Her footsteps moved slowly on the tiles, while she moved her head in every direction to make sure no one was following her. It was normal in her house to be exempted whenever they were having any important discussions, but this time around she was going to listen to everything they had to say. She was part of the family, so she had the right to know what was going on in the family.
The family sitting room was silent at first and she thought she had the wrong room, but then, she heard her step-sister’s voice, which was so loud that anyone would have thought she had swallowed a speaker.
“Why will she be getting married before me? I don’t like that.”
Getting married. Who? As far as Amelia knew, there were only two young ladies in the house, her and her sister, and she had no betrothed, yet someone in their house was getting married. She pinned her ears to the door to listen to them better. Her stepmother’s cold voice was what she heard next. “How many times do I have to tell you that she is getting married so that your father could secure the contract he needed?”
“But the Afonso’s are very wealthy. I want to be married into a family like that.” Ash complained, her voice like a toddler whose favourite toy was collected from her. But that was what Ash’s voice was always like when she was displeased by something or when she wanted something so bad. It was as if she knew that their parents could not resist that voice, but this time it wasn’t working out.
“That’s because you have no idea that she is marrying the black sheep of the family. Have you ever seen Michael or have you seen his picture anywhere before?”
Amelia couldn’t hear Ash's response but she was certain it was negative. Michael Afonso was a face unknown to everyone, not even the press. The reason his family was against people knowing what he looked like was unknown to everyone. He studied abroad from a young age and had always been a secret to the world. Just like Amelia.
“Exactly. He must be so terrible that his father is trying to arrange a planned marriage for him. Is that what you want for yourself? To be forced into a marriage with someone you have no idea about?”
Another silence followed. Then, “Good. I want you to meet someone you love. Fall in love and have a happy family.”
Isn’t that what everyone wants? To meet someone they can relate with. Someone they would love, and build a family with. Amelia knew that was what she wanted for herself, and she wasn’t going to settle for less. But again, who was going to be forced into a marriage? She couldn’t hear anything for a minute, then there was a murmur. She strained her ears to the door trying to get the juicy details coming from inside, but there was nothing. Then she heard a bang on her head. She felt as if she had left the world and come back. The pain she felt at that moment was intense. She looked up to see what or rather who had caused her pain. Ava gazed at her with a smirk on her face – just like every time she looked at Ava, she was in full make-up and expensive designer clothes. Although she was so curious about what was going on, she didn’t have the guts to ask Ava about it. Ava smiled at her and moved in the direction of her room.
Amelia knew it was the end of the discussion, so she moved to her room too. Lying on her bed, she picked up her phone to see what was happening in the world. That was her only means of communication with the outside world, even her usernames were false. All the world knew, her father had only one daughter. No one knew about Amelia, and no one had to know, according to her father.
Yet, she had managed to find friends online who she believed in more than the family she sees every day. A knock on the door made her drop her phone under the pillow so fast. Her stepmother hated it whenever she was lying and pressing her phone. She took that time to remind her that she was useless in the house. She sat upright and adjusted her clothes. “Come in.”
She smiled when she saw Loveth come in with a breakfast tray. “Good morning, miss”. She retrieved her phone from under her pillow, “Good morning, Loveth. How was your night?”
Loveth smiled, dropping the food on her bed. “It was good. How was yours?” She took the seat opposite her. “You are looking beautiful as always.”
Amelia blushed, “Stop this and let’s eat. I hope you took enough for us both.”
Loveth might be a maid, but to Amelia, she was a sister. They were the same age and close because she was supposed to be the maid attending to Amelia, especially when there was a visitor that they didn’t want Amelia to find out about or find out about Amelia. They were busy eating when Loveth spoke, “I heard a rumour today while dishing out our breakfast.”
Amelia had a feeling what the rumour might be. “Is it about someone getting married in the house?”
She nodded. The curiosity Amelia had tried to bury resurfaced immediately, “Do you know who that person is? Who is getting married so suddenly that my parents are keeping secrets?”
The look on Loveth’s face was the response Amelia needed. She stopped eating, and her eyes got wider. It can’t be true. They wouldn’t treat her this way, no matter how illegal she was. That didn’t change the fact that she was their daughter. She needed verbal confirmation. Maybe she was just thinking wrongly.
Loveth sighed. “I am sorry, miss. All I heard was that you are the one getting married. I thought you knew about it.”
She was the one getting married to an unknown face. She laughed, dropping her spoon on the floor and rolling over the bed. Loveth also stopped eating to stare at Amelia. She was convinced that the lady had gone crazy from hearing about her impending wedding. “Miss. Are you okay?”
Amelia didn’t stop laughing. She held to her stomach and let out un-lady-like sounds. Her behaviour was beginning to bother Loveth, who wasn’t expecting such a reaction from her. She was expecting her to be angry, not laughing and acting as if she had just heard the joke of the century. “Miss.”
Amelia stopped and the look on her face was the opposite of what she had previously worn. She looked so angry that she could burn anything that touched her. Her mood swing was confusing Loveth, who moved back a bit. She had never seen Amelia change her appearance so far. Well, Amelia had never been told she was going to marry a stranger, so in a way, she could understand what Amelia was going through. Okay, maybe she could not understand it, but she was trying to understand her mood.
“Are you okay, miss?” She made sure to put a distance between herself and Amelia before asking the question. Who knew what her next reaction was going to be?
Loveth didn’t get a response back from Amelia. She was just staring at nothing.
“Miss! Miss! Are you okay?” Loveth was already getting tired but there was no one to help her out there. Finally, Amelia responded to her. “I think I am going to run away, Loveth.”