The next morning was worst then the rest. Granny was still asleep and Dad had some work so he left early. This was supposed to be his days off work but still he’s working. I made myself a cup of coffee but I did not have the energy to pick it up.
“Look inside it” whispered a voice behind me. I turned around in my chair to see the same women who makes an apperaence in my dreams.
“What?” I said
“Look inside the cup” she said. There was silence for a moment and the figure I saw just stood there staring a me.
“Who are you?” I asked curiously. She shrugged and opened her mouth to say something. “Look inside the cup” she said in a higher voice “Hurry, there isn’t much time”
I got up from my seat and grabbed the cup with my sweaty hand. The coffee inside the cup had drops of a blue and purple liquid which was rising into the air and creating a a ball of purple smoke in front of my eyes.
“What is this?” I looked at her and she stepped forward and touched her finger with the smoke and suddenly white dots appeared in it making a cluster of stars.
“What is that?” I questioned her.
“That is a constellation” she replied with a smile.
“Why are you showing this to me?” I said. Her expression turned dark and her smile faltered. The sky outside turned pitch black and the kitchen started shaking.
“Whatever you do, do not trust them” she informed with a pale face and worried eyes. “Do not trust them” she repeated in a high voice as the kitchen shoke harder. “Dont trust who?” I shouted. Now the whole kitchen was dark.
“Anyone” she said “Don’t trust anyone”
Those were her last words, the ground beneath broke open and she fell inside. I let out a scream and fell to the floor. Someone was saying my name but all I could hear was the sound of my screams.
The next moment I am lying in bed. It was just a dream. My eyes were wet and my pillows were damp. Had I been crying? How could I have been crying in my sleep? This was something to tell Dr.Hope.
I slid out of bed and got dressed quickly. Granny had made pancakes today.
“I don’t want pancakes” I complained “Can we have something else?”
“I already made pancakes” Granny said. I’ll have pancakes then.
“Annabelle, I was thinking” Granny started “We should go shopping for dresses”
I almost choked on my food. “What?” I said in between bites.
“For the Kingdom Banquet” Granny pointed out. “It goes on three nights for six weeks, I am sure everyone will be getting a new dress for each night”
Granny and I never go shopping together. And how many dresses am I going to buy anyway?
“One dress for each night?” I said shockingly “That’s like....” I started doing the math in my head but Granny answered for me. “That is a total of eighteen dresses”
“Who would buy eighteen dresses?” I said irritated “I mean, I want to go but...”
Granny cut me off “Don’t be silly” she scolded “You have to make a good impression and you absolutely cannot repeat clothes” Granny had a point.
″Okay, fine” I agreed “When do we leave?”
“After breakfast?” Granny suggested.
“Yeah, okay” I replied.
After breakfast Granny and I drove to the shopping mall, which I find boring. Granny bought a few dresses for herself which were plain, silky and dull. Then we walked over to other shops to get a tuxedo for Dad. Then came my turn, the gowns Granny showed me were heavy, long and had a lot of jewels embroidered on them. I tried almost thirty dresses, which were hard to breathe in.
It was starting to get dark outside and the sky was indigo. “Can we go home now?” I whined “We’ve been here all day”
“We can go home” Granny said. I let out a sigh of relief. “After we buy your shoes” She added quickly.
“Why do I need new shoes?” I whispered to Granny “No one will see them under the dresses”
Granny just rolled her eyes and the next thing I’m doing is trying on a dozen shoes I kept tripping in.
“How am I supposed to walk in these?” I complained “With the over sized dresses and these tall heels?”
“Nonsense” Granny said.
Finally we were done with shopping and the back seat in Granny’s car was stuffed with shopping nags.
I helped Granny make dinner. Which was a salad so I cut my hand a few times chopping vegetables. Dad arrived late, by that time Granny had dozed off and I was learning star charts for Astronomy class.
I tried to focus on the information in front of me but all I could think about was Tristan, Amara and Lyra. I haven’t talked to them for a long time. I don’t even know why I was avoiding them. My phone is turned off and I didn’t talk to them at school either.
It was difficult to sleep. I kept getting out of bed to make trips to the bathroom or the kitchen to grab a glass of water. I woke with a bad headache and to make things worse I missed the bus so Dad had to drive me which made him late for work. Dad had been given an actual car by the King. He could only use it sometimes though. The carriages were used by us for desperate times other times we walked to wherever we wanted.
“What were you doing last night?” Dad demanded.
“I was studying” It was not technically a lie. I was studying those star charts. I rushed to class the minute I stepped out of the car.
I spent my day not paying attention in class and glancing at the clock. I was avoiding all my friends. At lunch I sat in the corner alone and watched how Tristan had already replaced me with his friend, Lewis Sagittarius. They had been friends for a long time but it bothered me to see my friend having fun without me.
Lewis Sagittarius was tall, had green eyes, a mop of blonde hair and he had a curious and energetic personality like every other Sagittarius. He was mostly known for getting in trouble.
Everyone around me was talking about the Kingdom’s Banquet. All the girls had already bought their dresses.
I was almost done with my salad when Lyra and Amara took the two chairs in front of me. It was a little awkward and we only stared at each other.
“Why are you avoiding us?” Amara spoke up.
“I haven’t been avoiding you” I lied.
