Two days later, I was strong enough to travel again. We started off in the direction Bridget came from. I could barely make out the roofs of houses above the forest line.
"So, um, where are we going?" I asked.
"To that village," Bridget responded, vaguely waving her hand towards the rooftops in the distance. "We should be there in a few hours."
"Oh. Okay. So, um, I guess we never really got around to this, but how come you were in the forest of the country you were banished from? I mean, even if you live close by it, couldn't you be punished?"
Bridget brightened a little. "Well, yes. But the real reason I came was to look for you. I still watch the news from our country now and then, and I saw that you were missing. I knew you'd be coming this direction, so I just kind of explored until I found you. You were in such bad shape though. I didn't even realize who you were until you loudly and rather stupidly proclaimed you were."
"Well it worked didn't it?"
Bridget just grinned and shook her head. "Oh, Ali. When, oh when, will you learn?"
"Hey!" I yelled, chasing after her. So this is what it feels like to have a sister.
A few hours later we arrived on the doorstep of a huge, elegant looking house. Bridget knocked and the door was opened by what I presumed to be a maid. She smiled and let us both in.
"I'm so glad to see you back, miss. And I see you found your sister. May I take your coat?"
"Yes, please. Thank you Jane. Now, would you ask Alice to get her some new clothes? And she'll need somewhere to stay, so we'll give her the east wing. Oh, and tell Diana to run a warm bath. Dinner's already been started?"
"Yes, miss, it has. I'll attend to those things now."
The maid rushed away.
"What's all this?! I thought you'd be working for these rich people, not...like...being one of them!"
"Well, I didn't leave the palace empty-handed, obviously. I took some money with me, and I started a business, and now look at me! I mean, I did leave ten years ago."
"Um, Miss Bridget?" a maid called down the hallway. "Miss Ali's bath is ready now, if she's ready."
"I think you better go," Bridget said to me, smiling,.
When I was clean, dressed, and had been shown around my quarters, I was free to do whatever I wanted. I slipped into the hallway, hoping not to be seen by anyone. This house had secrets.
Secrets about me.
And I was determined to find them.