L O N D O N H A M P S H I R E ' S R O O M
Roxie moved swiftly down the hall, despite the pain in her feet from the heels they had provided for her. She had removed them to find they had turned the souls of her feet into an irritated red color. While her feet were rather small, the ladies who had prepared her had somehow found a pair of heels that were smaller. As soon as Roxie had moved into her room, she had discarded the shoes with disgust in the back of her closet and found to her horror that there were more. She didn't care how much trouble it got her into -- she would tell the prince firsthand that she required something that didn't make her hate her own feet. Roxie already found it to be a miraculous curse that she had been chosen for the Selection, and didn't need another reason to despise the whole petty competition. Barefoot -- hell, her dress was floor-sweeping after all -- Roxie walked, trying desperately to hide her scowl but to no avail. She stopped and searched the line of doors; all were closed and somewhat forbidden seeming, still she moved to the nearest one and knocked. Perhaps the girl inside would have shoes that didn't look like torture devices and would lend her them for the rest of the day. Roxie waited, the rolls of pale blue silk balled in her hands so as to keep from tripping. They had told her that the color would set off her hair, and though she had begged for a plainer dress, she couldn't deny that the one she wore was absolutely lovely. It made her feel beautiful, which in turn only made her more irritated at the whole competition. She didn't need a dress or sparkly pins or uncomfortable shoes to make her beautiful. Roxie may not have been half as pretty as a model but she was radiant and a god fucking competition to win the hand of some stupid prince would not make her any more or less so. Breathing in, she brought herself up to full height, and though that was not much, she couldn't bring herself to regret removing the heels.
London's closet had been full of two piece dresses. Beige, orange, red, blue, every single color imaginable was available in that closet. But every single dress was a two piece. Of course she didn't mind, but it had been quite peculiar to her- weren't the Selected supposed to have had a variety of dresses? It was one of the things that had been mentioned to her by the team sent from the Palace when she had betrayed her feelings about not being able to wear any clothes from home during the Selection. Of course, then her maids had urged her to dig deeper into the closet where she found an army of strapless floor length dresses. Behind that had been a collection of one shouldered dresses and so on and on her endless wardrobe went. In fact, all of this pampering and luxury before London's eyes triggered some unwanted memories of walking around her house in too tight shoes for a day- it built stamina, her mother had said. As if pinched and red heels built stamina. As if blood lined shoes were not a waste of money. Drawing herself deeper into the vestiary, London tried to focus on something positive for once. When her eyes settled on an ocean blue gown, it reminded her of sneaking out with her friends at night to swim in the lake not far from their houses.Believe it or not, yes I meant friends not boyfriend, and swimming, not partying. Boys were in fact a species that London could never understand. Sure, she had had a boyfriend or two in her lifetime, but they had been so difficult to figure out that sometimes she would spend minutes pondering over the meaning of a text. When it came to parties, London was always invited yet rarely went. Getting drunk wasn't a feeling she relished, and just the feeling of beer burning her throat was enough to turn on her gag reflexes. The noise would burst her eardrums, and did people truly have nothing better to do than fuck each other on the couch in front of everyone?When the hard knock at her door came, the blurrying thoughts, memories, and opinions that had been floating around in London's mind dissolved, and she practically ran to the door. On her way out of her closet, of course she had to trip over stilettos, and rip seams of floor length gowns as she accidentally treaded on them. Running a hand through her slightly disheveled hair, she opened the door expecting to see one of her maids, calling her for a meal or something of that sort. Instead, in the threshold of London's door was a scowling Selected girl with red pinched feet and the silkier version of socks that were offered in the Palace balled up in her fists. The problem was quite obvious. "Shoe troubles? You can come in, sit down," London offered, hoping the girl wouldn't make a snarky or rude remark, because based on her facial expression that was exactly what she seemed about to do.
