The trip home from the allergist Dr. Pycelle sent them to is one of the saddest times Myrcella can remember. It is even sadder than all the nights the teachers call home from school to say that Joff was bad and then Mother screams things like You just don’t understand him because he is brighter than all your other students, and then slams the phone down and uncorks the wine bottle and calls Uncle Jaime. The car is so quiet, it’s just her and Mother and horns honking and the sound of her sniffling into a tissue. Sniffling because she is crying, of course, but also because her nose has been runny and clogged for weeks and now they know why. She is allergic to cats.
“Maybe we can get goldfish,” Mother says for the third time since they left the doctor’s office. “Would you like that?” She pats Myrcella on the knee when they stop at a red light. Myrcella notices a few of her fingernails look bitten off, even though Mother is always telling Tommen to stop biting his.
“No,” Myrcella sniffs, and a fresh wave of tears pours out of her hot-feeling eyes.
“Cella, please,” Mother says, and the car behind them honks and Mother holds her finger up the way Uncle Jaime and Uncle Tyrion also do when they drive. It is a special Lannister thing, probably. “If you’re still crying like that when Tommen gets home, he’ll start crying, and we all know he cries enough as it is.”
But why can’t he cry? It’s his kittens I’m allergic to, Ser Pounce and Lady Whiskers and stupid little Boots, Myrcella thinks, but Mother has a lot of boring things to say about tears being a bad weapon for a woman, so Myrcella wads the tissue up in the pocket of her jeans and drapes her long blonde curls over her face instead. She kicks angrily at Joff’s pair of soccer cleats that are always lying on the floor of the red car, and Mother doesn’t tell her to stop, not even once.
When they get home, Mother lets Myrcella watch Mulan even though there’s school tomorrow and Myrcella has a worksheet on her 7 times tables. They curl up on the couch together and share a bowl of raspberry sorbet. Ser Pounce and Boots come to rub against Myrcella’s feet and Myrcella sniffles all over again.
“When I was little, maybe your age, I wanted to learn to fight with a sword.” Mother points her spoon at Mulan. “Just like her.”
“Did Grandfather say yes?” Myrcella asks. Grandfather likes swords. He has a few hanging on the wall of his house.
Mother shakes her head, reaching up to undo her ponytail. “No. He said little girls didn’t swordfight, and big girls didn’t, either. When Uncle Jaime asked for the same thing, he said maybe someday.” Myrcella pulls Ser Pounce into her lap. Mother sighs. “So, Cella, what that means is sometimes we just can’t have the things we want. Even if we want them more than anything.”
Myrcella thinks that if Robb and Sansa’s mom were there, she would have given Myrcella a hug.
When Tommen comes home from his pottery class, Mother pulls him into his room. Myrcella hears Mother talking softly. Then Tommen wails. He screams. Myrcella wonders if Mother is telling him we just can’t have the things we want, or if she is giving him a hug. And she cries into Lady Whiskers’ fur, that fur that makes her sniffle and sneeze.