The city of Cyron is all we have. We do not know if more cities exist somewhere out there, beyond the safe borders. I hope they do. But just because it is sad to be confined to only one city, it does not mean that we should not feel lucky.
Cyron gives us everything we need. We have our homes, food, schools, libraries and parks. We have our lives. Many people died in the Great War, but our ancestors survived and built this city from nothingness. No one who remembers the War is alive anymore, but only to think about them makes me grateful to be alive.
One of them was Alexander Reming, my great-great-great-grandfather. He was a great scientist who used all of his knowledge to enable this city to grow. I was named after him and I am proud to bear his name. He used his knowledge to do good, and I hope someday I will be able to do something similar. He is the reason my family is even today in charge of West Cyron, while the Thorne family is in charge of East Cyron. I just hope neither of these families will forget what brought us here. It is their turn to do good for the city, and Alexander Reming is a person who could inspire them. That is why I chose him as a person I admire.
I found this old school composition of mine in a drawer in my room, entitled A Person I Admire. I don’t remember putting it there, but I remember reading it proudly to my brother, Theo, many years ago. He wasn’t impressed. I told him my teacher said it was the best composition in class, but Theo responded that I shouldn’t compare myself to others but to try to surpass myself.
Theo was always too much of a perfectionist for his own good, but he meant well. Underneath the serious countenance, he was warm and fragile. That’s why I’m so worried about him these days. He seems his old, responsible self, but I know him well enough to sense when something’s wrong. He’s been working for father at the Ministry, although they don’t get along, which just one of the things that makes me suspicious. And I know he’s worried about me. He always wants to protect me. Especially now when father decided that I should marry his colleague’s son. Theo went crazy when he heard it.
“I went to school with that guy, and I know what and idiot he is!” he shouted at father. “He was a bully then and he is a bully now! I will not allow Alex to marry him!”
Even my mother protested: “You can’t arrange a marriage for our daughter! Besides, she’s just turned eighteen!”
Father didn’t change his mind, he only agreed to postpone the marriage a little bit. I know this is just another of father’s plans to make sure I remain his picture perfect daughter, but I also know he will not give up on it. He could’ve just named me Laura to fit the Petrarchan ideal he wanted to create of me. All the innocent, sweet girls in literature are named Laura. The universe is obviously on his side, since I even look the part – tiny, big-eyed, pale, and blonde. Well, my mother is tiny and blond as well, so I guess I never stood a chance. I even suspect that was the reason my father married her.
I admit, my father’s decision scares me to death, but I don’t want to talk about it to Theo anymore. He looks so stressed even without me complaining. And I know he still hasn’t gotten over Celestine. He still loves her, but he won’t admit it. When did my brother and I stop talking? When was this abyss created between us? And how am I supposed to explain to him that I am falling in love with Ryder Thorne, Celestine’s cousin, the rockstar? Well, star may be an overstatement, but his band is getting more popular each day. At first sight, Ryder and I are the complete opposites, but we actually like all the same things. I express myself through writing and always have a book at hand; Ryder expresses himself through music and always walks around with headphones in his ears. When asked about a favourite colour, we both answer – black. I like it because I find it silent and beautifully dark; Ryder likes it because he finds it expressive and loud. And we both love words. Sung or read, words can say so much, if they are used right.
Do I love him? I think I do. But what do I know? I’m eighteen but I’ve spent most of my life trapped in this beautiful, safe and insanely cold house. I’ve never been in love before.
No, I will not play the role of the “unhappy little princess”! Tropes are boring and I’m sick of rules. Real people surpass any definition. I will find a solution for my unfortunate situation. I will not obey my father this time. I want to become the person the young me would admire.
I think this should’ve actually been the first story in the series, because it explains the setting. Anyway, you can read the previous one HERE. I also decided to name the series East and West. Hope you’ll like them 🙂