Roxie looked up as the door opened and hastily attempted to rearrange her face into something more cheerful, though she doubted it looked anything close. She peeked at the girl and glanced behind her at the room; it was just as lovely as hers, though seemingly a bit more in order. Once she had finally escaped the powder room, Roxie had collapsed on her bed, shoeing away her maid, who had thankfully accepted--not without putting up a fight--that she needed space. She had ruined her pristinely made bed and now had dresses and shoes strewn about the immaculate room where she had dug in her closet. Roxie felt a bit bad for making such a mess and would likely apologize later when her temper had deflated a bit.She flounced into the room without a word and took the girls' offer, sitting on the bed in a very unladylike manner. The pale blue dress pooled around her where she sat, the afternoon sun catching the glimmering beads with stunning beauty. Sure she had seen the other girls' dresses, and while they were all lovely in their own way, she couldn't help but feel partial to her own dress. It must've taken her maid hours to do such a meticulous and singularly exceptional job on it. The dress fit her perfectly and while Roxie abhorred the whole competition, she couldn't help but appreciate the beauty of everything. She may have been in the third caste, but preferred not to have such petty things. Jeans were not only her favored choice of pants, but they were inexpensive and would leave her more money for books and the like. Of course, being from a long line of philosophers, Roxie had plenty of books, but, as her father always said, 'one could never have to many'. The human brain could hold endless knowledge, so why waste the opportunity to expand the intellect on such trivial things as material? This, she assumed, was half the reason why the whole monarchy was so incredibly fucked up. While nothing could make Roxie despise the royals and the way they ran things more, winning would be the only way to truly change things. If she did not win, then hopefully it would be a girl with half a brain and a goddamned spine.Roxie looked up at the girl and nodded. "Yes. The shoes the ladies gave me were to damn small. Do you happen to have any that aren't, well, horrible?" She asked blatantly. She didn't quite know what she expected from the girl, to just give up her shoes for a girl she was competing against seemed like a kindness that didn't happen at these kind of events, but perhaps not all the girls would be the bitches she had expected. On the contrary, the girl in front of Roxie seemed rather kind, especially to have just invited her in when she likely looked as if she would punch the next thing that got in her way. "London Hampshire, correct?" She asked, trying desperately for kindness, or at least something within the proximity.
This girls fiery attitude and mannerisms certainly matched her behavior, London noticed. This girl certainly seemed like a piece of work, honestly. First rudely barging into her room- yes- London had invited her in but that was no excuse for messing up the comforter and pillows as London was trying a new thing called staying neat. And how she was sitting reminded her of a frog, almost. Putting all this aside, London supposed that she could perhaps learn to like this girl, considering as a Two she had met many different people with odd mannerisms and behaviors. From crazy pop stars to mellow opera singers, London's caste had it all. Not wanting to think of this girl as this girl, any longer, London desperately tried to remember her first and last name since this girl knew hers off the top of her head. R- she knew it started with R... What had this Selected been doing? Memorizing all of her competitor's names? Maybe. It struck London as something that would be reasonable to do, and therefore something that other girls would do. Although her mother had encouraged her to memorize the other thirty four girls' names, the joy of knowing her daughter had been Selected had made her ease up considerably on her constant lessons of how to be perfect. Raina, Rhiannon, Rachael... All of these R names were forcing London to think about her mother's best friends first name- a kindly soul, believe it or not- Roxanna. Roxanne Connolly. As soon as London had pieced together the first piece in the name puzzle, the last name had come automatically."Yeah, that's me. London." She replied casually. She had been named after the great city which was said to be decorated with history and lights, adventures and so much to see. There were supposed to be tall clock tours and many palaces and castles. The study of architecture fascinated London, even though she was a Two- a swimmer and athlete at that. In fact, if London had to pick an occupation other than swimming-- God forbid- it would definitely be architecture, although she would no longer be a Two. The chance to design something that may be known all across Illea, perhaps even all across the globe, would be magical in a way. But being the high achieving swimmer she was even better, London reminded herself. "And you're Roxanne Connolly," she stated, her voice drifting off slightly. "These shoes really are a pain; how to they expect us to walk straight if we have bleeding heels? It wouldn't be anyone's fault but the ladies'. I don't think I could be much help, though. My feet are a bit wider, and the only small footwear I have would be-" London opened her closet, finding the pair of stilettos she had tripped over earlier. "These wouldn't be what you were looking for though," she mentioned as she emerged from the wardrobe, not being able to hide back a slight smirk. (view spoiler)[thanks for understanding :) (hide spoiler)]
(view spoiler)[of course ;) (hide spoiler)]Roxie studied the girl slyly as she spoke, internally deciding that London was certainly not the bitch she might have expected, not even close. At the mention of Roxanne, she had to fight the prompt urge to deny that this was her name, but nodded her head hesitantly instead. As far as her competition knew this was her name, and while that is the word her parents had decided to bestow upon her at birth, it was not hers. Roxie was her name, as much a part of her as her blazing hair or her philosophical talents. Despite her stubborn insistence that she be called Roxie, the impudent reporters had decided to blatantly ignore her and continue on with the questions, to which she had answered vaguely and perhaps a bit rudely. It seemed her chances of gaining favor were diminishing as she continued to speak, but perhaps the audiences wanted someone who spoke their mind. "Don't. Call me Roxanne, that is. It's just Roxie." She said, disgust at the name displayed plainly on her face. She knew she would have to endure much more of the word as the competition progressed but hopefully she would be able to convince the others that her name was Roxie. Well fuck, if she would be pent up in this castle for a while--or at least until they kicked her out--than why not take advantage of the power she had? They would call her Roxie if she wished. If her chances of winning were marginal anyway than why should she conform to what they wanted her to be? Pushing away the thoughts, Roxie focused back in on the conversation. "Yes, they are. I just can't believe they think these heels are a luxury. I plan on asking my maid to make all my dresses long." She confessed. As London presented the stilettos to her, she took them. They looked as if they would fit her but would likely be a bit wide. "These actually might work." Roxie said, slipping the stilettos onto her feet with a slight grimace. She stood unsteadily and took a clipped step, testing out how they felt. While she was still unhappy, the shoes proved easier to walk in, despite their height. "Would you mind if I kept these? They're far roomier than my others. I'd owe you of course."
