, peasant?”
Ivory slowly lifted her hands to touch the edges of her lip in disbelief, “Laurene wasn’t supposed to do this. I would never have become his mistress, Elizabeth! I would have been his bride!”
Elizabeth laughed, that c***y laugh did nothing but embarrass Ivory. “Surely you don’t think that Lady Montgomery would approve of you. Laurence wanted to make you his mistress, as the perfect fiancee that I am, I agreed.” Elizabeth strolled over to stand above Ivory’s head, only the thick metal bars were separating them. “But, we can’t have that.”
Elizabeth started to walk away, but a tug on the ends of her thick velvet dress stopped the elegant lady from moving farther away.
“Please don’t leave me here; I’ll do anything! I promise I won’t get close to Laurence ever again! I’ll be your slave, please. Elizabeth! Lady Elizabeth! You can’t leave me here to die!” 
Elizabeth scoffed, pulling the dress away from Ivory’s grasp. “Use your brain, darling. The last time I checked, you shouldn’t order a person with a higher status than yourself.”
Ivory slowly breathed out the breath that she had been holding all this time. It would be a long time in that cell. She secretly hoped that Elizabeth would stop by once more to entertain her.


     ***


Laurence could feel his head throb as he signed off another document. It had been a few months since his father decided that he was old enough to start operating the family business.
He was relieved that Elizabeth had taken a break to go back to the Ruse estate before their marriage. He thought that he could finally have some time with Ivory, but he soon found out that Elizabeth had taken Ivory with her for the journey.
He could hear the whispers of a young girl in his head.
Help me, Laurence. Help me. I can’t live this life. I can’t stand how fake our love is. I can’t help but wonder, Laurence. Help me escape from this torture.
Laurence set his head on the table, banging it on the wooden desk. He couldn’t get that soft voice out of his head. He was going insane. A madness took over him.
Help me, Laurence. I know you love me.
Laurence shivered as he felt frozen hands creeping along his spine. They left small drops of water as the hands rose higher.
You aren’t living out your destiny. Help me, love. Let me love you once more. We cannot both live a lie. You know how much you aren’t meant to be who you are now. Let me free. Let me fly without you.
Laurence closed his eyes and pushed himself out of the chair. He simply could not concentrate with that voice in his taunting him every second.

Elizabeth had never bothered to make a single visit throughout the whole week.
Ivory had gotten tidbits of bread and fish throughout the days; a kind guard was willing to share his monstrous lunch with her, but it had been a long time since Ivory had seen the bright rays of the sun shining on her face as she stroked the lilies and tulips.
A red glow emitted from the corner of the room.
Ivory squinted her eyes, not used to the warmth of color.
“Ivory,” said the figure, enveloped in the red glow. “You want to get out of here and fall in love with Laurence once more, do you not?” The black smile grew. “Come on, Ivory. I know what you want.”
Ivory closed her eyes. Laurence had told her to stay away from the devil.
The figure only chuckled, “How nice would it feel to feel your bodies together once more? The warmth of love enveloping yourself after the harsh days in this dirty cell. We both know that one cannot survive too long without someone to love as an equal.”
Ivory licked her lips, “What.. What do you mean.. exactly?”
“Not much, a few gifts here and there, but just for a mere price of your soul, I can guarantee anything to satisfy your love life.”
“I-I what gift?”
The shadow chuckled once more, “That trinket of yours. Surely you must remember it.”
“What will you give me?”
The figure only laughed once more. If anything could be the joker, it would be this mysterious man. “I already stated that with the trinket and your precious.. delicious.. soul, I’ll give you your dream. To a certain extent..”
Ivory slowly nodded, “I’ll do anything.”
She slipped her hands into the pockets of her brown apron and placed the small piece of jewelry in the devil’s hands. “Take my soul.”
Sharp teeth brightly glimmered, even though there was no source of light, the pearly whites of the mysterious red man still glowed like no other.
  “Gladly. Sign here” said the figure, holding up a piece of parchment paper.
Ivory immediately wrote her name on the line.
As soon as the figure pressed his cold hands upon her chest, she could feel her body become so much lighter. It was like she was floating in the sky, flying with the angels.
I love you Laurence. I love you enough to trade my soul for it. Will you ever find it in your heart to find that what I have done is a good cause?
Will you love me back now?
Ivory buried her head in her hands, What has she done all this time to deserve this? She stared straight at the sun, her eyes never looking away from the deadly glow. She couldn’t look away. She was finally released into the real world.
“Tell me!” she yelled into the fields. “What have I done? What did I do to deserve this?”
She fell onto her knees in the middle of that field. Life wasn’t fair.
She slowly clutched her chest, the once empty space seemed to be filled with fire that left Ivory rolling on the floor. She would sacrifice her dignity for Laurence, for that was the only precious piece of her that was left for her to lose.

