Chapter 14: Broken Pieces
I watched in horror as she reared her hand back before slamming it onto my cheek, snapping my head to the side. Instantly, I could feel the intense pain spreading through the now sensitive skin as I faced the wall opposite me. My mind was blank. My heart hammering against my ribcage and my vision blurred with unshed tears.
With trembling fingers I lightly touched my throbbing cheek, wincing from the pain I felt from the slightest touch. My brain was unable to comprehend anything at this point. The sudden turn of events had left me speechless. The force of her slap and her hatred towards me was something I didn’t know how to deal with. I had openly and willingly told them the truth about everything. Testifying my innocence to the people I needed to believe me.
And for a fleeting moment, I truly thought they had believed me. That they had understood the meaning of every word I had said to them. But how wrong was I to let myself foolishly think that they would consider me being innocent in all of this? After all, I had little to no proof to prove my innocence to anyone.
I focused my tear-filled eyes on the wooden floor of the music room, desperately trying to keep my tears at bay. Crying was a sign of weakness for us and I wasn’t about to be a weak little girl. I am a Northwest and I value my family name but most of all I wanted to prove to my mother that I wasn’t the person she made me out to be. For years I’ve been showered little love from her and for once I wanted my mother to be on my side. For her to realize that I wasn’t a disappointment despite our differences in opinion.
When Tom had brought me here I hadn’t thought of the consequences of staying. I was tired and frustrated with everything. I wanted to reassure myself that my family would always have my back. Of course, I wasn’t expecting them to hug me and say that they forgave me for something I had no direct involvement with, but Scarlet slapping me wasn’t something I expected to happen.
“You ungrateful little bitch! You honestly expect us to believe such a far-fetched lie! How dare you accuse both Prince’s of such a terrible act. It is obvious you had enough time to fabricate such a ridiculous story. How can you stoop so low Rebekah?” Scarlet fumed as I continued to cradle my cheek, hoping the pain will subside soon.
I continued to keep my gaze focused on the wooden floor. I didn’t look at her. I couldn’t. The look of pure hatred she directed at me was unbearable to see. It reminded me that the sister I once looked up too, was now nothing more than a power hungry and self-centered woman. My once loving sister had long died when our mother decided to enforce her unattainable dreams onto Scarlet.
Even if I had any hope of picking up the broken pieces of our relationship as siblings, I still knew in the back of my mind she would never believe me. That she was too blinded by her lust for power and wealth. She wanted more than she already had. And that is going to be her downfall.
Blinking away my tears I glanced in the direction of my mother, hoping that she would say something. Anything. But she looked us, uninterested in anything that was happening right in front of her. This was the side of my mother I had seen many times in the past. The side of her, she used whenever she had a business deal to look over with a client. And the sad truth was that my mother didn’t consider this as an important family matter but more of a business deal she couldn’t care less about.
I pursed my trembling lips into a thin line as I thought of a way to leave. It was never a good idea to stay in the first place and now I just solidified my reasons behind that thought. It was pointless to be here. I should have gone back to the palace and suffered through all of this in silence. That would have been better, right?
“Pathetic. That is what you are, sister. How can you spout such nonsense about the prince’s and still keep a straight face? You stole our older sister’s fiancée on the night her engagement ball and you claim that this was Prince Arthur’s fault.” Lizzy narrowed her eyes at me before continuing.
“I know you liked Prince Marcus in the past and you were probably heartbroken about him having to marry Scarlet, but that doesn’t give you the right to blackmail him into marrying you. Now you stand before us as if you were the victim when clearly you aren’t. Don’t you have a shred of remorse for your actions Rebekah? You must have known that no one would believe your lies. Is that why you decided to drag Prince Arthur into this?” Lizzy accused as she shook her head in disappointment. I stayed silent. I wanted to yell and scream at them for jumping to conclusions.
Why was it so hard for anyone to believe me?
Why couldn’t they see that I wasn’t at fault?
It was true that once upon a time I did have a crush on Prince Marcus, however, those feelings have long been dead. But my reason for liking him wasn’t because of his family’s wealth or the fact that he was an actual prince. It was his love for others. It was true that I’ve rarely ever had a conversation with him but I would see how considerate Prince Marcus was to the citizens of Awa. But after all these years I don’t know what to think anymore. Prince Marcus and Scarlet had been away from Awa for five years. They had been sent to a neighboring kingdom to learn about their duties as the future King and Queen.
They had only returned a few weeks before the ball with everyone’s expectations for them on its maximum levels. But like I said it my “feelings” for him was nothing more than a fleeting one that was never meant to happen.
“You little slut! What did you do to him? Did you trick him into your bed? Did you willingly spread your legs for him like the slut you are? Is that why he’s suddenly throwing me away like a piece of garbage! Because my own sister was jealous and couldn’t stand to see me happy. That she had to take him away from me!” Scarlet yelled as she roughly grabbed my wrist and held it tightly. I winced at the pressure she was applying to my wrist.
I knew my silence would be mistaken as confirmation of Lizzy’s accusations towards me but I couldn’t defend myself. I was scared that I would break down into a sobbing mess if I did. That it would give them more reasons to believe those false rumors others had spread about me.
“Why won’t you answer me, huh? Is this your way of getting revenge? Were you that jealous of me and the fact that I spent the last five years with the man I now know you liked. Is that why you ruined everything!” Scarlet screeched. I flinched at the harshness of her words and the venom lacing them. I wanted to say something to make her see that I wasn’t in love with Prince Marcus. But even if I tried it wouldn’t change anything.
I felt Scarlet tighten her hold on my wrist, making me hiss in pain. I wanted to pull my hand away and leave. I knew that my cheek and wrist were going to be bruised in the morning.
“It is pointless to try and get a response from her Scarlet. Rebekah knows she is guilty and has nothing to prove the accusations thrown at her, wrong.” Lizzy said as glared at me.
“That’s not-” I said, finally deciding to speak up but I was cut off.
“That is enough nonsense out of you two. Rebekah has made it perfectly clear that it was not of her doing that you lost your right to be Queen. I suggest you let go of her wrist and think this through Scarlet. As for you Lizzy, I want you to leave us alone. There is an urgent matter I wish to discuss with Scarlet and Rebekah.” My mother said in a calm voice but that dangerous glint in her eyes was back.
“Why can’t I stay? I’m the second eldest daughter. I should have every right to be here for this discussion.” Lizzy protested.
“I said to leave Lizzy. This does not concern you.” My mother gave Lizzy a stern look. Lizzy huffed in annoyance and left the room without another word.