I started second-guessing myself as I stared into what was probably the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen in my life. She smiled slightly and started twirling the hair at the back of my head between her fingers. I sighed and pushed her away from me. She seemed surprised. "What now?" She asked. "I’m not doing this to my best friend," I said. Aquamarine dropped her eyes and nodded a bit. "Oh," she said. "But, Jeremy and I... we’re not even dating. Not really," she argued and looked at me. I shook my head. "I don’t care. He clearly feels something for you and I’m not doing this to him," I said and noticed a guard walking past the room. I raised my hand and waved him closer. Aqua’s perfume was starting to drive me crazy, and if I didn’t get her out of there as soon as possible, I might have changed my mind. "I think it’s time you go home," I said to her. I looked at the guard. "Please escort her out and make sure she arrives home safely," I ordered. Aquamarine’s eyes were strongly questioning mine but I refused to give in. "Thanks for all the fun," I said as she was escorted out. She kept her eyes on me for as long possible before disappearing down the hall.
I blew out a breath of air and ran a hand through my hair, feeling proud of myself but also disgusted. I had just spent a day with a girl my best friend was completely crazy about. I shook my head and congratulated myself on not letting it go too far. A figure with frizzy long curls quickly passed my room and I instantly knew something was not right. "Rose!" I called and jogged after her out of the game room. If Rose’s hair was frizzed, it meant she was out in the rain again, seeking comfort. I had given up years ago on trying to figure out what Rose’s obsession was with rain. She froze in the hall and turned to look at me. I stopped jogging and my older brother instincts kicked in. "Holy-! Rosie, what happened? Why's your hair so wet? Why are you crying?" I asked and stepped closer to my youngest sister. Tears were pouring down Rosie’s face and her shoulders started shaking after I spoke. I wrapped my arms around her shoulders and pulled her close under my chin. "Hey, what’s wrong?" I asked and felt her arms circle my back, and she pulled herself closer to me, pressing her face hard into my shirt. I could feel her tears soaking into my shirt. She shook her head against my chest and a sob escaped her chest. This was serious. I knew I had to be gentle with Rosie. "You don’t want to talk about it?" I asked and she shook her head again. "Okay," I said quietly and rubbed her back. "We don’t have to talk about it then..."
"How are you holding up?" Chanelle asked. She was sitting at the edge of my bed and I sat crossed-legged at the top as I painted my nails blue. My mother would be horrified if she knew I was doing my own nails. I shook my head a bit and looked up at Chanelle. "I guess I’ll be fine," I said and blew on my nails. Chanelle was painting hers neon yellow, finishing off with the last finger before looking up at me. Her eyes softened a bit. "I’m really sorry about how insensitive I have been about this whole story. All I’ve been doing was goof off and act like this was the most normal thing in the world," she said, her eyes apologetic. I smiled a bit and stopped blowing on my nails. "It’s fine, really. Your way of dealing with this has actually been kind of comforting. You’re the only one who has been treating me like Rosaline and not the 'future Queen of Palanadia'."
I used my fingers to indicate the quotation marks and rolled my eyes. Chanelle smiled slightly. I stared out of my window. "Everyone else... I feel like they’re disconnecting themselves from me..." I hadn’t realized how true that was until it escaped my mouth. "Everyone seems to be dealing with their own private crap and it’s been a long time since anyone has treated me normally. They’re all so concerned, so careful, like they’re waiting for me to break but they don’t want to be the cause of it." I said and looked back at Chanelle. I took a deep breath. "I haven’t even really talked to Rosie in such a long time. It feels like I’m losing them," I said and dropped my eyes. "You’re not losing them, Rose. They’re always going to be there for you," Chanelle said. I looked at her. She smiled. "And so will I. Anytime you need an immature, half insane, crazy bitch to help you, forget about the world and talk about whatever, you know whom to call." I laughed at her words. "Even if that means I have to take the midnight flight to Palanadia so I can be there for you, don’t hesitate," she added. I smiled. "I know, thanks Chanelle," I said. Chanelle winked at me. I bit my lip and giggled a bit. Chanelle’s parents were going through a divorce, and yet she could still push her problems aside to make me feel better, something I should have been doing all along.
"You know what, I refuse to waste the time I still have left to live under the same roof as my siblings. I can’t do anything about the wedding anymore, so I might as well try to forget about it and see if I can have some fun with my family again, maybe figure out what I’ve been missing." I said. Chanelle smiled. "That sounds like a good idea," she said and crossed her legs on my bed. "But I need a favor from you," I said. She nodded. "Sleep over for a while? You know, for an insanity boost and to let things cool down back at your place," I said and smiled encouragingly. Chanelle smiled sadly and nodded. "Another great idea," she said and reached down into the bag she had on the floor. She opened it and started carefully rummaging through it as not to ruin her nails. "What are you doing?" I asked. "I’m looking for my phone so I can text my mother to send my stuff over. I’m not in the mood to go and get it." She looked up at me and shrugged before focusing on her bag again, taking items out and throwing them on the bed.
