Chapter 5: Modern day Cinderella
There was half an hour before the announcement would be made and Arthur had disappeared after his little message and I hadn’t seen him since. I assumed he was with his parents, the king, and queen.
After my dance with Arthur, Linda looked like she was trying to figure out whether she was still in reality or someone’s twisted fantasy. It was rather entertaining to watch with such boring company.
“Lady Rebekah may I have a word with you in private,” Linda asked. I nodded before following her as she tried not to stomp her way towards the ladies washroom. The walk was rather quiet since Linda seemed to be lost in her own personal bubble.
When we finally made it inside of the washroom, Linda checked to make sure that we were alone before she could start her ranting. If she didn’t it would cause unnecessary problems for her family. Since it was frown upon to have a high ranking noble being lectured by their servant. I sighed in relief when we were alone but that wasn’t a good thing for me.
“What was that earlier? Don’t tell you’re actually starting to like Prince Arthur? You don’t like him right?” She fired questions at me. I gave her an “are you crazy” look. Of all the possible reasons she could come up with that was the only one she thought was on point. Who was I kidding? This was Linda I was talking to. I was about to answer her ridiculous questions but she started talking again.
“Of course you don’t like him. You probably had too much champagne or you ate some poisoned berries or maybe I did and I hallucinated the whole thing. So did everyone else.” None of those were possible. “Then again that’s not possible. Wait did Prince Arthur drug you? That would be the only logical reason. He probably had one of the guards shoot one of those tranquilizer dart things they used on Emma.” I laughed at her reasoning. She seriously thought Arthur would make someone do that to me. And with the tranquilizer, they used on my pet horse.
“Linda I’m not a horse so I wasn’t hit with some kind of tranquilizer besides if I was I wouldn’t be dancing, would I?” She frowned at me. “I would have been sleeping and it would have looked like he was dancing with a corpse. And I wouldn’t want to steal him from you. I know how much you love him.” I teased her. Her frown turned into a scowl.
I chuckled as I turned to look in the mirror. I could imagine the wheels turning in her head. I just hope she wasn’t planning my murder. After all who plans a murder out loud.
I knew she had a little crush on Arthur since we were kids but because of his title, she couldn’t have a romantic relationship with him. That didn’t mean she couldn’t give Arthur a headache or two when he was around. She thought I couldn’t see past all her verbal abuse but I did.
“Yeah, I love him because rats are just so lovable.” She said sarcastically. She always had been good at hiding her feelings but I could see the faint blush on her cheeks when they had their bickering. It was adorable to watch not that I would ever tell them that.
I didn’t comment on what she said, I just looked at my reflection in the big silver mirror in front of me. My strawberry blonde hair flowed down my frame in long, silky curls. I took off the mask covering my icy blue eyes as I stared at my tired reflection. I was in desperate need of sleep and if it wasn’t for the little makeup on my heart shaped face I would have looked even worse. My dress still looked as it did when we arrive which I’m grateful for.
I looked at Linda and found her mumbling to herself. I shook my head in amusement as I watched her. It was good to know one of us could be normal and not have to deal with all this drama.
“We should head back before someone thinks we’re making out or something.” I winked before walking away. It wasn’t uncommon for gay couples to be around. No one questioned it since it was the individuals choice if they wanted such a relationship.
“...Welcome his Royal Highness Prince Marcus Lucian Kinsley and eldest daughter of the Lord Edward Allan Northwest, Miss Scarlet Annalise Northwest.” The announcer said through the microphone. I missed half the introductions but I kept the big smile on my face as I watched my sister. Even if Scarlet and I weren’t always on the same page I was still happy for her.
“It’s finally happening now we don’t have to have to worry about Scarlet losing her mind.” Lizzy giggled beside me. Our parents were up on the stage with the King and Queen. Lizzy and I didn’t want to be there so we stayed near the stage instead.
We watched with the rest of the other guest as the crown prince and my sister made their way to the stage. Scarlet was dressed in a beautiful sweetheart neck Royal red ball gown. Her blonde hair was in an elegant bun with a diamond tiara on top of her head. Her makeup was done beautifully to match her dress. A red smokey eye and light pink-red lipstick adored her smiling lips.
Prince Marcus was dress in a Charcoal black suit like Arthur and with men dress shoes. His midnight black hair was styled backward with a few strands framing his perfectly sculptured face. His stance was one that showed confidence and power. He wasn’t smiling but rather he looked like he was determined. For what? I do not know.
