from them nary a peep,
the mockingbird sings
for all he is worth,
as though his heart would burst.
You were just a girl.
The scrapes on your knees and hands against the paleness of your skin only proved your weakness, your inability to fight the world as it dragged you down. Your hair was damp from the rain, even after Master Oscar gently wiped it down and your soul was sinking fast. Everything was going dark because you had failed.
You were just a girl after all
You were just a girl, you told yourself. Only girls tripped and fell so clumsily. She flinched as the plates came crashing down around her---
---to only miss her completely.
She blinked and raised her head to meet brilliant green eyes, grinning down at her. She was so caught in them, she missed the blood on his fingers. He fingered her chin and pushed her hair back.
"Take better care of yourself," Oz said quietly.
"Because I'm a girl?"
Oz lightly flicked her nose, "Nonsense! Because you are my sister's handmaid! And my servant."
She rubbed her nose and frowned at him, "You're lying," she said stubbornly.
Oz flicked her again, "Are you insulting your Master now?"
She blushed and put some distance between Oz and herself. He got up and brushed his shorts.
"My feelings are not so shallow," he said and left her there.
"Ah, Gil, you found me again," Oz says, peeking out from behind the tree, "I hope you did not tell Mistress Katy about my hiding place."
"Young Master," she frowns, brushing her bangs off her face, "You should be heading back. You have guests--,"
Oz snorts, "Who cares?"
Gil twitches, "It's very important---,"
"They're not here to see me," Oz says softly, his voice passing through the air like a breeze, "They're here to catch a glimpse of my father."
Oz sighs and leans against the trunk, "I am too sleepy to see them now. Maybe later."
She stands there as Oz's eyes close in golden slumber and she sits beside him. She takes his face in her hands and soothes the lines away. No one else saw them but her.
Oz fiddles with the ribbon while Gil fidgets uncomfortably.
"Done!" he says triumphantly as he grabs the small hand-held mirror and shows her the finished product. Her curly bangs remained, framing her face, but the back was tied in a high pony-tail, locks of black hair falling like a single wave.
"Never cut your hair, Gil," Oz says appreciatively, flicking her pony-tail as she oggles her new appearance.
"If that is what the Young Master wishes," she says quietly.
stumbling, stumbling blindly, the world spinning again, the dress muddy and bedraggled, the nice dress with ribbons and bows that Oz had made specially for her, she cries, she cried, she is crying, she will never stop stumbling, never stop losing, because she is a girl.
And she is weak.
Of what is he so proud?
Why is it nature’s plan
for the mockingbird alone
to sing so sweetly,
to sing so fervently,