I've never had a secret, not really. It's hard when you live so closely with your family. I can't hide anything from Mashka. We share a room after all! But even Olga and Tatiana can get things out of me if they try, and Alexei—if he's been ill, I'll tell him anything he wants to know just to make him better.
But this is different. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I'm getting tired of wearing either the same clothes as Mashka, or hand-me-downs from Olga and Tatiana. They're very pretty, of course. But every once in a while I want something that's just mine. Not something, as in an object. I don't care about those very much. I suppose that's because I have only to ask for something and I receive it, if not from Mama and Papa, from one of the maids of honor or other court officials.
We'll soon be taking our trip to Moscow for the biggest festivities of the Jubilee. I'll enjoy everything all the more with this secret in my heart. It's nothing bad, nothing wicked. Not even anything very exciting, in the cold light of day. But it's mine. And I cherish it.