Chapter 53:

Ch 53: It's really (not) fashion!

I was Born the Unloved Twin

Mother just had another dress delivered.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Today is one of the days that mother has won.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

From what I can remember it was always me knocking on her door, when I got old enough to go searching that is.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

To my surprise, mother is impossible to escape from in my current body. I can't even sneak out!Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

There's no way to grow up from being a toddler faster and no helping it but it's very frustrating.Bookmark here

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!Bookmark here

But I just feel so unproductive here!Bookmark 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.Bookmark here

How convenient.Bookmark here

But the clock is ticking and I'm no novel character, this is not how it works.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Yes back to the dresses, mother ever the fashionista is ordering even more of them. Gotta keep on trend after all.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

This does not count the shoes and accessories, but I may resort to counting those eventually.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Maria Ventrella must never.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark 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.Bookmark here

Secondly, they're an absolute eyesore.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

I think it looks utterly ridiculous.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Yeah no.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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?Bookmark here

A little talk about economics with mother sounds like a lost endeavor.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Just as it was for Rosalia and Lilyanne.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

No, this won't do! It cannot stay this way!Bookmark here

It's not enough to just change my own future dress and spending, it must start with earlier than that.Bookmark here

Mother, it's time to be a better, more responsible influence!Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"It's ugly." I spit outBookmark here

....Yeah, that works. Very smooth Rosalia.Bookmark here

Mother is a typical pretty and reasonably vain woman, she lets out a little yelp in front of the mirror in her boudoir.Bookmark here

"Eh? Is it really that bad?"Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

"Just because it's new doesn't mean it's not really ugly."Bookmark here

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?Bookmark here

"Hehe, Rosa so mean."Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"Yes Lilyanne that is quite cruel of Rosalia to say, oh dear you learn such things from your father."Bookmark here

"An ugly dress is an ugly dress. I can lie if it makes you feel better?"Bookmark here

"Of course not dear, well you'll change your mind later when you grow up and see others outside wear them."Bookmark here

Oh ew no.Bookmark here

"You look really funny like that, it's so bad I have nothing else to say."Bookmark here

"Eh?!"Bookmark here

To distract mother I turn over to Lilyanne.Bookmark here

"Lilyanne what do you think of mama?"Bookmark here

"Rosa! Mama pwetty!"Bookmark here

"Our mama is very pretty yes, no matter what she wears?Bookmark here

"Mmmm! My mama most pwetty!"Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"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!" Bookmark here

"Mmm ugly! Rosa the dress is so funny!!"Bookmark here

"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!"Bookmark here

"Hehehe onion cwab mama!"Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

"Bump!"Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

We're adorable ok!Bookmark here

Through the giggling I turn back to mother and start the next phase of this impromptu plan.Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"Yes but you always have to try things before you know it. Go ahead and have everyone prove me wrong. Right, Lily?"Bookmark here

"Mama, can we see what it looks like!? I wanna see I wanna see!"Bookmark here

"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!"Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

To be fair grampa's hugs have the same effect.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

My belle of a mother looks like a very rich clown and I couldn't have asked for more.Bookmark here

Perhaps a camera?Bookmark here

I can't hold in the baby poker face any longer, it's all just too much with that horizontally voluptuous dress. Bookmark here

"Bwahahahhahaa! A clown! Mot-mother looks so goooood hahahhaha. The circus called! They want their look back!! Pffft hahahaha!"Bookmark here

"Hahaha a clown! Rosa, haha mama looks like clowns! Is mama our clown?"Bookmark here

"Pfffffft Yes! Yes Lily, haha mama is our very own clown!"Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"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. "Bookmark here

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!Bookmark here

"How about father?! He would know best what others would think right? He only worked a half-day today right?"Bookmark here

"Papa? Yaya papa!"Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

I'm actually a little offended, I'm nowhere as terrible as father is.Bookmark here

No worries, I've already planned ahead and sent a messenger.Bookmark here

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!Bookmark here

Especially if they're as blunt as father's usual words tend to be.Bookmark here

"Maria, my love, I've received your urgent call, whatever is the matter-....?!!!"Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"GIRLS! Get behind me! Everyone step away from the demon! "Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"Foul banshee what have you done with my wife?! Quickly, someone call a priest and a healer! Quickly!"Bookmark here

"....Frederick dear...what did you say to me?"Bookmark here

"Is no one calling for help? I'm no exorcist."Bookmark here

"...Oh darling~"Bookmark here

Mothers voice is sickeningly sweet and the room goes cold even quicker, legitimately cold. I think we should run.Bookmark here

"Quickly everyone, run and take cover!"Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Mother's deadly aura is reaching to kill for everyone, even her entire family. at this rate.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Everyone run for your lives!Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.