Rhialee: Heritage

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Rhialee: Heritage

Post by Marion Valmere on Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:51 am


Years of living under the pressure of knowing that the life you live is not meant for you, that out there is what makes you happy and allows you to be yourself, yet you remain quiet to not harm those who care for you, no matter twisted...

This is the story of Rhialee and how she took matters into her own hands after opening her eyes to the truth.

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There he is again...
She looks through the tinted glass down upon the man who stands half hidden away under the apple tree outside, weighing a small pebble in his hand before he looks up towards the window with a curious gaze, a gaze which shifts almost instantly into an impish grin as he notices a familiar face beyond the red and green glass. He raises his other hand in greeting, seeing the young lady behind the window mimic the gesture and he drops the pebble to adjust his jacket and step out from the shade of the tree while obviously assuming something, waiting for something as he stares up to the window.
The girl sighs as she looks through the lead glass down upon the rather handsome man, but though his looks are charming, his presence gives no comfort. He has been coming by an awful lot lately and she has begun growing very bored of him. A young noble man, a good catch but it means nothing to her. He has nothing she wishes to have.
She opens the window she sits by, leaning forth a little upon the cushion on the windowsill while noises of the city begin to creep into her room and the man down on the street brightens up a little as the young woman did what he had hoped for; answer to his call, no matter that it was a soft ticking of stone against the glass of her window.
“Good afternoon, miss Ryden,” he says as he inches closer to the house and places a hand on his chest as he keeps his blue eyes upon the black haired woman, trying to look humble but keeping an air of smugness around him,” I was hoping you would delight me with your presence today during a little walk. There is something I wish to discuss with you. Would you honour me?”
She does not answer right away, her brown eyes pinned upon the man before she turns her head to look into her room to make a decision, looking over her things before her silent gaze falls upon the open door... finding someone she rather not see at this point in time.
Her aunt, her foster parent, standing in the open doorway.
The woman smiles towards the girl seated on the windowsill, nodding her head franticly while motioning with her hand for the young black-haired beauty to accept the offer for a walk, waving it towards her with a soft 'go on, go on' slipping from her lips. A nudge to take action, but for the girl it feels like a thorn being plunged into her side.
A deep breath and she turns her attention back to the man who seems to have grown a little impatient with standing out on the street while waiting for an answer and she nods down to him, saying without really raising her voice and with no smile in sight,” I'll be down in a moment.”
Closing the window without really waiting for the man's response, she pushes herself off the windowsill and gives her aunt a disapproving glance as she moves through her room, a defiant pace in her steps.
“You planned this, haven't you?”
“Me..? Oh, what ever gave you that idea, my dear?” the lady in the doorway asks, acting as if the girl took her by surprise with her guess and she steps inside to make her way over to her niece, taking a stance behind her to collect the long black silken hair while looking her over in the mirror they stand before.
“Because he has been coming by almost every day now while he has no reason for it,” the girl says as she looks to herself and her aunt's reflection in the mirror, still looking rather displeased while the elderly woman tries to get her niece decent,” wanting to go on walks and talk about nothing in particular, have me at his arm like I am his wife. I don't like it...”
“Now now Rhialee, darling... He fancies you. If he has a reason to see you, you better accept it, for your own good.”
The girl, Rhialee, sighs deeply and looks of to the side, feeling her aunt's fingers tug and pick at her appearance until she feels those fingers grasp for her shoulders to turn her around, having her face her while the skirt of her dress and her long black hair swirl along with the motion, slowly settling.
“Today might be different. Just give him a chance. Please do this, for me.”
A soft sigh and the girl lowers her head in a defeat she rather not gives in to.
“Yes, Auntie...”
The aunt gives her a look of approval, satisfied with the answer and she brings her hands up to cup the girl's face, stroking her cheeks with her thumbs as if rewarding her for being obedient.
“That's my girl. Now go on, your date is waiting,” Auntie says as she clasps her hands together with a rather delighted expression playing over her face, looking her niece over before stepping aside to show the girl it is time to meet the man downstairs.
The girl nods, keeping her head low as she brushes past her aunt towards the door to make her way down the stairs and the hallway to open the door, soon standing face to face with the man who requested her attention and presence at his side. She takes a deep breath, forcing a small smile upon her lips as she closes the door rather firmly behind her to block her nosey and curious aunt from their sight without a pardon and steps forward to meet the man, a strain in her whole being.
“Afternoon, Nathaniel... How lovely to see you... here, of all places.”
“And here you are, my fair lady. I was afraid you might have changed your mind.”
“Oh, I would... never,” she says as she looks to the young man with his tied back blonde hair and a sparkling smile and he holds his arm out for her to take as he seems content enough with her words, having her accept his gesture with a hint of hesitation as she is still trying to set her mind to this. This isn't exactly what she would want to do during the day... and she wouldn't have picked this kind of company either. This is going to be a very long walk...

