Luckily, Marie was not aware of my misdeed because someone else had discovered me: the fault was of the Marquis’s daughter, the one who had pointed out to me that I had those petals in my hair. In the past she had been her student and so, telling her about the private party, she had reported to having heard that the king’s gardener was very angry because some children, playing, had ruined the flowerbeds. Marie combined the two events, sensing that I was the guilty.
I could have complained of the fact that I was being hit only for a supposition but, being the truth, I could not argue.
<< You really are a reckless Miss, if I may say so >>.
After that scene which took place in front of the servants, Marie and I made our way inside the house to start my lesson of “good manners”; sitting in my room, I meekly put up Marie’s strict scolds.
<< I always thought that one day I would have told you that and, today, it seems to me an excellent opportunity to do so: you think you are smarter than the others and that you can get away with it forever. You seem convinced that others are naiver than you. You think all the time about how to perform all of your misdeeds without being discovered, and so on. Remember that, soon or later, all the chickens come home to roost: you will always be doomed to fail because your solutions are just momentary. You are not open-minded at all >>.
I protested: these criticisms were directly addressed to me and to my way of being, not just to the mess which I had done in the past.
As if she had not noticed my grunt of disapproval, Marie continued:
<< This behaviour is not appropriate for a good family’s lady like you: you can not strain and pretend to behave well only when seen by all. Only when grace and elegance will naturally flow from within you, only in that moment you could say to have achieved a perfect education – and I assure you that, at that point, these qualities will be found and recognized even from those around you >>.
I hated her sermons more than anything else in the world, but in that case I had to admit that she was right: I had maintained my knowledge from the past life, but I could not compete with Marie, that, all of her 30 years, certainly had more experience than me.
<< At the moment, I do not see these features in you. Understood, Miss Chris? >>.
<< Yes, Marie >>.
<< “Miss Toinette”, please >>.
<< Oh stop with these claims. In short, MARIE, let’s see if I understood: it is not about worrying of being caught in flagrant, but to erase all the proofs on order to avoid of being discovered even later, is it? >>, I tried to re-explain in my own words.
<< Nobody ever said this!!! >>, yelled Marie.
She hit me with another noogie, punishing me because apparently I had not understood anything of what she had just said: lately, she had become quick to violence!
<< Stop to twist everything I say! Don’t you understand that by continuing this way you could end up plunging into some serious trouble? To prevent this from happening, you must resign: you must work on yourself before it’s too late >>.
<< You can not tell me such a thing after having beaten me, Marie! You’re forgetting an important detail! >>, I watched her whimpering in pain: << Do not compare me to all the other children of my age! I started to walk when I was only a year, at 3 I knew how to talk and at 5 I read my first book! In what serious trouble should I ever expel if I am so smart? >>.
<< Miss Chris… >>.
She turned back coldly:
<< Every healthy child begins to walk at the age of one year! Let’s accept your skills for learning to speak and read at 3 and 5 years, but must I remind you that, based on what I just said, from the beginning you’ve been a little girl like all the others? >>.
I was speechless, visibly distressed.
Do not forget: you are Christina Noir. You are a genius. At 1 year you started to run free in the palace, at 3 you already knew how to express yourself properly, at 5 you read your first book, from top to bottom. You are a genius.
I repeated these words in my head as a confirmation, nodding complacently. Marie looked at me bewildered, just as Mishley used to do.
When at last the lesson was over, I went into the room of the latter as I always did: I wanted to play with her, but today, due to Marie’s words, I felt a little insecure and I was absorbed in my thoughts.
You are a genius. At 1 year you started to run free in the palace, at 3 you already knew how to express yourself properly, at 5 you read your first book, from top to bottom. You are a genius.
Yes, maybe. I was not entirely convinced but it was enough. I knew nothing about growth, but it seemed unlikely to me that all children, in a year, were already able to run around in the garden, up and down the stairs … maybe, but I was not sure. Maybe I had learned faster than others because I was good at remembering. I don’t know. I did not even have a book to consult and no memory about it in my previous life.
<< Hei, Mishley… >>.
<< Yes? >>.
<< At one year, were you already able to walk? >>.
Trying to find safety in her was an evidence of the fact that confidence in myself, that day, had halved .
That little angel of Mishley, who being so small had not much knowledge yet, shook her head.
<< Um, I do not remember >>.
My sister, five years, did not remember things regarding four years ago.
<< Um… yes, indeed… >>.
<< Eh! >>.
It was not the answer which I was expecting, but she was too cute: she lovingly stroked her head. When I watched her smile, I do not know why, everything else would stop worrying me.
<< Would you tell me about the dance, big sister? >>.
<< The dance? Ah, yes… >>.
I looked for the right words to explain in a simple and fun way what had happened the night before.
<< There were so many people, very beautiful decorations and lots to eat all in a row on the tables. The room shimmered and the persons danced wearing beautiful clothes. Many came to greet me! >>.
<< Of course, because you were beautiful last night! >>.
<< Hahaha, thank you, thank you! >>.
It was nice to know that my little sister liked me.
<< Then I met some children more or less my age… but only because our parents knew each other. Oh, and… I got a friend! >>.
<< A friend? >>.
<< Yes! >>.
I was obviously talking about Charles, as with the other children, who all were toffee-nosed, it was not possible to become friends.
I should have kept it a secret, but I spoke with Mishley open heart, though without specifying that he was a member of the royal family, whose name was Charles, and that we had destroyed the flowerbed.
<< There was this child, younger than me, who followed me with the intention to have a challenge… >>.
<< A male… >>.
<< Yes. In short, I finally won and, for convenience, we’ve become friends. However, he seemed nice >>.
<< …… >>.
Recalling what had happened I was a bit enthusiastic and Mishley, who initially followed my story with interest, was all of a sudden fallen silent. I found it strange: usually she always listened with her bleaming blue eyes.
<< Is everything ok? >>.
<< Listen, Chris.. >>, << Who do you love the most between me and that child? >>.
<< Of course you, silly! >>, I replied immediately, without uncertainty.
I was feeling worried about Charles, but I had no doubt that she was the most important person in the world for me. I squeezed her to me:
<< I love you so much, Mishley, and I will always love you! >>.
<< … Really? >>.
<< Really! >>.
<< Forever? >>.
<< Forever! >>.
<< For more and more? >>.
<< To infinity! >>.
<< Oooooh!! >>.
Finally, that angelic smile which she always have had got painted again on her face.
<< I love you too! >>, she said, hugging me.
<< I love you more! >>.
<< Impossible! I love you as much as you love me! >>.
<< Can it be true? >>.
<< Very true!!! >>.
<< Okay! So we love the same way! >>.
<< Yes! >>.
We continued to shake sharing that happiness.
<< We are so strong, me and you! Anyway, I think that you could like that child, you know? >>
As happened in my previous life, although Charles and I were betrothed, he and Mishley would have put together, running away and abandoning me. In this life it might not have happened anyway – my intelligence would have prevented it – so I thought that the two could have made at least a friendship.
<< Impossible! >>, Mishley’s answer surprised me.
<< Why? >>, I asked appalled in front of that unexpected reaction.
<< Impossible? Trust me, he is nice! >>, I wonder why she had said so still without having never met him.
<< No. I tell you it is impossible >>.
As I looked puzzled, not understanding, Mishley shook vigorously the skirt of my dress.
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