“Hey! Are you listening to me?” The table in front of me was hit so hard that my shoulders shook with fright. I snapped out of my daydreams. The one who’d struck the table was Katrina. Her lovely blue eyes were scrunched up in anger.
I didn’t want to have to do this, but I’m not going to let myself be disgraced in front of people. You need to be reprimanded.
“You haven’t said a word. You’re making fun of me by ignoring me, aren’t you?!”
What? Why did you take it like that? No, you’re right. I was behaving in a way that could be considered ‘ignoring’ you. I wasn’t listening to you Katrina. That really is quite rude. Well, I need to communicate the next steps to you. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to, but I wasn’t listening.”
“What? You are making fun of me!”
“Not at all, but you know Lady Katrina—a young woman shouldn’t raise her voice so immodestly. It’s not right to display this sort of emotion.”
“Oh my god! Just because Lord Uriel chose me, you’re hating on me by saying something so terrible!”
“What? That’s not what I meant…”
“Why’re you blaming me? It’s not my fault that Lord Uriel hates you!”
Ah, that’s a new one for me. I didn’t even realize that I was disturbing His Highness… How disrespectful I’ve been…
“Please stop it already. I can’t take any more of your hysterics.”
It’s alright Lady Sylvia. His Highness has been suffering due to his kindness and my inadequacies. I had no idea that he hated me, but it must have been because of my lack of ability to understand the situation. Please don’t narrow your beautiful wisteria-colored eyes like that. I love the way they usually sparkle.
“You’re blaming me again…!”
“First of all, most of your accusations—”
“What’s going on here?” It was His Royal Highness, Crown Princess Uriel Ivey Vestas—accompanied by Thaddeus Est Franklin and Ezekiel Fern Griffiths—that spoke. Led by Lady Sylvia, Lady Seraphina, and myself, all the students bowed to greet His Highness.
“Lord Uriel!” A flash of amber entered my sight. Katrina had run up to His Highness and embraced him. I was so surprised that I couldn’t help but gawk. After all, a woman should never touch a gentleman so casually in public. I wonder if His Highness is truly giving Lady Katrina a proper lady’s education. Oh no, don’t even think about it. I mustn’t interfere with His Highness.
“Lady Emmeline is harassing me! She’s said so many terrible things!”
“What? Is that true Emmeline?”
No, it’s certainly not, Your Highness.
“It’s true! Don’t you believe me, Uriel?”
“No, that’s not what I meant.”
“Then comfort me. Won’t you take me to church again today?”
“Yes, I will… Emmeline, please visit the palace after school.”
I wonder if I’ll be scolded. No, I didn’t say anything mean to her, but at the same time I might have said something that I shouldn’t have. No matter my intentions if Katrina felt that I was blaming her then it might become ‘true’ that I was blaming her. Perhaps I didn’t word it properly. Words really are difficult… I’ve hurt you deeply Katrina. How irresponsible of me.
His Highness must be disappointed in me. I can’t even say sorry. He may ask to break off our engagement. In that case, I must apologize to the Queen and all the tutors who have diligently educated me thus far.
No, if you think about it, this might be a good opportunity. Father and brother will be at the palace and as they say: ‘strike while the iron’s hot.’ I should go ahead with the dissolution of the engagement today.
“Yes, Lord Franklin.”
“I’d advise you to keep a low profile.” Lord Franklin chastised me, his willow-green eyes narrowing.
Ah, my words must have truly hurt Katrina.
“Lord Thaddeus! Why does Lady Emmeline have to apologize?”
“Sylvia, be quiet.”
“You too, Seraphina.” Ezekiel chimed in.
Oh no. My actions not only harmed me, but also my friends. I’m not sure what to do.
“…Lord Ezekiel, I don’t understand.”
“I’m not looking for understanding. Leave Katrina alone.”
Seraphina’s dismay run in my ears. I wasn’t sure what to do. Only one’s fiancé can call a lady by her given name. Franklin called her “Katrina.” Then surely, His Highness too…
“I’ve said my peace. Now if you’ll excuse me.”
The cafeteria was deadly silent. Everyone seemed to be looking at one another but at the same time not moving a muscle. They were paying attention to us.
It was fine for me, but the two of them…
I don’t know if you’ve heard about it, but while Lady Sylvia and Lady Seraphina were engaged to their betrotheds for the benefit of their respective families, they now had wonderful, loving relationships with their fiancés. They respected and cared for one another. Above all, they loved one another. I can’t believe Lord Franklin and Lord Griffith would speak that way to Lady Sylvia and Lady Seraphina.
“Lady Sylvia… Lady Seraphina…” Their complexions were pale, and they didn’t turn around to look at me. The cafeteria remained darkly silent.