I was Born the Unloved Twin
Mother just had another dress delivered.
It's really hard not to notice when you spend all your time either at home or at your grampa's workplace. In fact, there are times I feel as if mother and grampa are playing tug of war with us. Good thing there's two of us and they don't have to cut us in half to share. But that's not a thing since Lilyanne and I generally have to stay together.
Maybe in the future when Lilyanne gets stronger and better at pooling her power but for now we come as a balanced and attached pair.
Today is one of the days that mother has won.
It's not all the time, but some days she's very finicky about spending time together. It's very odd for me to say the least.
Did I ever spend this much time with mother in the past? Absolutely not, well not that I can recall at least. She was either watching over a sick Lilyanne, recovering from illness herself, or catching up on some much put of work and social matters.
From what I can remember it was always me knocking on her door, when I got old enough to go searching that is.
Not this, now I'm trapped behind the door some days. Help! I didn't realize mother could be so sticky, I finally understand some of what Lilyanne had to go through while growing up. Somehow, somewhere along the way, I've been trapped in this sticky overprotectiveness as well.
To my surprise, mother is impossible to escape from in my current body. I can't even sneak out!
Georgie boy isn't even here to boss around with cooking experiments, I lost him to the lure of accompanying the other cafeteria chefs on that raid trip. Oh well, it's good for him as both a cook and a person if he travels a bit. While I'm sure the progress of my staff's public education is progressing just fine and the inventory of soap and skincare is the same as always with the overly enthusiastic Abigail counting, I can't help but feel stuck.
There's no way to grow up from being a toddler faster and no helping it but it's very frustrating.
I guess old habits are hard to shake off. As terribly lazy as I am, I was used to working overtime and juggling all sorts of jobs and projects at once. Don't get me wrong, I do not want to go back to that rat race given the choice. Being rich and carefree is the best lottery winning life can give you!
But I just feel so unproductive here!
I get that babies should not have to worry about a thing but I'm not a real baby! Also, I'm on a clicking clock here. If I was the protagonist in any of the series I remember reading or watching on the wonderful world wide web, there would be a nice convenient time skip. These infant years would pass by in the flash of a sentence or two.
But the clock is ticking and I'm no novel character, this is not how it works.
So, for now, I'm stuck, playing out my terrible twos and watching my mother receive more goods she really doesn't need from the capital.
Yes back to the dresses, mother ever the fashionista is ordering even more of them. Gotta keep on trend after all.
This wouldn't be an issue is she doesn't already have hundreds of thousands of them. Perhaps I exaggerate, but I've counted at least 500 in the times' mother trapped me into her quarters.
This does not count the shoes and accessories, but I may resort to counting those eventually.
Now understandably a woman of mother's status and station must never be without. To wear the same dress over and over again to all the events and balls hosted throughout the year would be a terribly shameful thing.
It would say the family is financially lacking in funds, that we're stingy and small-minded or even that mother is no longer relevant to stay within society. It's all gossip fueled nonsense but everyone knows the only sort of folks who re-wear their gowns are frumpy old aunties and grandmothers who no longer wish to be in the spotlight. Those people are doomed to sit by the walls fanning themselves and locked away in stuffy parlors.
Maria Ventrella must never.
First off I think that's a load of bullshit. How ridiculously wasteful for all those noblewomen to churn out gowns after gowns, season after season. Style trends come and go and even I had my seasonal shopping sprees in modern times. But tank tops and the newest shoes are not equivalent to the ballgowns of evening and tea dresses here.
Perhaps it's to compensate for the suffering of the years beforehand. The demand for luxuries is high and rising while creators and designers are having a heyday to keep up.
Secondly, they're an absolute eyesore.
The trendiest and most expensive dresses are from the capital. And this season the wide skirt is in, just two big ass bustles on either side of one's hips. That along with super tight corseted waistlines and decorated high collars. Oh and the hair, don't get me started on how hair is supposed to be fashionable.
I think it looks utterly ridiculous.
But hey what do I know? I'm only 2 years old and from an entirely different world. I'm culturally insensitive to the times here, it's far too late for me.
Perhaps once upon a time, over a lifetime ago, a teenage Rosalia would confidently do on layer upon layers of frilly clothes, bustles, hoops and more. She would the highest feathers in her hair and the loveliest jewels decorated on her person. As a wealthy fashionista, she was the envy of all her female peers by dress alone.
While Lilyanne could look lovely and pull off anything given to her, Rosalia 'wore' her clothes. Strutted like a proud peacock, or a queen, however, you want to look at it.
They may hate her but they couldn't beat her look, her outfits. And such a Rosalia looked up to her social butterfly mother, the Maria Ventrella, Belle of the Ball, when growing up.
