She'd remained in the entrance hall for a decent amount of time, long enough to get noticed by the cameras. Then she'd quietly slipped out the side door in search of her room. She'd found it fairly easily. It had, in fact, been one of the closest rooms to the entrance hall. She was fairly sure it was a coincidence, but some part of her seemed to think whoever had drawn up the room assignments had put her so close to the exit as a message, sort of a get out circus girl you don't belong here.Makena wasn't a girl lacking in self-confidence. You don't become an acrobat if you're embarrassed about your body or how you look. She'd known from the start she wasn't exactly a typical contestant. That had been her strategy, after all: stand out. But still, after twenty minutes standing in a room with some of the other contestants? She couldn't help but feel out of place among the gorgeous supermodels, actresses, lawyers and geniuses in the room. And she couldn't help but wonder what chance a circus performer had in a shark tank like this one. With a small sigh, she pushed open the door to her room to a surprising sight. First, how fancy the room was. She wasn't sure why she was surprised, after having seen the rest of the palace, but she was. Somehow she'd assumed they'd give the lower caste girls less nice rooms, for some reason. But hers seemed to be just the same as everyone else's. So. This was really happening. She was really a selected girl, equal to all the other girls in the competition.The second thing that surprised her was the girl slumped in the chair in the back of the room. She took a step back and checked the name on the door. Yep. There it was. "Makena Watson." So who was the girl sleeping in her chair?She approached cautiously, somewhat concerned the girl wasn't breathing. She seemed pretty out of it at any rate. As she got closer, she soon realized that the girl was only sleeping, which was a relief. But it really didn't explain who she was. Or why she was in her room. Or why she'd chosen to sleep on the chair instead of the bed.She hesitated for half a moment, then tapped her on the arm quickly before jumping backwards and landing on the bed, waiting to see how she'd react.
She watched the girl with something akin to alarm from where she crouched on the bed, hardly hearing a word she was saying other than "miss," and "maid." That was going to take some getting used to. Definite getting used to. She'd completely forgotten she was going to have a maid, quite honestly. That she'd have someone whose sole purpose in life was to do whatever she needed to do. After being slightly shell-shocked for a moment, she blinked her way out of her daze to notice the girl staring at her. "What?" She asked, before realizing the girl had probably said something she was supposed to reply to. Frantically her mind whirled trying to make sense of the words that had hit her ears but not her brain. "Erm, yeah. I'm Makena. Nice to meet you, Orla. And it's fine about the chair, I mean, I really don't care. Next time sleep on the bed, though, it's much comfier than that chair by the looks of it," she ended with a nervous laugh, unsure of how to talk to a maid. Especially a pretty one. It seemed like she was unsure about how to do most everything in this palace. It was a new feeling for her, and one she wasn't sure she liked.
"I-what?" she asked, frantically trying to figure out what it was that she'd said wrong. At Orla's next statement, she hastily looked down at where she was crouched on the bed, rumpling the covers. And getting sparkles from her dress on the covers. And bits of dirt from the bottom of her shoes."Oh, gosh, I am so sorry!" She exclaimed as she hurriedly got off the bed trying not to rumple the covers any more trying to get off. "I wasn't thinking, sorry, you probably spent hours doing that, hey? And I just wrecked it, sorry."She bit her lip, suddenly wondering if she was allowed to sleep in the bed, or what. She was kind of a rough sleeper, after all, and after one night the well-made bed would probably be completely ruined. "Is there any way I can, like, make it up to you?" She asked, slumping into one of the chairs she motioned at gratefully, hoping it wasn't some sort of special chair she wasn't allowed to get sparkles on or something.She tilted her head to the side. "I'd show you, but, well..." She glanced around the room at all the fancy and expensive (and breakable) looking furniture. She tossed her head to get her ridiculous hair out of her face. "This isn't exactly the best location. Some other time though, I'll let you see my skills and you can judge for yourself how good I am. But from me to you? I'm pretty damn good."
