After having walked away – at least temporarily – from Charles, I returned to the ballroom as if nothing had happened.
I walked into the living room refreshed, dispensing greetings and courtesies to all the guests. The daughter of the Marquis pointed out to me that I had some petals still through my hairs, but I quickly found an excuse without getting perturbed. The evening ended peacefully and I managed to excellently interpret my role of “perfect daughter”.
The next day I found myself waiting impatiently that the gate of our building would got open: I was standing outdoor, strut, in a point from which I could see with pride the extension of the park to the main entrance. The sun was beating strong, and so that i would not have got burnt, my maid made me shade with an umbrella.
She was supposed to arrive soon: I couldn’t wait!
<< Come on, please, come quickly! >>.
I was so excited that I soon found myself smiling, when I heard the sound of a carriage stopping at the gate.
<< She has arrived! >>.
<< Please Miss, please get over here >>.
The gate opened to let in the carriage: the domestic urged me to move to the side of the road, but I refused.
<< No, I’ll wait here >>, I said stubbornly, remaining motionless in the middle of the driveway.
Since I had been waiting for her arrival for all that time, I wanted at all costs that she would have noticed me once entered, and that she would not have passed with the coach without seeing me – either by distraction or deliberately.
Being stopped in the middle of the road, she couldn’t have avoided to see me in the point where I was waiting – not to mention that her carriage should have had to forcely stop in order to not hit me.
<< Okay miss… >>.
Seeing that I was so resolute even my maid gave up to convince me. She stood next to me indeed, keeping to shelter me from the sun with her parasol: I was very grateful, to her and to the servants, for their loyalty.
<< Finally!! And now stop!! >>, I said as soon as the carriage was in front of me.
The coachman, one of my servants, looked dismayed to me, I saw him turning to the person sitting inside the carriage sharing a few words with her. Then, the doors of the carriage opened and came down with a sigh Marie Toinette, my private teacher: she did not seem very happy that her arrival had been anticipated with such an enthusiasm.
<< Welcoming me in such a way could mean that you are full of desire to study today. I am grateful, Miss >>, she said approaching me.
<< Do not be stupid Marie, a genius like me can learn everything perfectly even without the desire to study. Actually I want to talk about something else today! >>.
<< You should watch your language, Miss. Contrary to what you seem to think, it is not easy to become a lady in every way >>.
On hearing these words, the coachman and the maid looked away.
<< Yes, yes, I agree… however, I must speak of an urgent thing Marie! >>, I cut short.
<< Yes, I know. It’s Miss Toinette anyway, please >>.
What did she know of any of this?… She could not know. She was saying so just to speak!
<< Marie, last night at the ball I showed to all how you are educating me well … well, even more! You would have been proud of me! >>, I bragged.
She clenched her eyes and looked at me suspiciously:
<< Oh, even more than I may have taught to you? >>.
<< And how too! I was twinkling with satisfaction as the full moon would have done in the heavens tonight! You can also ask for confirmation to my father if you want. I repeat: I definitely went beyond any of your expectations! >>.
My father even asked me if I was ok, because I wasn’t seeming to him like the “usual Christina”. Soon my name would have been on everyone’s lips in high society!
<< Come on Marie! Don’t I deserve your praises? A little pat on the head? >>, I laughed helding out my head to her.
I really deserved it: perhaps this would have been the only time in which I would have been worthy of her approval and affection.
<< … Sure … why not >>.
I eagerly waited to feel her hand on my head, warm like the time I felt it in the pantry; However, in the end, I felt an unexpected noogie.
<< Marie? >>, I asked hesitantly, looking up at her.
Why did she beat me? Why couldn’t she be sweet and nice to me? What had I done wrong to deserve this treatment?
My doubts were immediately dispelled when I met her gaze, cold and cruel, looking at me like a demon.
<< … Marie? >>, I ventured again, seeking reassurance.
<< Miss Christina. >>, she said rigid.
She pushed harder the knuckles of her hand against my head, as if to pierce them inside, and she did it so suddenly that I did not have even the instinct to react to the pain.
<< I have no doubt that it is as you say, Miss. Falling and damaging the King’s flowerbed definitely belongs among the things which I have taught to you and, indeed, surpasses them. Really. You did it much more seriously than I would have ever expected. I guess you might be aware of that >>.
I was petrified: << Buuuuut, how… how did you find out??????????? >>.
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