“Your Highness, it’s Mervin.”
The man didn’t wait for my answer and welcomed himself into the room. Beside me, he placed a tray full of food onto the table. The mere sight of the food made me feel nauseous.
“I don’t feel like eating. Please take it away.”
“But Your Highness, you haven’t eaten well for the past few days. This humble butler is worried for your health.”
A few days? Is that how long it’s been?
I waved my hand ushering him to leave. My eyes set upon the metal shackles wrapped around my wrist. Following the chain, the shackles on my ankles feel heavier.
The butler stood in silence, examining my every move and expression.
“Your Highness? Do I look like a princess to you? My life back home was enough of a nightmare but they never treated me like this. I rather people leave me alone or forget about me than lock me up in a place where every passing second can mean death. And yet you still call me Your Highness. Hahahah, what a joke. Leave, please. Or do you want me to get on my knees and beg you to leave? Is this the person you see me as?”
The butler looked at me with regret and concern. He bowed in silence and left the room without a sound.
“Ah that cursed man!”
Beside me the tray full of food remained.
“Why don’t you understand that this torture is enough!?”
In the small room with a single bed, a small table, a little room for toiletries and one large window with no means of opening or closing it. Just a square of glass fixed into the wall. All it’s missing is bars on the window and the door, then it’s no different from a prison cell.
Only from the window can I figure out the time of the day, but to what avail that is, I’m not too sure.
I counted the days I had spent here since the beginning but somewhere in the middle I stopped doing that too. About now it should’ve only been 3 months.
There was no letter from my family and the Duke never visited since. Maybe I should be grateful that he’s left me alone. I could’ve had a worse ending.
Haha, it can still get worse. Why can’t it get better? I’ve been trying to keep myself sane being locked up here but every single day it gets more excruciating. Those birds flying freely in the sky, my heart aches at the thought of becoming free.
The days are hard to pass with nothing to do, but the nights are even worse. Every night I keep replaying the same event in my dreams. The ominous dinner, Elise, the dripping sound, and the Duke chasing me. And every single one of those dreams end with me getting killed in one way or the other.
My head hurts from the lack of good sleep. The food isn’t entering my body like how it should. I keep throwing up everything. My body is so weak.
Hah… should I just die?
I’m sure that’s what led all those women to their end as well.
Should I just?
I can wrap this chain around my neck and with a bit of strength-
“MY LADY!” A maid’s voice echoed in the room.
She ran up to me and pulled my hand away. She untangled the chain and supported my back helping me sit up straight.
“My Lady, why were you? What were you!? Are you okay? Does it hurt anywhere?”
“It hurts.” A raspy voice came through my mouth.
“Where does it hurt my lady, I’ll do treatment straight away. Should I call the doctor? Would that be better?” The girl replied anxiously.
“It hurts so much!”
“My heart hurts so much!” My throat felt like it was getting ripped apart, my chest felt like someone stood on it with great force, my heart felt like someone was crushing it with brute force.
“IT HURTS!” Tears enveloped my eyes and flowed down my face. In these past 15 years, all I’ve ever done was cry from pain and even now, I still cry from pain.
“When will it end! When will this pain stop! Just let me leave! Let me die! I want to be free!” My tears couldn’t stop and my voice coughed in despair.
“It hurts so much.”
Small arms wrapped around me, and a warm sensation enveloped my body. I felt a sudden wetness on my shoulder.
“Lucy?” My voice was shattered from the coughing and pain.
“My lady! Please don’t cry! I can’t imagine how painful this is for you but I’m sure it will all get better! I’m sure you’ll be able to leave soon. So please… Please don’t die.”
This young girl is even younger than I am. Her desperate wish asking me to live showed that she had lost enough people in her life. She would probably break if I died as well.
Her arms trembled but her grip was strong.
3 months passed in pain, how much longer can I last?
“I won’t try to die.”
The girl lifted her head at my words. Her eyes were swollen and bloodshot from crying. She looked at me with surprise.
“Yes, but I have one request.”
“ANYTHING MISS!” She looked relieved at my surrender.
“Paper and ink”
“Could you please bring me some paper, a quill and ink? In times of pain, writing was my only salvation. If you want to stop me from dying, then please get me these things.”
“Of course! I’ll bring them right away.” The girl jumped up in relief.
She turned her head around.
Tears flowed out from the girl's eyes, she wiped them off with her sleeve and smiled, “why are you thanking me! I’m the one who’s grateful! Thank you for staying strong!”
Once again, the room was filled with silence.
The sunset painted the sky in its golden colour, how warm. There were no birds flying about. It felt like even nature was trying to comfort me.
The pain in my heart lessened a tiny bit.