“Yes, you have” Amara said. I could hear anger in her voice.
“Then why are you not talking to us?” Amara raised her voice a little.
“I don’t know. I’ve been busy” I lied.
“Really?” Lyra joined the conversation “With what?”
“Going to the psychologist, having nightmares, missing my friends and buying dresses for the Kingdom Banquet” I answered with a grin. Lyra and Amara laughed.
“That’s what you’ve been doing?” Lyra giggled.
“Pretty much” I said.
“Wait a minute” Amara’s expression turned sad and dark “You are actually going to the Kingdom Banquet?”
“Well, I don’t really have a choice, now do I?”
“Who does?” Amara knitted her eyebrows.
“At least we get to be treated like proper Ladies for a few nights” Lyra smiled.
“I don’t feel like a Lady” I said in a low voice.
“You don’t believe that you’re Lady Virgo so how do you expect yourself to feel like one?” Lyra asked.
“What does a Lady even do?” Amara wondered.
“Sit still and look pretty” Lyra straightened up and folded her hands in her lap.
“You can pamper yourself every night, Lady Gemini” I said to Lyra. “But I will never feel like a true Lady of Virgo”
“And I shall never feel like a Lady of Aries” Amara said in a sweet voice.
“Oh” Lyra started. “Stop it you two!”
All three of us ended up laughing and choking on our food.
The bell rang and Lyra let out a sigh of relief and Amara looked as if an invisible weight was lifted of her shoulders. They both got up and left the cafeteria but after like five steps Lyra turned back and whispered “Annabelle, you should talk to Tristan. He’s really upset...I mean worried about you”
Before I could say anything she vanished before my eyes. I also got up and headed to class. I had Astronomy and practiced how to make star charts. It took my mind off of what Lyra had said to me. Why was Tristan worried about me? I thought. Why was everyone acting weird whenever I mentioned the Kingdom Banquet?
My headache wasn’t getting better. I escaped from the hallway and hid in the girls’ bathroom.
One of the mirror’s was occupied by Lyra who was putting on mascara and was trying really hard not to blink. Amara was standing next to Lyra, her nose buried in a book.
“Are you done?” Amara asked irritatingly.
“Almost” Lyra said
“If you get any closer to the mirror your going to get attached to it” I joked.
Amara snorted and Lyra rolled her eyes. “Okay, now I am done” Lyra sighed
“What’s our next class?” Lyra asked “And will you ever stop reading?”
“I’m revising the for the Latin quiz” Amara pointed out “Which, by the way is in five minutes”
“Then we should head to class” I suggested and the three of us walked to class, well Amara almost ran to class.
“Will you slow down?” Lyra said
“I don’t want to be late” Amara took a seat in the front row and Lyra sat next to her and I was placed behind them.
After the quiz, our teacher, Ms. Nuria Canis Major taught us how to translate Greek into Latin and then both of those languages into English. It wasn’t hard except I couldn’t concentrate thought my head was going to explode.
We all spoke Greek and Latin by birth. I don’t know why they were teaching us something we already knew.
I saved by the bell and thankfully that was my last class of the day. Granny was waiting for me outside of school. We walked home together. I wished she had gotten the horse-drawn carriage.
I told her about my headache and this is what she said “You need to rest before Friday and you need to try all your dresses”
“Granny, can you stop talking about the stupid Kingdom Banquet?” I nearly shouted
“I thought you were excited?” Granny asked “And I am just giving you pointers so you don’t embarrass yourself in front of the prince”
I snorted “I may not even meet him because there are going to be a million people there”
Granny was silent then I looked at her.
“What?” I asked
“Nothing” she sighed
Granny told me to do my homework the second we got home and she ran off to her bedroom. I changed out of my coat and winter boots and started my Latin homework. I kept thinking about what Lyra had said to me then finally I decided to call Tristan.
I dialed his number on the phone, the bell was ringing forever until Mrs. Capricorn answered.
“Hello?” she said her sweet voice.
I tried not to sound disappointed “Hi Mrs. Capricorn”
“Oh, Annabelle. I am guessing you want to speak to Tristan?” she said
“Well, he’s not home he’s at Lewis’ house but I can give him a message from you”
“Oh....That’s okay....I just wanted to talk to him” I said lamely.
“Okay, I’ll tell him that” she said “Bye”
“Bye” I replied
“That went well” said a voice from behind me. I turned my head and saw Granny. I nearly jumped in surprise.
“Were you eavesdropping?”
“Not exactly” she said “I could hear you from my upstairs”
“Why are you here?” I asked
“I thought I would make you some lunch” she said
Granny worked in the kitchen while I watched the news. There was this news about a girl and boy who were murdered because they refused the pairing system. I went through the other channels and by the looks of it their was an uprising in the northern side of the kingdom.
“Annabelle, be quiet” Granny ordered. Just then I realized that the volume was loud enough for Granny to hear.
“Why?” I started “I’m just looking at how fragile and corrupted our kingdom is.”
“Annabelle!” Granny scolded “Don’t ever say that out loud again!”
Granny left the room and I was left by myself. The only thing that bothered me was that why Granny always freaks out if I say anything bad about the Kingdom. Maybe it’s her sense of patriotism. She does come from a family who served in the army and worked at the palace.