A magazine came out with my face on the cover and I looked at it. It was Chanelle’s favorite magazine called 'Sparks', the most popular teenage magazine in the kingdom. I also enjoyed it every now and then. I liked how semi-professional their pieces were. The heading at the bottom was: Exclusive interview with Princess Rosaline. I raised an eyebrow and looked away, shaking my head. I had refused any interviews, except one that my mother had insisted I do about how I was dealing with this marriage. I picked up the magazine, curious to see what they had printed and what not. Chanelle glanced up from her search but didn’t say anything and found her phone as I paged towards the article. I skipped the first paragraph about how privileged the journalist had to do the interview and a bunch of other useless stuff. "When asked about how she was feeling about this wedding, the Princess graciously answered, "There are certain obligations every royal has and certain sacrifices we all must make, it just comes with the package, and this is one of them for me. I hope this is an eye-opener for any girl that wants to be a Princess. It’s not all glamor and pampering, everything comes with a price. Sometimes you just need to put your feelings aside and do the right thing," I read.
Chanelle giggled a bit. "I was reading that earlier. They did a good job with it. I think it won you a lot of respect," Chanelle said. I raised an eyebrow and turned my attention back to the magazine. "I like the way you answered, well, I like the way you answered when it was actually you speaking from the heart and not your mother pushing words into your head," Chanelle said. I smiled a bit. "You know me so well," I said. "You know, my favorite part is that last question, I was smiling to myself going, now that’s my friend," she said. I skipped to the last part of the interview and read aloud. "Her thoughts about her husband-to-be were, "Eric is the type of guy you wouldn’t be scared to introduce to your mother. We’ve had some really nice laughs as we got to know each other, and the more I get to know him, the more fun he becomes." She shrugs and looks away, smiling. When I asked her about her true feelings toward Prince Eric, she took a while to answer, but finally came out honestly.
"Truthfully, I can see myself forming a strong friendship with Eric, even consider him one of my bests one day, but falling in love... that’s a totally different thing. Right now it seems completely impossible but you never know. The future is open to any possibility." And there you have it, readers. I’m sure we can all admire the strength and maturity in this royal. I was emotional after the interview; I do not think I could ever be as strong as this remarkable young lady." I slowed down with my reading when I reached the final sentence and closed my mouth slowly. I looked up and saw Chanelle’s smile. "See," she said. I lowered the magazine and laid back. "Yeah," I said and looked up at the roof. "Look, I need to ask you this and don’t get mad, okay," Chanelle said.
I brought my eyebrows together at her sudden change in tone. I sat back up and looked at her. She tilted her head a bit. "Is or was there anything going on with you and Shane?" Her words made it feel like the blood in my body had turned icy cold. "Oh, my gosh, there was," she said slowly. I bit my lip as I readied her reaction. I actually dreaded it. Chanelle’s expression slowly went from shock to excitement. I pulled a face with confusion. She was smiling. "Oh, my word! Did you guys make out? Wait, of course you did. Is he a good kisser? Is there anything still going on? Rose, you need to tell me everything!" she called and took my hands in hers. I pulled back instantly, checking if she had ruined my nails but, luckily, they were dry. I smiled against my will and looked back at Chanelle. I shook my head, amused and bemused. "But, first you have to tell me if he’s a good kisser!" Chanelle said, her eyes wide. I smiled a bit, slowly losing myself in the memory of Shane’s kiss and felt my insides turn to jelly. "Wow," I said and was rewarded with a squeal from Chanelle. I had to laugh. It felt good to see things from a better perspective and not just be in a glum mood 24/7.
On my way to dinner, I saw Mark step out of his room and close the door slowly so that it wouldn’t make a sound. "Hey," I said after he had closed the door. He looked at me. "What’s going on?" I asked, stepping close to him. He pulled up his shoulders. "I don’t know. I found Rosie in the hall about an hour ago crying her eyes out. I took her to my room because it was closest and she fell asleep," Mark answered. I raised my eyebrows. "Did she say why?" I asked. Mark shook his head and pushed a hand through his dark hair. "Bro, I don’t know what’s going on in either of their heads anymore," Mark said, referring to our sisters. I nodded. "I hear you," I said and we started walking toward the dining room. "So, what are you going to say to them?" I asked, referring to our parents. Mark and I didn’t need to finish sentences or go into detail with each other, it was a twin thing, one always understood what the other was trying to say, but for some reason it happened more with Mark and I than it did with Rose and Rosie. Mark pulled up his shoulders. "I can’t tell them I’ve seen her crying. That’s probably the last thing Rosie wants me to say," he said. "So she’s got a slight fever?" I asked. He thought a while. "Nah, then they’ll send in doctors and make a big deal out of it," he said. I nodded. "Headache?" I asked.
