Has one yet pondered upon the quote, ‘life leads to destiny, but ye who leads the journey, is already there'? Hmm...never gave it much thought, which could be the possibility for this passage to twirled inside my mind like a loose, squeaky, wooden wheel. Where and when is this destiny? Is it at the end? Is it already here? Underneath my bed, or is it the squawking, annoying parrot, dancing on my shoulder? But I am not exactly sure what destiny really is. For some people, it is that long-term goal which they strive to the very end. For others, destiny is the very end. For me, well, it hasn't been discovered yet. One may say, ‘those who are unsure must find what they want'. I think what I want...is something to eat.
"Hallo Madame, how may my service complete you?" A kind, elderly maid of Sir Weilhmer asked me.
"I would like something to eat, Father what do you have in mind?" Sir Weilhmer glanced at my Father with puzzlement.
"Uhh Amarna, the chefs in the kitchen have dinner in the making. Leslie wanted to see if you need any aid." Sir Weilhmer included.
"For...?" I tilted my confused head.
"Evening wear, evening apparel, you know dressing up...more." He coughed.
"Oh, what, do you think I need to change? Should I wear my maroon dress for dinner, is my ivory gown not suitable?" I looked down, beyond my pushed-up breasts to see my corset.
"Well you've been wearing that all day, at Riksdag, to our secondary home here. Don't you see a need for change?"
"I am not comfortable with changes, Leslie you may go." I shrugged her away.
"Marni my daughter, this is not Nordstrom here, now as of guests, we don't want to look and act foolish in front of our hosts here." Father butted in, tapping my hand.
"No of course not..." I smirked at Father, and cynically nodded to what he said. Continuing to nod my head, I gave Sir Weilhmer a wide, smile.
Father and I were sitting with the noble Hascroft family of Motala in the dinning room. After the dreadful debates, we followed Sir Weilhmer and his sanguine daughter to their small, yet majestic Stockholm city home. The Hascroft's small manor was beautiful however. When we walked in, we were greeted by the kindliest of maids, tall paintings of the Hascroft's ancestors hanging on the long, white walls of the foyer. A wrought-iron chandelier hung from the peak of the white, Edwardian designed ceiling. Behind the black chandelier was the spiral staircase, which leaded to the family's bedrooms. Leslie, the head maid informed the other maids to carry my father and mine belongings to the upstairs. I wasn't quite sure if we were staying overnight. If we do, I'd be kneeling by a bed, pleading to God Almighty for a different damnation.
Speaking of the upstairs, boredom pumped through my veins and I excused myself from the table to see what Klara and her mother were doing. I steadily walked up the twisted stairs and followed a light to one of the bedrooms. But I paused at my tracks when I heard voices coming from that lighted room. I listened curiously.
"So how delighted you were Klara when you met the great Frank Westerlund?" An older, cracked voice questioned.
"Oh he is such a wise man, so brave, so determined. He is the kind of gentleman I want in my life." Kara answered. What! I couldn't believe what she just said; I was utterly disgusted but kept quiet.
"Klara, ever since Helena, his latest wife died, he never want to marry a woman again." The snubbed voice replied.
"Haven't you met his daughter?" The voice changed the subject.
"Yes, she's quite different from Frank O. though. A little weird if I might add." I breathed out a giggle, what a shrew.
"Oh? Well I'm sure she is a clever girl. But without her mother, I know her life must be confusing. I can't wait to greet all of them when we go down for dinner. I felt pretty horrible that I had to be in a neighboring town when the Westerlunds arrived."
"Yes Mother, but watch out for Amarna's sarcasm, it can ruin future relationships." I rolled my eyes and walked briskly to purposely pass the lighted room.
I intentionally stopped when I saw the two, powdering their faces by a long vanity and mirror. Klara's mother jumped in surprised.
"Oh I'm sorry, I was looking for the room that one of your maids put my belongings in." I placed my fingers over my mouth, acting surprised. Klara's mother placed her delicate hand over her heart.
"Oh do not fright child, Klara and I...were finishing up here. Your belongings are in this room actually." Her slender finger pointed at my luggage by the bed that I may be sleeping in after all. She smiled weakly.
