The Rose Between The Thorns

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“She’s a disgrace to our family name”, whispered her grandmother to her father when she was seen talking to her best friend. He was their rival family’s heir and the only person who truly understood her. She was as if by a slip of fate born into a family of warriors, and she was anything but that. She had been a disappointment ever since she picked her choice of steel, choosing the needle over the blade. She was a sweet and innocent girl whom all her family hated and it had turned into doubt, they questioned her loyalty when she was seen with him, Florian, theirs was a family of gardeners and wine merchants and they were at odds with her family. Her name was Aria and she was named after her aunt who had died young, fighting in the Dark Battle, her father had hoped that like his sister she too would bring honour to her family. And she would too, though she would not follow in his footsteps…
She was a great beauty like her mother, but even more and she was blessed with something which nobody else in her family had ever excelled at, needlework. Her designs were pure bliss to feast your eyes upon, it was like it was crafted by the gods, and men used to come from faraway lands to buy her works for expensive jewels and bags of gold, it had made her immensely rich and she was very proud of herself, but, it was just another reason for her father to be disappointed about, his only child making money by selling and that too cloth! They traditionally earned their wealth by defeating their enemies and took what was rightfully theirs! And when her cousin had returned home successful, she had draped him in silks and he had gotten so furious that he had hit her in the face with such intensity that it became a permanent scar; he had only stopped after her mother had felt that it won’t end well and had taken her away, much to the others’ amusement and disgust; as she did not protest when he slapped her, then she deserved it!
Now, all her wealth was with Florian for safe-keeping, if her uncles or cousins saw it, they will burn it all and she would not have enough money to buy clothes to design. And she had to wait until all her family had slept to work on it as if they saw it they might rip it to shreds.
She had to suffer all of their judgement until the day came when they would recognize her…
Now when the War was going to take place, naturally her own family was designated to lead all others and they were proud of their fierceness in the battlefield, but since she could not be allowed to take part, she had to stay back and even though her family hated her, they were careful enough as to not leave her alone on her own, she didn’t even know how to defend herself! So her grandmother decided to stay with her, even though she was old she was still a lioness if roused. They had waited for a long time before they heard horses arrive and excited to welcome her victorious family back her grandmother rushed outside, but instead of her family she saw their enemies and they pushed her aside and plundered the house dry of all valuables, and she did not do anything, if they had lost, it was only fair for them to pay their debts.
And after two more days, they returned; her mother was deeply wounded and her husband had relieved her of her pain, she had given up her life and would have brought glory to her family if only her nephew would not have been so careless and left the vanguard unattended and had instead lunged without a second thought at their foe, with had led to their downfall, the first-ever in history. She was deeply affected by her mother’s death and the next clothes that she designed over the days had depicted sadness and sorrow and death. Now, the family had no money and they had lost their only way of life. She wanted to help her family and so she gave her father all her earnings, but her father who was a rash man brushed it off saying that he did not want her stupid earnings, but her grandmother had more sense than him and over the days that they had spent together grown more affectionate towards her and as the head of their family she declared that they will all take up sewing for good and her words were final. And so it was official, they all started sewing and were really grateful for Aria’s help and she forgave her family for the past and at her advice, they mended their bonds with Florian’s family and sealed it with her marriage to Florian. She was a rose, aye, beautiful and sweet-looking, but roses had thorns too…

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