I grinned, nodding my slight approval.
“Nice, isn’t it?”
I laughed. “Nice? More like what the poor people wear.”
My father rolled his eyes. “But, Rosalie, do you like it?”
I shrugged. “I guess so.”
What we were talking about was my new dress my father just bought me. It’s a PixonOriginal. Black, low-cut, lacy, just the way the men in town like it.
But it wasn’t a big deal. I’d seen better. Not that I owned better. That girl Lesa owned much better than me. At least Vera was happy to get my old clothing.
Ugh. Lesa King. Lesa was Royce King’s daughter, Royce King II’s sister. She got everything she wanted. Maybe I did too, but Lesa always seemed to get it just a little faster than I did.
“Will you wear it?”
The silence was broken by my father’s question. I shrugged nonchalantly. “I guess."
"Would Vera like it?"
My father was angry now -- he spat this with anger.
“You sound like a broken record.”
My father said this with dark humor. He was still angry at me, but I didn’t care. I could steal some of his money from his wallet and easily get one of the men to take me to the dress-shop. Then Mr. Murphy, the tailor, would find me a designer dress — newer and better than Lesa’s — and would probably give me a discount to boot. So it really didn’t matter, that black dress. I could give it to Vera next week, maybe. The pink-rose colored dress I’d gotten last week had been delivered to her yesterday.
My father shook his head at me, breaking my thoughts again. He swung a hand towards my face, almost like he was going to hit me, but he didn’t. He didn’t want to bruise my beautiful features.
“You can’t survive on my money forever. You’d better marry soon.”
I sneered. “This isn’t medieval times, this is 1929! I’m fourteen; that’s far too young to marry. At least four more years.” Tossing my hair over my shoulder, I made a dramatic exit; then I realized at least half of my siblings had been watching my father and I fight.
I trudged up the beautiful wooden stairs to my room — the biggest room. Flopping down on my canopy bed, I thought about my friend Vera for a moment. Her straight brunette hair and dark brown eyes were nothing compared to my wavy blonde and blue. I had much better curves than she did — by a long shot. I could afford better make-up than her. So why did she have a boyfriend — that ugly carpenter apprentice — and I didn‘t?
I rolled my eyes to myself; I was being silly. Why would I be envious of that cheap little apprentice? He couldn’t even afford to send Vera flowers; men sent me flowers all the time, and I didn’t even know them. My perfectly arched eyebrows shot up and my flawlessly full painted lips smiled in an evil sneer. I was lucky. I was the beautiful one. She’d end up no where — sure, she was my friend, but I couldn’t change her future. It was bound to happen.
* * *
I wanted to snap at her. Just snap at her.
That Lesa was wearing the exact dress I had just bought for myself with my father’s stolen money! I spat on the ground. Lesa smiled at me.
“Hello, Rosalie. Nice dress you’ve got there,” the snake hissed, her voice just chock-full of sarcasm. I sneered, and kicked mud at her, not caring that my expensive heels were wrecked.
“Too bad it’s wrecked.”
The mud splattered all over the low-cut, rose-colored dress, and Lesa’s eyes widened with anger and disbelief.
Lesa, shuddering, reached into the mud (I could tell she hated wrecking her nails) and flung it at me.
I almost blew up with anger as I felt the mud seep into my beautiful blonde hair.
I was really mad now.
That was it. I couldn’t stop myself. She’d asked for it.
I ran at her, flinging my dress into the hands of a stander-by. He gasped and shrugged, and ran off. Probably to sell it for alcohol.
I jumped onto Lesa, my long nails clawing at her. She clawed back, maybe harder. Of course, I would never admit that to anyone but myself. I heard the chanting.
“Fight! Fight! Fight!”
There was probably thirty stander-bys now — I could see them out of the corner of my eye.
I kicked Lesa, and still digging my nails into all of her available exposed skin, spat insults at her.
She copied me exactly.
We went on like this for a long time; we were both bleeding heavily. Then, we heard the cries and froze.
I rolled off of the cobblestone, where I was lying dangerously close to my father. He was fuming. He was so angry his face was a sickly purplish-white. I bet Mr. King’s face looked exactly the same way. I held my head high, ready for whatever my father threw at me — whether it be insults or complaints.
* * *
The “talk” my father had given me was horrible. Brutal. Full of personal offense and criticism towards everything that seemed slightly out of place. He insisted I go see Dr. Cullen the next day.
I did not like Dr. Cullen at all. He was beautiful, as beautiful as I, very beautiful. Yet he did not use his beauty. And his wife and her brother — they were beautiful as well, but used it for nothing. Zip. What a stupid family.
“Well, Rosalie, how are we?”
Sneering, I hissed, “Fine,” though my body was covered in aching places where Lesa had torn the skin or kicked me. My hair was dry and filthy; I hadn’t yet showered.
Dr. Cullen looked me over hesitantly, then concluded, “You have some pretty bad wounds. We’ll have to stitch up one and disinfect another.” I groaned. Disinfectant was painful, stitching even worse.
The smell of peroxide always got to me. Always. I always threw up when I smelled it. This time was no different. Dr. Cullen had his wife come in and hold a bucket underneath me to throw-up in. My father nodded his thanks to her, but I didn’t. The oblivious beauty queen was of no use to me; why should I butter her up? Dr. Cullen smiled at me, and said politely, “Okay, Rosalie. Your wounds are disinfected; would you like some pretty pink thread to seal up some of the nastier ones?”
I just about hissed like a cat at him.
“I’m not three. I don’t need ‘pretty pink’ thread. White will be fine, thank you.”
I’m sure my father shot me a dirty look, but I didn’t bother meeting it. Whatever.
When we got out of that place, it was after four o'clock in the afternoon. Almost time for supper, then bed. My day was gone.
And not even time to buy new heels.