A debutante’s dream
By Lissa Poirot
The first time I ever visited Charleston, South Carolina, I covered the Charleston Food + Wine Festival. The City of Charleston hosted me, putting me up in a historic Bed & Breakfast in the Battery.
I arrived to discover a very pink mansion that was obviously a home of wealth when Charleston was at its peak as a shipping port in the early generations of America.
The owner, my host, was home when I checked in but I was escorted to a suite in the back of the house. I entered into a very large living room with steps that led back to the bedroom portion. It was decorated in a typical bed and breakfast frou-frou décor that I dislike; it felt like my grandma’s house. I set my bags inside, changed my clothes, and headed off for an evening of food and wine.
It was late when I returned. The entire B&B was dark and quiet as I went to my suite, which suited me just fine. I didn’t feel like talking to any strangers and put myself to bed.
That night, I had the most fabulous dream. I was attending a debutante ball in a grand, old house. Everywhere I looked, people were dressed to the nines and holding a glass of champagne. And then someone tapped on their glass with a fork to hush the room and get our attention.
Two young women in white were at the top of the staircase coming into the vaulted ceiling space where we awaited. What struck me was their beautiful hair. Each of them had nearly jet black hair that cascaded down to their waists. They were stunning and took my breath away.
Then I woke up. Nothing special. Just a dream.
It was morning, so I headed to the breakfast room and grabbed some pastries. I still hadn’t encountered anyone on the property and was thankful for it. I took my pastries into the living room.
Above the fireplace, was a portrait of a man that looked as old as the house. I found it a bit creepy. I wondered if he was part of the Confederacy.
Back in the breakfast room, I heard signs of life. A couple was greeted by a woman, and they did the typical chit-chat. “How did you sleep?” “We love the house.” As the conversation moved into details about the home, I heard the woman discuss the portrait in the room. Apparently, it had a bullet hole in the corner from a battle during the Civil War.
I got up to look and found the bullet hole as I continued to overhear the conversation.
“I grew up in this house,” the woman said. “My sister and I both got married in this house, and we also had our Coming Out ball here.”
The hairs on my arm prickled. I inched my way to the breakfast room to get a look at the speaker. There she stood, with hair down to her waist. It wasn’t jet black but salt and pepper in color as she was much older. She took a framed photo from a table to show to the couple.
“Excuse me,” I interjected. “You had your Coming Out ball here?”
She turned to me, smiled, and walked my way with the photo. As she extended it to allow me to see, I saw two young women with jet black hair to their waists in white dresses.
“Your family lived in this house?” I asked. “Whose room do I have?”
She looked at me carefully. “Oh, you are Lissa. I am sorry I wasn’t here to greet you yesterday. I have you in the suite. That was my grandmother’s room. Although it was laid out differently when she was there. The living room was down the steps, and the bedroom was at the top since it was connected to the bathroom and she couldn’t handle the stairs as she got older. She died in that room.”
I couldn’t help but blurt out, “I had a dream about you and your sister last night. I think your grandmother had something to do with it.”
She just smiled again and said, “We loved our grandmother.”
I slept with the lights on in the room the second night. And made sure I used a coaster for my water.
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