The Calm Before the Storm
There was once a pair of identical twins, born to a most unfortunate fate.
It just so happened that the twins were not mean to be twins in the first place. There was only suppose to be one. The stronger twin was suppose to 'absorb' the weaker twin during the pregnancy period.
Their parents were modest peasants, and though not terribly poor, they were unable to support the growth of two children. They had only planned for one child.
In a heartbreaking decision, they placed the elder twin in one of the city orphanages, hoping that a wealthy family might adopt their child, and give her a better life.
As luck would have it, the elder twin was in face adopted fairly quickly. She was a rather beautiful little girl, just like her parents. Her parents may not be well off, but no one can deny that they were a rather good looking couple. The older sister was taken in by an old aristocratic family.
The elder twin's new family were of very old money, and well liked by the crown. However, the Lord and Lady were growing old, and had no children. They had intended to adopt a son, an heir to the family name. But they fell in love with their new daughter, and decided to change their family to a matriarchal line, naming the baby girl their heiress.
This was the beginning of Aurillie Beaulieu.
The younger twin, Aurea Geluk, remained with her birth parents.
Mr. Geluk caught pneumonia about a year after the twins were born, and left Mrs. Geluk to raise Aurea on her own.
This of course, was no walk in the park. Mrs. Geluk became the resident laundress of that section of the city. Yet, funds were still low.
Mrs. Geluk searched all around the city for employment, calling on several wealthy families who were seeking a new maid or new cook.
She came across one family who needed a new nanny. Apparently their former nanny was leaving to move into the country with her fiancé.
Mrs. Geluk went in for an interview with the head butler and the parents themselves, and was given the job. They didn't mind that she had her own daughter that she would have to raise along side theirs.
."Why not?" They had said, "Our daughter could use a playmate."
And so, Mrs. Geluk and Aurea joined the Beaulieu household.
Mrs. Geluk to realized that Aurillie was her child only minutes after meeting her.
Of course, she kept that under wraps at the time. She didn't want Lord or Lady Beaulieu to fire her because she was Aurillie's birth mother. She most certainly didn't want they to adopt Aurea too.
Looking back at that time, Mrs. Geluk now viewed her own actions as idiotic. Despite their wealth, there was no way the Beaulieus would have been able to take Aurea from her. They were not the sort of people to do that anyways.
The three adults had actually realized the fact that Aurea and Aurillie were twins within the same week. If one were to put the children side by side, anyone would be able to see that they were practically mirror images.
That was how Lady Beaulieu realized it. She first met Aurea when the two girls were playing together in the nursery.
The Lord and Lady were incredibly generous to Mrs. Geluk. They made her a permanent maid at the manor, giving her a stable income, and offered to provide for Aurea's wellbeing alongside Aurillie. This way the twins can grow up together.
However, despite that, Aurillie is still the sole daughter of nobles, and Aurea the daughter of a maid. Lord and Lady Beaulieu made that distinction very clear, for they are not adopting a second daughter, nor are they sharing their heiress.
Generosity only goes so far after all.
Ultimately, Aurillie will be the Lady, and Aurea her servant.
On their sixth birthday, Aurillie and Aurea shared a beautiful party.
There was cake, ice cream, many different types of sweets, and a delicious three course dinner consisting of a simple spinach onion salad, Toscana soup - a favored dish by their Italian chef -, scallop pasta with garlic sauce. No dessert since... well, everything else was dessert.
The girls had grown quite close in their years together, and they shared something the adults like to call twinlepathy.
It's like Aurea always know how Aurillie is feeling and vice versa. They have also mastered the stare conversation, meaning that they can carry out an entire conversation by just looking at each other and subtle movements of their face.
Thank goodness for everyone's sanity that they don't finish each other's sentences yet.
The only difference between the girls is their attire and mannerisms. Though they shared a similar height and hairstyle, their clothing and behavior gave away their status.
Aurillie's dresses, though simple, were made of the finest material and oozed elegance. She walked with a loping gait, confident in herself, and her place in the world.