"Oh, oh well I did not know they'd be in here in an occupied room. It's a very nice room. You have a very nice home Lady-"Petronella Ida Hascroft...and thank you for your admiration of our manor. Well, Klara and I will meet you in the dinning room." Lady Petronella passed me swiftly, made eye contact only to the wooden planks beneath our soles. Klara walked pass me with oceanic, blue eyes starring at me. She also gave me a grumpy-looking frown.
I watched them go down the stairs and strolled my way into the small, cluttered room. One of the maids neatly laid a few of my dresses on the bed. The ivory-colored dress that I wore all day has grown out of touch for me. I picked a dark, ruby red dress for tonight's dinner. Maybe the change was a need after all. However, this whole debates and politics thing were a vast change to begin with. A maid politely knocked on my door while I was putting on the ruby dress after I took off the other one. She walked in and helped me tightened my corset. While she was doing that, I glanced up and looked ahead of me; at the oval, vanity mirror.
I gave myself a stern look into the mirror. Why are you here? Was coming here the best decision? I stared down my serious reflection and sighed. Today was the first actual day of being in Stockholm, at Riksdag. Now I wished it was my last day. Ouch! The maid pulled the straps of my corset tightly. My dark, golden locks hang down to my breasts. I wondered if I wanted to put my hair up in a bun of curls. Put it all up or leave it all down? I couldn't decide what I wanted to do with this mop. After the maid finished and left the room, I scrounged into my make-up and hair accessories box and found a gold barrette. I compromised and put my hair half up, with loose strains hang down by my face. I also fixed my makeup and added some touch ups. To bring my sapphire blue eyes out, I added eye shadow of a very dark, yet rich hue of mocha brown. I added thicker and longer lashes with mascara. I laid a crimson glaze over my lips and finished my appearance. With 16 karat gold jewelry to accessorized. I strolled downstairs into the dinning area.
"My-oh-my, who is this beautiful, gorgeous woman walking in my dinning area?" Sir Weilhmer was in awed when I approached the table. There were new faces at the table as well but Father saved a seat for me, next to him...and Klara.
"Oh I simply added blush here and there...and entirely changed my dress. I guess a change was made after all." I replied and blushed.
"Well you look stunning my daughter. Amarna the gentleman that is sitting diagonally from you is Lord Johann Neal Fahnstrom of Oslo, with his lovely wife, Lady Nicole Anne. We both shook hands and smiled. Lord Fahnstrom had a long, curled-tip moustache!
"Amarna, have you met Lady Petronella Ida Hascroft?" Father continued.
"...yes." I paused and smirked at her. She wouldn't look at me and concentrated on her reflection on the plate.
"It was very wonderful for you and Lady Nicole to attend dinner with us and with the Westerlunds." Klara butted in while playing with one of the forks.
"Well it is always a pleasure for us to be here, thank you for your graciousness Klara my dear." Lord Fahnstrom thanked her. Klara was so cold. I could simply tell by sitting next to her; left to me. Her aura exiled her body; it left her soul naked in the icy, breezy tundra. Such a shame, a pretty brunette she was, with a few freckles covering her cheeks and nose, and those popping blue eyes...stared endlessly and wrathfully.
"Amarna, how do you like Stockholm so far and Riksdag?" Lady Fahnstrom politely asked and disrupted my thoughts. Our entrs came; peapod soup.
"Stockholm is actually a really nice city, however I believe it differentiates with Riksdag." I fondled with my silverware.
"Oh? Why would you say that?" Lady Fahnstrom was puzzled.
"Well-well Amarna disagrees to the ideas that Riksdag offers for Sweden...aren't that right Amarna?" Klara butted in.
"There is more to that, but she is right...for the most part...heh, right." I faintly smiled at Klara the Great. She returned a weak smile back.
"Well we are all entitled to our own opinions, isn't that right Lord Westerlund." Lord Fahnstrom said graciously.
"Hmm..mmhmm." Father nodded his head while sipping his iced water.
