“Sierra told me,” says the black haired girl trailing behind me.
“Saey … I know I should’ve told you, but I just learned …” my voice drifts off reluctantly.
“But you weren’t going to tell me anyway were you,” shrugs Saey avoiding my gaze.
“No,” I sigh reluctantly. Her dark brown eyes finally meet mine.
“Your eyes are green as usual is that their normal colour or what you prefer, because they’re the same shade as your mom?” she asks.
It is true my mom’s eyes were dark green. My eyes change colour by my emotions, but there’s something else too … Usually I can’t control the colour. Every colour down to the shade is different. Usually my eyes are a dark green colour; I have been trying my hardest to keep them from changing. My eyes give away my emotions my eyes have only changed colour once since I turned seven. They turned the saddest shade of blue the day I lost my mother. After that, they always stayed the consistent shade of green my mother’s eye’s had.
“She’s all I have … I can’t lose her. Not now, not ever,” you’d think there would be tears rushing down my face, but I’m hard, losing everything made me stronger. I composed myself, I’ve lost but all signs of weakness and certain emotions were sacrificed.
“Maybe for now …” she whispers. “But someday someone will come. Someone will change that. Someone you’ll love more than Karly.”
“No,” my voice is hard. “I will never learn to love. My love is reserved for Karly and the memories of my dead family. Love is for those you let in, I’m never letting anyone in.”
“Maybe for now-“
“Just drop it Saey,” my voice is on the brink of agitation.
“I said DROP IT!” my voice is angry and she stares at me with a firm expression.
Carefully I lie down on the grass and glance at my surroundings.
I look ahead of me at the shrubbery, all the beautiful flowers … white roses they were always my mother’s favourite-I start to drift my eyelids heavy- but I always preferred red …
I open my eyes. I’m alone in a small room. Someone or someone’s are saying something, but it hasn’t registered yet.
“Happy birthday!” I open my eyes and vaguely notice my cousins and aunts all staring down at me.
“Surprise!” shrieks Lana,
“Happy Birthday Lacey,” Cries Molly.
I smile politely, but I quickly excuse myself to go the bathroom for some composure. The bad feeling I had has not dialed down yet, if anything it got stronger overnight.
I look at my reflection. People always say I’m breathtaking like my mother and most say I’m prettier. I look in the mirror and see a plain, blond girl staring at me.
I sigh. I’m just the blond freak without a dad. I carefully braid my hair to the side and smile. I will get through today. Nothing is wrong, it’ll all be okay. We’ll all be okay.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I steal myself and run out of the bathroom into my mother’s arms where she fastens a bow around my waist. She puts a white rose in my hair.
I frown to myself in secrecy I’ve always preferred red roses, now more than ever they just link me to memories of my mother.
My mom grabs a tray filled with food. It actually looks like we’ll get a half-decent meal today. The platter has unappetizing bread from cheap grain; some jam from half spoiled berries sold cheaper at the grocer and a special treat: a glass of milk.
This meal might seem disgusting, but to me it is better than I could ever have hoped for. My first impulse is to start diving it, but the second my mom puts the food on the table, the other girls begin devouring it.
In under a minute the plates are cleared. The girls literally inhaled their food. Neither me-who was caught in thought or Karly-who was to weak to fight- got any. My mom looks like she’s ready to explode, but happily composes herself.
Since you all are so full I guess none of you will want the toast and butter I acquired. All 12 hungry heads whip around to face my mother. She beams with satisfaction at the 24 pairs of regretful eyes. They sigh and leave.
“Mommy I’m not hungry …” breathes Karly.
“More for Lacey and me than,” shrugs my mother lightly.
As Karly skips off I’m suddenly aware of how grateful I am for the privacy.
“I look down at my empty platter as my mom fills it with two squares pieces of toast and butter and does the same for her own plate.
She looks up at me.
“So what’s on your mind?” she asks in an upbeat tone.
“Mother ...” my voice says it all. I want an explanation.
“Lacey if you’re looking for answers I can’t give you any,” says my mom chewing her toast.
“If you happened to stumble across one when you were in the office, well I couldn’t stop you could I,” my mom’s voice is angled towards an explanation without saying anything.
I hurriedly gobble up the remainder of my meal, grateful for my mother and sprint towards the other room.
I start scrimmaging through files on the desk and come across my mother’s diary. I’m sure she meant look through the pages laid out on the desk and not looking through her personal writing, but how could I resist?
‘Tuesday November 2nd
I keep blacking out, I don’t understand what’s happening to me. I just get these sudden fits of immense rage or terror and I feel something go through me. I need answers, but with my father taking captive and my mother lost in her own world who am I to turn to?
I can’t talk to Bill anymore either, he’s always been skeptical and just dismisses it as hormones from the pregnancy, but I know better. My strength is growing it’s only a matter of time before, before-
My reading is caught off, by the sudden return of my mother. I slip the diary back into its place and give my mother a nod as I take my leave.
THE DIARY! I think as my eyes fly open. Oh my gosh, I completely forgot of my mother’s diary, maybe there are answers in there …
“Sorry Saey, but I got to run. Important business, see you tomorrow night,” I say jogging off back to my room.
