She sat in her room, like a porcelain doll in a glass display case. Recently her father had moved the family to a new estate, one made entirely of wood. He told her it was to keep her safe; that's all her parents ever wanted for her. She was still "just a little girl", and that's all that mattered to them. She'd been blind since birth, therefore her parents had to go to more precautions than with an average child to keep her out of harms way. For as long as she could remember, she'd been their precious darling, their obedient little angel. They were a perfect family, and if anything were to tear them apart , her parents would be devastated.
As she felt her way over to the dresser, the soft padding of the carpet felt strangely foreign against her bare feet; she was used to the smooth hardwood floors of their old home. It was all she'd ever known.
Poppy Bei Fong's shrill voice echoed down the corridor from the dining area.
"Sakado, dinner's ready."
She moved from the dresser and groped the wall, preparing to find her way towards the living quarters.
"I'm coming, mother."
The moment she emerged from her bedroom doorway, she could just barely detect the large, burly figures standing behind her. It was no surprise to feel their eyes on her; constantly watching, observing, mentally documenting her every action. They'd done it all her life, and although she secretly found it a bit awkward, there was no other way. Her father had told her that if they weren't careful, somebody could take her; because of their family's nobility, she was a target for ransom. She may have been born into a world of the prim and proper, but there were people out there who couldn't be trusted; they would stop at nothing to claw their way into false riches. This was why she was kept a secret from the outside world; and why she didn't mind.
She felt her way along the wall, taking small steps, one at a time. One guard grew impatient and harshly gripped her arm. He forcefully dragged her to the dining room. This was the one reason she could begin to despise her guards at times…
She could hear him pull out a chair as he approached the table, pushing her into the seat before tucking the chair back under the table. The guard promptly left after the episode.
She could hear her parents bickering across the table about an upcoming investment opportunity. She sighed and closed her unseeing eyes in disappointment. Her parents quieted as a servant arrived with their dinner. The aroma of roast picken filled the large room.
She could hear Poppy mutter under her breath. She probably hadn't meant it to be heard, but being one of her only senses, Sadako's hearing had become quite refined. A loud clatter across the room caused her to sit up straighter in her chair. She heard Poppy practically spit in disgust.
"Foolish boy! Look what you've done."
"I'm terribly sorry, Ma'am. I'll have it cleaned up immediately."
Her ears perked up. The voice…it was somehow familiar. She hazily tried to remember where she'd heard it…it was as if it were from a dream she'd had years ago.
Poppy ignored the boy's sincere apologies.
"Lao, why would you hire such a clumsy child!"
The room was quiet for an instant as she listened to the young servant pick up the dishes and begin to wipe down the floor. The shuffling of the dishes stopped momentarily, and she felt an unfamiliar pair of eyes on her than . She began to feel insecure, not knowing where the odd sensation was coming from.
Poppy snapped her fingers at the servant, who had paused his gathering.
"Boy! Finish doing your job and hurry on your way."
Her father stepped in.
"Now Poppy dear, I am aware that he is clumsy. Perhaps if his legs worked properly, he would be able to correctly complete his tasks. But for now he is still on a trial period. Just give the boy a chance. After all, you never know when he might be useful."
Lao's voice sounded … caring towards the boy. Her mother chuckled.
"Oh, alright. If you suppose that he may be productive, you may keep your new 'pet'. Just be sure to leave the more experienced servants to deliver the food?"
The tension in the room relaxed into a much friendlier atmosphere.
"Thank you, Sir. Thank you, Ma'am. I'll send out Utako immediatly."
The boy finished cleaning up the mess, he reentered the kitchen. A different server entered the room and laid a plate of food before her. The family ate in silence. She had to force her dinner down, bite by bite. The meal was high quality, yet it tasted bland. Growing up around extravagant cooking, it was just another meal to her. There was nothing special about it anymore.
When she had finished her meal, the impatient guard from earlier approached her, at her father's orders to be more gentle, and escorted her back to her room. It seemed to her that this was the only place she ever was. Every day had the same routine, no matter where she was.
After changing into the nightgown one of the servants had lay out on her bed while she was gone, she snuggled down under the plush lace comforter that was on her bed, before closing her eyes and drifting into a dreamless slumber.
The twinkling melody of a harp awoke her in the dead of night, but she didn't fear it. The music brought her a sense of peace and comfort; it had soothed her every night of her entire life. When she was younger and asked her mother about it, she'd told her that the music was played by a spirit, sent to drive away nightmares and cooruptuous misbeliefes that so many were victim to in the outside world; the Bei Fong family was special as to have him to protect them and their children as they slept.
The mysterious presence beside her bed continued to play on, and soon the ancient melody lulled her back to sleep.