Aurea's dresses were just as simple, just as nicely tailored, though with less expensive cloth, and often more 'patched up' so to say. She was a much more energetic child and was extremely independent. She often dragged Aurillie on adventures to explore the manor grounds, particularly the woods at the eastern side of the estate. She tended to trip and fall often, requiring her clothes to be mended on a constant basis, and lacking any grace her sister had.
Aurillie was more academically inclined, and often spent the time she wasn't with Aurea in the library.
Their sixth birthday was a very special day for another reason. Until then, Aurillie and Aurea have been doing everything together during the day, and separating for the night before dinner, when Aurillie would join her parents in the dining hall, and Aurea would eat in the kitchen with her mom.
After their sixth birthday, their education were split in two. They have both learned to read English, and were able to write in the language, though both had horrid handwriting, as excepted for children their age of course. They also began basic mathematics. A governess has also taught both of them basic etiquette and manner.
Once they turn six, Aurillie began formal education in the arts, including painting, dance, and music, foreign languages, particularly French - as it was the country of origin for the Beaulieu family - and Latin, and more advanced mathematics. She also continued to more advanced English and more complex rules and etiquette of high society.
She was to be groomed to takeover as the future Lady Beaulieu, and head of the family companies.
Aurea on the other hand learned how to be the perfect aid to Aurillie. Aurea was to become the ideal servant, learning not only the basic cooking and cleaning, but continue advancing in English and mathematics, along with Aurillie, as she would need to be educated and well literate in order to carry out any errands for Aurillie in the future.
Symbolically, it marked their second separation since their birth.
Psssst! Auri! Auuuriii! Up here!" Aurea whispered, perching precariously on a old oak tree a few feet away from where Aurillie was having afternoon tea and trying to memorize all the uses of the Latin ablative. They were now ten years old.
Aurillie did not hear Aurea at first, and took a sip from her teacup. It was filled with Earl Grey, her favorite.
When Aurea's voice finally registered in her mind, Aurillie looked around to find her twin in quite a dangerously position. "Rea get down here!" Aurille demanded, "You'll fall on your head sitting like that! And stop whispering, just talk!"
Aw come on Auri, you used to be so fun!" Aurea pouted but complied and jump down, though not before performing a somersault on her way down.
She pranced over to Aurillie and stood behind her, taking a peak over her shoulder at the parchments Aurillie was studying from.
Seriously Auri, relax for a bit will you. Your precious Latin grammar won't run away while you actually live a little."
Aurillie was used to this. It's almost like a ritual now. She would study, Aurea would interrupt her, and they would do something her mother and father would no doubt disapprove of, and she would need to spend more time in the library later.
Admittedly, most of these escapades were extremely fun. They once let loose one of the new stallions from the stables and they had to chase it down somehow and return it to his stall. It was much harder in reality because the stallion was barely trained, and he was fast
, as most horses are. They had to lead him back using a trail of apples and sugar cubes.
The stallion is now her personal horse, and she named him Erebus, because he was a gorgeous pure black with a white star on his forehead.
Although, Aurillie and Aurea both were thoroughly chewed out by their guardians. Aurillie particularly as Erebus had trampled Lady Beaulieu's favorite tulip patch that she had planted herself. It had been an interesting day though.
Rea, please. No crazy idea today. Mother is still angry at me about the dress."
A week or so ago, Aurea decided that she just had to dance in the rain. There was a shower that day, and Aurillie had been in the library when Aurea dragged her outside.
Needless to say, they both got soaked, and Aurillie slipped on on mud and ruined a rather nice dress.
Aurea laughed. "Auri, there's no way she's still upset about that! Plus, closet is huge. One dress is nothing. I would know. I've counted how many dresses you have." She crouched down next to Aurillie and poked her legs. "Come on Auri, you know you want to..."
Fine. Just this once"
Aurea bounced up and down excitedly and grabbed Aurillie hand.
To the kitchen!" She declared before running off, Aurillie stumbling to catch up behind her.
Slow down Rea!"
To be continued.