Laurence closed his eyes and breathed in and out as he slicked down his suit. He was nowhere ready for a marriage with Elizabeth. He, in fact, feared her. She would always order him around, paying no mind to his discomfort and reluctance to follow her commands.
The orders were awfully strange. Ranging from buying fish eggs in town to helping wax her legs. He truly felt like a servant in her hands. He missed Ivory.
The first few days without the brunette had been natural. He barely noticed the poor girl these days. Her presence around him was warm and comforting, but with their time schedules and his upcoming wedding, Laurence simply did not have any time to play games and chase the maid.
His mother had told him that Ivory had went with Elizabeth to the Ruse mansion, but Elizabeth had come back without her. Laurence stared at himself in the mirror, frowning at his baggy eyes and receding hairline. He faked a smile and nodded at his mother who smiled brightly, whispering something to a nearby maid.
The golden church bells rang
The whole entire area was covered in all the hues of white that existed in this world. Ivory had stolen a dress that was lying around in the manor, probably one of Elizabeth’s many outfits.
Ivory slowly entered the room, hesitantly sitting down with the bride’s family. She immediately felt out of place with her chestnut brown hair in contrast to the Ruse’s blonde locks. Elizabeth gripped her hands in her lap and stared beyond the horizon, not paying any mind to the chatter and whispers that surrounded her. She could no longer feel the sensation of her soul being missing, nor was the burning sensation in her chest apparent.
“Madam Ivory,” whispered a red haired girl. Ivory looked up at the face that said those deadly words. “Carol-Caroline,” gasped Ivory covering her mouth with the laced gloves she had on. “Ivory,” Caroline rubbed her temples, squeezing next to her good friend. “Where were you? Ivory! What are you wearing? Why are you here? Why-”
“I’ll tell you later,” said Ivory squeezing a smile out of her emotionless face.
Caroline frowned, “I’ll stay with you until you tell me.”
Ivory sighed, “As you wish, Caroline.”
Caroline frowned, “What’s wrong with you Ivory? You aren’t chattering away, nor are you smiling.”
Ivory twisted her fingers in worry, “I-I I’m perfectly fine, Caroline. Thank you for the effort that you put in about worrying of my state of health.”
Caroline sighed, “I’ll give up on you for now, Ivory. It’s probably one of those strange moods that you have every once in awhile. Caroline kicked her legs up onto the bench in front of her, “Come on, Ivy. Cheer up, will you? It’s young master’s wedding. You’ve got to be happy at that. We can actually eat good food today.” Caroline licked her lips, “I saw some shrimp and caviar at the table. Oh! And Vanilla cake!”
Ivory nodded, weakly smiling. “Lovely, but I’m not hungry.”
The redhead girl rolled her eyes, “Stop joking, Ivory. If you aren’t here for the food, then what are you here for? There’s nothing else worthy of our presence.”
“I’m here for Laurence’s wedding.”
“Sure, Ivy.”
Ivory scoffed and brushed Caroline’s arm away from her shoulder. “Get away from me.”
Caroline whisked her legs off of the bench and widened her eyes at her friend. “What’s gotten into you?”
“Get away from-”
The wedding ceremony was about to begin.
Elizabeth smiled at the crowd as she trailed in with her beautiful wedding gown. The pearls in her hair sparkled as she moved her head to face the sun.
Ivory quickly shot out of her seat, grasping at Elizabeth’s bouquet. “No! No! No!” she shouted as she threw the bundle of flowers onto the ground. “You can’t marry him! You can’t”
Ivory soon fell the floor beneath her feet swirl as she felt her shoes sink. “No! This can’t be happening!” Her yells were drowned into the ground as the girl herself was also dragged into darkness. She heard a sinister laugh surrounding the little space that she was in.
What was going on? What had she done?
Ivory slowly got up, her scream stretched out as she closed her eyes.
“No! No! NO! NO! Laurence! Where are you!? I need you!”
“Ivory Beltford. No one wants you. Abandoned as a child, lost your parents because they never loved you enough. You have also failed as a lover. Look at where you are now. You are the figure of disaster-”
“No!” Ivory yelled, covering her ears. “Stop!”
The voice did not stop. “No one loves you. You are so pitiful, Ivory. No one wants you. You weren’t wise enough to use your chance for love. How sad-”
“What are you talking about?!” Ivory yelled, “I never had a chance!”
The voice chuckled, “You should always read the documents in which you sign.
Ivory widened her eyes and touched her chest. She could feel the fire once more. It was hot compared to her chilled body.
Under this order, the one who signs shall not fall in love with her true love.
“Stop! Stop!”
The voice never stopped taunting Ivory.
“Stop!”
Her yells soon become withered to nothing; her head was severed from the rest of her body.

Don’t take love like a slice key lime pie.

The author's comments:

It is sad how Laurence never went out of his way for Ivory until the end.

“Leave me alone, Elizabeth.” said Laurence, pulling his arm away from the mother of his two twin sons.
“Laurence, love, why are you going to her grave again?”
Laurence glared at his wife, briskly walking away from her grasp.

      ***


Laurence knelt down in front of a grave, “I love you, Ivory. I love both of you.”


     Ivory Belford
         The Soul Within Us
    Mother of Edward Beltford
   
                               Edward Beltford
      The Boy In The Womb

A tear slipped from Laurence’s eye. It slowly fell to the grave of his love.


I love you, Laurence. Don’t cry over my failures. We’ll wait for you.


The laughter of the devil rang in his ears, “I’ll wait for you.”
He could see Ivory’s eyes become black and hollow, her lips stretched across her cheeks. “I love you, Laurence.”


You make me insane for you. Come with me.


Laurence Montgomery disappeared that very day.


I love you, Ivory. Make my soul yours. Take me.


Make me insane.
 



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