Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Antoinette Clancy, Chp. 2, Gen. 5, 1796

Dear Diary,

     The day the two new cellos arrived, I was very curious.  You see, Ivan finally put his foot down about us children.  Mother had been trying to tutor us; however, she has struggled recently with our lessons since she must take care of the twins.  Did I mention that she gave birth to Millicent and Agnes just this year? 

     I believe Mother is a great mother.  I get jealous seeing her with the twins all the time, and I wish she would spend time more time with me.  Then I think about how often she tells the story of when she escaped from Father and took us with her.  Sometimes love shows itself in different forms, I suppose.  I'm too old to be coddled and cooed at like a baby.

     Ivan is a good step-father, and he cares about our futures.  Firstly, he hired a tutor to come to our mansion and spend the whole day with us children to teach us about various subjects.  Secondly, he decided to have two cellos built so that we can learn how to play them!  He says that it is very important in Charleston to be able to play instruments as it is better for one's reputation and due respect.
     There's just something about the instrument that fascinates me.  Maybe it is because I have never seen one before, or that I am amazed by the size of it, but I long to play it.  I cannot wait for my first lesson!  I'll be sure to tell you all about it.

     Your friend,



     After finishing her journal entry, Nettie scrambled down the steps in pursuit of Ivan.  
     "Ivan!  Ivan!  Where are you, Ivan?  Ivan!"  She screamed.
     "Antoinette!  You know we allow absolutely no yelling inside the mansion.  Whatever is the matter?"

     "I promise I will not scream anymore!  I just want to know when the tutor will be here to teach me how to play the cello!  Will he be here today?  Tomorrow?  Will he stay in the house with us?  Can I try to play before he arrives?  Will he be here in less than an hour?  Will he--"  

     Ivan started chuckling, not unkindly.   
     "Antoinette, the cellos are for Franklin and Bartholomew.  The tutor will be teaching them how to play.  You will be learning how to cook.  Your mother is planning to teach you how to cook and sew."
      Antoinette's heart dropped.  She tried to hold back tears. 
     "But, why?  Why can't I learn as well?"
     "Because the boys must be educated so they can attend colleges.  They must gather credentials in order to be admitted into prestigious schools.  That is why there are two cellos, not three."  Upon seeing Antoinette's down-trodden face, he added, "Sewing is a very admirable skill to have, Antoinette.  The world would not exist without the wondrous sewing skills of talented women.  You should be excited to learn how to sew."
     "But I do not care about sewing!  I just want to learn how to play that instrument!  Please, Ivan.  Please."

     "Listen, Antoinette.  Even if you learned how to play, what good would that do for you?  You would not be able to use that playing skill for anything.  It would just be a waste.  The answer is no, and that is final.  Use your talent for sewing or something else.  You are a very intelligent young girl, and your intelligence should be put to something you can use in the future."
     Antoinette trudged away.


     It just was not fair.  Franklin and Bartholomew could care less about learning to play an instrument!  Franklin spent his days out in the forest, doing who knows what.  Nettie tried to follow him once, to see what he might be doing, but he told her to run back home.
     "I do not tell girls my secrets," he turned up his nose.
     And Franklin hated learning.  He barely payed any attention to his lessons, and Anne would often become so frustrated that she would just stop speaking all together and stare at him with a red face.  If Franklin hated anything related to tutoring and practicing, why on Earth would he be interested in learning the cello?  Or even getting into a prestigious school, for that matter?

     It was almost even worse, thinking about Bartholomew.  He, at least, did something productive with his time, but Bartholomew was not one for creativity.  He like mathematics and calculating and stargazing.  He did not have a creative bone in his body, Antoinette knew it.  And how, exactly, could a person play an instrument with heart and soul if all he wanted to to was think about perimeters and areas and how many more apples Person A has than Person B and how far away that one star is.  Antoinette knew that just would not work.

     I wish that I were a boy so I could learn, too.


     That night, Antoinette, Bartholomew, and Franklin had to eat by themselves, as Anne and Ivan had to discuss "things" with the tutor.

