Words Left Unspoken
A young Charlotte Cecilia d’Arkent captured candidly writing within her study.
The following pieces would be found throughout Charlotte’s many journals. The most honest of her thoughts, her regrets, her admissions, her heart, lived through her writing.
Each page would be scattered with pooled ink spots where she lingered too long with her quill, and stray tears littering the words scrawled.
For Daniel Louis
He didn’t even remember those three letters. I thought I meant more to him than that. The day he first showed me the library in his plans I nearly cried, and when it had finally been built, a physical place for my dreams to flourish, it exceeded every expectation I could have set.
You helped me realize my dreams, but refused to allow me the ability to return the favor. I thought that of everyone, he would confide in me. I hurt too, every day, but…
But I was never your solace before.
I’m expecting too much, aren’t I? I try not to burden you, so why would you do that to me, someone you vowed to protect? You spend years trying to cushion my every fall, why would you reveal something like this to me? I screamed at you, I cursed you, I can’t believe I... How can I apologize, Danny? I’ll swallow my pride, I’ll quiet it however I can, I need to silence this constant whisper of guilt.
For Peter Baldwin
You’ve never been a sad person, not outwardly at least, but to see your smile today, to see you this colorful and alive. In that moment, I finally saw my brother’s heart heavy, so full that it spilled over. You were always the one who took care of me, day in, day out, an inseparable pair we were. Why did we lose that? Why didn’t I try harder to keep up with you? You were busy with the guard, and I was lost in my journals. But truth is, you always had time for me. I can only blame myself for losing you, & that realization...
I never wanted to fall away from you, but it’s clear that I did this, our relationship dwindling was my fault. We’ve spent a thousand nights tangled up in silly stories, lost in our own world where nothing could touch us. Those are the nights I recount when I feel so terribly lost, I will always think of you.
For Mary Philippa
God, why is she so insufferable? Always better, always prettier.
She is better though, isn’t she? Always elegant, gracious with everyone who isn’t me. Why do we hate each other, Mary? How did we fall apart like this, I never wanted it... but maybe you didn’t either. The plight of two daughters of a Duke living perpetually locked in this competition. We care not for ourselves or each other, just vying for the approval of everyone else, everyone who frankly does not matter. How pointless.
I’ve pretended that I didn’t want you in my life, such a dense lie. I always wished to be something you could find happiness in, a sister that made you proud, maybe I still can... I’ll admit, when you first married Green, I thought of it as nothing more than a stunt, but the way he looks to you.. How could I have been so wrong? Even if your happiness stems from everyone but me, I will find a way to cope, as long as you are happy.
For Charles Henry
I could never tell if your humor stemmed from a place of love, or loathing of me. Honestly, I couldn’t blame you either way. Most find me abrasive, hard to cope with, but you, you always accept me with open arms. Whenever I speak to you, it’s as if we were raised together, as if our lives had never been disconnected.
I always thought you would treat me differently, worse. That the distinction in our blood would cause you more pause but it never did. And now I wonder, what does that say of me? You are my brother, regardless of your other half. But have I proved that to you? Or have I left you thinking that I would, or could opt to live without you? You’ve completed us, Charlie, you’ve known us for so little in comparison and yet you’ve broken every barrier without attempt. We are not a family without you.
I’m not whole without you.
For (the only) John Sigismund
I remember the day that I begged you to spy on dad and Leo because I so desperately did not want a husband. And of course you obliged, protecting me like you always did. My big brother swooping in to shield me from anything that could hurt me, real or imagined.
All those times we spoke about what we would do when we were older, how you would adventure off and be the valiant knight who came to rescue us when we needed you. How you would fight for the defenseless. I so looked forward to hearing your tales, of hearing of the Princess’ you saved and enemies you struck down. Oh, how I wish to hear those stories today, but now I realize that having a wandering, noble brother means that you hardly have time to tell them… I miss you so dearly, John, where are you?
For Alexander Joseph
Your kindness has always struck me as one of the purest things I’ve seen. Someone who I could never even attempt to emulate, God, I’m far too rash. Maybe that’s why I pulled away from you, because there was so much about you that made me feel insecure about myself, a stupid plan when I think about it blankly. How could I learn when I hide?
I hope you didn’t notice my hesitance with you, it’s not something you deserve. I regret it so much. I just.. I’m sorry Alex. I’m sorry I have never been the sort of sister for you to lean on. I am sorry I have never been the person for you to confide in.
For Mother & Father
Am I in the wrong? To live, fueled by resentment. It wasn’t something I wished to do, but there is no containing it. I am many things, but discreet is not one of those. To bite my tongue when there is so much poison in my mouth, I never could. Where do I put it? How do I cope with this? I hate to carry this around with me, taking it out on you with my every breath, to have formed into this cold of a woman. I’ll never say this to your faces, but I am sorry, deeply sorry.
Is it possible to miss you more today than yesterday? That’s how it feels at least. But your name comes out of my mouth more now, and it doesn’t rip me apart each time. The years I spent with you, they shook my reality, destroying everything I had built in my head about you. The image of a Prince who loved himself more than he could ever love another. I only wish I could have seen that Prince meet his daughter.
Those days talking endlessly about anything, everything. You warmed me more than any fire could, melting through my frigid self to find the girl trapped inside. When we do meet again, I don’t think I could be pried away from you. Once has been more than enough.
With her last moments, Charlotte’s small frame would rest in her sister, Mary Phillipa’s arms, the last place she had expected to find comfort. Her weakened hands gripping onto the silky green fabrics, holding on as if it might help her remain. The panic flooding into her cold grey eyes, her fear laid bare as she gasped for air, trying to fight her fate with all she had left. With each cry, every tear, Mary would hold Charlotte tighter than before, offering soft murmurings of comfort.
Charlotte’s mind was plagued with worry for her only child, but in Mary’s embrace, she knew that Catherine was safe. She would have everything, more protectors than any child could want, the unending love of each of her kin to fill the cup of the tiny Helvetii.
“You will see Leo again.”
Mary whispered to her, her voice carrying over the sound of the pouring rain around them, the words that soothed Charlotte’s terror. With that, her body still pouring crimson would finally fall limp, the last of her life flowing from her form.
REQUIESCE IN PACE
1733 – 1761
Charlotte Cecilia d’Arkent Helvets
Survived by her daughter Catherine Helvets,
& her closest of kin, Charles Henry, Daniel Louis,
Mary Philippa, John Sigismund, Alexander Joseph and Peter Baldwin