The day of the party was beautiful. It was Summer, so the temperature outside was a bit hotter than Atropa liked, but if you stayed inside, it wasn't so bad. The windows and doors had been left open to let the slow breeze pass through, offering some relief from the heat. Outside, the sun was shining, and birds were singing, although you couldn't hear them over the music from the orchestra her parents had hired. She wasn't quite sure how her parents had afforded the party, much less an orchestra and a new dress for her, but she didn't question it. It wasn't her place, after all. The dress her parents had bought her was appropriate for Summer- made of cotton, with the sleeves off the shoulders, it was a light blue color with white flowers as a pattern. Quite beautiful, even to her own tastes, but expensive. She'd bathed and gotten dressed, not leaving her room until guests began to show up. She hadn't eaten anything all day, just so that she could eat in this dress. If she'd eaten at breakfast, she would have had to change from her night dress, and then to at least two other dresses. It was quite a pain to be a woman. Although she knew this party was important, Atropa really didn't want to go. She wished her parents would just accept being poor- but of course not. Appearances were everything to them, and in order to continue their current standing in society, they needed to be married into a rich family. This party was to bring single males to meet Atropa, and eventually set something up. However, Atropa's parents already had their eye on a young man named Edward Holmes, the son of the High Court Judge, someone very wealthy and respected. Atropa had seen and met Edward twice already, and he seemed as excited about this whole affair as she was. He was quite standoffish and quiet, which led to their parents being the main people contributing to the conversation. Today was another excuse to put the two young adults together. Both set of parents hoped they would bond and agree to a marriage. In reality, it didn't matter if they agreed, one way or another, Atropa would be married, whether it was to Edward or some other young man. Taking a deep breath to calm her racing heart, Atropa left the safety of her bedroom to go to the party. She walked down the stairs, aware that everyone's eyes were on her, and people were whispering about her. Her cheeks flushed pink, hopefully they weren't speaking badly of her. Glancing up, she caught her mother's eye, and smiled. Her mother looked so happy it was hard not to. When she finally reached the bottom of the stairs, her father was there with Edward, speaking of some business information and holding a glass with brown liquor in it. "Oh! Atropa, there you are, dear!" Her father said with fake surprise. "I was just speaking to Edward here, but I believe your mother needs me. Please excuse me." As he left, he smiled tightly at her, letting her know that she needed to make a good impression. Smiling awkwardly, Atropa wrung her hands together, looking for something to talk about. "How have you been since I've last seen you, Edward?" She asked, deciding this was the easiest thing to ask and answer.