Arabesque,

Arabesque Chapter 2.2

9/07/2016 Laura Watkins 0 Comments

I will be sharing parts of my writing every week (alternating between Arabesque and Persephone) as I write them (with the exception of some parts of Arabesque, which were written previously), so please be patient with any errors you may find, as these are a first drafts.

About the book

Tatania is tired of living in her sister's shadow but doesn't know about Princess Anna's dark secret. Bound by a sacred oath, Anna's struggles to live a double life that can never be her own. 
Described as "Sense and Sensibility meets Ever After with ninjas," Arabesque is full of action, romance, intrigue, and betrayal.

Since I've always been super paranoid, Arabesque was officially copyrighted in 2009. Duplication or use of this work in any other form is prohibited by law.



Chapter 2.2
Tatania

I walked back into my room, my fingers stinging as they thawed.  Anna’s room and mine were joined by a door that could be closed for privacy, but we usually left it open.  I knocked curiously on the closed door.  Hurried footsteps rushed to open it. 

Nora greeted me from the other side.  “Can I help you, Miss?” she asked in a stained voice, trying to appear calm.

“Where’s Anna?” I asked.

“She’s resting right now but I can come get you when she’s ready if you’d like.”

“Uh, yes please, Nora,” I answered a bit confused.  Nora didn’t usually monitor Anna’s naps.  “Is she sick?”

“A bit under the weather.  She asked me to get a hot pack for her head and make sure that no noise disturbed her.”

That didn’t sound much like my sister.  She hated to burden anyone with her own pain, and nothing ever bothered her.  It must’ve been really bad for Anna to ask for help. 

“Is there anything I can do for you, Lady?”

“Um, no thank you.”  I said, and Nora began to close the door.  “Nora,” I added quickly.  She turned around curiously.  “Thanks for bringing me some food, it was wonderful.”

“I don’t know what you mean, Miss.”  Nora winked as she shut the door.

        I sat in a cozy chair by the fireplace and read while I waited for Anna. 

Later I heard a soft knocking.  Anna walked in.  “Are you feeling better?” I asked with concern. 

She paused, then said, “Yes, I’m doing much better, thank you.  Did you need something?”

“No, I just wanted to talk is all.” 

“Alright,” she said, coming to sit by me.  “What is it?” She asked looking unsettled.
“Are you really doing alright?  You seem upset.”  She had a weird look on her face, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.  “I’m fine really…just an upset stomach.”

“Nora said you had a headache…”

She froze for a moment, but it was such a brief pause and she acted so normal after that, I was sure it must’ve been my imagination.  “My headache caused a bit of nausea.  After my headache had subsided, my stomach was still upset, but I am fine now.  How was your evening?”

“I went riding, it was great.  A little cold, but fun.”  I began to stare at the fire, watching the flames lick at the wood.  Several wordless minutes passed.  I was debating whether or not to tell Anna what had been on my mind for a while.  She sat there patient as ever, her hands folded in her lap. 

I finally gave in, “I just don’t know what I’m doing here!  I’m nobody.  I don’t have any real responsibilities, except to not embarrass our family.  There’s no meaning to this ‘education’.  Being here makes me feel worse about myself as Geniveve and Elena pick me apart.”

Anna continued to sit patiently, listening and I ranted, “The rest of my life will be spent quietly in the background, no one giving me a second thought.  Why should I put myself through this torture if it’s never going to be important?  I hate being here and being away from home and only seeing Father Spring through Fall.  I know that you can endure anything, heck, you probably like all this—you’re so good at everything…I just don’t belong here like you do.”

Anna’s eyes widened and her delicate face looked as stern as she could make it.  “Tat…you do belong here and you are not nobody.  You are the Lady Tatania of Acacia, daughter of King Nicholas and Queen Seleine.  You are a beautiful, compassionate, intelligent, strong, talented, independent woman.  Anyone who cannot see that is at a loss to never know who you truly are.  You may not have many official duties, but that grants you limitless freedom!  You will be whomever you choose to be.  You will decide exactly what you will do with your life.  It is not completely planned for you, that opportunity is your own.  Few have that, especially here.”  She paused, recomposing herself. 

I was ready to argue with her at the beginning of her speech but as she continued, her words sounded more passionate than I’d heard her be in a long time.  Where did all this emotion come from?  She was usually so calm, so poised. 

More collected, she continued, “We will return home to Father shortly, surely we may carry on until then.  You cannot allow Geniveve or Lady Elena to dictate the scope of your potential.  You may not be able to see a practical use for this education, however all education strengthens us.  It will help us to function independently in the world.”

She really did believe in me.  Maybe I could do this.  Maybe I could behave a little bit longer.  And who knows, maybe I’d make Geniveve eat her words.

            “How about a few quick games before we retire?” she asked.  Anna may have been a gentle soul, but when it came to chess she was an evil genius.  Not being slaughtered every game was one of my life’s ambitions. Our time alone together was the only time we were both completely ourselves. While we hardly spoke aloud while we played, it never felt quiet.  We didn’t have to say something to be polite, we were just comfortable.  Since we were both so focused, we didn’t talk.  Occasionally one of us would make a ridiculous mistake (usually me) and we’d laugh until we had to stop to catch our breath, but we’d quickly get reabsorbed in the game.  Over the years we’d played out many great battles.  We lost ourselves in strategy and conquest, and ended the evening forgetting why we’d been so upset. 

More coming soon! Read Chapter 3 of Arabesque here or more about my projects here.

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