Paper Palace

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Chapter Two

The mere presence of my aunt when I was enrolling made quite a buzz in the town. Everyone in Avanda wanted to see the princess living with the queen inside. The neglected child, the little miss perfect, the vulnerable duchess.

It was humiliating, walking in the halls of the school with everyone gawks at me and whispers upon themselves, giggling and pointing their fingers at me as if I am some kind of an animal in the zoo. I looked around the school, there was nothing special about it. Gray walls and gray floors with everything basic there is you can see in ay school.

Everyone was wearing jeans and shirts, some are skirts and casual while here I am, wearing an emerald green knee-length dress with flowy skirt and race detailing. My chestnut hair rolled up in a bun with black flats on my feet. My aunt was also wearing a dress, a blush pink number which made everyone's head turn. She was wearing it with pride, I was wearing it for compliance as well as comfort since this is what I have been wearing since I moved in.

Our appearance made a huge buzz that's why my first day became quite a nightmare.

A car escorts me going to the only high school in town and every student ogled at me as I entered. I looked around and felt self-conscious. Everyone was wearing jeans and skirts while my aunt chose another royal blue number and rolled my hair in another neat bun. I like the dress though but it beats up the one thing that I want to do during my first day.

I want to blend in.

I don’t want any attention from any of them but being me, I gained it so much just by breathing and by just being there.

The nightmare starts from there.

I have no idea where to seat, what to say, and was not comfortable saying anything. I thought keeping silent would be enough to survive the years in high school but I was wrong.

I was called a nun, a conservative slut, a mute, and other hurtful things that made me cry every time.
I kept quiet most of the time and only talk when necessary, mostly during discussions. I don’t want to talk to them who always find faults in everything that I was saying.

I went through it all, keeping it from my Aunt in the process.

I was being bullied, physically, and verbally. There was even a time when I was already a senior that a group of girls cornered me and left me battered in the corner of the hallway just because they don’t like me, simple as that.

I don’t even know their name. Good thing a staff came and rushed me to the nurse’s office before calling my guardian and informing her what happened.

Aunt Marga is in rage when she came into the school demanding personal information about the people that have done this to me.
She has threatened the principal that she would take the school down at any cost if they didn’t resolve my case right away.

She really is a powerful woman because the principal is somewhat threatened by her words.

After a few weeks of deliberation, the people that are to be blamed were punished and my guardian decided to have me homeschooled again until I graduate which is only a few months away.
With my grades higher than all of the students, they made the decision of passing me for graduation without any other complicated matters. Telling me to come back to school to process my papers and for the ceremony.

We agreed that I am going back to school when I am already in college and to change the way I dress to prevent anyone from picking on me. Even though Aunt Marga hated the idea, she still bought me skinny jeans and tights with shirts and any other casual stuff that my closet doesn't own but I am still going to wear a dress every time I am going out with her or every time that we are having dinner or when I am still in the house.

Of course, I agreed.

With the free months I have ahead of me, I found myself in the library every day reading stories and everything that I can read which made me look at it as a portal away from reality.

My life sucks and no one can change that.

There were so many books that caught my interest but there is one thing that I almost got obsessed with.

It is not actually in the library.

I found it inside Aunt Marga's room. She went out to do some errands regarding the estate and so I was left alone in the chateau all day doing anything my heart desires -which consists of reading books all day- and then I stumbled into an unexpected situation.

You see, it is important for my aunt to have her personal space and that includes her bedroom. It is her cave and no one, I mean, no one is allowed to go in there so it is always a mystery as to what it looks like. Even I was not allowed to enter that room.

It was always locked except that time because it is left ajar which is impossible for her to forget and out of my curiosity, I peeked inside.

The room is magnificent than I can imagine. It is like a whole house itself. I guess, she is the one cleaning this room for it is spotless.
There is a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and endless shelves of books surrounding the wall which didn’t surprise me. Her room was as spacious as I thought it was, it was truly a suite for the queen.

I was getting bored already for looking at the books outside that I took one from the shelves randomly and went to my room after locking the door behind me.
I guess this is the decision that made my life impossibly chaotic than it already is.

_____________________

“Are you ready to go back to school, Rain?” Aunt Marga asked me. It’s the first day of school and I am going to the nearby college institution in town, just a few minutes from the estate by car.

I nodded but didn’t say a word.

“You’re being mute again.” She pointed out. “You barely say anything whenever you're nervous, I guess you are.”

“I am nervous Aunt Marga," I admitted, sheepishly. "What if this would end up like senior year? But, I also need to learn to stand up for myself and be independent.”

“So, you’re still going?” She raised her eyebrows.

I nodded. “As much as I hated it, I need to get through these four years of hell to end all of this misery.”

“You know, going to school is not torture. You just need to socialize.” She smiled, encouragingly. “I know that it’s hard at first, but you’ll be able to find your own crowd in no time.”

I sighed. “I hope so.”

Little did I know that that will not be the case.

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