I have such exciting news to tell you today, my dearest and sweetest friend!!! Last night, well, yesterday evening really but anyway, I was lying on the grass in the pens (the cage thing in the gardens where us girls can sleep or relax. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a punishment to be there but I like it as it’s usually quiet and most of the men don’t know I’m there so I can get away with just being alone with my thoughts. And the cage is big enough to be able to stand up and walk around in so I don’t get claustrophobic, even if the door were to be locked, which it never is anyway. If the cage were smaller that would be awful; I hate being locked in small places but this just feels private and safe so I like it.)
Anyway, as I was saying, I was lying on the soft grass in the pens at the Retreat yesterday when I heard a ringing sound. I didn’t even pay attention at first as I’m used to hearing sounds around me that I don’t need to react to; I only really react when I hear someone’s voice or footsteps. But it kept ringing and I realized it was a cell phone. There was no one else around but I don’t have a phone (well I did, but the battery has long since died and even if I could charge it up I haven’t been able to pay the bill for ages now so it must have been cut off).
The phone kept ringing so I answered it and it was a man’s voice; someone I recognized but couldn’t put a name or face to. But he knew who I was and he didn’t seem surprised that I had answered the phone. He even said he’d given me his phone number and was surprised I didn’t remember doing so which is just so weird. But, strange things often happen around here and you know, if I stop to think and worry about them too much I’d go crazy! So I won’t!!! (Although I might go crazy anyway, of course…)
Okay, so, this man on the other end of the phone has a voice I know I recognize and at first I am so excited as I think it must be either Bren or Dain (I’ve told you a little about Bren although I need to write more about him. I haven’t yet told you about Dain but I will, I promise!) The man said that no, his name was Jefferson and he was disappointed I didn’t remember him. Oh I felt so bad then! I still couldn’t quite place him but he told me that we’d met here at the Retreat and the more he spoke the more his voice started to jog my memory and then I remembered! It was Sir Jeff!!! Yes! I hadn’t made the connection because I’d just been so surprised to hear from him (to get a phone call from anyone in fact!) and also he’d told me to call him Sir Jeff so I didn’t know his full name was Jefferson. And, add to that the fact that people often sound different on the phone, plus I hadn’t seen him for a while, plus I’d been thinking about Bren so much recently for some reason… well, I think I can be forgiven for not recognizing him sooner, don’t you?
I still felt bad that I hadn’t known it was him, but luckily he didn’t seem angry or sad and we had an amazing conversation. He’s so lovely! He kept calling me “little one” which always makes me feel so nice although I don’t know why. I think it also depends on who is saying it but the type of men who say that are usually similar in some ways. I don’t know. Maybe it was just his gorgeous voice! But in any case, as the conversation went on I started to relax and feel really good. I was lying on the grass, listening to Sir Jeff talk to me and his wonderful voice seemed to dance out of the phone, into my ear and tickle around my body like a happy, playful butterfly. Or maybe something more masculine than a butterfly but I can’t think of anything at the moment.
We had such a great talk! It was so good to just talk and not be expected to do anything or have anything done to me. And he even shared some of his feelings with me, you know, personal and emotional stuff. He talked to me like a real person not just a girl or object.
But, you know what the best and most amazing and incredible part is? Oh, my dear diary you are just not going to believe this! He wants to take me out dancing! Yes, dancing!!! He’s going to ask Mr. Negulesco for permission to take me out of the Retreat and then we’re going to swing by my old house so I can get one of my pretty dresses to wear and not have to go out in the naughty outfits they have here (I know it’s actually Flame and Bren’s house but that’s where I lived and where all my stuff is, at least I presume it’s still there.) And then we’re going to go dancing! Oh I can’t believe it, it’s going to be so amazing and wonderful, oh I hope Mr. Negulesco lets me go out.
And, it gets even better! If you can believe that! Sir Jeff said that if Mr. Negulesco (well, he called him Carlo which is his first name but I have never been able to call him by his first name even when talking about him to other people) seemed unwilling to let me go out for a night, Sir Jeff would tell Mr. Negulesco that he was thinking of buying me. Yes!!! I told you it got even better! I asked him if he was really thinking that and – you’re never going to believe how lovely and sweet this is – Sir Jeff said he would maybe pay to have me freed from the Retreat but he wouldn’t consider that he owned me because I’m a person and you can’t own a human being. Isn’t that wonderful? He’s so nice! I am just so excited I don’t know how I’m going to cope until I see him or hear from him again! He promised it would be soon – as soon as he is able to get permission from Mr. Negulesco.
After our phone call I fell asleep – and this is a bit embarrassing to say but I know I can tell you anything my friend – I fell asleep hugging the phone! Hee hee! Yes, curled up on the soft, warm grass, cuddling the phone as though it were a teddy bear or as though it were actually Sir Jeff himself, and not just the carrier of his voice.
You know, one thing has occurred to me and it is a thought I will need to consider very carefully. I wonder if I could, you know, just not come back to the Retreat after the dance? I wonder if I could convince Sir Jeff to let me stay out? To sort of, kidnap me, but with my consent. Or, I could even just run away. Maybe slip out of Sir Jeff’s sight when I’m on the dance floor and then run home. Or, do like in the movies where the girl goes to the bathroom and then slips out through the window! I know it’s crazy because Sir Jeff seems so nice and sweet and wonderful but if he does really take me out of the Retreat, out into the real world, out to freedom, away from all these awful men… I just don’t think I’ll be able to cope with the idea of being a prisoner here again. I let one opportunity slip through my fingers with SeaHawk, I can’t let the same thing happen again.
Yes, I have to think about this very seriously. I may not get another chance to escape.See More of Charlotte & Clara: