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<< Christina, your betrothed is decided >>.
One day, quiet some time after the dance, my father summoned me and began his speech with these words.
<< What? >>.
In his library, standing in front of him, I let out a gasp.
<< Father, you say that you need to talk to me and you come out saying that my betrothed is already decided. That’s a sudden news to me >>.
It was not uncommon that, in the noble families, similar decisions were taken when the bride and the groom had more or less the same age. In fact, the more the rank was high, the earlier you had to decide: being the daughter of the Duke Noir, it was strange that they had not ever discussed about it before.
However, when I heard the words of my father, rather than being excited because soon I would have known which who I should have spent the rest of my life with, I felt a little confused.
<< No, it is not a sudden thing. I was working on it for a while and now the agreement is concluded, thanks to the good impression you made at the ball >>.
<< Oh, I see… >>.
So the decision had already been taken behind my back longtime before, but I only had known in that moment, when it was definitive.
<< Christina… let me be clear on this point: You cannot meddle in such matters. Your will doesn’t count in this case. Is that clear? >>.
<< Certainly, father >>.
I knew that there was no room for opinion: similar decisions were taken only from parents. It was the price to pay for being of noble rank, and I was.
I was proud to be a member of the Noir family, one of the three most powerful ducal families of the Kingdom.
<< I have no pretensions about my betrothed. What is good for the family will be fine for me too >>, I said without hesitation.
My father looked at me smugly:
<< Well said. You really are my daughter >>.
<< Of course. I’m your daughter …… ah, father, may I ask who is he? >>.
I already knew the answer, but I asked him to confirm.
I was 90% sure that it was Charles, but it was possible that, thanks to the good impression I had made on everyone, someone else was been chosen in his place. Maybe someone in the highest political circles of the Country, entranced by my grace, had championed me to be given in marriage to the eldest prince and to become queen.
<< Yes, of course >>.
My father’s answer obviously did not betray my expectations:
<< His name is Charles Eduard. As you know, he is the third son of the king >>.
<< Got it >> I said, wiggling my lips.
<< His family asked me to come over here to pay homage. But remember, when it will happen, don’t do anything stupid >>.
<< Rest assured, father! >>, I said shrilly, excited because I would have met my friend Charles sooner than I thought.
Inside of me I decided that, in anticipation of that meeting, I would have worked hard on my good manners to become a perfect lady and leave him speechless.
<< Christina? >>.
<< Yes father? >>.
<< Why are you so happy? >>, he asked suspiciously.
<< I am as always, Father! >>.
<< Are you sure? >>.
Inside my head I was preparing a plan that, actually, wouldn’t have hurt anyone: I was just curious to see the face that Charles would have made. For the rest, I was still me…
<< Yes! >>, I nodded vigorously, showing him my best smile, but my father didn’t seem of the same opinion.
<< … If you say so… >>.
What a blues! What the hell got into him? His eyes seemed to wander away, thoughtfully:
<< By now you too are in that age… >>.
<< …? >>.
I wanted to know what was going through his head, but I could not decipher his answers.
<< You look happy, but you actually hate m… no, forget it.>
<< ……? >>
I couldn’t understand what he really was trying to tell me, but I was very annoyed by the fact that he was dwelling and nodding to his own suppositions.
<< Father? >>.
<< You once were such a fickle brat… or maybe a little now too … or maybe … Christina? Is everything ok? >>.
<< That sucks!!! >>, with these words I poured out on him all my trouble.
My father’s eyes widened in shock. I pull myself together and wore again my well-bred lady mask:
<< With permission >>.
<< Christina… Christina wait! I demand an explanation for this behavior! >>.
I walked away, leaving behind me the library and his recalling cries.
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