“Remember not to speak to them.” My mother commands as we depart from the carriage. “Our appearance is only as a reward for your recent school report. I can’t fathom the point of your desire when Radcliff could fetch it for you.”
I had begged my mother to go where she calls the “place of commoners”, to add a book of maps to my collection. She’s correct in that I could’ve asked our guard to obtain the book. However, I wanted to see this place for myself and whoa was the view just beautiful.
And to top it off, my interest peaked by an Olive woman sewing across the bench.
“Go get your read.” My mother snaps me back from the scenery.
I follow her orders to retrieve my book, then sneak away from at her distraction to the Olive woman, who I deem to be my age.
“That’s a beautiful garment, you are making.” I approach her.
“Thank you,” revealing a smile under her curls that sent pink to my countenance,
“What is garment?”
“The item you are sewing.” I reply. “Are they for sale? I would love to buy one.”
“Oh no. Only for trade. You going to travel?” She eyes my book of maps.
“I desire,” I confess. “One day.”
“Hmm… how about you come with me to Glacier Falls and I give you this garment.” She proposes.
Before I could answer the desired opportunity, I hear the call of my name on my mother’s tongue.
As I look back, the woman says, “I wait here for you until dark.”
I nod, treading away, “What is your name?”
“Kalia.” she answers. “You?”
And with out another word, I’m pulled into the carriage and back to the manor of solitude.
“I told you do not speak with them,” my mother scolds. “It’s already something for you to lug me there, but also, the humiliation of talking to a commoner is overwhelming.”
“Mama, you did not have to attend. I could have gone by myself with your permission.”
“Don’t be ludicrous. If I allowed it, you would be less dignified. The noble family stays together unless you are male. But you have wronged me for the last time. I’m discarding all your maps of designated places,” she threatens.
My eyes widen as my heart begins to sink and my breath lessen.
“Mama, you can’t be serious?” I distress. “Even the one Papa left me? Oh please Mama, I apologize.”
“I am and I will. Those are the only items you deem of importance. Make this a lesson for next time,” she dismisses.
I walk to my chamber in agony and frustration. As suffocation pervades the room, I have no clue of what to do. That’s when it hits me, the words of Kalia, which ignited the movement of my hands and feet without my command to take all my maps and books into one bag. They grab the jar of currency I’ve stored for this very day and help me escape the confines of my home to a place not yet discovered.
We settle in the outskirts of Windenburg, to wait for dawn to start our journey.
“Here you go.” She hands me the garment from earlier. “It’s finished. You can’t go anywhere in your clothes.”
My eyes wonder for a spot to dress.
“Go on.” She says. “Right there is fine. I won’t look if you don’t wanna.”
This makes my cheeks glow as I turn around exchanging my prudish dress for a more revealing one.
“That’s better.” She walks up to better analyze me. Her hand takes down my tight bun and removes a strand of hair away from my face, making the rapid beat of my heart loud enough for both of us to hear. “Now you are ready.”
With two months past, anxiety started to set in.
“Where can we go? We have no more money” I enthuse.
“Money is no more than another material. It has no value.” She states.
As I start my rebuttal, she says, “Come on,” grabbing a big sack of her sewn apparels.
She takes us to the local marketplace and sets her products upon the ground, taking a few of the garments in hand. I watch her as she trades for food and accessories.
“Why don’t you sell these in an upscale market?” I ask. “Or become a seamstress. You are very skilled.”
“I don’t like to sell for money.” She explains. “I like to get things I can’t get from money, such as this mango. It has come from a man, who worked to grow this mango. Take the man away from the mango, it becomes just a mango. But add the man to the mango, you get his soul in each mango he trades.”
Before I could comment, music starts to boast from a musician walking through the market. Kalia sets down her items, grabs the nearest child, and starts dancing in the streets. A circle forms as people gather, smiling, clapping, and cheering. Music alone couldn’t bring people together like this, it was her.
But with misfortune, I became oblivious to the poster of my face plastered on the tree.
“That was exhilarating.” I enthuse after the mini festival. “I’ve never experienced anything like that before.”
“Seems like you haven’t lived before.” She giggles as she starts to lay.
As I walk over to her slender figure glistening in the light, I bring my lips to hers,
“now I have lived.”
Three months, 4 days, 20 places and yet I had limited contentment and Kalia could tell.
“You miss your family don’t you?”
“Yes. But I should not.” I rant. “They want to keep me locked up like a caged bird following their orders, obeying their rules. I don’t wanna be confined. I want to live my own life by my own rules.”
“Audrie, It’s ok for you to miss your family. No matter how confined you were, your love and heart is still with them.”
I stay silent, hearing the truth from those words.
“Why don’t we go back?” She pauses but quickly continues as the look of death is written on my face. “You talk to them, explain how you feel. They may not understand, but you can’t move on with your life if this continues.”
She grabs my hand and holds it firmly, “and I’ll go with you and wait on the outskirts for your return.”
The next day we set back to Windenburg with my nerves intact, as I know my welcome will not be warm. When we arrived, I told Kalia to stay back, as I was quickly spotted by the “commoners” and escorted straight to the manor.
Behind the large strange doors was an expression of disgust from my mother. She did not like the new me, or shall I say, the real me.
“Where have you gone?” She starts, taking her eyes off the repulsive creature in front of her.
“Finding who I am outside these walls.” I say.
“Why have you returned?” She asks.
“To make amends.” I tell.
“Amends? For what? Running off without speaking? Leaving your estate behind?… Throwing me to isolation? … I clothed you in the most lavish gowns, enrolled you in the best schools to keep our status intact. I even betrothed with a man of opulence.”
“But mama there is more to life than money, status, and materials. There’s a whole world out there. Think of all the places undiscovered and the people unmet. I know papa-“
“Do not bring your father into this.” She states coldly. “You were but a mere child of seven when he deceased. You know nothing of your father, and this wanderlust you speak of, well that’s just a preposterous way of life.”
“Mama,” I start to choke as I walk toward her, “I love you,” placing a kiss upon her salty cheek. “But I can no longer stay.” I whisper and sprint out the manor, through the gates with a trail of guards behind me. Then suddenly their sound faltered and upon looking back, they were gone.
Exhausted and fatigued, I see concern wash over Kalia’s countenance; That’s when I realized a stream of tears were running down my face.
“I did it, Kalia.” I say through my tears. “I am finally free.”
After I’ve calmed, I look towards the water as the sky transitions from day to night.
“Want to go for a swim?” She follows my gaze.
I smiled and shook my head no.
“Hmm…” She ponders. “How about a dance?” She reaches to me, pulling me from out from solitude.
Watching the rhythm of her body and the gleam of her smile as the sun sets, I knew I had fallen in love with a wanderess. For she does not care for money or power, only the experiences. If someone is Irish or Polish, wealthy or poor. They seemed all the same to her. And this is when I knew I was becoming one too.