I've been waiting for my letter to come in the mail for the Carnival Ball. Today is the day; I feel it in my soul. I ran outside, down the steps of my front porch, out my gate, and opened the mailbox. A gorgeous white enveloped in with laced golden designs danced around it. I carefully opened it.
Dear Parks family,
Join us for a fun and elegant evening of music, dancing, games, drinks, and MORE!
The Clarksville Knights are hosting our 30th annual Carnival ball, and we would LOVE for you to join us!
Formal attire is highly encouraged, and our theme this year is Down the Rabbit Hole, a twisted and magical Wonderland-inspired evening!
Saturday, October 22nd, 2022
6 p.m. - 1234 Knights Lane, Clarksville, Tennessee
We look forward to seeing you!
The knights were the wealthiest family in our town, and they threw elegant and fun carnival balls for the last 30 years. They loved to show off their wealth but were generous and gave back to the community. Not everyone got to attend these balls. The family only ever handed out 500 invitations to the less wealthy. This year was our year.
I jumped up and down like a child. I ran back into the gate, up the stairs, and through the front door and yelled for my sister, "Kylieh! Hurry up, and come read this!" I heard something crash and heavy footsteps rushing out from upstairs and down the stairs.
She reached the living room and peered through the open archway, raising a brow at me. I took out the invitation and started dancing with it. Kylieh ran forward, grabbed the invitation, and joined in with my dancing.
Why are we so excited? Well, let's say we both work minimum wage jobs at a coffee shop and have been saving every cent we could spare to be able to get dressed and make this event. Our parents have only ever gone to one; we have been trying hard to save up and go since their passing. It's not something everyone can afford, sadly.
Waking up at six a.m. on a Monday is a drag, but I pulled myself out of bed. I rubbed my eyes and walked to my closet, throwing up the doors, grabbing my ironed work clothes, dark brown pants, olive green shirt, black apron, and black sneakers. It was the same thing every day. I walked over to my standing mirror in the left corner of my room and threw my hair up in a messy bun, deciding not to brush my hair. It's going to get messed up anyway. I peered at myself in the mirror. I shrugged my shoulder at myself and stepped out of my room and into the hallway.
*thump thump thump*
"Kylieh, it's time to get up; let's go! You are going to make us late!" I called out.
I heard shuffling, and the door opened; my sister always looked like a walking zombie in the morning. Out of her and me, I am the morning person.
We grabbed our bags and jackets and headed out the door. Kylieh is my younger sister, but she's 5'4 and slim, with light-fair skin, brown hair with blonde highlights down to her butt, hazel eyes, full lips, and gorgeous lashes. She's always been stunning.
On the other hand, I'm 5' 2, curvy, with medium warm skin tone, brown hair to my mid-back, brown eyes, lush lashes, and thin lips—only a three-year difference between us but still best friends.
We headed to work in silence.
When we arrived, the other two had left. We always worked together; management didn't seem to mind. We did well together.
A few hours had passed by, and the doorbell rang. We both looked over from behind the counter and then looked back at each other.
A tall man with a muscular build, olive skin, and white-blonde hair came up to the counter. I looked up at him; he had the most beautiful eye color I had seen, bright green. He had to be at least 6 feet tall.
"Hello, welcome to Love Your Latte. What can I get you," I asked him with a smile.
He looked down at me, "Can I just get a black coffee?"
"Of course, one black coffee, any sugar or creamer?"
"Nope, just plain black coffee."
"Okay, that'll be $4. Can I get a name for the order?"
"Knight." He handed me $4 and walked off to take a seat. He had such a warm baritone voice, which I found soothing.
Kylieh got his coffee ready and walked out to give it to him at his table by the window. She came back, and we just stared at each other. A knight was in our coffee shop. We couldn't believe it. In the 30 years, we owned our family coffee shop, we never had a knight in our shop.
Six p.m. finally came around; we swept, mopped, locked up, and headed home. We had small conversations here and there but not much; we were exhausted and ready for bed.
Finally, it's Thursday after work, and my sister and I are heading to the only formal store in our town Since we don't have a car. We don't have any other options. We only had two days left till the Carnival ball, and we needed to get our gowns.
Our town is small but beautiful! Perfectly paved streets and sidewalks, trees lining all the roads, no trash on the site, and friendly neighbors. Everyone knows everyone since our town has about two thousand people. Most houses were two stories and had small front yards.
The town has one main strip of small businesses; about 20 shops. One of them being formal wear and gorgeous jewelry I ever laid upon my eyes.
We finally arrived at the main strip of stores; its fall, colorful leaves hit the ground, a slight breeze, and cloudy sky. What more could you ask for? Perfect weather. Some shops were already closed for the day. We passed a thrift store, furniture store, and a few other boutiques. Arriving at the Golden Gowns, I couldn't help but look up at the sign and smile; it was finally out time.
Kylieh opened the door for us to step in, and I thanked her. She just smiled back.
The store had racks and racks of dresses. Jewelry in the back and shoes lined the walls. All the clothing racks were color-coded. I didn't know what I wanted to go with just yet, but I knew I wanted to go all out. Looking around, I am thinking of a deep purple or dark green.
Kylieh walked towards the silver and gold dresses, and I decided to go towards the deep purple. I found a few dresses there and grabbed a few dark green ones. We both headed back to the dressing rooms with six dresses each. It looks like kylieh got a black, two dark blues, a teal, and three silver dresses. I got three and three. Kylieh stayed outside of the dressing rooms on a red couch; we were going to do a fashion show.