Finally, after the nonsense that gibbered across the table, several maids walked out of the kitchen with our meals. Broiled Swedish meatballs with crushed walnuts on them and sautd with thin gravy and some our nation's native spices...with crushed walnuts. The aroma was beyond sweet, my mouth watered however...did I mention crushed walnuts?
"Crushed walnuts covering the meatballs...that is original Weilhmer." Lord Fahnstrom questioned the meal, his thick eyebrows raised.
"Actually it is Lady Petronella's favorite...well she accidentally made it one day." Sir Weilhmer smiled and sipped his white wine. I kept a remark to myself and pretended to like the meal...it wasn't too bad.
"Crunchy." Father munched on a meatball and continued, "Isn't it Marni?"
"Hmm...nutty." I responded with a grin while Sir Weilhmer glanced at me.
"...Like you?" Sir Weilhmer joked as I smiled.
"Ah, not nutty enough." I chuckled and decided to strike up a conversation at the big table.
"So Klara, I heard your birthday is coming shortly, is that so?" I grinned at the brunette, blue-eyed, freckled cheek broad.
"My birthday was four months ago." Her petite mother glanced at smart-mouth Klara, and turned her blue, egg-shaped eyes toward me. All the deep, dark, spooky trenches that surrounded Lady Petronella thin lips, I'm sorry, lines, went completely vertical when she frowned at me.
"Happy belated birthday Klara, very belated. And if I don't see you next year, happy early birthday." I wanted to end the indecent conversation and I seriously meant early birthday to Klara because I sure won't see her next year...I hope.
"When is your birthday Amarna, if you don't mind me asking?" Klara asked calmly.
"Next month, nineteenth of May, I will be nineteen." I answered.
"Ah a golden birthday for a golden child likes yours Frank O." Sir Weilhmer proclaimed.
"She is becoming more and more of a young lady."
"Who isn't married." Lady Petronella muttered.
"You're not married Madam Westerlund?" Lady Fahnstrom gasped.
I sighed loudly from all the superfluous drama at this table. I tossed my fork on my plate. I looked up at Lady Fahnstrom with a bigger frown than a toad.
"Once Klara is Amarna's age, she'll be married and have a family." Lady Petronella winked at Klara.
"Why aren't you married my dear?" She asked innocently.
"You know Lady Fahnstrom, I do not know. Maybe because the men out there don't want me, they are scared of me."
"Oh that's not true." Lady Fahnstrom tilted her head.
"Perhaps her Prince has yet to find her?" Lord Fahnstrom joined in the conversation.
"Well-"She did not like the Senator's son earlier. That would have been a perfect match" Father interrupted me.
"No, I-"She and that son would have ultimate power and money to succeed in this world." Lord Fahnstrom butted me. I became furious.
"Klara honey, would you marry the Senator's son of Stockholm?" Lady Petronella innocently asked which grew my furiousness.
"Since Amarna will not, yes Mother I would."
"Surely Amarna has everything to offer when a man sweeps her off her feet!" Sir Weilhmer smiled.
"I have nothing to offer! Nothing! What, my heritance? The man can take all my family's damn money for all I care. Just leave me on my favorite reading chair to rot!" I threw a tantrum. Father sadly stared at me and Sir Weilhmer looked down at his plate of half-eaten food, pretending to unnoticed. The Fahnstroms' mouths dropped and looked at each other. Lady Petronella half-smirked at me while her daughter eye-balled my flushed face.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry everyone. Maybe...maybe I shouldn't be at the dinner table. Maybe I shouldn't be in this beautiful house. Maybe, maybe I should not be here in Stockholm at all." I sighed and turned my head toward Father, "Maybe I should go home." Father glanced at me and stared down at the table, shaking his head softly.
"Excused me everyone and once again, I am sorry. Hopefully I'll leave here shortly and you all don't have to worry about me being around here." I excused myself from this flustered table and trotted up the stairs.
"Will she be alright Lord Westerlund?" Lord Fahnstrom questioned.
"I will talk to her." Frank Westerlund replied in a melancholy voice and excused himself.