She looked out at the kingdom again then gave a deep sigh. "It’s so beautiful. I think the only view better than this is from the grass embankment of the castle back home. It’s right by the lake and when the moon’s full over the kingdom. . ." She shook her head. "It’s magic." She recalled a conversation she had with Rose once while staring at the moon once.
"You have got the perfect life, Giselle. You’ll never understand how suffocating this kingdom can become and I always have to return to it! Sometimes I just want to travel, on my own, and know what it’s like to be free like that."
Giselle dropped her eyes again.
"Don’t you ever feel trapped?" She asked quietly then looked at Eric. He seemed to grasp what she meant instantly because he shook his head. "I could go anywhere in the world on a whim. But this is where I want to be. This is always where I want to come back to."
Eric smiled and stared at nothing in the distance. "I’m in love, Giselle. I’m in love with the people, the culture, the ruins, the foliage." He laughed quietly. "Sometimes even the weather. Nowhere else in the world feels the way this kingdom does. No other place makes me feel the way I feel here."
He looked at her.
"Have you ever felt that way about anything?"
She shook her head and dropped her eyes at the mixture of emotions that stirred inside of her.
"No," she whispered.
"Not even about your music?" He asked. She closed her eyes slowly when she felt a revolting pain twist in her stomach.
"I thought I did." She opened her eyes but didn’t look at him. She took a deep breath in through her nose. "I have the talent to play just about every instrument I touch. I also have the ability to explore any genre and I have so much fun doing it." She smiled to herself, but couldn’t ignore the hollow pit she felt inside of her.
"But . . ." Giselle bit hard on the inside of her lip. Was she really going to admit this? "Sometimes I feel like I’m living a lie. Being here, especially with those kids, made me realize that I’ve been so consumed with music that I’ve never noticed how much more there was to life." Her heart yearned to hold Maira and hug her tightly. She suddenly missed her family. She almost sighed. There was a time when playing with her dad made her feel like that the way she felt when she held Maira. "I started playing piano when I was about four years old, which was an absolute miracle because I was deaf for the first six years of my life." She looked at Eric and he nodded, smiling slightly. "Your cousins mentioned it before," he said, holding her gaze for a moment. "How did you learn?"
Giselle lowered her eyes, his gaze making her thoughts dissipate. "I’ve always been an absolute daddy’s girl. I would it with him while he rehearsed and composed. I even went to work with him a few times. I’ve always been fascinated with instruments and musicians. There was one song in particular that I loved, Claire du Lune. I couldn’t hear it, but there was something about the way my father’s fingers moved across the keys and the way the vibrations felt that made me very happy. He played it for me every night. So, one day, after dinner, I was waiting for him by the piano and decided to try to mimic what he had played." She laughed quietly. "According to my mom, it sounded like nothing but chaos to her, but my dad just knew. He sat with me that night and allowed me to play. Every time I blundered he would stop me and correct me. By the end of the evening, I could play the song. Not without fault, mind you, but my mom walked in and fell apart crying. Even my dad cried a bit." She shook her head, smiling. "I had no idea what was happening, I was just ecstatic that I could be part of this world of music. I don’t think I could comprehend at that time that I had a disability." She angled her head to the side a bit. "I just wanted to play, all the time. My mom was home-schooling us at that time, we didn’t have pre-school or anything like that, so it was easy for my dad to take me to work whenever he could. He sat with me every day, teaching me something new. A year or so later they found out about an operation that could correct my hearing and they took the chance. I think my parents were more excited than I was when I began to hear."
The sound of glass shattering caused her to spin around. Shane and Rose stood inside, Rose holding a plate with the cake on and Shane holding two glasses in one hand while looking down at the pieces of glass that lay scattered around his feet.
"Ah, damnit," Shane said audibly, seeming much more frustrated with the scenario than Giselle thought he should be. It was just a couple of glasses.
"I’ve got it," Giselle called and moved towards the scene, forgetting the conversation she was having with Eric.
Completely ignorant of the way he looked at her.
I'm gonna do a blanket reply and thank Miha and Monicka for being such devoted commenters.
I've been having writer's block and work pile up the last few weeks so I'm very sorry about the long wait.
We are almost near the end and I'm excited for the next few chapters (double post coming up!!) Hopefully it was worth the wait ;)