I was Born the Unloved Twin
It's the custom here for a new mother and her children to stay and rest at home for the first three months. Except for immediate relatives and close friends, people generally don't come by to visit. It's proper to leave time for the family to recuperate.
All hats are off after the newborn pasts 3 months though. Then a grand celebration is typically held, something like an unveiling party for the child. It sounds a lot like the 1st full month celebration in my own culture. It must take longer in this non-modern world with its infant mortality rate... Well, that was a cynical outlook.
Anyways today is our 3 month celebration party!
All the household and everyone has been very busy preparing for this day. So much so that the maids are beginning to relax around me again. After another rolling escape where I almost reached the stairs, the entire staff basically had me on 24-hour lockdown.
My impressive rolling speed is still well talked about among the household staff. This is my crowning achievement to date.
It also serves as an alert to keep their eyes out for an escaping baby. If it's not the usual maids or the stern heads then it seems the rest of the staff don't mind letting me roll around a bit.
"Oh look! Is that her?"
"Well unless the younger one learned to roll too then I'd say yes"
"Shouldn't we....uh stop her? Or call someone over?"
"Just a little, as long as we bring her back safe. Oh I always wanted to see the famous escaping young miss."
"Doesn't she get dizzy?"
See a little bit of mischievousness is fine. Most people can relate. When I feel that's enough rolling and exercising for the day I sit up somewhere open and easy to be spotted. Then I'm promptly brought back to my room to the relief of my maids. As long as Ms. Gerta doesn't find out then they're safe, thus no one tells her.
"What's this I hear about our little Rosalia? Spotted in the second laundry room?"
But she somehow does find out more often than not, amazing resources Gerta. Truly a terrifying woman. Even I feel pressured and I'm not even the one being scolded, at least not yet, I should think up some countermeasures against Gerta's infamous ear pulling before I get there myself.
While it's our party today, as babies Lilyanne and I don't need to do much if anything at all. Young children never do, these parties are always meant for the adults. With our family status, I'm sure the turn out will be huge.
So our day has been about as normal as it usually is with some extra sleep to ready us for the eventful evening we have set up downstairs.
When the hour approaches we're dressed up in brand new matching dresses, or well-baby wraps? Cloth? Whatever these things are.
Over the month Lilyanne has been eating and sleeping well and has long reached the weight of a healthy baby. While previously I felt miffed by being called identical to her when she looked like a little red monkey, now she's an adorable cherub. Her sleepy eyes shine a golden hazel while her angelic brown mop of curls have a slight reddish tinge to them, she's truly our good looking parents' child.
I've seen no mirror or reflection of myself so far but it's rather easy to imagine what I look like with my twin sister here. If not for our expressions and nature the maids would have no way telling us apart. I try to make it easier for them, it's rather obvious when we're awake.
We've been switched bassinets in our sleep more than a few times already. Next chance I get I should try messing with our parents. I suspect Father may be the easier one to fool.
After we're dressed up and presentable, we're carefully brought downstairs for the first time. Not that I can see much in the basket they put me in, safety first after all. When they finally open the lid it's to the great hall. While I have my other self's memories it still mesmerizes me. The ancient architecture is astounding and many of the decorations look right at home in a fine museum.
Lilyanne and I are laid next to each other right at the head of the hall in a large bassinet I've never seen before. In such a gorgeous place I feel as if we're the main display of the museum. Which isn't incorrect considering the nature of the event.
Mother and Father are already there decked out in stunning couple's formal outfits of satin violet-blue and white. My vision is getting clearer lately though still pretty blurry half the time.
"I can hardly believe it's their 3 months already, oh they look so wonderful."
"Yes, they've fattened up considerably, especially Lilyanne! I expected it from Rosalia but, nature works in amazing ways."
Again father has an annoying mouth, how did he ever get a lady to marry him like that? I have no idea how Mother isn't bothered by it. But soon the flow of guests comes trickling in and my attention is focused on them.
For the most part, it's very dull. I've been trying to listen in as best I can but it's all a repetitive pattern of stuffy introductions, congratulations and the occasional business talk. Then there's the annoying gawking, as if these people have never seen a baby before.
"Oh they're like a little pair of dolls!"
"What beautiful children you have, I expect no less from Lord Frederick and our Lady Maria."
"What angels! Oh but which one is which?"
"Yes, which one is the dawn- ahem excuse me."
