Chapter 23

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I've grown closer to Edwin. He makes my heart flutter. I try not to let him know though, if he did know...

He wouldn't like someone from a shameful country side anyways.

We have exchanged letter back and forth and on multiple occasions have hung out.

I have even become closer to Jody. We hang out and have tea parties. Sometimes her fiancé will even be there, he doesn't seem too bad, but I don't trust his little eyes.

"Miss you have another letter." A maid came and handed to me. I quickly took it from her, and excused her.

Jumping onto my bed, I ripped the letter open.

Dear Colette,
   
It's been a while hasn't it. Last time we have talked was at Jody's get together. This might sound weird, and don't think me bad for it, but I really enjoy being with you.

Ah scratch that. It's embarrassing to write down. This is my third time rewriting this letter. I'm not allowed to waste anymore paper, for my parents are being stingy.

That's embarrassing too. I guess you just make me want to be a better version of myself.

Forget that too. I keep embarrassing myself. I hope you don't think bad of me.

Well, to get to the point, I was wondering if you could join me for tea.

Sincerely,

Edwin Gregory

I clutched the letter to my chest, with a smile covering my face.

We've know each other for a while now. We are the age of 12 now, yet he still is as awkward as ever. It's oddly adorable.

I've been taught since I was young to be a submissive girl. That's what guys want. They want a pretty little doll, or a penny, to use and dispose of and even show off.

I was told to be quiet because boys don't like it when girls talk to much. I was told that when I got married that I have to be a perfect wife. Don't argue with your husband. Don't speak up, and let him do whatever he wants.

-

"Mommy who is Daddy walking with?" My young and naive eyes stared out the window at my father walking hand in hand with an underdressed prostitute, especially in the cold weather.

"Pay no attention to it." My mother said, picking the now 6 year old me up and holding me in her arms.

I laid my head on her chest, not able to get that out of my mind, until my mother started coughing. I jumped off of her quickly and she pulled her hand from her mouth and looked to it in horror.

Blood on her hand trickled down her palm and chin.

"Mommy?" I gasped, reaching for her, only to be pushed away by maids, who held her collapsing form up, and back into bed.

"Mommy is alright sweetie, she just needs some rest." She smiled, as I was directed out.

Little did I know at the time, that's when her health would quickly deteriorate.

-

It's only been a month later and yet my mother has become so frail that she is skin and bones. She can't eat and move. My father doesn't even care enough to visit.

"Don't ever marry, but if you do, please let it be a good guy. That will respect you and love you forever. Don't make the same mistake I did." My mother said, holding my hand limply.

"I won't Mommy! I won't!" I cried into her as she used the last bit of strength to hold me in her arms, without a final goodbye or an I love you.

I felt her arms go limp around me, and her breath go away. I screamed and sobbed uncontrollably.

-

(Present)

After that, my father spent most of his money on prostitutes and drugs. That's the reason things have gone so down hill.

"Colette?" He tapped on the door, startling me from my thoughts.

"Yes?" I look up.

"Was that a letter from that Grand Duke's young boy again?" He asked, shutting the door behind him, causing me to gulp.

"Yes." I nod. My father's wrath is not to be messed with in any way. He continued to step towards me and roughly pulled me up by the arm. He then shoved me against the wall with his hands and fingers digging into my shoulders.

"Do you remember what I told you?" He asked, his eyes turning dark.

I simply nodded, to which he seemed pleased, as he roughly let go and walked out the door.

I scoffed and rolled and rubbed my sore shoulders. Then I looked to my letter on the bed with a frown.

When my father first found out of our friendship. He told me I HAD to marry him, for the money, so he could spend more. For his greed.

I-I don't want to do that.

I grabbed the letter and sat and my desk, replying to him.

Dear Edwin,

I can't, I am sorry. Let's not meet again, or at least meet in better circumstances.

Sincerely,

Colette~

I didn't bother to write my last name as I folded it and rung for a maid to mail it off.

Once it was over, I felt numb. I don't want him to misunderstand and think I am using him only for the money. I really don't. I don't want to hurt him.

What am I doing now then? I am hurting him, for my own selfish reasons. I didn't even bother to explain.

-

It's only been a month later and I have refused any letter to me. Well I'll accept them, but I can't bare to read them. They have begun to build up.

So why now. Is he standing in front of me, with such a face. His blue eyes stared shakily and wide at me. He resembled a puppy, with his lip quivering.

Jody had invited me over again and again in the past month. I even had told her our situation and she nodded in an understanding manner, yet never spoke of it again.

I've been over to her house on multiple occasions with no Edwin in sight. Part of me was relieved but the other part was disappointed.

My mouth hung open, before I shut it tightly, with my eyes doing the same. I let out a sigh and regained my calm composure before turning a heel.

"I shall take my leave." As my head turned, I bit my lip.

I felt my hand grabbed tightly and I was even spun around with great strength to look Edwin dead in the eye.

"I missed you."

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