Secret Children 9: Silent Rose

By Desert Mouse

Rose knocked on the door that had Lily's name written on it. She had been coming by to see the isolated girl every day since her recent accident. There wasn't a response, but there never was, there were only one person in the castle that Lily seemed to trust, and no way for her to know if that was who knocked on the door.  Rose tapped once more, then she entered like she always did.

"Are you feeling ok?" Rose thought poking her head into the small room. Sitting by the window Lily glanced for just a moment at her before turning back to her view of the courtyard.

"It's you." She said quietly. Because she had been through this every day recently Lily knew what the mute wanted.

"You don't have to check on me, I'm not going to hurt myself again." Lily tried to promise.  But as much as Rose believed that she wasn't lying, she also knew that there were too many things that one had no control over.  Rose wanted to stay and talk with her a little, but the way that Lily kept staring at the window she knew that she would never get her attention.

"If she doesn't look my way, I can't talk to her." Rose thought with a sigh. Quietly she left the room, Lily just wanted to be left in peace and there wasn't much she could do about that.

"Rose wait up." Rose didn't get more then four steps away from Lily's room before she heard someone call for her. She turned to the voice, knowing that it belonged to one of the twin's.

"Sakura slipped away from me again, you haven't seen her have you?" Jade asked. Rose shook her head.

"You could try the ball room?" Rose thought making a motion like she was dancing with someone. With the upcoming festival it wasn't hard for jade to figure out what she meant.

"I already looked in the ballroom. Could you help me find her?" Jade asked. Rose thought about it for a few minutes, but she was supposed to be in the kitchen soon, she made a promise with Holly that she would return right after checking in on Lily.

"Maybe I can get her to come with me?" Rose wondered. It was worth a shot so she pointed to Jade, then to herself.

"You want me to follow you?" Jade asked.
"Do you know where she is?"

Rose pointed the direction of the stairs and made a motion of chopping vegetables like she had seen Holly doing many times in the kitchen.

"You think she might be in the kitchen?" Jade asked. Rose shook her head, but she held her finger up in the air and tapped her head. It was a long shot but Jade seemed to catch onto what she was trying to say.

"You don't think she's in the kitchen, but want me to follow you." Jade commented. She looked confused at the mute.

"Close enough I guess." Rose thought with a sigh. The two of them descended the stairs and headed into the kitchen.

"You made it back, is Lily ok?" Holly asked, she risked a glance away from her cooking food for only a moment and was surprised to see Jade. Rose nodded her head to answer the question, but Jade spoke up quickly, she didn't want to waste any more time.

"Have you seen Sakura?"

"She's up in the common room getting it ready for tonight. I'm sure she would love some help, everyone else is either here or in the ballroom." Holly said.

"Thank you." Jade replied and left quickly. Now it was just Rose, Holly, Sapphire and Ruby left in the overcrowded kitchen.

"I need some things from the storeroom downstairs, if you and Ruby wouldn't mind getting them for me." Holly said after Jade left. Rose nodded her head, but Holly had already turned around and couldn't see.

"Ruby knows what I need." She explained tending to her pots. Rose and Ruby head downstairs and get some of the stuff needed for the upcoming feast, but it takes the two of them four trips just to bring it all up. Holly never did anything small when it came to tonight's festival.

When they finished getting everything, Ruby moved over to a counter and started to help Holly with the cooking, but there wasn't anything set up for Rose to do.

"I want to help." Rose thought tapping on Holly's shoulder. She made a couple motions like she was stirring a pot.

"I'm sorry Rose, but I can't let you cook. If something happened you wouldn't be able to call for our attention." Holly apologized. Rose bit the inside of her lip and tried hard not to let any of the disappointment she was feeling show through.

"I only have myself to blame for that. I should have known I wouldn't be allowed to help. But she is right, I can't ask for help. I will never be able to." Rose thought but all she could do was nod her head in understanding.

"I'm sorry, I wish I could let you help but I'm sure they could use some extra hands in the ballroom." Holly offered. Since there wasn't anything else for her to do here, Rose left the kitchen and walked down the hallway to the grand ballroom. It was depressing what Holly said, but it was also normal. There were a lot of chores that the other girls would never let her do because of her voice.

"Every time that Emerald gets more powerful with her healing magic, she tries to give me the power to speak. But even she can't seem to do it and I don't even know why." Rose thought entering the ballroom.

The large ballroom was alive with activity. Though few in number girls crawled all over it, setting up decorations and preparing the large tables that would later hold the grand feast Holly was in the middle of making. On the front stage Violet was busy setting up her instruments for the spell that Emerald would have to cast. Even Marigold was helping out today, she was holding a ladder still so Diamond could put up some fancy ribbons.

Rose walked over to where violet was setting her things up and pointed to one of the instruments.
"Would you like any help?" she thought, but she couldn't express that.

"What do you want?" Violet asked confused. She tried to figure out what the motions that Rose was making meant, but it didn't make any sense. It seemed like she wanted to do something to the instruments.

"I need these ones, but you can go play one in the music room." Violet tried to helpfully suggest. Frustrated Rose moved over to where Emerald was setting up a table and tried to ask her if she needed any help. She pointed to the table but Emerald shook her head.

"I have everything covered here Rose." She explained.

"at least she could figure out what I wanted." Rose thought depressed again. She knew the feelings would fade during the festival, but she always felt sad during the preparations like this. Quietly she walked over to where Crystal was putting up some minor decorations, but mostly she was trying to stay out of the way and not get herself hurt. Rose indicated the decorations but she wasn't holding onto any hope.

"It doesn't look like there's anything here for me either, they look like they have the ballroom covered. It's almost ready for the festival." Rose thought looking around.

"OhI'm sorry, I didn't see you there." Crystal apologized. She repeated her apology a second time, afraid that Rose might not have heard the first one.

"I wish Lily would come to the festival this year. She never comes." Crystal commented.  Rose tilted her head in interest at her.

"Indeed, she never comes. And you are often the one that gets left without a dance partner. Well, depending on the type of mood Marigold is in that year." Rose thought.

"hey, Lily likes you Rose. Maybe you can convince her to join us tonight?" she suggested. Rose thought about it for a moment, the task was impossible but it also seemed like it was the only thing that she could do. Finally she shook her head and tried to indicate that it was impossible, but her motions seemed meaningless to Crystal. She could only understand the head shake.

"Why not?" She asked momentarily forgetting that Rose couldn't answer her.

"Ok then I'll go. No one will let me help with anything of use right now anyway but I don't think it is going to work. Lily has never attended these festivals." Rose thought giving Crystal an acceptance nod. The other girl seemed pleased that she was going to try, but Rose left the ballroom certain that she was going to fail.

"At least the festival is going to be fun, even if I can't get Lily to come." She thought looking at the bright side.

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