5 years old Roselle Wittek saw her mother for the last time in her coffin before the undertakers closed the coffin and soon, the coffin was dropped nine feet below ground. Roselle crushed her face into her patched doll and cried deeply as she caught glimpses of them piling dirt to fill up the deep massive whole.
Her sweet beautiful red haired mother. Her mother who gave what she can to her whole-heartedly. The one who watched after her when she had needs and wants.The only one who told her that she was special. The only one who ever told her, " Roselle, I love you." Gone. All gone from the world, leaving her inexperienced mind to the world. What was she to do? She was afraid of work for how she saw other children her age were mortally injured or died from laboring. She wished she had someone to go to.
Madame Sophia, Lydia Wittek's employer and owner of the Madame Sophia's Dresses, watched the tiny frailed red headed child cried against her doll. Madame Sophia was full of sorrow to see this girl, only 5, to lose a mother at such age. However, Madame Sophia felt even more sorry that she couldn't accept the child in her care for she distract her and her employees. Even worse, she would lose her business if she put more time and care for a child.
The winter cold's illness was spreading around and must've found its way to weaken Lydia. Day by day, Lydia got paler, and she wasn't getting any better. Soon, she was too sick to do anything. There were days where she didn't show up on time. By the time Madame Sophia and some of the other seamstresses came to see what has become of her, they knew then that their employee was dying. Even the doctor had declared that her days will end. With Lydia dying, Madame Sophia was mostly worried with little Roselle. She wasn't sure where to place the child. Roselle didn't seem to be the type to handle an orphanage and a convent would not even be the best choice for her. The only way to give Roselle a happy family is if she were to live with a relative of some sort. But who? Jill was the most quiet one out of her workers, so no one really knew her life. Only that she had a child. She had to know, so the child can be raised properly.
For some nights, Madame Sophia came to her ill employee and had asked her if she had any relations that her child could go to. Lydia refused to answer. By the time Lydia was coming to her last breaths, she had finally breathed out, "Earl of Dunsbury," and finally, she stilled, her brown eyes staring blankly at nothing. Although seeing the death of her employee had been cholerically bitter, the fact that her relations with the Earl of Dunsbury was another shocking news.
There was once a scandal that spread about the handsome Earl of Dunsbury having an affair with one of his maids. To their misfortune, the countess was there to witness the affair. Apparently before the countess would put any threats upon this girl, she had vanished from the surface of the Earth. Could Lydia have been that girl? This had seem to explained so much about her unusual act.
Due to this situation with Roselle, Sophia felt that it was a responsibility that a parent must make rather than a business woman like herself. She had already sent out a letter to the viscount to inform him of his daughter. She hoped that exasperating man takes his cares of what he created. She walked to the still crying child who was in the arms of one of her workers . "Roselle, did your mother tell you anything about your father?"
Her tear stained silver blue eyes widened for a moment by the question she had asked and finally, she shook her head. It seemed Lydia never mentioned about her father.
Once Roselle was informed of who her father was, the expression on her little face began to lit up with not melancholy, but with a little faith of her little future.
"I am sorry that I can't take you in my shop but since you have a father, you shall live in a better home. Will that make you happy?"
Roselle thought that all happiness was gone when her mother passed away, but hearing this news that she had a father had given her faith. A father she never knew. A father that her mother has never told her about. She nodded her head vigorously, her wide eyes already beginning to glisten with tears and her little lips quivered into a smile.
Satisfied with the immediate answer, Madame Sophia took the child to her place to pack up and soon, they were off on their destination.
Roselle couldn't hold back her excitement yet she also couldn't hold back her anxiety. Her feet were dangling back and forth just of the thought of seeing her father for the first time. But she wasn't sure what her father would be like to her. Would he be excited to see her? Why did she never see him before? Why did mother never mention about him? But most of all, will he be a good father like her mother was to her?
She squeezed her rag doll tighter in her small embrace. The only things that were important to her to bring was her mother's hand made doll, some clothes, and most of all, her golden locket of her mother. Butterflies were swarming in her little belly just thinking about her first meeting. And out of her own curiosity, she asked Madame Sophia.
"Do you think my papa will love me?"
Madame Sophia looked at the child warily. Love? She hadn't thought about that since the viscount takes great pride in his name. Begrudgingly, she replied," Of course he would be happy to see you child. Your mother had once told me that you were meant to be loved."
Roselle blushed to that comment. Once I see my father, I am going to hug him and never let go, she thought mischieviously, smiling to herself.
The carriage came to a stop, making Roselle's heart beat faster and the butterflies flutter faster in her.
Here I go, Roselle thought overjoyed and the carriage door opened. Once Roselle set her eyes out to the world, she stilled. Her eyes were gazing at the most biggest castle she has ever seen in her life. The castle was grand white, with various radius top shaped windows and each had a curtain of many sheer colors and floral patterns. There were white statues of ferocious looking cats on either side of all the entrances along with rows of healthy green bushes surrounding a wall to the castle. Roselle was still in awe as she wondered Am I living here?
