When Gemma arrived at the castle she was greeted by the three maids assigned to her, Audrey, Zara, and Sarynn. They spent the evening getting to know Gemma so they could better dress and help her. Then once the morning came, they woke Gemma to prepare her.
“The green dress will compliment her hair nicely Sarynn.” Zara said.
“I’ve heard that our prince has a fondness for blue though. Isn’t the goal for her to please the prince if she is to become his bride?” Sarynn argued as Audrey stayed out of the argument to begin getting Gemma ready. She made sure Gemma was bathed with her nails all clipped to the same length, and even trimmed off a small amount of her hair to eliminate any split ends. “You look lovely Gemma. The prince will be in a great place if he picks you. And you will look amazing in either of the dresses my sisters made.”
“Thanks Audrey. I appreciate it, even if I’m still nervous. And if either dress will be nice, why not flip a coin? Then it’s just up to chance so they don’t have to argue.”
“Well, the two of them will always find a reason to argue, but I’ll flip a coin to decide for them. And trust me, you’re a great girl. You will do so much better than you think. The prince would be blind if he couldn’t see how great you are and at least see you as a possibility.” Gemma smiled at Audrey’s encouraging words, before Audrey flipped a coin to determine that Gemma would wear the blue dress that Sarynn had laid out for her.
“I told you she would look gorgeous in my dress.” Sarynn said with a slight smirk as she lightly put a small amount of makeup on Gemma to help highlight her eyes.
“You were actually right this time Sarynn. Gemma looks great in the blue, even if she would have looked great in the green as well.”
Audrey sighed as she pulled back the sides of Gemma’s hair. “It doesn’t matter which dress it is, as long as it works for Gemma. She looks beautiful, perfect for meeting the prince. Show him who you are Gemma, and let him know exactly why you’re the best girl for him.”
As soon as they had Gemma ready, they gave her a few more words of encouragement before sending her on her way to wait for her turn to meet the prince. Gemma stayed to the edge of the room, too nervous to talk to any of the other girls. She had to focus on composing herself and calming her nerves to make a good impression on her meeting with the prince.
Then as the lights turned off and came back on, a girl came in, and she was clearly not like the rest of the girls there. The girl announced herself as Kandy, then started singing and doing things to the other girls. Everything ranging from throwing confetti on girls, to slapping, and dumping water on a girl. Then, Kandy grabbed books off of shelves, and threw them at some of the girls, Gemma included. Gemma was very surprised by the entirety of Kandy’s actions, but especially that. Gemma was hit more than once due to being in closer proximity to where Kandy was at the time. Gemma was never the strongest person anyway, she wasn’t as frail as she was when she was younger, but she definitely was weaker and more prone to injury or sickness. She already knew she would soon have clear bruises due to the size and thickness of the books. That was before Kandy had terrorized even more girls, especially the girl with the prince at the time, before climbing onto him and forcibly kissing him. From there, the prince settled the issue, and gave the statement that the new queen would be the one to decide her fate. In that moment a majority of the girls, Gemma included, would likely have desired a harsher punishment, but only time would tell. Kandy was delusional, but that didn’t mean that she couldn’t one day become something better to society. However, nobody could be sure what could happen. She would remain in the castle, so what would stop her from trying something again later into the selection.
Thanks to Kandy, Gemma was already feeling like she was off to a bad start, and she was likely not alone in that feeling. That was when the girls’ maids began to arrive. The prince had sent a guard to send in each of the girls’ maids, so Sarynn soon entered. “We heard what happened. Audrey is helping Zara make another dress, so it’s just me.” She looked Gemma over, assessing how to help, and noticing the way Gemma had her arm held. “Do you need a nurse?”
Gemma just shook her head. “No Sarynn, I’m fine. Just shaken up mainly.” Gemma didn’t want to mess anything up with her chance to meet the prince. You only get one first impression. By the look on Sarynn’s face, Gemma knew Sarynn saw straight through her saying she was fine.
“At least let me check your arm, and fix your hair before you meet the prince then. You’ll make a good impression on him for sure.” Sarynn first fixed Gemma’s hair back as nicely as it was before, then looked over where her arm was hit by the books. There wasn’t much she could do about it, but she could take a small amount of a cotton gauze that she had to at least partially wrap Gemma’s wrist. “I keep this handy for when Audrey helps sew.” The wrap just went around her wrist and the palm of her hand a couple times, but it was just enough to provide a small amount of protection temporarily, to get her at least through meeting the prince. “Go get em tiger. Once it’s your turn, just be your wonderful, genuine self. As much as I wish I could be the one in your shoes, I will do everything in my power to help you win his heart, but at the end of the day it’s up to you to earn it.”
“Thank you, Sarynn. I really appreciate it.” Sarynn smiled at Gemma, before heading back out of the room.
A while after the Kandy incident, and shortly after Sarynn’s encouragement, over half of the other girls had gotten their chance to meet the prince, but it was finally her turn, and Gemma couldn’t help but still feel nervous. For all she knew he could take one look at her and choose to send her back home, but on the other hand it could be the moment she first meets her future husband. She walked over to where she was supposed to and gave a curtsy with a small smile. She was careful to make sure not to bump her sore arm, which was already beginning to develop a bruise, against anything. “Buongiorno your highness. I’m Gemma Romano, from Carolina. It’s an honor to have this opportunity.” She truly didn’t know what to say to him. She had never dated anyone before, or anything remotely similar that she could draw from. She took a deep breath as everything her father, Zara, Audrey, and Sarynn had said went through her mind. I can do this. Just be yourself, let him see who you are. “This whole thing is kind of crazy isn’t it? I’m sure it must be for you, especially after what happened earlier. But this is definitely out of my normal a thousand percent.”