Fortunately, there is a line so we're not bombarded all at once by visitors. My mood is getting crankier with each new visitor and I can only stand a certain amount of bullshit pleasantry at a time. I would just take a nap and blackout to all this annoying chatter but I'm eavesdropping. You never know what info could be useful after all.
What I'm listening for is primarily who is who, their positions to my parents, and more importantly how they treat me. Word had already spread by this point about the details of our birth, of the twins born between midnight of the new year.
Not everyone is so superstitious but more than enough are, besides it makes good gossip in a place with no internet. Or movies, or....okay a lot of things. Entertainment is going to be an issue for me huh?
There are those who believe we're blessed or something at this point, especially Lilyanne. It's annoying but I stay awake and bear through it.
I'm also waiting for when that man finally arrives.
When he does come into the room it's obvious by the excited whispers, the hush and lull, and then by the thunderous applause. Gramps is here.
"Papa you've made it in time!"
"Of course Maria, how could I miss the celebration for my precious granddaughters."
After a hug from mother, he scoops us both in his arms. The only one with the audacity and position to do so. Thank goodness for that. I'd definitely cry my lungs out if all guests were allowed to pick me up as well.
"Thank you all for coming tonight. It is with my long-awaited pleasure to welcome my first grandchildren, not one but two, to this world!"
The crowd bursts back out in applause as he waves us in an undignified manner into the air. In this position, all that's missing from this scene are the wild animal features and the Circle of Life playing in the background. Maybe a dramatic height to lift us from too.
Heehee the old man is rather like the baboon, it's fitting. No one can possibly suspect the real reason for my laughter.
"It has been a blessing, everything that we have been given from the Goddess. But this....I had never expected to have children, let alone grandchildren. Thank you, Maria, for being born, for being the light in my life and bringing these little gifts to this world."
Mother is not the only one tearing up if the sounds of the crowd are anything to go by.
I want to snort but even I'm affected by the tone in his voice.
The night continues as expected. The lines of people to see us is never-ending, it reminds me of a famous art exhibit and how you see more of people's heads than the actual art itself. Genuine well-wishers, social networkers, grampa's admirers and even curious children all have their turn looking into our cradle.
One toddler of a brat even dared to poke my cheek, to which I let out a very displeased cry.
"Whoa careful, what if it bites you finger off!"
"Babies that small don't have teeth yet dumdum."
"It's kinda cute."
The laughing brat and his friends are rushed off by Gramps humorously. At this point, I'm quite exhausted over entertaining all these people. Lilyanne already knocked out a while ago and is softly snoozing by my side.
"I think that's enough for our girls for night! Everyone, please continue the festivities!"
"Papa there's no need for you to take them to bed yourself."
"Yes, father the servants are already prepared, no need to trouble yourself. "
"Maria, Frederick, please I insist. Any moment I can spend with my grandchildren is no trouble at all."
"Ah of course then."
I'm nearly nodding off when he takes us in his arms and carries us off, far gentler than earlier in the evening. As tired as I am I struggle to stay alert. He's much faster than the servants, the trip back up to our room was considerably quicker.
I observe how he softly strokes my sister's cheek then her hair, as he sets her down.
"As innocent as my Maria, no even more than her. Sweet Lilyanne, nothing will hurt you...I swear"
And then he turns to me, the soft foolish look in his eyes sharpening instantly. There he is, there's the stranger I first met.
"Did you have fun?"
I'm frozen, how does one respond to that? It would be safer to play dumb, my body is beginning to shut down from exhaustion anyways. It's not just an excuse.
"I look forward to what you'll have to show me little one. I'm not your enemy if you don't make me one first."
Ahhhhhhhhh who talks in such a way to a baby!? I'm mentally cursing and screaming behind tightly shut eyes while all this suspicious baboon does is laugh.
"Remember you're one of mine now too. I won't let anything bad happen to you either. Not if I can help it. But the rest depends on you?"
How can I trust that? How can I trust such a dangerous character? But I don't have much of a choice but to take him for his word. Well, I suppose there are worse ways to die, the past Rosalia would know.
Once again I'm lulled and fall into a deep sleep in his steady embrace. That's a sign of acceptance right?
Author: The truth is I'm posting on more sites bc I saw my novel copied/pasted on some other sites. It worries me bc those aren't exactly very legit websites.