They make their way past the canals under the foliage of the trees, summer having the leafs and flowers in vibrant colours while the weather is soft, a perfect day for a little stroll, even if one doesn't wish for such. The city is busy with merchants trying to sell their wares and civilians going about their business, guards passing by in their marching, children running and laughing. There is so much to see and so much to do, but the young woman remains at the side of the nobleman as is expected of her... no matter that her attention isn't with him.
She watches the horses passing by them, watching the flexing of strong muscles and listening to the hooves stomping down upon the cobblestones, hearing the clattering of weapons in the distance, the clunking of wood against wood from soldiers training on dummies. All these sounds and sights are a perfect symphony to her, not Nathaniel's talking about how he spoke with whom and whom about this and that while he tries to put pressure on his words with waving his free hand about. This is torture... and this has been something she had to endure for a while now.
Why ever has this man taken a shine to her? He isn't her type and yet here she is, walking alongside him and pretending she is listening to him with giving him a quick smile when ever his eyes would turn to her. Her aunt insisted on them spending time together, making her believe that eventually she would grow to like him but so far not even a peep of anything interesting. It is as if they are engaged without her knowing it... he sure does act like it.
How she wishes she was elsewhere right now. She wants to run down hills on bare feet and roll through the grass, sing, laugh and make jokes without someone hushing her and telling her to behave. She wants to spar, she wants to ride a horse without a saddle, she wants to sleep out in the open air, she wants to run, she wants to fight, she wants to scream, she--
“Here we are.”
Rhialee's wishful thinking gets interrupted as Nathaniel unhooks his arm from her and steps forth to lead the way and casts a quick glance around as the images of freedom disperse from around her, showing they have walked all the way from her house to behind the cathedral, close to the large cemetery. Her chest which had swollen with excitement and a racing heart, deflates as she reminds herself of who she is supposed to be and she sighs softly as she looks to the red and pink roses which surround the quiet but peaceful area around the pergola, wondering why exactly Nathaniel brought her here.
A nice spot to sit, surely, but it is normally used for very romantic purposes and she isn't in a very romantic mood right now.
She looks up as Nathaniel takes her hand into his and guides her to a bench, motioning for her to sit with a light nod of his head while beaming a smile which makes her uncomfortable. She lowers herself down upon the bench, a bit stiff as she can feel unease creep up her spine and she gives him a small weak smile... the best smile she can conjure up at this moment. She gently tries to pull her hand away from him, only to find him holding it fairly firm in his grasp, refusing to let go and she frowns slightly, trying it once more only to find out he indeed won't let her go.
“Miss Ryden.”
“Rhialee.”
“Miss Rhialee Ryden,” the blonde-haired man sighs with a hint of annoyance in his voice as she interrupted and tried to correct him and he hears the girl seated before him huff,” it has been a few months since we met and I have felt us growing closer over the times we have spent together. You are a refined young lady with promising qualities, a unique gem.”
Rhialee doesn't seem all too convinced as she listens to him. He sounds like he is reading it all up from a piece of paper instead of speaking directly from the heart and though his words are meant to be compliments, it truly does not feel as such. It feels wrong.
“I therefore wish to make you mine.”
The black-haired woman's eyes widen in obvious shock as Nathaniel speaks such words in a rather monotone tone, yet a small grin can be seen playing over his lips, as if he is amused by her reaction after hardly receiving any from her.
“Your aunt and my parents have already discussed and agreed on us both being wed. They have been talking, had us meet during the Spring Festival.”
Rhialee looks perplexed as she stares ahead of her, hardly listening any more as she feels like the earth has disappeared from under her and she is falling in a very deep pit. A pit she can not escape from. A pit her aunt had dug for her.
An arranged marriage. Her. Him. No, this can't be happening.
Her hand now lays limp in his as she tries to make sense of it all, the wishes she had moments ago slipping away into that dark pit she finds herself tumbling in and she blinks quickly a few times as a small box is presented to her, a golden ring clenched in white silk within it. She stares at the golden ring while her mouth slowly drops open, not in awe of the gift, but in the shock which refuses to leave her.
To be tied to someone who will keep her caged with just a golden ring and an agreement behind her back... no, this is wrong. This isn't what she wants, this isn't why she was brought onto this earth.
She is a free spirit.
“E-excuse me, I... I need to think,” she stutters as she regains her strength back with every breath she takes, pulling her hand away from him with a firm yank of her whole arm before grasping for the skirt of her dress to lift it a little while bringing herself up from the bench. She pushes against Nathaniel to shove him aside before starting to run across the cut grass around the pergola, leaving a handsome nobleman with an offended expression behind.
She runs, faster and faster as fear and confusion make way for anger, every step landing on the paved streets and every pant escaping from over her lips making her more aware of the situation, clearing her head.
Her aunt fooled her into this one. Her greed to become someone of high standard has gone too far with deciding over Rhialee's fate. It was already bad enough to endure the pains of not being able to be the one she wishes to be, but now to be tied down just so they can benefit from the perks nobles have... too far.
What lies has she been sprouting? What has she told those nobles to allow this arranged marriage? Has she even mentioned where her niece hails from? Of course not... she has been hiding it from everyone aside from those who already knew and those she avoids like a plague. Ashamed and afraid of her niece's heritage, trying to change her fate by trying to blend in with the noble folk rather than let her be with the people she belongs with. As if she is trying to redeem herself through her... She has sunken low.

