Your Smile

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             The days that followed Nathan’s parents seemed to be void of air to a point where Brook felt a suffocating force pressing down on her shoulders at all times.

            And yet, the noose hadn’t tightened in a week, and she was even growing used to it; until, one day, Mrs. Walker had an unfortunate encounter with Lily.

            It was a simple, innocent bump. However, when Lily looked up and their eyes met, the woman went into an inexplicable temper.

            Expressions of disgrace, filth, and pollution were hurled at the small girl even as Nathan and Brook interfered.

            “Who let it in here?! Here! The abode of my forefathers and their forefathers! I want this, this thing out of the mansion!” the outraged beauty demanded as Brook knelt down to comfort bewildered Lily.

            “Calm down, Mrs. Walker,” Nathan said frigidly, stepping in between his mother’s accusing finger and his new family.

            This had an opposite effect.

            After an intense verbal rally worthy of the royal name, things took a turn for the worse and the detestable woman stormed off. Lily was in tears.

            Brook and Nathan looked at each other with worry, on the same wavelength. Mrs. Walker wouldn’t take this “insubordination”, as she had referred to it, sitting down.

            Yet, on the contrary, she failed to even show up at dinner that night, let alone banish Brook from her sight and presence for all of eternity. Mr. Walker refused to make comment upon his wife’s mysterious change in attitude and coolly ate his meal.

            “Where are you going?” Brook asked with concern as Lily left her unfinished dinner.
            “I’m not that hungry. Can I go finish my book?”

            “Alright, but this will be your lunch tomorrow,” Brook warned. “Don’t waste food.”

            Lily agreed, smiled, and excused herself from the table. On her way to her bedroom, she spotted Mrs. Walker sitting on a sofa in an open, unused music room.

            Unnoticed, Lily paused in the doorway and saw tears coming out of the woman’s distant eyes as she looked out a window nearby.

            Before she knew it, Lily found herself by Mrs. Walker’s side. “Are you okay?” she asked curiously.

            Mrs. Walker only brushed away her tears, acting as if the indenture wasn’t there.

            Lily stood idly, waiting for a reply that never came. She considered leaving, but there was something about the way Nathan treated his own mother that bothered her.

            When her mother was still with her, Lily was hugged and cuddled despite their harsh living conditions as slaves. Lily’s mother, right down to the last second before she was sold, expressed her undying affection for her beloved daughter.

            In a story, the villain was a solitary figure everyone despised. Unfeeling; evil for the sake of being evil.

            But that wasn’t possible. People felt lonely.

            Hating Mrs. Walker could be justified, but assuming she didn’t have her own troubles would be shallow to say the least. Surely, Lily thought as she took a seat next to the royal, maternal love applied to royals?

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