Before the guests arrived…

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The pillow muffled A.’s sobs. She bit into the cotton and angrily crushed the material between her teeth. She was both sad and mad at the same time, the worst possible combination.

It was her mother’s fault. It always was. Only that woman could rile up the otherwise happy and calm girl. What was it today? Was it the condition of her hair, the skinny knees or the unladylike scrapes on her arms from running around the family manor grounds? Whatever the reason it was an emotional ordeal for A. Being berated was bad enough but taking a constant scolding from one’s parent makes for an entirely different level of harassment.

A Could hear the excited voices of guests that were currently pouring through main entrance into the great hall were the reception was taking place. She was supposed to go downstairs and greet the guests. She didn’t feel like it one bit.

The girl buried her face even deeper into the pillow trying to muffle all the noise, pretending that she was all alone in the world. A. was not ready to leave the comfort of her bedroom tonight. She was not ready to face the guests and put on the façade of a cheerful child with loving family. Not tonight.

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