London smirked at Roxie's refusal to be called Roxanne. "You're right- Roxie sounds so much more chic, whereas Roxanne is the perfect name for a fat forty year old." London desperately tried to think up a fact about Roxie from the depths of her mind, but of course since she had decided to pay no mind to the other Selected, it came up empty.She had always had a good memory-- an excellent memory in fact-- but had always been horrible at memorizing things. Especially when studying. In grade five memorizing the respiration process had been like torture, and it hadn't helped later when on the corresponding test there had been hardly a question on the respiration process. Then again, London had never been one for science. "Go ahead and keep the shoes, you're actually doing me a favor in that way- it makes you look taller too." London added, not bothering to hide a laugh and sly smile. At 5'7, she was a decent height for a girl, and towered over her mother who stood small but mighty at 5'2. London's father had been the human equivalent of Mount Everest, at 6'5. So whenever her mother and father walked or stood side by side they made quite the spectacle. "So what province are you from?" Coming from Dominica herself, it meant that London had always had a sun induced tan to add to her natural one. (view spoiler)[kinda late, but this is her dress (hide spoiler)]
Roxie laughed ruefully at London's comment about her name, completely unaffected and somewhat in agreement at the fact that she had said her name would fit a fat lady in her forties. "Not even a forty year old. Perhaps someone's dead grandmother or something like that." She said scornfully. While her mother had tried desperately for the first few years of her life to convince her that the name was beautiful, Roxie hadn't believed her. Mothers were required to think so, weren't they? Their opinions could never really count when it came to matters of beauty, as she had also told her daughter that she was lovely no matter what her height. It wasn't as if the prince wanted his queen to look like a raggedy ann doll. Roxie thanked the girl for the shoes and rolled her eyes internally at the mention of her height. "Even with stilettos on I'm hardly tall enough to be appealing." She said matter-of-factly. Some people might have said this in such a way that made it sound as if they were only digging for compliments, but Roxie wasn't. She knew she was short and wore it with pride. Who ever said being small made you any less terrible? Dismissing the topic with a gesture of her hand, she blew a couple of stray strands of hair from her eyes. The stylists had told her that it would be fashionable to wear the chignon at her neck loose, though all it had managed to do was irritate her. "I'm from Dakota. You?" Roxie asked, more out of an attempt at politeness than any real curiosity. She reached up and pulled free the sparkly pins in her hair as she awaited an answer, letting the flaming locks flow free across her shoulders. The hair tickled her bare skin strangely, a feeling she was not used to as dresses were nonexistent in her wardrobe.
(view spoiler)[sorry about the short post (hide spoiler)]"Dominica. Sandy beaches, tropical animals, not stuff you'd see in Dakota. But I've only been off of the island a few times since I was so committed to swim competitions and meets and stuff. You get out of Dakota much?" London asked, actually curious. Although she loved to travel, she really only did for swim competitions. Her parents were never really the travel type- probably because her mother had had a fear of flying and when you live on an island that and cruises were the only way to get a real getaway. One brilliant thing about Dominica were the animals. You wouldn't see a beach dog or flamingo in Angeles, that was for sure. Perhaps in the zoo, if there even was a zoo. Who was London kidding? She was in Angeles, the capital city of Illea, there had to be a zoo somewhere in the city. For a fleeting moment she wondered if the Palace would ever let the Selected out into the city. No, of course not, London thought, mentally scolding herself. Their safety was too important and definitely their top priority next to that of the royal family.
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