Paper Palace

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Chapter One

Eleven years have passed and I still remember the time I set foot on the threshold of her home that awestruck me at first. She’s living in a small town called Avanda. A town hiding behind the shadows of the rainy skies and misty forest. Aunt Marga lives in an extravagant home, well, more like a chateau which was as far as possible from the buzzing of the people in the downtown area of the place.

I remember myself being stunned by the beauty of the grounds while she entered the ginormous gates and driving the long deserted road before finally being able to see the building to where I would reside. Wide fields and lagoons are on the premises. It looks like it came straight out of a fantasy book.

It was amazing.

The chateau is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, there are different kinds of room which is not present in an ordinary family house where I came from. There are music rooms, libraries, an office room, a cinema room, and some other stuff there that you can’t imagine.
The walls of the receiving room (which is one of the places that consume the first floor) were made of shelves with thousands of books that even the local library would be jealous of as if all the books she owned cannot be fitted inside the three-story library room inside the building as well.

I have instantly figured out that aunt Marga loves reading just like me and as the years went by I learned that people living in the town called the chateau as Paper Palace because of how much book there is in there and she seems like she doesn’t mind, if not, I think she quite like the name.

That also made me realized that I don’t really know much about aunt Marga. I just saw her as a good-looking and graceful woman but I didn’t know anything about her, I was not even aware of her existence until she appeared inside the orphanage to whisk me away from my misery.
She was a well-known woman in this town for her beauty and riches which seems to be a mystery as to where she gets her money. She doesn’t have any businesses or establishments but she lives in royalty.

There were countless rumors about her I cannot fathom though she acts as of she’s not aware of those rumors and act as if everything’s alright.

She’s classy, I’ll give her that.

The first few months of staying with her seem fine. She is strict and bossy especially with how the house is being handled but there’s a certain amount of gentleness when she is dealing with me although I really don’t mind it.

Aside from the scolding I receive when I’m stubborn and hard-headed, I am living like a princess. Dresses are bought and shoes are given to me that I can’t even wear all of them. She taught me how to act, how to move, how to eat, and just to be prim and proper, be a lady. She was training me to be like her, exactly like her.

All the people working for us seem to look at me as royalty but with hateful glances at the same time. They don’t like Aunt Marga and so they don’t like me too. Rumors started to fire up the moment I came living in the house, saying that I’m actually Aunt Marga’s neglected child, hidden from the eyes of the society to not stain her perfect profile in the community. it also didn’t help that I look exactly like her.

But, as usual, she doesn’t mind. She’s too classy for that, I guess.

Aunt Marga is only in her forties yet she doesn’t have any family with her. She told me she chose to be married to her books and not just to some man who knows nothing about her life. Besides she has me already to keep her company so she didn’t even think about marriage. Her words, not mine.

I was homeschooled. It just made sense for me to be since I also have to deal with my trauma from the accident and exposing me with people I’m not comfortable with might trigger me in the wrong way. I still remember the first few weeks of my stay when everyone, including the therapist, instructors, and even Aunt Marga’s walking in eggshells around me.

I barely talk, no, scratch that, I don’t talk. It’s not like I can’t. it’s more like I just don’t want to and they have to work slowly for my progress, it came a year later when I felt like I’m comfortable enough to converse with her.

She was beaming when I said my first word.

In that instance, I was kept inside the building. She wants to make sure I am making progress with my therapy and she doesn’t want anyone to pose a danger to me until I am still in a vulnerable state.

It continues for years until finally, I have reached the stage in education called High school. She knows she can’t keep me any longer and I am already old enough and adjusted enough to see the world on the outside. It was a long process to let me mixed up with everyone else, it consists of bugging Aunt Marga to let me.

She didn’t like the idea at first because of the fact that I am not really talking to anyone except her and some of the maids but I thought this is what I need to get back in the track and have a life with people my age and the therapist who was working with us supported my idea as well. I need to do this.

I was scared but I tried to suck it up and told myself to stop being a coward.

Though, I just hope that I have been a coward at that time because what happened next was a total nightmare.

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