The diary! Where is it? Did I leave it in the house or could it be amongst the possessions that survived the wreckage.
As I dash into the building something clicks in my head. There is a safe left for Karly and me. Or the will my mother must’ve left me something! But WHERE?
I open the door to my room and hop onto the bed. Wait … the box.
My mom left me a box, but it has identification and stud. She left a not also saying the box will open when I’m ready.
I reach under my single bed carefully and feel around until my fingers close on something. I quietly slide it out.
I carefully grasp the lid on the box until I come across the lock. I glare at it for a long time
“Open Sesame, Open. Ugh, meh. Do you even open!?” my voice is annoyed and doesn’t even begin to convey my agitation.
“Voice recognition system detects voice identification, please enter your passcode word,” says the box.
“The password you attempted was incorrect nine attempts remaining.”
“The password you attempted was incorrect eight attempts remaining.”
The password was not: Proelia (my mom’s name), Night, Veronica, Ronnie, mother, father or May 11th.
“The password you attempted was incorrect one attempt remaining.”
I swallow hard, think! Think! THINK! And then I understand.
“Adeline…” the words leave my mouth before I can stop them.
“Password accepted,” and with the that the box opened up.
I did not ever think much of its outer grey exterior, but looking at the inside I see there is so much more to it.
The box holds my mother’s full set of diaries. I stare at the ages engraved on the diary covers.
‘Proelia Night-age 31’ her last diary ….
‘Proelia Night-age 24’too old.
‘Proelia Night-age 19’. I doubt I’ll find anything older, the important diaries from when my mom was younger were lost.
“CURFEW! CURFEW! ALL 15 YEARS OLDS MUST BE IN BED!” chants Mrs. Rochester-Opole-Karanthy-Stime-Larfe. She’s been remarried at least a dozen times and dated triple as much. Rumor has it she started dating at age 4.
I climb under the covers, grateful to find my flashlight still rests on my nightstand. I open the diary and begin to read.
‘Wednesday December 14th
I didn’t find out until today they took my other diaries. Those are my youth all going to be locked up somewhere for eternity or worse incinerated. All my secrets are in there and I can’t risk someone from the other side finding it. That’d put myself and everyone I love in mortal peril. They think it is safer stripping that knowledge from the earth, but honestly I’d better protect it.
Today I also learned about the casualties. Casualties is such an informal word for death. It’s such an unfair way to express someone’s demise. Like when they lost their life it was just a casual occurrence and didn’t really matter. Which I guess it doesn’t. Death is just a common occurrence.
Kira is dead … she was my biological sister. Everyone else is half, steps or in laws. It doesn’t matter about the gene pool though, what really matters is that she died and the world has already moved on. I’ve already moved on. But, I love Bill too much to dwell in the past.’
Bill is my father … he abandoned my father a week after my sister was born. She doesn’t remember him, but she acts like she does, I think she wishes she had a memory to grasp at. I on the other hand remember him. Feeding me pudding, chasing me around the castle and not being there when my mother went into labor with Karly … that memory doesn’t compare to the one of the day my father left … without a goodbye.
I carefully flip the page to the next entry.
‘Saturday December 31th
I miss Bill when he leaves on these kinds of royal business trips. Especially when he has to travel to the other side. How am I supposed to protect him when he’s so far from my reach?
I would’ve written sooner, but I was in intensive care for the past two weeks, they just released me to the hospital wing of the infirmary.
They said I’ll have this scar permanently; it starts at the edge of my eyebrow and runs down my neck. They also say that they hope I hurt the demon that dare leave a mark on my pretty, little face.
I was taken by surprise, it was a baby; seven months, eight soon. I sense it. But the claws, the claws were so sharp …’
The diary entry ends there and all I can think is how could a baby leave a mark on my mother-especially one so big- and get away without a scratch? I understand she was taken by surprise, but under the circumstances, it just doesn’t seem appropriate.
I flip to the next entry with curiosity to see if perhaps she says more about the demonic child. She doesn’t.
‘Tuesday January 3rd
Bill’s sister was publicly executed today. They found out about the rebelling in Argentina, how it was her troops there. She didn’t go quickly either, they tortured her trying to get information. Once they knew she’d told everything they kept going. She suffered. They found her mutilated body hung publicly and broadcasted live on TV to show her as an example.
Bill is nervous about taking the throne. Trying to control a group of people who just lost their leader and their only foothold in a fight they can’t possibly win. I don’t know what to do. I’m torn, I want to help him, but I don’t know how. I can’t just hold his hand and let him sit on my lap and sob. How do you comfort someone who is barely a man and has just received the throne to a war riddled, oppressed nation, because his sister’s gruesome death.
I wish he’d come back here. It might be cold here in Greenland, but it’s cushy and comfortable. It’s also a little lonely since he doesn’t have any family her, but mine is more than welcoming. I doubt any of them would like to see him either. They don’t need his sympathy they look to alike his face makes his mother cry-or so he says …
Sighing I flip the page yet again, but to no avail after a quick skim nothing particularly unsettling appears so close the diary entirely and put it back into the box carefully.
I skim through the dates on the diaries enclosed in the box.