February 10, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
Enrie sat with her mouth open for a moment, staring at her roommate. She wasn’t sure what had just happened, but she was certain she didn’t like it, and if there was more coming, she probably wouldn’t like that, either.
Ledryie had turned back to her sewing and shows all signs of completely ignoring Enrie and her friends. Enrie waited, uncertain what she was waiting for but not knowing what to say, either. Finally, when it was clear Ledryie really wasn’t going to say anything else, she cleared her throat.
“Did I offend you without meaning to? Did I start a feud and forget to inform myself?”
“Well, that’s the thing with you. You really can just accidentally start feuds. And then just wander away from them.”
“I don’t think you know Enrie very well!” Taikie stood up, glaring. Enrie reached out towards her friend, but Taikie was stomping towards Ledryie angrily. “You’ve been living with her for months now, and you still think that sort of thing? You clearly weren’t paying any attention!”
“I don’t have to watch one particular little royal brat. And neither should you. Your parents worked hard, right? Even if you are their only kid, even if they like you, you still had to work for everything you god. And you, blondie, they don’t even like your entire race here. Her people would keep your people locked up forever if they could, and you two are following her around as if she is the next Empress. Oh wait… she might be. And for what? Being born to the right parents?”
Enrie stared at her roommate. She knew there was something she ought to be saying, something that would make things work out, but she could not figure out what that might be. She swallowed and tried again to find something to say.
“I heard someone talking the other day,” Saydrie said quietly. “One of the teachers. He was talking about Lyedra. I know it says Ledryainryie on your door…”
“Do Bitrani do that? Name their kids ‘trash’ and ‘useless?’”
Enrie leaned back, her gears turning. She’d known Ledyrie hadn’t come with much, but even Enrie hadn’t brought too much luggage; you knew the rooms were tiny and you knew you’d be wearing uniforms the whole time. It didn’t make sense to pack heavy.
“Bitrani don’t… quite. But you don’t have to put it on someone’s name to treat them that way, and some Bitrani certainly treat their children badly.” Saydrie sounded thoughtful. “But Enrie didn’t name you, and she doesn’t treat you like garbage, does she?”
Enrie shook her head, even though she knew Saydrie wasn’t talking to her. People that named their child like that, with the initial consonant struck out, pronounced across the top of the mouth… she’d known such people existed, but she couldn’t imagine someone actually doing that to their child.
Ledyrie shook her head slowly. “No. But she doesn’t get it, either. I hear her going on and on about how it’s just a vowel, and then she starts fights with everyone and gets off scot-free. Even Gianci’s calling her a Lady now, and I bet you nobody ever calls me a lady.” She glared at Enrie. “You think it’s just a vowel? Think about being born Nyerie instead of Enerenarie.