The Curse of the Impatient Seamstress:Part Four
Jhudora slumped down on her couch. It was only noon, but she was already tired. Hissing at people and holding her hands in a threatening manner was tiring. When she heard one of her bartamuses chirping beside the front door, she groaned. She stood and opened the door. It was Justine.
“Take them!” Justine shouted, “I don’t want them!”
Jhudora’s eyes widened as she reached down and took the bracelets. She smiled softly before asking, “Did you learn the importance of patience?”
“No!” Justine shook her head, “I learned that I never want to be a seamstress!”
“Oh.” Jhudora motioned for Justine to come inside again.
Justine hadn’t really noticed the interior of Jhudora’s house through her tears. She realized how eerily similar it was to her own house as she sat down on the couch.
“I had always thought that I wanted to be like my family,” Justine sighed, “I had always believed that being a seamstress was the only way I could be myself.”
Jhudora nodded as she sat down across from Justine. She pointed at a plate of cookies decorated as bartamuses for Justine to take. Justine took one and explained between bites, “I wasn’t meant to be a seamstress. I didn’t enjoy myself making clothes. I enjoyed that it had happened and that I had a chance of becoming a billionaire, of course. But I simply blacked out.”
Jhudora nodded before asking, “Had you ever truly tried to make a dress before you came to me?”
“Yes,” Justine sighed, “When I was younger, my brother sat me down. He didn’t touch the fabric or the needle once. He guided me step by step and I made the most beautiful thing I had ever made before the curse. It took nearly a week.”
“You didn’t tell me that before,” Jhudora smirked.
“The honest truth? I hated every step of it. Every single step,” Justine slouched back on the couch. “I thought I had to be a seamstress. That is why I came to you. I could have slowed myself down and made something good at any point. But I hated it. I hated it so much that I refused to take any longer than I had to on any step. I thought that my family had a super power to make things go quickly. They could sew as quickly as I could with the curse. They could cut out basic patterns as quickly as I could with the curse. They had practiced, and they were that good. I could have practiced to be like them, but I hated it.”
“What will you do now?” Jhudora asked, smiling brightly.
Justine stood and looked at the door. She smiled and responded, “I’m going somewhere.” Before Jhudora could respond, Justine was racing out of the door.
Her brother had sent her postcards from his house in Faerieland. He had sent her detailed directions for her to find him. She had always felt so much resentment and embarrassment that she never went. She could remember the instructions exactly as she raced through the streets of his suburbs. Eventually, she came to his door and knocked on it.
The blue cybunny that answered the door was slightly taller and wider than Justine. He smiled brightly as he pulled her into his arms. “Justine! I’ve missed you so much!”
Justine sniffed as she tried to hold back tears. When he pulled away from her, he led her into his living room. She sat down on the couch and smiled. He sat across from her, grinning.
“I guess you got the bank statement,” Justine laughed awkwardly.
“Oh!” Jason laughed as he watched his sister cringe, “Of course! I was so excited to see that you were trying to get into the family business! If my apprenticeship wasn’t so demanding, I would have come to see you immediately.”
Justine’s brow furrowed slightly. “Apprenticeship? I thought you were one of the most famous designers in Neopia.”
His eyes lit up as he began to flail his arms a bit. He was so excited he could barely hold it in. “I was a very prominent designer, and I got to do so many things. But I moved here because a designer at House of Fae saw my work and thought that I could improve enough to be one of them. This was my dream, to work for a Fashion House.”
Justine looked down at the floor. She wasn’t sure what to say or how to bring anything up, so she began to cry. Jason moved to sit next to her and hugged her. “Justine, what’s wrong?”
Justine took a deep breath before explaining, “I went to Jhudora to be cursed so that I could be like you. I was jealous of you, and I wanted to be you.”
Jason pulled away and put his paw on Justine’s cheek to wipe away some of her tears. He sighed. He waited a minute before admitting, “Justine, I was envious of you.” He chuckled slightly before continuing, “For everything I have, it was forced onto me. From the moment our grandfather saw my designs, he sent me away to study. It felt like a punishment for being gifted. For you, you never were forced to be anything.” He pulled away his paw and looked up at the ceiling, “You were a blank slate. You weren’t gifted at anything in particular. You could learn anything and become anything. I still support our mother to this day. If I decided to give up fashion and learn a new trade, she would lose the lifestyle she was accustomed to.”
