The day Charles would come to visit me had arrived, I felt a little excited.
I loved to dress up for important occasions: making me look nice by carefully choosing clothes and accessories make me happy. Not a part of my naked body I was ashamed to see or felt obliged to cover it with layers of beauty cloths, but I loved dresses.
In short, I wanted to be more beautiful than usual for that special occasion. After all, I should have welcomed the third-born prince with the due treats, shouldn’t I?
I chose a white and blue dress, totally different from the one – red – I was wearing at the ball. The corset was intense blue with white lines, embellished with golden buttons; a train white and soft as cream fell down from my shoulders to the ground, covering the back of the skirt. The contrast was exquisite.
The first one I saw was Mishley, whom I had called in my room:
<< So how do I look with this gown? >>
<< You are beautiful! >>
I was the only one who was so elegant that day: my sister, who would have been so cute even if she had dressed in rags, immediately approved my choice. Never mind if, being just a little girl, her vocabulary regarding “compliments” was rather poor. She kept repeating to me that I was beautiful:
<< Gorgeous! You were beautiful with the red dress, that swishhh! But with this blue one, so pouff! Soft, you are even more beautiful! You would be beautiful with anything! >>, she told me with her eyes bluer than the noon’s sky.
I found the way she had tried to express what she was thinking very tender:
<< Hey, thank you! >> – I strutted a bit – << But it’s normal! After all, I’m your sister! >>
<< That’s right, the best and most beautiful sister in the world! >>
<< Sure! And, by the same token, you are certainly the nicest and best of all! I wonder what Charles would think of all these compliments you did to me! >>
<< What? >>, She asked me with a gaping mouth, << Charles…? >>.
<< Forgive me, I forgot to warn you: do you remember when I talked you about him, don’t you? He’s the boy with whom I’ve made friends at the dance! Since he’s coming to see me today, I thought I should look the part! >>
<< Coming here? So this dress … is it for him that you are putting it on? >>
<< Yes, yes >>, I said, << I want to let him know what I’m capable of! >>
<< This dress… for your friend Charles… >>
I interrupted my confabulations and looked at my sister: I do not know why, but suddenly, every trace of joy had vanished from her face. Even her blue eyes and golden hair seemed to have lost brightness.
<< Mishley? >>
<< Chris… >>
What was going on? While trying to find out by investigating her expression, she lifted her head staring at me:
<< You’ve put this outfit for him only, didn’t you? >>
<< Y-yes! >>
Of course I did, was he or was he not the third-born prince? Yet, Mishley’s question seemed to imply something else: I suddenly felt oppressed and judged by her hard gaze.
<< Yes, that’s it Mishley. I wore it for Charles >>
<< Ah. I understand >>, she answered without hiding her disappointment.
<< You will meet him shortly, won’t you? >>
<< Yup… >>
I perceived something strange in her, something more threatening than simple – and sometimes even cute – jealousy between sisters.
<< Mishley, but what’s wrong with you? >>
<< I will be on my way, Lady Christina >>
I was about to stop her and ask an explanation when they knocked three times at the door:
<< Miss, the Prince is about to arrive. If you are ready, I would like you to follow me! >>, said a voice from outside.
<< Ehm… yes, I’m coming! >>
What a great timing! I couldn’t leave situation with Mishley hanging like that! As soon as the maid announced the imminent arrival, I had heard her murmuring with tight teeth:
<< Charles… >>
Her look was biting, I had never seen her like that before.
Unfortunately, I could not pull back: in addition to being a prince, Charles was first of all my friend, it would not have been right to neglect it. I caressed her on her head to say good-bye:
<< Sorry, Mishley. Now I have to go… >>
She did not answer.
I decided I would have arranged things with her later.
I turned to the door to answer the maid, and at that moment I felt someone was holding me off. Mishley clutched a flap of my dress between her little hands.
<< What’s up? >>
<< Chris… >>
I noticed that her eyes were damp and that she was barely keeping from crying:
<< I do not want you to leave… I feel alone without you >>
Faced with such a love manifestation, I opened my eyes wide: it was not like her to show her feelings so openly. She had a passive behaviour and it was very rare for her to open like that.
I knelt to better look into her eyes:
<< …… listen, Mishley >>, I said firmly, << I’m not going to leave you alone! Do you understand? >>
<< … yes! >>, on her face a smile flourished as she threw to my neck. I returned her enthusiasm by hugging her tight.
<< You are not going to leave me for someone else, aren’t you? >>
<< Sure! NEVER! >>
<< That is, NEVER! Not even to for that Charles, do you? ”
<< Yup! I mean… yes? Um, yeah! Not even for him! >>
<< That is! It will be fine, IT MUST!!! I love you so much!!! >>
<< Me too, Mishley! >>
Laughing, we kept playing at which of us loved the other the most. That was our little paradise, an ideal world my angel sister had built just for us – some kind of pure, imaginary Eden, where happiness I had never felt before reigned.
