Alberto Craig was buried that morning in Hoxywill, Massachusettes leaving two if his daughters Amanda and Rose Craig. Amanda had adored their father and he in return gave her everything a child needs in order to feel loved. Rose, if she had been asked would have left out the beloved part. Alberto had been capable of loving only one person at a time. Rose had realized that at a very young age. His parents had died before Rose was born, and his only remaning sister had moved away when Rose was still a baby. But their father had loved Amanda. There was absolutley no doubt about that. From the day she was born he'd been charmed and had showered her with attention, spoiled her rotten actually. The sisters could be in the same room yet he'd only see Amanda as if Rose was invisible.
Rose's mother had tried to correct that and succeded somewhat while she was alive. She had see how much it had hurt Rose to be excluded from Alberto's love so she spared a little extra affection for Rose. But unfortunatley, Amanda had noticed and was so jealous, that it caused violence between the two sisters. Now they truly hated each other. Amanda was quiet simply not a nice person. Whether it came naturaly to her or not, Amanda managed to hurt other people's feelings. The worst part was she didn't seem to care to notice the damage she caused and the apologies were never said.
Rose couldn't count the times, that she tried to personally make excuses for her sister and apolozise to the people Amanda hurt. Neither of them had any female friends either. Amanda because she didn't wanted any. Rose had wanted friends, but gave up long ago trying to make any since her sister always drove them away, usually in tears.
Gentlemen were a different matter. Since both girls began approching marrigable age, gentlemen were in regular appearence at the Craig household because of Alberto's wealth and the fact that Amanda was very likely one of the most beautiful girl in town. And Amanda liked the male attraction. And anytime someone showed up that didn't catch Amanda's attention she would insult him until he stopped coming. So she had her favourtie group of admirers. The unfortunate thing was she didn't favour any single one of them to point of deciding which one to marry.
Rose wished she would. She prayed every night that her sister would get married and move somewhere else, so she could get on with living a real life herself instead of hiding away, fearful that some man might try to court her and end up one of her sister's target. The two times she had shown any interest in men she'd learned her lesson well. Even though they were twins, Rose went to a lot of trouble to disguise herself. Not wanting to draw attention to herself, she choose dresses that were so plain and dull. She wore her hair in a style that better suited someone's grandmother than a young woman barely twenty. But her disguise wouldn't have worked without the glasses nearly twice the size of her eyes which gave her and odd- bug eyed look that was very unattractive.
They sat in their father's study room, listening to the reading of his will. Amanda looked beautiful as always. Rose on the other hand was as unnoticeble as usual She was the moth next to the butterfly. The room was almost unrecognizable with Alberto's lawyer sitting behind the desk, rather then Alberto. They knew Bill Hawk well, since he had often been invited to dinner when their father had trouble with his work. There had been no surprise in the will. Yet! The fortune was left to the daughters equally. Once again it was his affection he didn't divide equally. But no real surprises--- until the end.
"There is one problem." Bill told them pulling on his tie nervously. "Your father wanted to be sure that you would be well taken care of, so none of his fortune will be transfered to you until you marry. And so until that time, your gaurdian will be your aunt Mrs. Lily Berg."
Amanda said nothing and that was because she hadn't fully grasped what Bill meant. Rose watched her waiting for the storm to erupt once her sister understood what Bill was talking about..
"Do you understand what It means? Bill asked looking at both girls.
Rose nodded even smiled at him. " I'm assuming that we will have to travel to Aunt lily. Is that what you mean?
Bill sighed in relief. "Exactly. I know it may seem horrible having to move so far away, but it can't be helped."
"Actually---- I don't mind at all. I have no real attachment to this city----"
The storm had struck. Amanda shot to her feet so fast that she threw the chair on the ground. Her dark blue eyes were flashing with anger and her lips had thinned to form a snarl.
"Absolutley out of the question! Do you have any idea where this unknow aunt of ours lives? It's the other side of the world!"
"Just the other side of the country, actually." Rose said calmly.
"that is the same thing." Amanda yelled. " She lives among savages."
"The savages have been reduced---- mostly."
Amanda glared at her. "Shut up, just.... shut up! You go live in the wilds of Texas an rot and die for all I care. i'll get married immidiatley and stay right here thank you very much." Bill tried to stop her, but Amanda was too furious to listen and stalked out of the room.
"She can't just--- get married.: He told Rose with a very heavy sigh.
"I didn't think so."
" I mean she can. It's just as your gaurdian your aunt have to give her approval and then she can get the money."
"Shall I bring her back." Rose offered. " She hasn't left the house yet. We would have heard the front door slam if she had."
"I'll go after her." Bill sighed again. Bill rose from behind the desk, but it wasn't necessary since Amanda came marching back to the room. But this time she wasn't alone. She had brought Ryan Claire with her. Ryan was one of her hopeful suitors.
"There I have settled the matter." Amanda said truimphantly. "I am now engaged to marry Mr. Claire, so no more talk of leaving." And then she added snidely. "But i'll be glad to help you pack Rose."
"Unless Mr. Claire is willing to travel with you to Texas, so your aunt can approve the two of you." Bill told her.
"No! I can't believe papa did this to me. He knew I hate traveling."
"He didn't die on purpose just to pain you, Amanda." Rose said in annoyance.
"I will be most happy to travel with you to Texas." Ryan offered.
"Don't be absurd." She snapped at him. "Can't you see this changes everything."
"No it doesn't" Ryan insisted. " I still want to marry you."
Rose saw what was coming and tried to spare Ryan's feelings. "You should leave for the time being. " She suggested quickly. "She's upset---."
"Upset." Amanda yelled. Too late. "I am beyond upset. But yes do leave. I don't want to marry you anymore."
Rose glanced away afraid to see just how hurt Ryan was by those few words. He really wanted Amanda to be his wife god ony knew why. Hopefully, after getting over the rejection, he would be happy to have escaped marrying such a heartless bitch.
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