Justine gasped before asking, “You really do support mom? She doesn’t make her own neopoints anymore?”
“Sadly, no,” Jason glanced back at Justine, “She’s getting older. I had to take her sewing machine away from her when she started getting injured on it every other day.” He paused slightly before reassuring his sister, “You weren’t crazy, by the way. Mom was really mean to both of us. I’m not sure who she was more mean to. I feel like if she had been supportive, you would have known how free you were all along.”
Justine laughed softly. She took a deep breath before explaining, “When I was cursed, I made a lot of really pretty clothes. They will be sold to the fashion houses.”
Jason’s eyes widened. He knew that when someone talked about selling an outfit to a fashion house in Neopia, they meant that they were selling the garment to one of the elites. He also knew how painfully elitist they were. He cleared his throat before explaining, “The person who offered you to sell your clothes probably didn’t know what they were doing. It will likely take years for an elite to buy anything from someone who isn’t embedded in the industry.”
Justine frowned as she looked down at the floor, “It’s the Uni at Uni’s Clothing Store.”
“Oh,” Jason held back a laugh at the thought of a shopkeeper from Neopia Central getting even a second with an elite at House of Fae. He cleared his throat before reassuring Justine, “I’ll speak with my supervisors and I’ll see about paying her a visit to work things out for you. I have connections. I can’t promise you they’ll go to any fashion houses, but I may know a few Altador Cup champions who would take them.”
“Do you think she was lying about my dress being worth one hundred million neopoints?” Justine bit her lip.
A pained look crossed Jason’s face as he held in a laugh. He tried to explain delicately, “That woman has no idea what fashion is. I wouldn’t trust a quote from her, ever.”
Justine blanched, “I spent twenty million neopoints on materials.”
“Don’t worry,” Jason sighed, “If you’re ever in need, I’m here for you. Hopefully the dresses are good enough that you can make good money off of them, even if it’s not one hundred million neopoints.”
Justine smiled softly. She looked around Jason’s living room. It was sparsely furnished with almost no decorations on the walls.
“Oh,” Jason noticed that Justine was studying the room. He explained, “I spend almost no time here. If I’m not working insane hours to meet a deadline for a show or event, I’m traveling to a show or event. Honestly, Justine. . .” He took her paws in his and looked into her eyes, “This is not a life I want for you. This is not who I want you to be. I want you to find something that makes you happy and lets you enjoy your life.”
Justine grinned. All of her life, she had mistakenly thought that her brother had wanted her to be like him. In reality, he had wanted the opposite.
“Say,” Justine cleared her throat, “Would you like all of my sewing supplies?”
Jason gasped. He had helped Justine set up her sewing room years ago. He had been eyeing her top of the line dress forms the entire time. “I would happily beg for them,” Jason laughed, “I envied them a bit. They were so nice. I had never seen dress forms that could be adjusted in some many different areas.”
“They were adjustable?!” Justine gasped as she realized just how wasted all of her supplies were on her.
Jason looked up at the clock and sighed. “It’s time for me to go back in to work. I’ll come by your place as soon as possible.”
Justine nodded and followed Jason out of the house. They hugged before parting ways.
Almost a year had passed. Jason had just finished selling all of the dresses. Justine didn’t make nearly as much as the Uni promised her, but she still made enough to not need to work for a few years and still live comfortably. Every day, she tried out a new skill. The most important skill she learned, however, was to drop anything that she hated.
There weren’t many positions for unskilled laborers to be filled in Neopia Central, but she didn’t want to move. Jason told her it was alright and that she could take her time. Every time she practiced a new skill, she ranked it on her list of skills. When she was ready to start work, she would pick the skill at the top of the list. At the moment, the top skill was being a competitive Cheat! Player. She was sure that wasn’t good enough for a career, but she had time to wait.
Their mother had moved in with Jason so that he didn’t have to worry about her. Jason vented in letters to Justine once a week. Unlike before, she wrote back immediately. Jason had impressed his supervisors to a point that he was no longer an apprentice. He was a member of House of Fae.
Justine knew that her life was better than it had ever been, but she was always looking over her shoulder, worrying that Jhudora would come demanding payment for the gift of a happy life.