Besides such dresses cost way too much, especially with the import costs from the capital or whatever country the dresses are supposed to be from. An average ball gown not only looks like an ugly torture device in ribbons but costs enough to run a large family and their estate for over a year.
It's unavoidable to have a status dress here and there, but this is ridiculous. No one would ever think let alone accuse the Ventrellas of lacking money. No one would dare insult the great hero and his family in such a manner. So why should we even bother?
A little talk about economics with mother sounds like a lost endeavor.
She's not an evil villain sort of woman who abuses the poor to live in luxury. She's just a true born wealthy second generation who doesn't know any better. Spending money like water and just accepting rich gifts is as easy as breathing for her.
Just as it was for Rosalia and Lilyanne.
No one said anything about Maria's or Lilyanne's extravagant spending but Rosalia was painted as what I could call a Marie Antoinette. Wealthy to the point of sin. The slander against me was terrifying, further fueling the common people's hatred.
In hurt, anger and righteous pride, the past Rosalia would spitefully dress and spend even more money because, by all means, she could afford it. Which ired those gossipy nobles which trickled to the commoners and so forth, and the cycle continued.
No, this won't do! It cannot stay this way!
It's not enough to just change my own future dress and spending, it must start with earlier than that.
Mother, it's time to be a better, more responsible influence!
But in order for this to work, I have to make her believe it herself. Just telling her is no good! I have to not only reveal the truth but make it hurt and stick.
"It's ugly." I spit out
....Yeah, that works. Very smooth Rosalia.
Mother is a typical pretty and reasonably vain woman, she lets out a little yelp in front of the mirror in her boudoir.
"Eh? Is it really that bad?"
Like any other modern woman, when the mail arrives with these giant packages containing all these new dresses, mother would rush off to try on her purchases. She really is just a young woman like any other, even younger than I was before I passed away. Her excitement immediately dampens with my words.
"My lady this is the newest style just as you expect. Of course, the children have yet to see and appreciate the beauty of them."
"Just because it's new doesn't mean it's not really ugly."
The maids rush to mother's defense but it's too late, Lilyanne is giggling and mother is beginning to second guess her fashion choices. To be honest I was never the most fashionable person in the room but are hoops supposed to be that wide? Are collars supposed to be that rock hard stuff and high? Where do those feathers go?
"Hehe, Rosa so mean."
Lilyanne and I have taken to rolling around mother's boudoir. It's exactly as it sounds like, children forced to watch their mother shop and try on clothes.
"Yes Lilyanne that is quite cruel of Rosalia to say, oh dear you learn such things from your father."
"An ugly dress is an ugly dress. I can lie if it makes you feel better?"
"Of course not dear, well you'll change your mind later when you grow up and see others outside wear them."
Oh ew no.
"You look really funny like that, it's so bad I have nothing else to say."
To distract mother I turn over to Lilyanne.
"Lilyanne what do you think of mama?"
"Rosa! Mama pwetty!"
"Our mama is very pretty yes, no matter what she wears?
"Mmmm! My mama most pwetty!"
"See you said it yourself, Mama is the pretty one right? But not the dress. It's so ugly that it drags down her beauty."
Lilyanne makes a contemplative look, trying to understand as if she's never considered that. Which to be fair she probably never has, she looks at the giant something bones corset and hooped monstrosity with curious eyes.
"Is that dress pretty on Mr. Gerta? Or maybe someone else? I think it's very funny! It's a very ugly and funny dress no matter who wears it!"
"Mmm ugly! Rosa the dress is so funny!!"
"It's so big how does anyone get through the door! Do have to walk sideways like a crab? It has more layers than an onion!"
"Hehehe onion cwab mama!"
I can feel mother's mood predictably tank downwards and keep playing off of Lilyanne. It's a little manipulative I admit but hey all is fair when you're a reborn baby.
"Of course I'm right Lily. Look at those hips, that's not even where the butt goes! Everyone will just be bumping into each other and smacking their collars as face shields."
I playfully pull up Lilyanne to demonstrate with bumping our hips together and falling over. Our combined giggles resonate through the room and lightens the mood. The maids can only shake their heads and mother in no way can stay down while watching us.
We're adorable ok!
Through the giggling I turn back to mother and start the next phase of this impromptu plan.
"Mother, why don't you put on everything? Try the whole thing on, just like a ball. Then we can judge fairly what it's supposed to look like."
"Oh isn't that far too much? You were just laughing how ugly it is." she half scolds, but really she's just pouting. Ah there it is, it's mother's depressed air like when Lilyanne doesn't pay her enough attention.
"Yes but you always have to try things before you know it. Go ahead and have everyone prove me wrong. Right, Lily?"
"Mama, can we see what it looks like!? I wanna see I wanna see!"