We decided on a long strapless corset top dress with dark purple beads lined the top above my cleavage; it laced in the back and tied in the perfect bow.
I took my turn on the couch and waited for her to try on her dresses. They were all gorgeous. She rocked anything she wore. We chose a fitted spaghetti strap, low front v, blackness, with a right leg slit. It was silky and backless. Stunning.
We chose earrings, a necklace, and heels to go with our outfits. We decided to run to the makeup store a few stores down and got natural colors and a nude lipstick for me and red lipstick for her.
One more day of work, then we will be getting dolled up.
It's seven a.m. Saturday morning, and I can't go back to sleep. I have been way too excited for today. I honestly don't think I slept last night. I rolled over and stared up at my ceiling. Five minutes went by, and I decided to get up and organize my vanity with all the makeup brushes, makeup pallets, and hair products we would need for tonight's event.
I walked by my sister's room, down the stairs, and to the kitchen. I opened the fridge and grabbed eggs, bacon, and bread. I went to the cabinets and grabbed one pan and the toaster, placing them on the counter. I decided to put four pieces of bread in the toaster to have it ready for when the bacon and eggs were prepared.
As I was getting the plates ready with breakfast, my sister strolled in, rubbing her eyes, "I thought I smelled bacon." I laughed at her and set her plate down on the island and a cup of orange juice. "Of course you did. You are always hungry." She nodded her head and shoved the food in her mouth.
As soon as we finished breakfast and cleaned up the kitchen, we headed upstairs to my room. I opened my closet, took out the two dresses, and hung them up on the door. Grabbed out the heels and laid the jewelry on the bed. I decided to do my sister's hair and make-up first. She already knew what she wanted, and I, on the other hand, was still deciding.
I curled her hair with a big curling iron to come out wavy. Did two loose fishtail braids by the front of her face; they met in the middle of her head and went down her back in one. The rest of it was curled and free-flowing. She loved her half up, half down hairstyles. I did a natural Smokey eye with a dark and light brown, dramatic eyeliner, and lashes. She painted her lips blood red for a pop of color.
By the time I was done working my magic on her. It was three p.m.
I decided I wanted to do subtype waves, more of a vintage look, and added a purple pearl earpiece to sweep back my hair on the right side of my face. I went for natural makeup, dark brown crease cut with a light brown on the lid, a thin eyeliner that winged out, and natural lashes, and applied a nude pink lip.
We threw on our dresses, and she helped me lace up the back. We slipped on our three-inch heels, both black and strappy. Added our silver bracelets and necklace, and I decided on long dangly earrings, and my sister decided on diamond studs.
Our taxi showed up at 5:30 p.m. and dropped us off right outside the Knights' mansion. We stepped out of the cab in awe. It sat on 5 acres of land. The house looks two stories from here, with white, gold trim, two massive pillars, with a balcony above the front door. A black gate surrounds the property. In the distance, I could hear party music, upbeat and fast. I looked over in that direction, and I saw a huge white tent, flashing lights, and tons of people. I pointed over to the tent to my sister, and we headed off in that direction.
Once we got to the entrance, we handed the security guard our invitation and headed in. I have never seen something so extravagant. It's dark here, but this tent's ceiling has different colored sheets hanging from the top lined with lights, blue, pink, purple, orange, and green. Tables lined around the tent, white table clothes with large colorful feathers as centerpieces. There is a stage off to the right with a buffet and a vast checkered dance floor in the middle of the tent. Strobe lights are going, and music is blaring.
I looked at my sister and smiled.
She looked back, "food first?" I laughed, "You are always hungry."
"I'm not passing up free food."
We headed off to the buffet. Steak, chicken, fajitas, fruit bowls, pasta, and more lined the table. We grabbed our plates and silverware. We put a little bit of everything on our plates and headed off to a table at the far side of the tent.
After eating, we went to the dance floor and joined in all the dancing and conversations with people we had never met before. Someone tapped on my shoulder; as I turned around, I noticed it was the Knight that came into the coffee shop. I looked up at the tall man, "Yes?"
Staring back down at me, he asked, "Would you like to dance?"
I turned to my sister, and she said, "Go, go!"
I took his hand, and he led me to the other end of the dance floor; as the music took a turn to a slow dance song, I didn't quite recognize the song. Oh well, I was enjoying myself too much to care. Looking around for my sister, I caught her eye, and she was dancing with a shorter man than the one I was with, and he looked a little like this Knight. Possibly a brother of his.
We danced in silence; he whispered, "You look gorgeous when you aren't in uniform." I felt my cheeks flush. He remembered me, “Thank you; you look nice in your suit." He was wearing a black suit, dress shoes, and a dark purple tie. His full lips twisted up into a smile. We continued to dance, and my sister, with the gentleman she was dancing with, ended up by us. She looked gorgeous and happy.
People left as the night was coming to midnight, but plenty stayed. We played lawn games, cornhole, giant checkers, and ring toss. We laughed, joked, and had the best of time. I didn't want this night to end.
We went to say our goodbyes and headed to our taxi. Knight had grabbed my hand and turned me to him. He cupped my face into his hands, tilted my head, and planted his lips on mine. I took a step back and smiled.
"I'll be seeing you soon." He winked as he turned around and walked away.
My face felt flushed, and my stomach was tingling with butterflies. My sister had this grin that said we are talking about this later.
We chatted all the way home—the best night of my life. I hope I see him soon. I lay down in bed with my gown, makeup, and hair. I didn't want it to end. Maybe I'll get lucky again next year.