“Auntie!”
Rhialee pushes the front door open as she finally arrived home after franticly running through the streets of Stormwind, stumbling into the hallway before twirling around while trying to catch her breath. The house is quiet aside from her panting, no response to her calling. She looks into the living space and the kitchen before letting her eyes wander up the stairway, pressing her lips together to once more grasp for the front of her long skirt to storm up the steps to find a glimpse of her aunt... finding none after peering into all the rooms upstairs.
Where could she be?
Her chest heaves with the rapid deep breaths she takes, panting as she steps into her room while brings her hands up to claw them through her long black hair to try and make sense of it all, her head spinning as she tries to find answers.
Her aunt's excitement for today... Nathaniel proposing... and now no trace of her. She must be at his parent's place waiting for the return of her niece and her new fiancé, a son-in-law she will never posses but can imagine to have with this charade. Why did she have to go so far with this? Has she really lost her mind...? Why why why?
The girl clenches her jaws together as anger overwhelms her more and more and she paces further into her room, looking things over with a wild look in her eyes. Shelves filled with books, the mannequin which holds an unfinished dress, the paintings, the flowers, the frills, everything. All these things she possess; all fake. This isn't how she is, this isn't-- she halts in her racing and rampaging thoughts as her eyes meet the large brown ones which look back with a hateful fire, glazed over by tears and she lowers her shoulders, the other person doing the same.
This. This isn't who she is!
With a growling shout, she grasps for the edge of the standing mirror to knock it over and get rid of the girl which was staring back at her, a girl she refuses to be any longer. The mirror cracks and breaks as the wooden frame hits the floor, a shattering noise and Rhialee looks down upon the broken reflections of herself upon the floor, a decision beginning to sink in somewhere within the hurricane that are her thoughts and feelings. A decision she should have come to several years ago...
Her racing heart settles a little, now pounding in determination rather than confused fear and anger and the black haired girl begins to tear through her room, opening all the closets and drawers to find the things she needs to set this decision in motion. Anything convenient for travel. Anything to get away from this horrid city and her possessive aunt. Her Crazy Auntie... it still baffles her how she allowed this to go so far. Was she really blinded by her loyalty to the only family member she has left or was she just young and naïve? Family is supposed to be supportive, caring and worth protecting, but this... this charade her aunt has been setting up around them has been all but what a family is supposed to be.
Time creeps by and the sun begins to set, basking the now messy bedroom in a multi coloured glow as the low rays of sunlight shimmer through the lead glass of the windows, giving the room a rather serene atmosphere though the actual mood is tense. She is almost done with packing, taking very little along but having trouble deciding. No dresses and nothing expensive; it won't be needed. Soon she'll live a different life and hopefully it will be what she herself wishes of it to be.
“What do you think you are doing...?”
Rhialee halts with stuffing a shirt into the backpack she found and looks to where the voice came from, finding her aunt standing in the doorway. Her hands are folded together, her back straight and the expression upon her face stern while her eyes betray the disappointment and anger she must be feeling. Rhialee stands up from her bend position over the bed and closes the backpack as her big brown eyes lower to not meet that piercing gaze she can feel burning upon her and she parts her lips to speak only to get interrupted.
“I was waiting, no, we were waiting only to find out that you turned your future husband down. Nathaniel returned without you, told us you ran off, left him standing there. How could you? This was your chance!”
The black haired girl licks her lips in thought, her lower lip quivering as she tries to gather herself
and she closes the backpack with a slow motion of her hand before she turns fully to her aunt, pulling her shoulders up as her chest heaves with a deep intake of breath. No doubts... she has to remain strong.
“No... no, how could you, Auntie? An arranged marriage without even telling me? What were you thinking...?”
“I did it for you, my dear. You are the right age to get married and he is the right man for you; he will give you such a promising future,” Auntie says as she steps further into the room, her hands still held together as she shortens the distance between her and her niece.
“The right age...?”
“Why yes. You are an adult now, Rhialee darling and so you will be wedded,” she hushes as she unclasps her hands from each other to raise an arm and reach out for Rhialee's cheek to cup it, a small but stiff smile appearing on her thin lips,” it is only normal.”
“I-I am not an adult yet... you denied me my rite of adulthood several years back and I have been waiting.”