He took the microphone from the servant standing next to them before he began his speech. “Citizens and honored guest of Awa, I, thank you all for being here tonight to celebrate this wonderful occasion with my family and my soon to be bride’s family.” He paused as his eyes scanned the large crowd of people. Was he looking for someone? His eyes suddenly found mine and I could see a small smile grace his lips. Was he smiling at me? No, I’m sure it’s someone behind me.
“As you all may know I will be marrying the woman I have loved the moment I first met her.” The crowd awe but I seemed to be the only one really confused. Because Prince Marcus kept looking at someone behind me. Was he in love with someone else and is she behind me? Why would he say that when he was marrying Scarlet if the woman was behind me? Even Scarlet didn’t seem to notice it.
He turned to scarlet yet his eyes just kept looking behind me. I turned behind to see if I could find the person but everyone was smiling and focusing their attention on him. Now I was more confused than ever.
“As per custom, the Crown Prince must give his bride to be a gift to show the kingdom that she is his as he is her’s. My father and his father before him gave their bride a necklace.” He paused again. I could see Scarlet smiling wider as her free hand held the diamond necklace gracing her neck. I remembered he gave that to her last week.
“But I have decided to give her something far better yet simpler. Something that represents her beauty and the simplicity of her character. The one thing that she didn’t think I would be able to give her.” Scarlet’s smile faded as she frowns in confusion. I guessed she didn’t know what he was talking about. I looked at my father’s stiffen posture and mother’s confused face.
Even the king and Queen seemed to be anticipating his answer. Only Arthur was smirking which had me thinking what he had done. But I couldn’t come up with anything.
“Ladies and gentlemen the beautiful young woman in the blue dress and golden Mask that I gave her is your future queen and my bride to be Miss Rebekah Amelia Northwest.” He declared as he faced Scarlet. Everything went deadly silent and my breath hitched in my throat. I suddenly found it hard to breathe. What did he mean he gave me the mask I’m wearing? Arthur gave me- I stopped when it finally dawned on me that this is what they had kept from me. They planned this!
That’s why every decoration was the way I liked it. The colors. The food. The music. Everything! That was why Arthur always made note of what I liked or what I dreamt about. Now that I think about it he made sure to tell me that I had to wear the mask at all cost. I didn’t think about why. I just wore it thinking everyone would be in the same kind as mine. But now when I look around I realized that I was the only one. My mind was in chaos as regrets and questions swarmed it.
Why didn’t I think about taking it off? Why did I have to keep it on? I could have avoided this if I had just worn a different mask. Hell, I should have given it to Scarlet. Although I doubt that would have changed anything.
The room all too quickly erupted into murmurs as everyone watched me. As the spotlights were focused on me. I felt like a caged bird trying to find a way out. My heart was furiously beating in my chest and my breath came out in pants. My eyes wide with shock and my lips parted in disbelief. I felt like I was suffocating and I would start hyperventilating any minute now. I backed away from the stares and whispers. I couldn’t pay attention to anyone. The room felt like it was spinning.
I didn’t even notice how Linda looked worried or that Prince Marcus was getting closer to me. But the moment I saw him my body moved on its own. I started pushing past anyone in my way. I didn’t care if it was ladylike or not. I ran as the Adrenaline pumped through my veins. I could faintly hear the shouts for me to stop but I just kept going.
I ran up the stairs and headed to the main entrance so I could escape. None of the guards stopped me they all just watched. Not that I cared. It made it easier to leave. This was not the news we came for. If I knew what that stupid mask meant I would have never worn it. I wouldn’t have come to the ball. I would have never had to see my eldest sister’s heartbreak and humiliation.
I tore the mask off my face and threw it on the ground as I continued to run. I could see the tears blurring my vision and feel the pounding of my heart. I didn’t want any of this and yet I knew somehow I wouldn’t have a choice. He would make me marry him, by force or other alternative means. I knew I would be angry at everyone later but now I was too shocked and scared.
I suddenly felt like Cinderella who had to run from the prince she wanted because she couldn’t stay past midnight. But instead, I was running from the prince I never wanted. I almost laughed at how pathetic I must look.
But what would you do if you suddenly had to be a modern-day Cinderella?