She ran her hand through her hair somewhat worriedly, and found a troubling amount of tangles. "I'd hate to give you extra work to do, and ruin the gorgeous room, through."She was struck, as she often was, by how idiotic the caste system really was. And how idiotic the Selection was. A few days, even hours ago she'd been only a caste up from this girl. And now she was being treated like an upper-caste girl (she was an upper-caste girl, she supposed) but she couldn't shake the feeling that there really wasn't much separating her from the girl in front of her.She winced even thinking about it. "Wasn't there a net?" Trapeze falls weren't entirely uncommon, especially among beginners, but there shouldn't have been a way for him to have been seriously injured. There should have been a net there to catch him and keep him from serious injury. It just didn't make sense, unless it had been a cheap circus and they hadn't bothered to take the proper safety precautions.
"Nah, it's so tangled anyways it probably helps it to run my fingers through at this point," she replied without really thinking about it, wondering how running her fingers through her hair would ruin it. It was kind of a nervous habit of hers, after all, and she'd been doing it for years. Without really paying attention, she started running her fingers through her hair, distracted by the faint blush she noticed working its way up Orla's cheeks and wondering what the reason behind it was."It's kind of a pain, to be honest. I've considered more than once chopping it all off, but I can never really bring myself to do it. It's so inconvenient, though, it gets everywhere and there's not really many things I can do to keep it out of my face so I just let it floof everywhere and hope I don't die because I couldn't properly execute something since my hair was in my face."She shrugged, considering the girl in front of her. "I'm sure you could probably pull off curly hair. It obviously wouldn't have as much volume as mine, but I'm sure you'd look gorgeous with a little curl to your hair. Not that you're not gorgeous with straight hair, too, it definitely suits you.""I'm so sorry," she frowned. "That sucks that your first circus experience went so poorly. They're supposed to be magical and amazing and help you escape the real world for a while. Not ignore basic safety precautions, kill their crew and traumatize their audience members. Tell you what: when this is over, you'll come watch the circus I preform in. Best around. I promise, you'll have a good time!"
She shook her head. "There were about a hundred people running around the dressing room, and I'm not even sure how many hands touched my head. I don't think I caught even a single one of their names, the room was so crowded and filled with fabric." Also, she suddenly felt the need to take a shower at the thought of so many hands in her hair. Eugh. Sure, she'd found worse things in her hair, but still."Really? You think so?" She turned to the mirror to glance at her reflection, therefore not seeing the heavy blush on Orla's cheeks. "Everyone I've ever spoken too has said to keep it and damn the inconvenience. Also, apparently it looks amazing when I do acrobatics with it loose, even if I can barely see through all the hair in my face."She turned around to look Orla over, experimentally running her fingers through the other girl's hair. "Well, we've got about three hours before supper, yeah? Should be more than enough time to give it a try. I'll warn you I'm not great at curling hair and I'd like to apologize beforehand if I burn you. Although I'll try not to.""Really? Awesome. Glad to hear not all your circus experiences were shitty. You'd still better promise to come see mine, though, I'm sure it'll blow the other one out of the water. Plus, I'm in it so it's automatically better than all the other ones."
"Two hours? That's plenty of time. All you've got to do is put a dress on me, right? And curling your hair can't take longer than like, ten minutes. It'll be super fast, I promise. And super fun." She smiled at the girl in front of her, edging suggestively over towards the vanity. "Come on, sit down! Ten minutes, and you'll have gorgeous curly hair."She twisted a piece of her hair as she mentioned the prince, and straight out laughed when she mentioned the wedding. "Orla, you really think they're gonna let the crown prince marry a circus brat from five?" She shrugged. "I got about one chance in a thousand when I'm surrounded by all these supermodels and geniuses? They either want arm candy or someone to run the country, and I'm neither. Best chance I've got is they keep me around for a while to keep the lower castes happy. I'm here for a month at best So might as well have fun while I'm here, right? Let's curl your hair. C'mon."
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