“No, it isn’t.” Preyuna’s voice was a tear-choked, sob-strangled mess. She cleared her throat, but her voice still sounded awful as she spoke, “It isn’t okay at all.” She closed her eyes and focused on Isellta’s gentle touch. It calmed her.
How can he be like this? How can he be so kind to me…so caring? Does he honestly believe that I deserve it? Do I deserve it?
“Is it okay if I ask?” Isellta said.
“What happened? Why are you so sad?”
“I am not sad.” She sniffled. “I am angry and frustrated and furious and so many other messy emotions.”
“Oh.” He paused a moment. “Is it because of me? Are you mad at me?”
“No. Not this time. This time, I’m mad at myself.” She opened her eyes and looked down at the sharp-edged bits and shatters littering the counter. “I should have known better. I should have known that it wouldn’t be so simple and easy.” She scoffed, but it sounded a little like a cry. “Anything to do with Mark Caten is NEVER simple or easy.”
If I could kill him. Oh, if only I could kill him! I’d take all of these pieces of glass and transform them into a sword. She smiled as she imagined all of the things she could do to Mark Caten with a sword made out of thousands of glass slivers. So many wonderful, hurtful things. And he would scream and bleed. Mark Caten would finally bleed. He would suffer.
Her smile fell. But it will never be. I can’t hurt him. He can hurt me, though. He can humiliate and debase me. He can steal so much from me.
I hate him.
Preyuna took a breath and exhaled. “I tried to break the magic binding us to this place.”
Isellta’s hand went still. “Oh?”
She nodded. “I tried to break the magic on you first.” Bitterness stung her throat and tainted her words. “Obviously, it didn’t work. I couldn’t touch it. I tried. I failed. Then, like the fool I am, I tried to break the magic binding me.”
“You are not a fool, Your Majesty.”
The mirror shards on the counter shined in the bathroom’s light.
Preyuna watched their shine. “I am. What else would I be? I knew that I wouldn’t be able to break the magic on me. I knew it. But I tried anyway. That isn’t sensible behavior. It’s foolish. It’s all crooked lines and scribbles.”
“You want to go home. You would do anything to go home.”
She pressed her palms against the unholy mess on the counter. The mirror shards pressed against her skin, but not a single one pierced her. No matter how hard she pressed her hands against them, there was no damage to her skin. No embedded splinters. No cuts. No slices.
Not even the thinnest paper cut.
I’m not the only one who wants to leave this horror house. Isellta wants to go back to wherever he considers home. He wants to go back to Robin.
I don’t want to grant him either of those wishes. I want him to come home with me. I want him to stay with me. I want to show him who I truly am. I want him to see who I am without Mark Caten.
I want him to see just me.