The Unworthy Child
I stand to take a deep breath as my back has started aching. The beautiful lady in the room turns away from the long mirror on her spacious bedroom wall and shoots me a cold glare. I just got done with washing my parents huge bundle of dirty laundry, now I have to clean my sister's room.
She is of course wondering why I am not done already so I can get the hell out of her sight. She will soon be the Luna of our pack and nothing could be more disgraceful to her than having a wolfless, unwanted sister.
I hesitantly resume my work as she makes her way out, her shinny black heels clicking against the hard floor.
"You can come to the party. But you better dress well or my mate will have you thrown out for looking like a beggar." She mutters while sidestepping the mop I am using to clean the room.
I look up with a gaping mouth, wondering if I am really the one she was addressing. Two maids wait for her at the door, ready to escort her to the pack house. She obviously wasn't talking to them.
"Did you speak to me . . . my lady?" I ask, uncertain if my tired mind wasn't hallucinating.
"I said you can attend the party." She affirms in an annoyed voice. "But don't expect to be offered a ride. The future Alpha would be enraged if he heard you had set foot in his father's golden carriage." She adds still striding towards the door without glancing back at me.
"Do I have his consent to attend the party?" I ask in the most courteous tone that my dry throat can yield.
She keeps walking and I start wondering if she heard.
"I already talked to him." She asserts after getting to the door. The maids help her put on an exquisite fur coat over the lovely red dress she had worn. They shower her with pleasant praises as they take hold of the tail of her dress.
"Don't you dare touch any of my dresses." She warns in a stern voice before the maids escort her away.
I let go of the mop in my hand and turn to stare at my reflection on the big mirror across the room.
A smile looks strange on my face, like a warm sunlight in the middle of a cold winter's day. Unusual, but welcome.
I haven't had a reason to put on a genuine smile for a long time. I honestly don't remember the last time I felt happy.
My life has been a nightmare ever since the day I failed to phase.
My parents no longer look at me the same way they used to before. I was never their favourite, but they never used to wish I wasn't their child like they do now. They actually adopted another girl to take my place and I was left to work for them like a servant so they would allow me to stay.
I have been the object of shame and the pack's loser. I carry the title of the unworthy child while my sister is the pack's beauty queen and future Luna. She is the luckiest person I know, because on top of being our parent's golden child, she also found her mate two weeks ago. And the man is none other than the next alpha of our pack.
I don't envy her. She deserves all that despite the fact that she has not spoken to me since word got out that I am wolfless. It's embarassing to be associated with me, I know. And both her and my parents have reputations to keep.
I still bake cakes for them, because they are my family, the only one I have got. I wonder if our parents love me even half the way they used to before. I doubt any of them remembers my favourite colour considering the fact that all their affection is always focused on Joanne, the golden child.
"She will erase the disgrace you have brought upon our family." Dad once said while ordering me to leave their dinner table.
Joanne didn't say a word to console me even when I cried. She has always given my existence a cold shoulder. I don't know why today just happened to be a little different. She just invited me to her marking ceremony and I can hardly believe that this isn't a dream.
I got banned from attending any important pack events a long time ago. The Alpha didn't want guests from other packs discovering that his pack has a weak member.
His son, the future Alpha and my sister's mate, wanted me kicked out of his father's pack. Luckily that didn't happen. But there is still risk that he would have me banished once he is crowned as the new alpha.
Being a lone rogue is the worst thing that can ever happen to anyone. Rogues are hunted down and killed by pack warriors for sport. If the young Alpha got his way I would have been chased from this pack and forced to become a lonely, wolfless rogue. My fear of being cast out has intensified as the crowning ceremony of the new alpha is set to happen the day after tomorrow.
But I think I can now relax because my sister just confirmed that he is okay with me attending their marking ceremony. He wouldn't allow it if he still loathes me so much. Being mated to my sister may be the reason he changed his mind about casting me out. Joanne doesn't like me much but I am exhilarated anyway.
I will never be treated the same as everyone else, but at least I won't be forced to become a rogue. I can survive being looked down upon and treated worse than a servant for the rest of my life. I am so used to it already. It is a lot better than being hunted down and killed by warriors or other rogues.
I quickly finish up mopping Joanne's room and carry the bucket and mop to the store room in the basement which also serves as my room. My mattress and box of clothes are on the floor at the farthest corner. The rest of the room is occupied by tools and all kinds of old stuff that my parents don't want to throw away.
I lost my original room when my parents adopted the new. She was a twelve year old orphan with a round face like Joanne's. That's probably the reason they chose her, because she looked a little like their favourite daughter.
It was disheartening to move out of the room I had spent all my childhood days in for someone deemed more worthy to take it. I was only allowed to take out my mattress, blankets and clothes because they were old and smelled of me. My parents redecorated the room for her and she happily accepted to take my place.
She gets a tiny slice of their attention compared to Joanne. But she has everything she needs unlike me.
I have made peace with being the unworthy, despised child. I know things could be worse, so I have been grateful that I am allowed to stay.
I wish I have time to shower anew in the servants' bathroom. But I worry that I will arrive at the party too late and it will be viewed as an act of insolence. Like Joanne said, no one would willingly offer me a ride to the pack house. I will walk the four kilometres, perhaps run half of the way because there won't be enough time.
I hurry to my box of clothes and pull out the sleeves, yellow dress that I haven't worn for years. It's old but still looks decent enough for a lowlife like me. I haven't worn my pink sandals for years as well. The two won't match but I can't care less.
I take off the dirty, oversized dress I was wearing and slip on the yellow fabric. I pull off the boots I have been wearing everyday and put on the pink sandals. If I had enough time I would run back to Joanne's room to check what I look like in a mirror, but I am already running out of time, I think.
I run my fingers through the thick strands of my hair before gathering them up in a high ponytail. I have no makeup or jewellery to put on so I take a deep breath and head out of my parent's house. I will definitely be tired and sweating by the time I get to the palace. Good thing is no one would care to check if I look elegant or not, I am a stinker so I am allowed to look as pathetic as a street beggar.
I hold up the hem of my dress so it doesn't sweep dust as I hurry down the road. I will probably be the last to arrive at my sister's marking ceremony, and no one will be thrilled to see me.