Roselle was more excited to see the inside of the prodigious castle and to her predictions, she was right upon the looks of the inside. It was just as beautiful as it was outside. While Madame Sophia was on about ordering the people to tell them of their lord's whereabout, Roselle continued to be enamored with the grand red carpeted stairway, the shiny marbled floor, the crystal draped chandeliers above her, and...
Suddenly, she was facing a man. Not just any ordinary man but a man who was dressed in his finest day wear. And from that instant, she yelled out happily, "Papa!!"
She took off at such a sudden speed that no one prevented her from running to him. In one instant, Roselle was binding her arms around one of her father's leg.
"Papa." She said breathlessly, her eyes began to glisten. "I finally found you."
The earl, however, was shocked and uncomfortable with this situation.Did she just called him papa?
"What," he began to ask while trying to pry off the little leech on his leg. "is the meaning of this?"
"Is that anyway to respond to your long lost daughter," Madame Sophia rasped out.
The earl stilled for a minute and looked down from the tiny red head to the plump seamstress, not knowing how to react. The situation intensified by the time his wife, the countess, walked in the scene, deathly white and breathing at an eneven pace.
"Frederick...daughter?" the regal countess whimpered, setting eyes upon the tiny girl and at her husband, seeing a slight resemblance between the two. Especially the silver blue eyes they both shared. Her husband's affairs with that peasant girl drove her crazy but seeing his bastard in front of her eyes had made her ballistic. "That witch has set her bastard in our family!?" She raved at the girl, spewing out any insults to the girl. Roselle, still clung to her father, hid behind him, frightened by this crazy woman who was speaking in such languages that she has never once heard. The earl tried to calm his raving countess down and finally, she had fainted from her distraught mind. The earl looked back at the seamstress. There was a lot of explaining to do.
"I am sorry, Dunsbury. This child is upon your hands no matter how you deny she isn't your child."
Madame Sophia lashed out at the earl for the twentieth time. When they had put the countess to her bed chamber, the earl and the seamstress were privately discussing Roselle's loss and a place for her to stay. The earl hadn't denied the fact that he was once involved with Lydia Wittek. However, he is denying this child with the most lamest excuses one would ever think. Especially when the servants were convinced that the eye color resembled.
" I refused to accept this child! That peasant witch could've gone off with many men after me. There is no way I would demolish my name anymore with accepting a child who couldn't be mine."
He pounded a fist at the wall, too angry to think. The more poundings he gave, the more he was driving Madame Sophia mad.
"Stop denying the facts when you know full well that she is your daughter. Calculate it. Roselle is 5 years old. It's been six years since you've seen her. A woman goes through nine months to produce a baby. She simply has your eyes. How much more do I have to inform you?"
Madame Sophia gave an exasperated sigh and got up from the sofa.
" You must accept the consequences you brought upon yourself. Now, if you may excuse me, I must get back to my shop. As a businesswoman, I have to get my business running than wasting time to prove your child's rights. Now I bid you good day and come in my shop whenever you need."
His silver blue eyes pierced at hers.
"Don't expect us to come to you for any services anymore," he muttered out.
Madame Sophia countered with a smile. "Gladly," She replied and out the door she went. That was the last anyone would see of her.
Roselle was introduced to her father's other daughter, also her sister. She looked probably about seven to eight years old but she was the most prettiest girl Roselle had ever seen. Her golden curls, her silver blue eyes, and her velvet creme dress had made her look like one of those angel girls she had seen in portraits. Roselle admired the young beauty of her and at the same time, was a bit embarrassed to be presented in such bland outfits on their first meeting. She even had a china glass doll that Roselle always wanted but can never get. She stared at her own patched doll compared to Fiona's shiny fine doll and wished guiltily that she could at least hold the rich elegant doll.
"Who are you?" the girl asked haughtily.
"I'm Roselle Wittek," she replied shyly. "I am here to stay with my papa."
"Are you talking about my papa?"
Roselle nodded. The girl laughed instead.
"Like my papa would take you in. You are poor, filthy, and didn't I hear people call you a bastard?" Fiona asked snobbishly.
"A bastard. A child who isn't born from married parents. It's very bad for people like us."
Was that what people were viewing her as? A bastard? The feeling was very troublesome to her.
In her most quiet voice, Roselle asked, " Do you think father will still accept me?"
Fiona shrugged haughtily. "I don't think my father will accept you. After all, I am pretty. You are not. I am smart. You are not. You see, I was born in royalty. You were born under sin like what everyone else said. "
Her remarks had almost brought Roselle to tears until a maid came into the nursery and had asked Roselle to go with her.
Roselle followed her, having faith that her father wanted her and that Fiona was wrong. Soon, she was presented to the butler rather than her father and was informed that her father had put her part with the maids and when she was a slight bit older, she would be Fiona's chaperone and lady in waiting. She didn't expect this but she had faith that her father would want to keep her in. And in the meantime, she could show her father what a hard worker she would be, so he would come to acknowledge her some day.
I'll work very hard for you father, Roselle vowed, sealing those long term goal for those she loved.