A light gust of wind entered through the window. It was chilly, as it was early spring, the bittersweet aroma of a single freshly blooming cherry blossom tree right outside the window accompanying the close sounds of the big city. The air reached a strand of hair, and another, and another, waving around the long, blonde hair of a young girl, sitting on her bed. Or, at the very least, she was told it was blonde.
The door squeaked as it opened, light, but determined footsteps entering the room. "Madame Éléonore, your tea." The voice was soft, yet unimaginably elegant. "Merci beaucoup, Claude", the girl quickly responded, "hand me it, s'il te plaît". She reached out her hands, and Claude placed the cup in her hands. "Your father wishes to speak to you later, Madame Éléonore." The voice went silent, and the very same footsteps from before went back to where they came from, the door being closed with the exact same squeaks, merely backward. The girl sipped her tea. It was Chai tea with soy milk, brown sugar, and just a hunch of cinnamon. It was very sweet, yet had its own way of not being too sweet.
She emptied the cup, and, against all laws of etiquette, simply set it down on her bed, before standing up and moving toward the window. Reaching it, she leaned outside and took a deep breath. The smog of the city mixed into the fragrance of the sakura tree, as it was around the time most factories began to work, not to mention traffic and the like. Sirens could be heard not too far away, gunshots in the distance, a lonely dog barking down the street, searching for its long lost owner. Éléonore remained at the window for a while. She seemed displeased by what was outside, but the air in her room had become stuffy overnight, so allowing it to flow was not a bad idea.
After a while, somebody knocked on her door, and the same smooth voice from before sounded through the wood. "It is time to see your father now." Éléonore turned away from the window and held onto the side of her bed. "I'm coming." She encountered the door, opening it and stepping outside, where Claude awaited her, laying a hand on her back and leading her down the hallway, into her father's office. She could quickly tell the room was filled with people, mostly older men, around her parents' age. They were arguing, their voices loud, echoing through the room. "...but we need to drive them out.." "..we can't it would be against our philosophy.." "..many of our own people are starving.." "crime rates!" "What about Italy?" They all shouted over each other, making it impossible to clearly make out a single full sentence, nor the flow of the conversation itself. Éléonore, led by Claude, moved next to her father, behind his desk, and sat on a chair that was suited to her size perfectly.
Her father raised his voice. "Enough! We shall discuss this issue further in the coming days. I have more business to attend to." Silenced by the strong command, the horde of men neared the exit of the room, grumbling, their footsteps loud and angry, as if they had wanted to continue on for hours. Claude also left the room, his hand reluctantly leaving her back, but soon to be replaced by a much stronger, bigger hand, resting on her shoulder. "My dear, I know it is not easy, but you will need to learn how to rule over a Duché sooner or later. You will be overseeing the people's personal requests with me today, and afterward, I may have a more uplifting message for you, I am merely waiting for final confirmation on." "Alright, father." The girl agreed as if agreement was necessary. In reality, she had no say in this, both her and her father were aware of this, and it reflected in her tone.
"Send the first one in!" he shouted through the door, and soon after, the door opened quietly, and a rather obnoxious scent entered the room. It smelled of dung and dirt, clearly a farmer. "What do you wish to discuss today?" her father spoke calmly. "My name is Marcel Deran, Sir, and our community of farmers is in danger. More and more often, out convoys get ambushed and raided, we lose the entire earnings from selling those wares, we become poorer and poorer, many of us are sick, but we cannot pay for doctors or medicine. If we could only get some protection, maybe a few policemen, the convoys generally only go back and forth twice per day…" The man's voice sounded shaky and desperate, yet he spoke with hope, it was anchored deep into his tone. Her father responded quickly. "We are having problems with crime like never before, our entire police force is on their feet 24 hours a day. That said, this is a problem, agriculture makes up a big part of our Duché's culture. I will see what I can do, and send a messenger your way as soon as I can." "Thank you so much, votre Altesse!" And as such, as quickly as he came, the farmer had left, only the first of many people to come. A mother in tears, requiring expensive treatment from foreign places for her child to survive, a young man seeking shelter for himself and his younger brother after his father had died trying to defend a woman being harassed on the street, and his employer taking over the house to make up for lost work force. Many people, many woes. The girl simply sat there expressionlessly, not a single word crossing her lips.
After what felt like way too many hours, her father finally sighed, his chair squeaking slightly as he leaned back. "That was the last one for today. Mon Dieu, this country is in a horrible state. Now, for better news." The door opened, and quick, flying footsteps rushed in, dropped some paper onto the desk, and left as quickly as they entered. "Ah, here it is. Éléonore, ma chère, I just got confirmation that our country's most proficient doctors can indeed restore your eyesight! Isn't that magnifique? You could finally see again!"
For the first time in forever, the young girl turned her head toward the person speaking to her. Her eyelids opened, her irides close to nonexistent, her pupils big, but glassy, the entirety of her eyes almost seeming like they were greyed out.
"No, thank you, father. In a world like this, I do not wish to see."