I was Born the Unloved Twin
As in very very nothing to do bored.
It's been a few days since we've arrived in the capital but due to my very dramatic display of carriage sickness I've been under doctor's orders to take it easy. To a worried mother that means staying in bed or little to no physical activities.
That was fine the first day or so but since then I've had plenty of time to rest and recharge back to my usual self.
Father has an inconsiderate mouth but he's not wrong, I bounce back rather well.
"It's just, I - well darling you this never happened when we traveled before. She's just lost so much weight so fast, even Lilyanne never dropped like this!"
"Oh my dear Maria, that's because Lilyanne never had that much weight to spare. Don't worry, look Rosalia's been fine since we got here. Give or take a day. With her hearty appetite she'll fatten right up!"
What a shit mouth. You should never talk about a lady's weight in such a manner, no matter who she is. What am I? Livestock?
See if I allow anything good to arrive for tea time from now on father. Though it is true though that I've lost a considerable amount of weight while on the road. Even with rest stops, it was one long spell of dizziness , nausea or both. I really could not keep much anything down.
I'm noticeably scrawnier then even Lilyanne! While a part of me does enjoy mother's unusual affection I don't actually want to take Lilyanne's place. No thank you, fragile and graceful princess role is reserved for her.
Normally if I'm ever trapped in a place I could easily sneak out and wander around. Unfortunetely I can't do so when mother is always with me. Apparently during the half month trip I've been like a very sticky rice cake towards her and she's gotten used to babying me. I spent most of that time asleep but I do have a vague recollection of being lulled by her singing.
That is not according to what I've predicted at all. How do I escape her? It's essentially impossible with Lilyanne in tow. All we do is sit by the fire as she writes letters, does embroidery, or looks over the household's bookkeeping and reports.
My only consolation is a large illustrated book of fairy tales that mother had the maids read to us. The children books of this world is extremely lacking though and this is already a pretty rare item. It's a large gorgeous thing, leather blue with copper gold trimmings. The fairy tales are substandard material, speaking of fair kind maidens and scary things that lurk if children misbehave. but they're amusing enough. The best part of the tome like book was the illustrations, scattered about the pages with a full cover page at the start of each new story.
They were done primarily in black and white but the details were astounding. It was worth it just to admire the impressive art, which was a cross between museum antiquity and the sparkly shoujo mangas that I binge read aback home in my world.
Lilyanne was even more entranced that I was. It's more than normal for little girls to love pretty things but I recognized it as the artist in her emerging. That Lilyanne in the future will be called the perfect woman for her beautiful looks, sweet nature and mastery in the fine arts. That Lilyanne was both the muse and fellow artist in the highest rings of those circles
But that woman is far from growing up yet, right now she's just the giggling toddler next to me looking at a picture book.
With our puppy eyes combined, we convinced mother to allow us to keep the book and browse through it at our own leisure.
"I trust you two won't damage it."
"We won't, thank you mother."
"Finish your snacks and have the maids clean your hands properly before going through it. And drink all your medicine, don't think I haven't noticed girls."
Though she is a typical fine noble lady, mother does have work that needs her looking after. Even though she won't let us leave the room, we won't bother her unless need be.
It's fascinating to look at the details of the pretty illustrations but Lilyanne is absolutely obsessed with them. She's more than content to stare at them for hours.
That's rather boring after awhile so I read to her, not from the text but fairy tale stories from my own world. We would flip through and select a certain picture and I would tell a story that could match the image enough.
Simple things such as The Little Red Hen, Cinderella, and Puss in Boots.
Just the classics that most everyone would know in modern-day. It got a good reaction though, both distracting Lilyanne from her beloved pictures and making her love them even more.
"An den wat? Aat did he do?"
"And then the big bad ogre laughed 'Of course I can!' and turned himself into a mouse but when he did the cat in boots quickly ate him!"
"Oh my goodness!"
There are multiple gasps heard about the large living room. It looks like there's more than just my little sister listening in to storytime. The servants are either doing a terrible job at hiding themselves or just have given up blatantly. And you too mother? Weren't you supposed to be busy?
Well as long as they like it.
It passes the time until we can leave in a few days.
*Bonus Side Story Below*
My name is Maria Helia Ventrella and yes I'm the daughter to the great Hero Ronald.
It's something I can't avoid but hear my whole life. That is the thing people most associate with as soon as they hear my name or when I step into the room. I was quite proud of it as a child, then I grew to hate it, then loved it again and back and forth. It was difficult not being known for anything besides that.
And even when I became of age and debuted in society, I was always seen as Ronald's daughter. Papa's shadow was just too strong, it still is. There were a lot of nobles and bad people who wanted to get close to him through me. I had plenty of supposed friends and suitors after me for only my name in the past.
I've since made my peace with that. It's an interesting life to be the one and only child of the essentially the greatest hero the world has ever known. Often times I felt lonely, especially when I was often sick or when papa had to go away to fight.
I didn't have a mama like the other children but I found out it okay because of the love my uncles, aunties and papa bestowed on me. Even though I felt lonely I was never truly alone. I was blessed with an overflowing amount of love to fill up all the missing parts. Especially from papa's special person, ohohoho.
I figured out my own strength and that if anything ever should happen, I had the largest shield to run home to. I found friends that I could sincerely call my own and made a name for myself, just me.
And then I met him.
At first I found him was very rude, especially for a noble. But he was a very responsible and capable boy, it was cool. His mouth was terrible but his actions and unspoken kindness said otherwise.
Then I figured he was just another fanboy and felt cheated.
