Becoming Sophia (69)

That night Georgette did not help in the kitchen as usual, leaving it instead to the servants. She spent the entire afternoon pampering me. I wasn’t sure how to feel having someone wait on me after waiting on my stepsisters for so many years, but it did feel sinfully good. She had me soak in a hot bath while she scrubbed off an entire layer of my skin, making me soft and pink. Then she rubbed jasmine oils all over me and sprayed me with a coating of perfume. She even brushed out my hair and as she began to plait it, I asked her, “What are you doing all this for?” There seemed no reason for her to be so kind—even if I happened to be enjoying it.

“We must get you ready for the ball,” she told me as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. I laughed out loud at her.

“No, really,” I prompted.

“Marina, I’m serious. As I said last night, it would be an awful shame if a Lennon missed such an event.” I didn’t quite know what to say. The very thought of me parading around the palace in my rags was absurd!

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