Proud? The word nearly made me ill. The last time my father asked me to make him proud, we were thrust into the middle of this hellacious living arrangement. I remember the nerves like it was yesterday. An invitation came from his Majesty King Ferdinand of Aragon and her Highness Queen Isabella of Castile. They wanted to discuss my father’s ability to aid in their cause. He humbly accepted their request to help reform our country. He too believed that only good could come from uniting our people as one under Catholicism. I am not certain that he identified what that unity would cost him, or us.
The King and Queen are now requesting my presence. I’m not sure for what, as they are quite cryptic in their biddings. I fear their demands will force me to spy on my neighbors, to expose them for heresy. Worse yet, they could ask that I accept an arranged marriage, to help fuse an allegiance with a nearby country. Castile and Aragon are expanding and so is this inquisition. Anything is possible.
The fear floods my stomach as the tears stream down my cheeks. My servant, Juana, laces the back of my gown as dread nearly paralyzes me. What could they possibly want with me? I can see the look of pity in Juana’s eyes. A servant, someone whose existence is spent taking care of my every need, pities me. How complicated this life has become.
I long for the simplicity of my childhood, I long for my mother. I remember how sweetly she spoke my name and the small smile fading from her lips as she took her last breath. She loved me. I was lucky to have a mother that took interest in my education and upbringing. My cousins were not so fortunate. Their mother was genuinely apathetic to their feelings and accomplishments. She treated them as adults from the time they left her womb and not a shred of approval has been revealed since. I suppose my mother was unusual in her affections and love for me. Then she was gone, leaving us in quite a downward spiral.
My father had been a law man all my life but without my mother, we both felt the need to follow our faith. I furthered my studies with my tutor, learning as much as I could about Catholicism. My father, also a devout man, joined the clergy. With his background in law, devout faith, and royal ties to the kingdom the King and Queen quickly found use for his knowledge. Now they have evidently found a use for me.
I take a deep breath as I am escorted through the doors of the royal court.