He is a fanboy, that part isn't wrong even now. But unlike all the other suitors and boys my age he never lied to me. Not once. Sometimes the things he said were very mean, and rather hurtful but it was not lies. He would never lie to me.
And so I fell in love with that rudely honest boy. He was my rock, always stable and holding me up in the turbulent seas. He was a very different person from papa, but I felt just as safe with him
That boy grew into an even better man. Better than his family would ever allow him to be.
I couldn't wait or let things go on, I couldn't lose him. Many people could come and go and I would send them off with a smile but not him.
There's a scandalous but popular story that goes around to this day. About how I, the Maria Helia Ventrella, at the cusp of 18, ignored all sense of decorum and proposed in public to the man I would come to marry.
To be fair I yelled at him to come over and propose to me already.
He spouted a lot of silly things out of embarrassment but his steaming red face was really cute that day! The ashen faces from his mother and almost fiance were quite pleasant to look at as well.
When we married I gained another name, his wife. Of course he took my family name and it was perfect. I didn't think I could be any happier with Frederick by my side but the Goddess blessed us even further in a few short years. I was with child, or well children. We didn't figure out it was twins until much later when papa fought Frederick darling to the ground for making me cry again. He really shouldn't talk about a lady's weight like that, especially his own pregnant wife.
It was extremely painful but worth it to bring our little girls out into this world. I was so scared though, the labor was so intensive and my youngest Lilyanne had such a struggle. Afterwards she was so weak that we were told she may not survive long enough to even be baptized.
But the Goddess is merciful and my Lilyanne survived. Even though she was so small and weak she made it, she lived.
Even when she was stable I feared the worst and prayed everyday for her. My precious baby girl must stay with us, we need her, I need her. Her weakness resembled my own and I was wrecked with guilt.
It was a shock to see my firstborn for the first time. It is my shame to admit but I had forgotten about her, the stress and fear for tiny Lilyanne consumed me. When I first laid eyes on my eldest I nearly cried for a very different reason, she was so beautiful. So healthy and full of life, energy and everything Lilyanne could be; already there was an noble almost intelligent manner that could be seen in her bearing.
Of course Papa has named her in the mess the followed her birth. Of course he would name her near after his own name Ronald. It was beautiful and strong, fitting for the future heir. Less I have another child later on, possibly a son. It's a hard name to live up to said my darling husband but we both knew our child would fulfill it regardless.
Rosalia would be papa's, the firstborn and heir apparent to the Ventrella name. Even though they were both our little girls, Lilyanne could just be ours. We knew Rosalia would be fine, she would make it just fine.
I focused all my time and energy on Lilyanne even after she began to eat and grow as a healthy normal baby. I gave her all of my own weaknesses so how could I not feel responsible toward this sweet innocent child.
Months later when we awoken to the servants screaming and our babies gone I felt my heart stop. Our poor babies, both of them helpless, stolen away into the night. One moment they were here, just fine and then...
Thank the Goddess we found them, Papa found them and brought them home safe and sound. How foolish we were to assume things, to not protect them enough. They fell ill with a fever that night till dawn and didn't leave our sights, added security or not.
We were left terrified for them. Frederick even started sleeping with a weapon under his pillow again, that nasty habit. His protectiveness multiplied to an extreme extent, I can't fault him.
It was a harsh lesson I pray we never have to experience ever again.
Eventually, our peaceful lives returned though we were sure to prevent such a threat from getting near. I suppose afterwards that I continued to be even more worried over Lilyanne. She was much slower to grow than her older sister.
Rosalia took after her papa and grandpapa of course. Her scrunched-up face as she repeats her favorite word "no" is beyond all doubt Frederick's face. They even have the same pout and eyebrows. But there's something about her, something that I still can't identify, feels exactly like papa.
Ah as I thought, this child really will be fine.
She's strong, I won't need to worry about her. Just like Papa and Frederick, it's okay if it's Rosalia.
I regret such thoughts now as I hold my crying girl, trying to comfort her to sleep. Rosalia doesn't travel well I know that but it's especially bad now.
I was prepared for Lilyanne to catch a chill and perhaps fall ill on the trip up north, not Rosalia. She's suffering so much, it seems she inherited my intense childhood motion sickness. Magic has advanced since then but my baby girl is still so small.
She won't eat in fear of her sickness and what we can feed her comes right back out. It's been going on days now and her health is rapidly declining.
The best option is to lay down eyes closed as if to sleep away the pain. I don't need the maids to tell me that it's better for someone to hold her steady. She cries less in my arms, but that's not the sole reason I keep her with me.
My poor Rosalia cries in her sleep and I realize that she truly is my foolish Frederick's child. They're both so stubborn. They can bluntly speak their thoughts but not their true feelings.
"It hurts, it hurts so much."
"There there, mommy's here, sleep now honey."
"Mommy it hurts."
"I know dear, I know."
"It hurts, why is it always Lilyanne... I'm here too, please see me too....don't ignore me. It really hurts so bad."
The streaming tears overcome me. My eldest has never called me 'mommy' before when she's awake but is crying it so pitifully now. Why doesn't she ever say anything when she's awake? She's such a smart little girl and yet so foolish, truely my darling husband's child. She must keep all her loneliness and hurt bottled up inside her.
How shameful, I'm crying even more than my own sick child.
"There there, mommy is here. Mommy's sorry, mommy knows now."
Oh this hopeless child, it can't be helped, I'm the same way in the end.
Author: There are many interpretations about the mom character- but I still need to stress that she was written as not a good parent. Just because one child is healthier or stronger doesn't mean they won't feel hurt by the unequal treatment.
But she's also very young and had her own background-. Parents are humans too, full of mistakes.