Chapter Two - Changes
It’s been 8 more years and much has changed. For starters, Charella is the maid of the home. She is no longer permitted to sit at the table and enjoy breakfast in the morning, with her family; or listen to stories at night. She is expected to have supper on the table every evening, she is expected to have the dishes washed and put away every evening by sundown and she is expected to do everything daily without fail or question.
As the years have gone by, Charella hardly remembers her life with her Father. Everyday her memories grow dimmer, while she hates her life more with each passing day. Today Charella has to go to the market. It is the only time she’s allowed to leave the house. She is looking forward to getting outside. Today, the birds are chirping and the Spring flowers are starting to bloom. She gathers her basket and prepares to select her cloak from the hook near the door.
Then all of a sudden, Andra comes running into the parlor, carrying a letter. She smashes into Charella and falls to the ground.
“Watch out you clumsy fool!” she yells getting up and dusting herself off. Charella sees the letter and tries to pick it up and hand it back to Andra, but Andra snatches it from the ground before she can.
“Mother!” Andra calls. “Oh Mother!”
Treshara appears at the top of the staircase, and begins to descend.
“Andra what is it?” she asks annoyed.
“Mother, I was just outside, and there’s to be a ball tonight. In honor of Spring!” she chirps excitedly.
Treshara elegantly proceeds down the stairs and takes the letter from Andra’s hands.
“So there is.” she says without emotion.
Charella rolls her eyes and purses her lips, she knows she will never be able to go, and she knows her entire day will now be dedicated to getting her step sisters ready, she tries to sneak out the door, but it creaks as it opens.
“Charella? Oh you thought you were going to the market? Change of plans, I need you to dress the girls for tonight. Make everything ready.” Treshara demands with a wave of her hand, before turning to go upstairs.
Charella sighs loudly. Andra takes notice and laughs. She turns back around and approaches Charella once again.
“What are you in such a bad mood for? It’s not like you have to wear those heels all night.” Andra complains with a laugh.
Then Andra turns on her heel, and ascends the staircase, leaving Charella alone in the parlor.
Charella can feel her eyes welling up with tears as Andra reaches the top of the stairs.
It’s nearly time for the ball, Charella has been busy, cleaning and mending her step sister’s gowns, shining their shoes and jewelry, and making sure they are clean and presentable for the ball tonight. A carriage pulls up outside. Charella sees it from the hall window. She makes her way to her stepmothers bedroom and knocks lightly on the door.
“What is it?” Treshara says, opening the door and stepping out.
“Sorry step mother, the carriage is here.” Charella says bowing her head.
“Ah but of course, are my daughters ready?” Treshara asks.
“Yes Ma’am, they are.”
“Good. Now I don’t need to tell you Charella that you are not to leave this house. You were not invited to the ball and you will not be there.” Treshara begins ranting.
“Yes, I know, have a good time.” Charella says with a frown before turning and going to her bedroom.
Charella ascends the highest staircase and walks down the dark hall to her attic bedroom.
She closes the door and lies on her bed, tears fill her eyes as she hugs her pillow.
“Daddy I miss you so much.” she says through her sobs.
She glances out the window of her bedroom and sees her step mother and step sisters get into the carriage and depart. She opens the window and lets in the cool night air. It’s so inviting.
She knows her stepmother told her to stay in the house, but she just cannot help herself.
So forgetting all reason, she rushes down the stairs and out the door.