Adrianna could feel anger bubbling up inside her as she walked quickly away from the breakfast room where her father was still sitting. Fighting the urge to hit something she headed back upstairs and into Vittoria’s room.
“It’s usually polite to knock,” Vittoria said snidely as her older sister burst into the room.
“I’m sorry. I need to vent my frustration somewhere and I can’t think of anywhere else to go.”
“Why not your own room.” Vittoria turned back to her own reflection in the mirror, carefully placing a lock of hair back in place.
“I just can’t believe he expects me to lie down and accept everything he says like it’s been decreed by the gods," Adrianna continued like Vittoria hadn't even spoken. "I refuse to accept that women were meant to be inferior to men and be obedient and good and perfect all the time. It’s just not the way it’s meant to be.”
“It’s the way it’s always been,” Vittoria said disinterestedly. “Accept it Adrianna; you’re going to marry a rich, powerful man in order for Father to make an alliance. You should be honoured you can be so useful.”
“But I don’t want to be something that can be sold as part of an alliance. I want to marry someone who loves me, not someone who wants to get close to our father.”
“People don’t marry for love,” Vittoria scoffed. “If that is your view of the world then you’re seriously mistaken.”
“For someone younger than me, who hasn’t seen much of the world, you are incredibly cynical!”
“No, it’s just you who is living in a dream world. I’m accepting the life that is going to be planned out for me. You’re the one who can’t accept that you can’t have everything your own way and live the perfect life.”
“Just because you’re Father’s favourite because you do exactly as you’re told,” Adrianna snapped, getting annoyed at her sister for behaving like such a goody-two-shoes. “One day you’re going to look back and wish you’d stood up for yourself because I’m going to get what I want, no matter how long it takes or what I have to do to get there.”
“Like I said, Adrianna. You’re dreaming.”
“What about in other countries? Look at Fersere. Not only is Queen Rowena allowed to rule a country alone and marry for love, she married a commoner, a thief no less! So how can you say I'm dreaming? I thought sisters were supposed to support each other, female solidarity or something like that. But your heart is stone cold.”
“How dare you say that,” Vittoria protested, finally turning around to confront Adrianna. “Of course I want the best for you, what sister wouldn’t, but it’s hard when you insist on trying to force things to change. I warned you last night that going to the ball without a mask would be a bad idea and that Father would never let you get away with it, and I was right.”
“This isn’t about who’s right, Vittoria.”
“I know it isn’t. But it would make it so much easier for me to support you if you would just stop with all the crazy schemes to empower yourself. Just stick to the rules for once and do as Father tells you.”
“If you really cared you wouldn’t ask me to do that. You would support me no matter what, like Luisa does.”
“Luisa is a child, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
“If she’s a child then so are you. She’s only a year younger than you.”
“But she sees the world in the same way you do, like everything is achievable and she can do whatever she wants. You’re setting a bad example for her.”
“I’m being the bad example? Luisa shouldn’t have to think that she has to lie down and take everything that’s thrown at her. She should be able to fight for herself and for what she believes in.”
“But look where that’s got you. In trouble with Father and put on a warning. Don’t think I don’t know what goes on in this house just because I’m ‘the good one’. You think it’s so easy being me, doing what I’m told but you’re wrong. It takes a lot more strength than rebelling in the way you do.”
“Don’t do this again,” Adrianna exclaimed. “Will you ever stop playing the martyr? It’s not going to get you anywhere.”
“I’m not being a martyr,” Vittoria protested indignantly. “I’m just pointing out that while you’re complaining how you have it so bad because you can’t get what you want, the rest of us who do as we’re told don’t have it any easier.”
“I can’t talk to you if you’re going to be like this,” Adrianna said, heading for the door. “I came here for some support, not for a lecture on why I’m the bad guy.”
“Then stop pretending that you have the moral high ground and are so superior to the rest of us,” Vittoria shouted after her sister as the door slammed.