Unfortunately, an out-of-the-way voice abruptly interrupted the magic that had been created:
<< Forgive me, Lady Christina, but it would be a good thing for you to hurry up… >>
I had completely forgotten the waiting maid and her words brought me back to reality; I stood up without saying anything and headed to the door:
<< Chris? >>
Since I wanted nothing but Mishley’s serenity, I did not go over the doorstep; in fact, I decided to do the exact opposite.
<< Done! >>
I turned the key in the lock and closed the door from the inside.
<< Very well >>
<< Very well? Lady, did you happen to lock yourself in there? >>
<< Yup! And for the moment I have no intention of leaving >>, I candidly said.
<< Excuse me??? >>
<< Lady Christina, do you realize what you are doing? >>
<< Today I really can not leave Mishley. Inform Prince Charles that the date of our meeting is postponed >>
<< B-But do you realize that this is impossible, Miss? We’re talking about the Royal Family. Quit joking, please! >>
<< He may even be a Royal Family member, but Mishley is my angel. I do not want to leave my beloved sister here! >>
<< Lady Mishley, please, if you are in there, could you please convince you sister to come out? >>
<< No! >> she resolutely said, going – for the second time that day – against her obedient nature.
<< WHAAAAAT??? >>, << Lady Mishley, what’s up with you now? I’ll have to get myself a copy of the keys! >>
<< Don’t hurry! In the meantime, we will fill the lock hole with wax, so you won’t be able to turn any key into the keyhole anymore! >>
<< Would you like to stop it with these jokes please, Miss??? >>
They would never have expected a child to design such a plan, but I was something else. I was too smart for them: I would not allow the maid to assault my castle!
I turned to Mishley smiling, to announce my change of program:
<< Well Mishley! Now you and I have the whole day to have fun together! >>
<< Yup! >>
<< Lady Christina, I beg you, come out! I do not find it fun at all, just like that one time you barricaded inside the pantry! Please, just open the door! >>
The racket that the maid made beating at the door was quite annoying: it was a shame for her that I was 100% serious and that this was not just a whim.
<< Then Mishley, what do we do? What about reading a book and ignoring this noise? >>
<< No, I want you to tell me a story! >>
<< Got it! Go for the story! >>
<< Oh listen to her, she complains about the noise! I see myself forced to call the Duke then… even though he always gives in lately, so it would be a waste of time… here it is! I’ve found a solution! >>
I do not know what solution she thought about, but I knew she would not be able to penetrate my fortress in any way. She would have probably call other members of the servitude, and together they would have tried to break through the door.
<< I’ll tell Miss Toinette to come here! >>
<< …………………………………………… >>
Well, I definetely did not expect that move.
<< Chris? >>
Seeing I was tongue-tailed and motionless, Mishley had tried to call my attention and looked at me with a questioning expression. I did not know what to say to the maid, who, taking advantage of my silence, kept talking on her own;
<< Even the time when you locked yourself inside the pantry it was Miss Toinette who solved the situation! Even if it is not her lesson day, I will send a carriage to pick her up and maybe I can get her here right in time! I’ll provide immediately! >>
<< Forgive me, I was just having a good time. You do not need to call Miss Toinette. I’ll leave now >>
<< Chris! >>, Mishley moaned.
I knew I was breaking her heart, and mine broke too, but unfortunately I could not to do anything about it.
I kindly moved her hand, which had resumed stitching my dress.
<< Forgive me, Mishley, but I can not escape my duty as Noir Duke’s daughter: I must go >>, I explained in order to console her. Even the maid, listening to my words, was nodding on the other side of the door:
<< That’s right, Lady Mishley… >>
She really heard every single thing.
<< …Oh…I understand >>
Though visibly sorry, Mishley finally seemed to understand and did not try to hold back.
<< So you go because it is part of your obligations, don’t you? >>
<< Um, yes… >>
<< … and not because you want to see Charles, don’t you? >>
<< What? No, certainly not >>
Actually, I also wanted to see him, but that meeting was still part of my duties.
<< All right! Go then! >> she smiled, granting me her permission to go.
<< You are a good little girl >> I said, patting her soft blond hair.
<< By the way, Chris! >>
<< Tell me? >>
I was afraid that if I lingered in there any longer, the maid could definitely lose her temper, but I could not resist Mishley’s sweet mumble:
<< Can I come and play in your room then? >>
<< Of course! >>
I usually was the one going to her room, but once the meeting with Charles would have finished, I told her that she could have stayed playing with me as long as she wanted.
<< Do not stay alone with him… that is >>
<< I’m going now… wait, what did you say? >> it seemed to me that she had whispered something.
<< Nothing! >> she said with her head, smiling softly.
<< So, have fun! >>
<< Thank you! See you later! >>
She was the purity and sincerity made person, my sister.