Chapter One: The Poorer Side Of The Penny
"Mommy, mommy where am I going!"
"You're going away baby, to have a better life."
"Why can't you come mommy?"
"Mommy, can't because mommy isn't as beautiful as you are baby"
"Mommy, your beautiful, your more beautiful than anyone I've ever seen!"
"You have to go now baby, be nice to them and they will be good to you."
"No more baby just remember, I love you"
"I love you too mommy"
I told her this with a tear streaked face and a hug.
I woke up quite suddenly, breathing heavily as though my happy memory was a nightmare, but it was a nightmare of sorts. That was to be the last time in 15 years I would see my mother, my beautiful, sweet mother. It seemed to be at the time she only wanted what was best for me, that what she did was a choice. As I grew older I learned, learned that it was indeed not a choice at all, she was forced in fact to sell me to the highest bidder. The reasoning in this had been simple, because there were not many rich folk in the county inbreeding was soon to be a problem, so the people of such stature would proceed into poor villages such as the one I called home and had the guard's select the gaggle of 'attractive' female children to be scrubbed down and dressed in our best to be paraded past the rich and elegant for choosing as if we were barnyard animals for show.
I happen to have been playing outside of our small home at the time and a guard caught me, my mother had warned me, "Calla" She always said "I named you after the Lilly for a reason, stay away from those guards or they shall snatch you up." she warned. They did, it was a surprise showing for an extremely rich couple, said to be the richest of all the county people. There was no warning, they took me and my weeping mother down to the government building to clean me up and sign the papers if I happen to be adopted that day. I was and that was the last day I saw my mother crying and anguished on the docks. The brought me to this place, it was quite grand and beautiful, fit for kings and queens. Apparently my new, and infertile, 'mommy and daddy' owned it.
They gave me my own room and bathroom, a closet full of extravagant clothes and a chest teeming with expensive toys and even though this kept me content for a small time; I soon grew emptier and emptier as I grew older and time went on. I found this because my life was without love, I did not love Jonathan and Cecilia (Mom and Dad) we didn't even talk, they simply kept me round as a trophy child to shine for the company, and although my looks did, my temperament did not. Each time they brought about a haughty suitor with his parents hopeful to marry into Jonathans family, I brought up new ways to send them screaming from the house. The man, Brice I believe it was, particularly funny to get rid of in fact he was most deserving of anything I did to exudate or relieve him of his welcome. He was the type of man to believe himself irresistible, therefore being of that state of mind was quite, grabby. We were unfortunately alone in the kitchen and making tea when he decided to inappropriately 'cop a feel', this was in my books unacceptable. I turned, the carafe of hot water in my hands, effectively dumping the boiling liquid all over his pants. He let out a horrified scream as the liquid seeped into his jeans and his parents and 'mine' came running to see to the commotion.
I put the carafe on the marble counter and pressed a hand over my lips in a mocking display of shock. Brice seemed to be over the initial pain and seemed to sneer in my direction, "That horrible girl!" He shouted, "I don't care how loaded her parents are her dowry would not be worth even spending a minute with her!" This is when I got myself a 'chaperone' by explaining to my parents how it was not my fault, I was so shocked that he grabbed me that I 'accidently' dumped the scalding hot water on him. Needless to say that Brice and his disgraceful money mongering family were kicked out and I was still unengaged, to the dismay of my adoptive parents. Thinking of this event made me wonder what horrid boy I would meet today, and what sort of method I would have to use to get rid of him.
I slid out of my bed and on to the floor, walking to the bathroom to groom myself for the day. I picked up my brush and turned to face myself in the full length mirror. Like a modern day Rapunzel, I had golden blonde hair down to my waist, was thin and slender and had shockingly sea foam blue and green eyes. Beauty truly was a curse, I wanted my mother back. I began brushing my hair then I straightened it, I applied makeup and then went into my room to dress. I looked through my wardrobe until I found a mid thigh length white dress that draped in the back and had a black belt around the rib area. I slipped the dress on and a pair of brown furry knee high boots. Then proceeded downstairs to join my parents for breakfast and tea, I descended down the ballroom stairs gracefully then continued to the study. I waited by the door until I was announced and then entered and curtseyed, as my father stood and bowed his head and my mother stood and curtseyed back.
I stood by the chair and the server pushed it under me then did so for my Cecilia and Jonathan. "How are you faring this morning Calla?" Jonathan asked, "Quite well sir, may ask what our intent is for the day?" I asked. "Well, Calla darling we have a surprise!" Cecilia told me putting one of her hands on mine which were folded on my lap. Jonathan nodded thoughtfully, "We have been invited by the Calvert family to their hotel for a few weeks" He announced, eyeing me to see my reaction to this news. "Very well what shall I ask mar-" I stopped "I mean the maid to pack?" I huffed in relief that I caught myself, it was not proper to address the servants using their name. "No need, your packed, we bought you a whole new wardrobe for the trip! Were to leave in just a few short hours!" Cecelia squealed excitedly. I smiled to cover my dread.
This meant another suitor.