I looked at my so-called father.
He had white beard and hair with beautiful turquoise eyes, just like mine. Though he had wrinkles all over his face, I can see it is calm and cold. My so-called father, should I be grateful for adopting this beggar or hateful for abandoning me after that.
Even today, as I walked on the path that leads to my death, he still did not move to help me. Or he might be the one who pushed me in this situation.
I looked at my so-called brothers. They sat beside my so-called father. The eldest one, who had blonde hair and green eyes but still looked like his father, was expressionless just like his father. And the younger one, who smirked at me, had red hair like blood and green eyes like his brother with sharp jawline and straight nose.
If I hadn’t known their true nature, I might have become their stalker like other noble ladies. But sadly, beautiful people may not have beautiful heart. I know that deep inside they were playing the trumpets of triumph as if they have won some war.
And then I looked at the lady, sitting on the highest dais, decorated in jewels and silk, wearing a shining crown on her head. This lady is the Empress and my so-called sister. I gritted my teeth as I remembered how she played with my emotions and made me a fool in the end.
“Amelia Emma Winfred, out of her jealousy tried to kill the Empress Charlotte, will be beheaded for her crime.”
No, I didn’t.
Even if I shout out, no one will believe me.
I was pushed down by the man with the scar near his right eye. He is my guard from the prison who came to escort me to my death. I could see his impatient eyes sparkle. He wasn’t doing this because he has some sort of grudge on me, just so those so-called higher ones can praise him.
What an idiot!
My back still hurts. God knows what Isle did when I was unconscious. I had forgotten this pain when I saw those unchanged faces of those people….no demons. As if I’m a no one for them.
I hate them.
I once was an orphan, living on streets, begging for survival.
But one day, Duke adopted me because I looked similar to his lost daughter.
“Do you want to come with me? I promise you I won’t let you beg on streets again” he said that to a ten-year-old me.
And I was happy for such simple thing. I followed him to his home cheerfully.
Well, he did keep his promise.
I never begged for food and money. And never on streets. But I still was a beggar till the end. I begged for love, affection and care since then. I craved for their attention.
No one welcomed me. My brothers hated me for taking their sister’s place. The duke himself forgotten me. Even though I was bullied by the maids and servants, no one cared about it. I know that they were ignoring me even after being aware of my situation. The lowly girl is sitting in the place of the family’s daughter.
Don’t those servants know that they were indirectly calling themselves lowly.
Eventually, I learned to live silently. I stopped bothering them because they hate my presence and started to treat them as strangers. Except for family functions, I never appeared in front of them. Even though I have to eat the leftover in my room, I never joined them in the dining hall.
Even if I was bullied by others, I still never complained.
After living like that for eight years, the real daughter arrived to her place. It seems she was picked by commoners when young and she lived with them since then. After knowing that she is the daughter of Winfred family from her mother’s pendent, they decided to return her.
Or something like that.
It didn’t matter. I had already stopping entering into their issues.
Her name is Charlotte Clara Winfred. She was sixteen then. Unlike me, she was welcomed warm heartedly. My brothers, who never smiled at me, were joking with her. My father who ignored me, personally arranged her room. Everything, from her dresses to jewelry, was taken care by him.
Did it matter?
Yes, it did.
I was hurt so badly that my chest started to pain. I cried every time I went to my room. I stayed with them longer then her, then why are we still treated so differently. I acted like it didn’t matter but when I saw them being so close with her, it did matter.
I stayed away from her.
But one day she came to my room personally. I was eating my lunch alone, as usual, but she suddenly came inside without any announcement. When I saw her, I jumped on my chair.
I immediately left my lunch, and went to greet her. Even though she was rude, I was in no position to complain.
“Why are you eating such food?” she asked as she pointed towards my plate.
I was always given leftover side dishes and never got the pleasure to taste the main dish. I had seen her sitting and eating with others in dining hall several times.
“It’s nothing. Ignore it” I said.
“How can I? You are the daughter of Winfred family. Why are you given such food?” she asked.
I stood silently, tongue-tied. It was not easy to answer such an easy question. What should I say? That her family never took care of me and ignored me. That I’m a part of this family just by name. That everyone hates me for taking her place.
She understood my confusion.
She summoned entire kitchen staff and the maids that work for me and scolded them. I could see them frowning at me. Why are you looking at me so angrily? I didn’t complain about you. This girl is just making my complicated lifer more complicated.
“Sister, I always wanted to meet you” she said after ordering everyone to leave, “but I never got a chance. You always ran away whenever you saw me.”
“Ah…I didn’t mean to. You just looked so busy that I thought….”
“Sister, you can visit me any time you wish” she said with the brightest smile that even I started to feel its warmth in my chest.
Since that day, I always found her following me wherever I went. Even though I want to ignore her and snap at her to stop bothering onto me, I was in no position to do both. I calmly approached her and tried to convince her to stay away from me and stop troubling my life, but she still clung to me.
As time passed, I realized she was different from all her family members. Maybe because she grew up among commoners. She was kind and warm-hearted. As I spent time with her, even I started to enjoy her company. Well, you cannot ignore her even if you want to.
She looked like a sunflower energizing itself under sunlight. Unlike me, she was cheerful and funny. Her blonde hair glitters like gold under sun. She had turquoise eyes just like me, but her eyes sparkled in excitement and mine were always dull.
Except for turquoise eyes, we had nothing in common. How did the Duke felt we looked similar? God knows. She was like a blooming flower of spring and I was like a cactus in the desert. Completely different.
But all know that even rose has thorns, but still fail to notice. She was just like that.
A year later, she got married to the emperor and the following year she gave birth to the heir of the throne. I still kept my strong relation with her. But who knew that they were planning to poison the emperor and take over the throne? Who knew that the plan would fail and empress would be forced to drink the poison?
Who knew that I would become the scapegoat for the mess they created?
She put all their blame on me without any guilt. That day, I saw her true nature. She wasn’t any rabbit you can play with but a poisonous snake waiting to swallow other rabbits. I did feel it weird when they asked me to send tea leaves to the empress. Why would they ask me to personally send it? They can ask any servant to do it.
But who was I to refuse their request?
I was clearly doomed to die.