“Rite of...?” Auntie asks as she lowers her hand a little, the forced smile fading as the girl before her speaks of something she is all too familiar with but has been trying to forget with all her might. The rite, a ritual the highlanders hold at a young age to be seen as grown up. Be send into the wilds like an animal with nothing but yourself and try to survive to find one self. Uncivilised, disgusting and barbaric. How often her stomach squeezed together when ever she saw a fifteen year old child be send out through the gates of Stromgarde, naked and with nothing else to defend themselves with. How could anyone do that to a child?
”Don't be ridiculous, dear... Those barbaric rituals don't determine if you have reached adulthood, it only turns you into a mindless animal, clad in fur. We already discussed this...”
“But it is my birthright! You have been denying everything I am from me. You took me away and dragged me into this life of lies and masks for your own little desires. You used me!”
“Rhialee. Don't.”
“I do!” the girl yells and slaps the hand which is held close to her face away, glaring at the woman she tried to see as a mother,” I did everything you asked of me because I love you, Auntie, but I never dared to think you would go so far to try and hide the fact you were once married to one of the Arathorians and that your niece is one of them.”
Auntie stares at Rhialee in shock, her usual calm demeanour breaking and she clenches the hand which was slapped away into a fist before lowering it down to her side, one of her eyes slightly twitching as she tries to keep her posture.
“You are not one of them. You are a young woman ready to blossom into a beautiful sophisticated
lady. All you have to do is say yes to your future husband and you won't have to worry about all these silly things any more.”
“Beautiful and sophisticated...? Do you really think I am such, Auntie?” Rhialee asks and she sets a step back to then slip past the elderly woman to step over towards the unfinished dress the sewing mannequin is dressed in, taking a stance beside it,” on the outside maybe, but that seems the only thing that counts, doesn't it? Be pretty, well-mannered, smile and act as if you have no will of your own just to satisfy someone else's needs.”
She looks the unfinished dress over with an uninterested gaze, still feeling her aunt's eyes pinned upon her and she huffs softly before lifting something shiny and waves it a little to bring all attention to it; a pair of scissors. She smiles slightly as she picks up on the confusion from her aunt, seeing her eye the scissors as if it is a bad omen.
“Nae more, Auntie. Nae more... I am not your lever to higher society; I am a free spirit.”
A snip and a long lock of black hair falls down upon the floor around her feet, causing her aunt to gasp as more and more strands begin to cover the wooden planks and she grasps for her hair to collect it with her free hand as Auntie stumbles forth in an attempt to stop her, giving her a daring look before letting the scissor sink away among the silky blackness and sloppy cut off what is left of the long hair.
“How dare you! How dare you!” Auntie shrieks, trying to snatch the scissors away from Rhialee and lashes out to strike at her niece as this one simply drops the scissors, her hair now a wild short mess around her features. She manages to slap Rhialee across her cheek as the silver cutting tool hits the floor and she glares with gritted teeth and wheezing breaths, continuing with a raised voice,” after all I done for you! All these years! You are vile! Just like your parents!”
Rhialee nods slowly and she lifts her chin to look at the one who fostered her after her parents passed away, her struck cheek red but she shows no anger as she speaks,“ maybe so, but... I know for certain my parents would never have wanted for me to be raised this way. Caged and without a say in anything, letting someone else live my life. I still remember their faces... they accepted who they were and I will do the same. In honour and respect for them and my true heritage.”
She smiles to her aunt as she looks her straight in the eye before brushing past her to step over to her bed, picking up the backpack to sling it over her shoulder.
“I am going home.”

She can still hear her aunt's shouting buzzing in her ears as she rides the Deeprun tram, the flickering of the lights illuminating her face as she stares ahead of her down the endless tunnel, a smile playing upon her lips.
This feels right.
For once, something feels right and it was her own decision this time. Though it hurts, she does not regret leaving. Her aunt may have steadily lost her mind and tried to escape a life she despised, she still cared for a girl which is an Arathorian at heart. Maybe one day they will meet again and perhaps then she will see that the highlanders she refuses to remember or speak about are not as barbaric as she believes them to be... who knows. It is still a long journey and she has much to learn, so much to learn. One step at the time... she is on her way now. Her own life has finally begun.

Marion Valmere

Posts : 42
Join date : 2011-05-23
Age : 34

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