"Don't hold back on our account, please go right ahead. Remember not your usual style mama but the capital's full style! The whole thing and everything to go with it. And go!"
In a flurry worthy of a movie montage the dresser and maids set forth. Since mother's not really protesting it's as good as an official order. Also, I honestly think they enjoy dressing her up like a doll, not much excitement for a mansion's employee in these feudalistic times.
Her hair hasn't been heated or set yet so a fake pre-curled extension goes on over all the clips and pins and wax. No less than 3 feathers and 12 jewels stick out from her updo.
Her face is powered down past to her cleavage, I don't want to think so much further the powder goes. Hilariously I think they shadowed and contoured her breasts to look even larger and more imposing. It's honestly a pretty scary sight given how many times I lost oxygen in her embrace.
To be fair grampa's hugs have the same effect.
Her eyes brows had to be redrawn in due to how naturally washed out there were but they were done in a pencil-thin black arch. Then went on layers of I'm not sure what, I hope nothing is poisonous. I should check up on that.
Then came the finishing touches on her face. There were painted apple pink cheeks, shiny heart-shaped red lips, and finished with a single very fake beauty mark under her multi-colored shadowed eye.
My belle of a mother looks like a very rich clown and I couldn't have asked for more.
Perhaps a camera?
I can't hold in the baby poker face any longer, it's all just too much with that horizontally voluptuous dress.
"Bwahahahhahaa! A clown! Mot-mother looks so goooood hahahhaha. The circus called! They want their look back!! Pffft hahahaha!"
"Hahaha a clown! Rosa, haha mama looks like clowns! Is mama our clown?"
"Pfffffft Yes! Yes Lily, haha mama is our very own clown!"
I'm dying, my sides hurt too much and my lungs may be too small for all this laughing but it's all worth it. Really, it's a shame cameras don't exist.
To comfort mother in her shocked dejection the maids give an assortment of praises. The younger ones though are having a difficult time sniffing back their own laughter.
"Hahaha, the maids are right mother, *snort*. Don't, hic, listen to us, we're so young and don't know anything. Pfffft hehehehe instead, you should ask someone who does know. You know, hehehe *snort* someone with a good eye and always attending balls themselves. "
I can do this, I can get out my words. I just need to stop laughing at the sad Marie Antoinette inspired clown. Everyone stop laughing so I can stop laughing!
"How about father?! He would know best what others would think right? He only worked a half-day today right?"
"Papa? Yaya papa!"
Mother's face darkens even further despite all the powder white makeup. Now that's no way for a stupid couple to respond to their other half.
"No...I don't think that's a very good idea Rosa. I don't know if I can't handle both your mouths at once."
I'm actually a little offended, I'm nowhere as terrible as father is.
No worries, I've already planned ahead and sent a messenger.
Father should have received word and come knocking any moment now. I don't personally think that a man's opinion matters in what a woman chooses to wear or finds attractive. But in this case the more options the merrier!
Especially if they're as blunt as father's usual words tend to be.
"Maria, my love, I've received your urgent call, whatever is the matter-....?!!!"
The once choking laughter-filled room goes cold and silent with my father, who now stands not but 3 steps into the room. No one dares to move nor breathe. Out of fear, shock or maybe extreme laughter in my case.
"GIRLS! Get behind me! Everyone step away from the demon! "
Father hops over and drags Lilyanne and me quicker than I can ever see. Why he even grabbed a pillow as a shield! We quickly comply and I'm glad to see Lilyanne is playing along quite well.
"Foul banshee what have you done with my wife?! Quickly, someone call a priest and a healer! Quickly!"
"....Frederick dear...what did you say to me?"
"Is no one calling for help? I'm no exorcist."
Mothers voice is sickeningly sweet and the room goes cold even quicker, legitimately cold. I think we should run.
"Quickly everyone, run and take cover!"
I'm dying, if I don't choke on my own laughter and asphyxiate myself then mother will surely kill me after this! This was not in the plan but it's been a short but good life, satisfying enough. I actually don't mind dying in this way. Luckily father already has little Lilyanne and I tucked away under his arms after throwing the pillow in his defense.
At least after this, she probably won't order any more of those hideous dresses. Either that or father and I are banned from the dressing room. If I survive this I win either way.
Hopefully, though, we have all learned a lesson today about capital 'trends'. Waste can be a lesson, or a prank, for another day. For now let's focus on running, go father go! Lilyanne, be good and don't squirm so much, I don't actually want to die by enraged mother.
Mother's deadly aura is reaching to kill for everyone, even her entire family. at this rate.
I wonder if grampa will stop by and save us. Even if he did it might be of no help, not against mother and her bulldozing gown.
Everyone run for your lives!