"Not a big enough excuse for her to be skipping dinner."
"Too big of an excuse, mother will want to check up on her."
"That’ll bring mother and the doctors to her room."
"Uh..." I snapped my fingers and pointed to my twin. "Period cramps."
Mark winced before looking at me. "Bingo," he said just as we reached the doors of the dining room. When the doors opened, I was surprised to see Chanelle at the table. There was a gap between her and Rose to make space for Rosie. Mark and I sat down and I raised my eyebrows at Chanelle. She smiled a little. "Later," she said. I nodded then looked back at my family. "Rosie will not be able to attend dinner tonight," Mark announced. "Why not?" My mother asked. "She... uh..." I almost laughed, we hadn’t thought through how embarrassing it would be to announce that our sister had time of the month pains. "She has a stomachache," Mark said. My mother raised her eyebrows. "Is it so serious that she had to skip dinner? Should I call a doctor?" She asked. I smirked. "What Mark means to say, is that it’s that time of the month, mother," Rose saved Mark. I could see Chanelle biting her lip as she tried not to laugh at Mark’s embarrassment.
The waiters came with the plates of food. The smell of steaks filled the room and made my mouth water instantly. I almost couldn’t wait for my mother to finish saying grace before diving into my dinner. "Rosaline, your engagement party dress is arriving tomorrow, don’t forget," my mother said as we ate. I glanced up at my sister’s confused face. Rose’s hands stopped cutting the steak and she looked at my mother. "Tomorrow?" She asked. "Why so early?" My mother laughed a little. "Why? My dear, the engagement party is next week, remember?" I could practically feel the tension rising around the table. Everyone but my father seemed to be staring at my mother. Next week?! I don’t think any of us had been keeping record of this. "And directly after that, you and I will be flying with the Queen and Princes of Palanadia to their home. You have to at least see the castle you will be moving into in a month," she said.
Mark coughed so loudly, I thought he was choking. A glass of water was brought to him and he downed the whole glass in one go then turned to the waiter. "Can you bring me a glass of any good red wine? I’m going to need something stronger than water for this," I heard him say. "Same for me," I said and I relaxed my eyes after I realized how wide I had stretched them from surprise. Rose’s eyes widened and her jaw dropped. "A-a month?" She asked. My hunger levels suddenly dropped drastically when I saw the expression on my sister’s face. A month? A month!? In a month, my baby sister will be leaving us. The thought stung. "Don’t tell me you all forgot?" My mother said after glancing around the table. "You never mentioned me moving out of the castle in a month," Rose said. She sounded calmer than she looked. My mother looked at her. "I didn’t?" She asked. We all shook our heads. "Oops, I am sorry, dears. It must have slipped my mind. I have been so busy with all the planning and Rosaline was still absorbing all this so I took the liberty of doing everything myself to lighten her load," my mother said and looked at Rose. I don’t think Rose’s eyes could get any bigger than it was right then. "But don’t worry Rosaline, the dress, shoes, and rings all look-"
"Rings?" Rose cut her off. "The engagement rings," my mother explained. "They are to arrive tomorrow morning along with the engagement dress. The wedding dress and wedding rings are all ready, and waiting for you in your new kingdom," she said and clapped her hands together excitedly. There was a stunned silence. "Well, I’ve just lost my appetite," Mark suddenly announced in the silence and was rewarded by a glare from my mother. "Yeah, me too," Rose said, dropping her fork and staring at her plate. To be honest, I felt the same but didn’t dare say anything. "Can we be excused?" Rose asked, still sounding confused. My mother tilted her head and looked shocked. "No," she said and glanced from Mark to Rose. "Rosaline, you knew the engagement party and the wedding was coming closer every day, you knew you would have to move out eventually. Why would you be so surprised?" My mother asked. I noticed Chanelle looking away and mouthing the word 'wow' with her eyes wide. She caught me looking at her. I nodded, letting her know I agreed. It surprised me how thick my mother could be sometimes. "Where’s that wine?" Mark asked.
Comment Replies - Chapter 20
*BriBri: Haha. Just a warning, he'll be out for a few chapters.
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*Mady: I'm sorry for the long wait. Had a few problems with the network.