2.11. Trouble in Paradise

Notes: Rose, or Rosie are nicknames for Roisin.


The exhibition (and party) was a roaring success. It boosted my career, like an adrenaline surge to an athlete. I had more people enquiring about my paintings, and commissions were pouring in. I really disliked turning people down, but I simply couldn’t cope with the demand. It was impossible to fulfil all requests even if I spent 24 hours on the easel.

Though I could always squeeze my schedule for a Landgraab.

It was astonishing what the power of party could do. Overnight, Delia’s reputation as a talented (party saving!) mixologist had been spread far and wide, and people wanted her to be mixing at their parties. Even the wealthy Elphinstones.

It connected us to people we otherwise thought we couldn’t. But somehow, it ate up almost all of our time, free time we could spend on the family.

And things weren’t exactly blissful at home.

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“Riona Moonglow! You are not to be mean to your sister. Do you hear me?!”

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“But momma..!” Riona protested. “Hmph, you only cared about Roisin anyway!”

“I won’t be talked to like that, do you understand?”

Arguments, arguments everyday.

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“Hmph!” Riona sulked as she passed me. “It’s Roisin’s fault!” I wanted to ask her, but she refused to even look me in the eye. But I thought I saw something burning in her eyes. Tears was it? Or resentment? I slapped my hand on my forehead. Never did I expect myself to deal with sibling rivalry.

Why couldn’t the girls get along? They are girls, afterall. Leila and I got along very well, despite being of opposite genders.

I don’t get it.

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“Delia, what happened?” Her face was black as coal.

“Riona. I overheard her calling Rose (Roisin) names.” She answered icily. “Honestly, I don’t get it, Toby. She is always so nasty to her sister. She tore her drawings, she broke her dolls…”

I shrugged my shoulders. That seemed to irritate her. Grudgingly, she grumbled some words whist picking up the dirty plates. They sounded like a spell. I saw her giving me the death stare. It was menacing… as if she threatened to shoot thunderbolts out of her eyes.

I looked back, a little defiantly. Didn’t she see my frustrations too? Couldn’t she understand I was not accustomed to feuding sisters?

“Well, I really hope you spend more time with the girls, rather than with the easel… Always with the easel.”

“Fine!” I stalked off. The husband would never win the argument. It had always been that way.

***

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“Stupid Blarffy!”

“…Why Riona always pick on me?”

“Answer me!!!”

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“I’m sorry, Blarffy. I’m just frustrated, you know?”

Witnessing that moved my heart. She was Roisin, my sweet little angel. Somehow, my heart went out to her. I knew it was awful to be picked on. And it was my Little Rose (Roisin). She was so softhearted, so kind… she couldn’t even bear to hurt Blarffy. I felt it was impossible she was capable of provoking her sister.

It hurt me to see her upset.

I shook my head. I needed a word with Riona. It was unbecoming of her. I tried to understand her little tantrums, I tried to express my affection, so she wouldn’t feel left out. But picking on Rose? This was getting out of hand.

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“Roisin, Roisin, Roisin! Everyone only cares about Roisin!” She stormed out of the room and slammed the door.

“You’re grounded!” I shouted after her. She ought to change that princessy attitude of hers. Nobody would grovel at her feet like subjects.

An awkward silence ensured.

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“Daddy?” Roisin squeaked in a soft voice, like a timid mouse. “I’m sorry…”

I was instantly softened. “No Rose, don’t be sorry. You’re not to blame…”

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I pulled her into a hug. She will always be my precious Rose.


(Roisin’s POV)

It was sad to be disliked, especially if that person was my sister. I didn’t understand why she don’t like me. I never done anything to her, I think, to warrant such hatred.

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Like today, I was just playing BlicBlock on my phone when she appeared out of nowhere. Hurling insults at me. It was so mean, and so awful. Shouldn’t sisters be friendly and play with each other? My classmates said so. It made me sad.

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I tried to reconcile, to apologize… But all she said was talk to the hand.

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“Seriously Roisin, you are the problem.”


(Rachel’s POV)

My dear Rosie was a genius. I saw the same thing in her that I had seen in Tobias. And he turned out to be an extremely talented painter. I couldn’t be more proud of that. She was destined for greater things in life. Perhaps a scientist, or an astronaut? I was confident the world would be her oyster.

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Aww, a sweetie wasn’t she? “I love you, grandmama!” was all that needed to melt my heart. I ruffled her golden locks. I always had a soft spot for her. How could I resist that sweetness? Sometimes, I think it was affinity that she had my beautiful blonde hair.

***

t9

“Grandpapa, why does Riona hate me?”

Kason: It broke my heart, seeing my precious granddaughter so sad. Yet I had no answer for her. She was so likeable, and so fragile… “Because she doesn’t understand what a lovely girl you are. And I promise she will.”

t16

I didn’t want to show favouritism, but I could not deny there was something in Riona that puts me off. It was her mannerism perhaps, or I was too over with the expectations. She was, for a lack of better words, rude. I was her grandmother after all and I found the lack of respect appalling. (Or I was more drawn to Roisin? I don’t know… Rosie and I had a special bond it seemed.)

I loved my grandchildren all the same, but even I felt it was beyond acceptable for Riona to be picking on her sister like that. I had to have a word with Toby.

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