"Chikako-sama....you really shouldn't be doing tha-"
"Aw, quit it Matsushiro. I'm not gonna get hurt, it's a tree. "
Shrugging, I continued to pull myself up, pants snagging on the bumpy bark on the branches.
Up, up, up. So far up that I could get away. That would be the best. I imagined using this stupid long black hair to fly away like a raven and put some use to it.
Too many rules. I wasn't even eight years old and I already felt like I was 100.
Not a single 'I love you' or 'How was your day' from my parents, just things like
'A lady must not sit crosslegged'
'Why on earth did you bring that weasel in here?!'
'Is that a SOCCER BALL?'
'Leaves do not count as classical hair ornaments, young lady.'
'Pants must not be worn by women, they are tools of fornication.'
'Those peasant boys? You can't go and PLAY with them, they'll put all sorts of strange ideas into that pure head of yours.'
And when I asked them what fornication was, they just pinked and said 'When you're older' !!
Judging from the context, I think fornication just means "have fun and be cool"
It's stupid. All of it is stupid.
Reaching the peak of the tree, I gazed with wonder over the horizon, over the huge view. Down below I saw the city, little pinpricks of children who were lucky enough to be allowed to play ball. I just had to sit and learn about go. I haven't conveyed deeply enough, it seems, how much it will never make sense to me.
I didn't want to learn about tea and sit inside all day. I wanted to put on pants and run around and jump and brawl and do all sorts of unladylike things.
I looked down at the hands that gripped to branches, hanging my tiny body precariously over the earth. They were pale and thin, delicate, lacking the strength that I longed for, the calluses and scars that I wanted to earn. I considered letting go for a moment, wondering how long it would take for me to break onto the ground like a fresh egg.
The wind kicked up, rocking me back and forth like a wind chime. The clouds bruised black and blue and I could smell the coming rains, so I decided that now was the time to get down before I actually DID break onto the ground like an egg.
I clambered back to the world of the living, making sure not to sully my pants more than I had to. The least that I could do was stay clean, so they weren't TOO mad.
I didn't want to be like my mum. She was a poor slip of a thing, left all alone at her house all day, growing flowers and making tea.
I was grateful that they hadn't kicked me out of the house yet, to be honest. They were good people, and I loved them very much, but they didn't understand my priorities and it appeared they needed to set theirs straight.
I slipped down to the ground, ignoring the bespectacled, whining butler who was chastising my endeavors in the tree.
"You could have gotten killed! That was far too high up, Chikako-sama. Do you know how easy it could have been for you to slip? And as I am your caretaker right now, I would be held responsible! Do you want that?!"
"Well if you keep talking to me like that, maybe I would."
That shut him up.
Up in that tree, I'd devised a plot. One that my parents could not refuse.
I may be a very small, scrawny eight year old, but I am a lot smarter than people give me credit for. I'm no genius, but I know stuff. It's what happens when your parents own the Land of Fire's biggest library.
Oh my goodness, I apologize. I haven't even introduced myself to you! My name is Matayame Chikako. I am eight and a half years old and if you haven't guessed, I'm a bit restless.
I read too much. I think I may have to disguise my vocabulary once my plan goes into action, since nobody likes a nerd. Not even me.
Matsushiro kept whining and whimpering, pushing up his round glasses and peering down at me as if I was some sort of insect.
"Honestly, how are you going to become a fine young lady when you're too busy fantasizing about silly things like this?"
That was like a punch in the stomach. When was he going to understand?? He'd known me all my life, why couldn't he recognize that what was important to me...was not the same as his importances?
I glanced up at him. His clothes never fit right, since he was far too tall and gangly for anything in stores, and his fancy-pants uniforms hung off of him like burlap sacks rather than flowing pieces of artwork.
Instead of saying anything sharp, I just sighed. It wasn't his fault, he was just doing his job. It was wrong of me to treat him like this. I was breaking the rules, after all. They may be dumb, but I was still expected to follow them.
But not for long.