     "I have to go to Father's soon," Bartholomew sighed sadly.
     "I'm so fortunate that Father only wants to see you!" Franklin laughed.  
     "Yes, you are definitely lucky.  Oh, how I absolutely dread seeing him!"

     "You should not say that about Father, Bartholomew.  I miss him so much.  I cannot even remember what he looks like, it has been so long since I have seen him."

     "Nettie, don't you ever say that!  He is a horrible, horrible man!  He does not care about you or Franklin!  You do not even know--"
     "Know what?"
     "I can't tell you.  But forget about Father.  Hate him all you want, but just don't miss him or love him."

     Antoinette knew he was hiding something, and her curiosity was definitely piqued, but she had another idea, a plan so great that nothing could stop her from carrying it out.
     "Bartholomew, can I come with you to Father's?"
     Bartholomew was shocked.  "Absolutely not!  That is not possible.  It would never be allowed.  I will not let you!"
     "Are you sure about that?  Catch me if you can!" Bolting from the table, Antoinette ran out of the house, not stopping until she reached the mansion of Antoine Barnes.  She could see that her brother was running towards her, in the distance.  
     "Wait!  Nettie, stop!"

     But she payed him no mind.  
     "FATHER!" She screamed, shaking the gate in front of his mansion.  "Father, I need your help!"
     She heard a voice boom from inside the house,  "Leave at once!  Get off of my property!"
     "Father, wait!  I know you do not wish to see me, but can you please help me?  Could you please get me a tutor for the cello?  Please?  I'll never, ever bother you again, I promise!"
     Antoinette excitedly waited for a response, but received nothing.  Antoine did not leave his house, or even ask her to leave.  Just nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

     The plan had failed, but Antoinette felt worse than just having a plan that did not work.  Her father had failed her, too.  Now there was no hope of ever learning to play.  Ivan would not listen, and neither would her father.

     Antoinette turned around to Bartholomew, who had caught up and seemed to know it was unwise to tell her, "I told you so."
     "Fine, Bartholomew!  He's all yours.  He always was.  You win and you get everything!  You always do."
     "Nettie, look.  I am really sorry.  He is a terrible man, and I do hate him, myself.  I did not want you to see that side of him.  You don't know the whole story--"
      "No, Bartholomew!  You do not know the whole story!  You get to do whatever you want!  He will do things for you, Ivan will do things for you, Mother will do things for you, but by the time they do all that, there's nothing left for me!  All I wanted to do was learn how to play the cello, and it just isn't fair because I'm the only one who really cares about learning it, and that doesn't seem to matter to anyone.  You know what, Bartholomew?  I will learn how to play it.  No one is going to stop me.  Just you wait and see.  And I will become the best cellist you all will ever know."
     And with that, Antoinette left a quizzical Bartholomew to ponder her words.


     That night, as Antoinette heard the muffled sounds of Franklin's first cello lesson (Bartholomew was still at Antoine's), a new plan took form in her mind.  This plan was so great that she knew there was no possibility of failing.

     Yes, thought Antoinette as she reflected on her plan, I will show them all.


     Time went by.  When no one was watching, a young girl strode up to one of the cellos and started playing.  Maybe it was at night, when everyone was already fast asleep.

     Or maybe it was during the day, when everyone was outside enjoying the fresh sunshine and promise of a pretty day.

     Such a beautiful, beautiful sound.


*The Antique Legacy*
Antoinette Clancy


  1. I'm so glad that this legacy is (hopefully) back! :D It's been forever, and I wasn't expecting a chapter...can't wait for Antoinette's gen.

    (And Ivan is a jerkface. I know that he didn't intend to be, but my feminist side is absolutely seething at his comments about the cello.)

    1. Me too! :) It really has been forever, and I'm sorry about that. Sometimes things get really busy, but no matter what, I want to see this legacy through. It may take a while, but I'm determined!

      I agree, haha! He's trying to be a good stepfather, but he doesn't seem to understand that true encouragement knows no boundaries.

      Thanks for the comment! I wasn't sure if anyone was still out there ;)