“Please, we need her to marry soon,” the woman before me begged. I sighed. I had already tried to explain to her that matches were made when they need to be, not upon demand.
“Listen, Mrs Dennise, I need you to accept that matchmaking takes time” I told her again and her smooth brow furrowed. She was very elegant and intimidated me slightly but I wouldn't let her know that. Her red silk Dahlia was long and fitted and her shoes were expensive. Her brown hair was covered with lace fabric and tied in a low bun.
She took three deep breaths, like she was trying to stop herself from yelling at me. She repositioned her veil and surveyed me with her piercing blue eyes through the silky material.
“Madam Sirten, I know matches take time but my daughters match appears to have taken 3 years, I mean even my youngest, Esmie has already married and now Ferin is running out of time before she becomes an older bride” Mrs Dennise cried and I felt a twinge of pity, not for the insufferable woman before me but for her eldest daughter, supposedly not good enough for a match.
“Ok Mrs Dennise, I will look one last time, but remember my gift does not always work on command” I warned her but she was already seated and staring expectantly at the crystal ball on my little table. I inwardly sighed and sat down opposite her, my hands resting on the smooth, cool glass of my seeing ball.
I closed my eyes and slowly started to murmer the ancient words every matchmaker knew.
“Pentru dragoste pot să-mi folosesc cadoul și să-i văd o fată potrivită, for love may I use my gift and see for a girl her match”.
I waited for a moment for something to appear in my ball and was about to look away as a blurry image surfaced from the murky depths of the sphere. Mrs Dennise couldn't see anything herself and she looked tentative, perched on the edge of her stool. She caught me looking at her and I raised my eyebrows as if to say “Hold on”.
I looked back into my ball and saw with a start James Carrol, the butcher's boy. His dark hair and tanned skin made him look like every other gypse boy I knew, but what made him stand out to me was that he had his mothers eyes…. my sister's eyes.
They were pure black and seemed to look into the soul.
“Well, Mrs Dennise, it would appear that this time I have seen a match for Ferin” I stated and bit my lip to stop myself from screaming “and now I have to have you in my family, you annoying woman”.
“Really” squealed Mrs Sennise, completely forgetting that she was a grown woman in public and that she was behaving like a ten year old that got asked to the ball.
“Yes really” I snapped, rather irritated by her happiness.
Her perfectly manicured hands were clasped under her chin and her face was her smile reached her ears.
“Well, who is it, you must tell me” she demanded, pretty much out of her seat, eager to hear who was to be her son in law.
“Well,since you seem so excited to know” I drawled, casting an eye over her face to see if she picked up on my tone. She didn't.
“Your daughter’s match just so happens to be my nephew James Carrol”. Upon hearing this Mrs Dennise jumped from her chair with a “YES” and air punch.
She celebrated for what felt like forever until she suddenly stopped and looked at me, dead serious. Her veil was off center and her dress crinkled. Her hair had also come slightly out of its bun and some of it was hanging just below her shoulders.
“Does this mean I am related to you by blood?” she asked, quite like she didn't want to hear my answer and I almost felt offended by that. Almost.
“Yes, it does, is there an issue with that?” I replied, keeping my anger at bay and addressing her as polite as I could. It wouldn't do me any good to be rude to customers, even if I wanted to be.
“Oh no, not at all” she rushed, a genuine smile on her face. “You will be a great Aunt to my daughter I am sure, after all, you made her match and besides, if my husband kicks the bucket you can find me another nice one” she laughed at this and my mouth dropped at how immature she was being, especially considering she was talking to the town matchmaker about her current husband dying. The worst part was that my mother had chosen her partner and she didn't seem to love him too much. And that hurt for some reason.
“Well Mrs Dennise, might I remind you that you should love your husband and possibly NOT talk of his death with a matchmaker” I said and she looked at me, slightly pale, as if realising what she had just said and to whom.
“Oh yes, I do love him but he is fifteen years older than me and nearing his time, anyway I am soooo excited to tell Ferin about this match and you should be to tell James”.
She was trying to change the topic and I knew it but I wasn't petty enough to pull her on it.
“Yes, I will tell James” I said and plastered a smile on my face. She nodded enthusiastically and grabbing her bag, hurried out of my tent, no doubt going to tell Ferin she was to be married to the handsome James Carrol.
The minute she was gone I slumped in my chair and sighed. I place my hand over my eyes and tried to get it in my head that Gwen Dennise was to be apart of my family.
I was going to be her blood relative and I had myself to thank for it.