"Am I to be Austrian or the Dauphine of France?" "You must be both."
You don't remember anything of your life before Grace and your brothers. The few bits of information you know about your birth family comes from the folder that Grace was given when she adopted you. You were born in Britain to a Jamaican father and a Maltese mother. They were young and incapable of keeping their child due to financial reasons so you were given up for adoption. There wasn't much more for you to know, and you really didn't want to know anything more. What they don't tell you, or Grace, was the struggle they had finding a home for you. Not many are open to taking on a child of color no matter how much they don't want to talk about it. But it was okay now. Grace was your mother, Toulouse and Berlioz were your brothers, and that's all you needed.
"This is ridiculous" "This, Madame, is Versailles"
You are French, you tell yourself. French. That's all you've ever really known. While you can speak English, you become accustomed to speaking French in your home, in your day to day interactions. You pick up the language easily, almost flawlessly when you're a young child. Grace gives you a new name, Marie Antonia. Your name, your mother's desire for you, screams lady-like. You would become even less of a lady as the years wore on.
But there is one thing that you pick up even easier than French, singing. As a small toddler you would babble in small musical type noises. Many times people would ask your mother if you were singing, and although it was completely impossible to understand your babbling Grace still considered it singing. Your favorite song was one about a flower that grew outside of your bedroom window. A beautiful pink rose that was your favorite, and you would greet it every morning.
At a young age, Grace signed you up with a singing instructor. Her passion was for her children to learn the arts and music was your art. It was your world. Well, it was yours and Berlioz's world. Your singing paired beautifully with his piano work, but the rest? Well not so much. You two clashed almost from the start, but it wasn't a bad kind of clash. It was just extremely easy for you two to pick fights with each other despite your mother's wishes that you wouldn't. She would tell you that it was most unbecoming of a woman to hit someone. But, you still did it. You never hurt your brother, though, you wouldn't dream of doing that. You wouldn't know until later in life how much your fighting with Berlioz would come in handy.
The shift from France to America was a strange one at first. You were so accustomed to the civility of France, and the welcoming nature of their French that when you arrived in America it was a nasty shock. People were rude, they were incapable of understanding you and you had to learn practically a whole new language. While you did know English there was still all the slang and new age terms that you struggled dearly with. You struggled with the other children as well.
Being a girl with two brothers you had to learn quick how to stand up for yourself. You were, though, a tattletale when things got too rough. If your hair was pulled or someone hit you in a way that was harder than your hits you would cry and run to the teacher or your mother. You weren't ashamed. Your tongue was quicker than your fists, and even before you were a teen you were a sarcastic little brat. Your favorite thing was using your gender to your advantage when things got out of control.
"I love your hair, what is going on there?" "Everything!"
Puberty hit you in the weirdest way. What was once a small sometimes tomboy child with poofy hair was now a beautiful teenage woman with extremely poofy hair. You were teased relentlessly for it. You would be asked if it was natural, some would just assume that you were wearing a wig. One time, someone even tried to yank your 'wig' clear off your head. The issues didn't end there, though. It wasn't a common sight for a white woman to have children that were of mixed races. You were constantly told horrible things about your mother from the other children, things you never dared to repeat to anyone but your brothers because they heard it too. Kids were cruel.
Where there was confusion there was your mother as well. Growing up with two brothers, you didn't realize until you grew older that there was a greater difference between your body and theirs. Your mother was there for that, though. And you were grateful. She made you feel less awkward in your new body, and she helped you to embrace your beauty and your hair despite how many acted like it was your biggest flaw. Your teen years was the beginning of a new relationship with your mother. You clung to your mother's side as you grew into who you were, and you are grateful for it.
Despite this wonderful new connection with your mother, there was still a bit of a riff between the two of you. You did not want to be as lady-like as she wanted. You didn't want to grow up to be exactly like your grandmother, either. While you were fine with embracing your musical abilities, you wanted more out of life. Through your schooling you found that physical education class was actually your favorite. You loved being out in the sun, you felt at home. Naturally, you couldn't let your mother know so you stuck with playing soccer with some local kids. You were hooked though, you loved sports. You wanted more. Even though you enjoyed soccer, you were hopelessly clumsy. There were many times you would come home with a new scratch or bruise and you would have to hide it from your mother. Inside you knew she would probably figure it out and while you knew she wouldn't judge you, you didn't want to have her think any less of you.
"See no one treats me like a lady here."
Since coming to America, you have found a strange connection with a new you. A new desire. When you signed up for university as a lovely freshman, you went with your musical major although you still consider yourself to be undeclared at the moment. You want to keep the degree if only to keep your mother proud but you know there's more to life than just singing. You love the outdoors, and you want to spend your time outside more, so you plugged in a few classes that would satisfy an environmental science degree as well. You may not go through with it, but hey at least you can try something new.
You know you want to keep your mother happy, and that is why you're keeping with the singing but deep down you're just not sure if that's the path for you anymore. You may be a new girl to Elias Island, but you're definitely a new girl to yourself as well.
"How can we be expected to live in a place if are not certain about our position?"