Chapter Nine (Edited)

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After a long day of standing out in the sun and scrubbing the outside of the palace to be sure the white marble shines in the daylight, I’m finally back in my room sitting behind my desk. Though my back hurts and I haven’t even changed out of my uniform, I have enough strength to sit down and write Mother a letter.

Mother,
Words can’t describe how much I miss you. It has only been a week since I had to leave, yet I can’t help but miss home. Miss my bed. Miss the house. And miss my time with you. Time here is all devoted to worKing, so I am lucky if I just get a moment to myself. But I know when I come home (whenever that may be), you will give me a big hug, make me a cup of warm mint tea, and sit me down so you can hear all about the palace and the royal family. Though I don’t think you would find it much interesting, I miss talKing to you so much that I would talk about anything.
Mother, I know that this is hard being apart, but I hope that whatever money I make will be spent on slowly building us a better life. I have a feeling that life won’t be as hard by this time next year. Trust me.
I must go now, Mother. I will write again as soon as I can. I love you.
~Sera

I finish with a small smile on my face, feeling just a bit better now that Mother will hear from me and hopefully I her. Though the relaxedness doesn’t last long, as I hear small rapping on my door.

I get up from my desk and open the door to find Agatha standing there with a smile on her face.

“Oh, hello Agatha,” I say giving her a small smile in return.

“Hello, sweetie. I’m sorry to disturb you, but the Prince has asked for you by name.”

This catches me by surprise, because it has been a few days since the last time we have talked. It is not odd for someone to call a maid during the night for various reasons, but after my last conversation with the Prince it would seem he would only call for me because he needs more information on the Kingdom.

“The Prince?” I ask, trying to not make it sound as though there is a logical reasoning behind this.

“Yes, sweetie. Now, it’s best not to keep him waiting. Luckily you’re still in your uniform, so you can go right away.”

I walk out of my room, and close my door behind me. I give Agatha a small, nervous smile, and set off to the Princes room.

***

I rap my knuckles against the big door that separates me from Noah. I look down the vacant hallway and give a silent thank you that no one is there. The last thing I want to happen is for me to be caught sneaKing into the Princes bedroom in the middle of the night.

As my eyes are still scanning the hallway, suddenly I hear the door open and I turn around to see Noah standing in pajama pants and a white t-shirt, his hair looKing as though he has ran his fingers through it a thousand times.

“Please, please, come in,” he said while holding the door open for me.

I walk in with no response. As soon as I step through the doorway, Noah shuts the door immediately. I guess he doesn’t want people to see a maid in his bedroom either. I stand still, not knowing what to do next, but before I ask any questions as to why I am here, Noah starts pacing in front of me.

“Okay, I need to talk to you… as a friend,” Noah says while stopping in front of me.

I furrow my eyebrows, not knowing what he means by this. He must have saw my reaction, so he quickly explains himself, “So, there is no one I can talk to here. My parents and I don’t get along. The person who basically raised me was Agatha, but I could never burden her with my problems. And all the friends I have made these past years are across the country and unable to be in touch. So… I need you.”

Again, he stops pacing and looks at me with pain in his eyes. LooKing as though he is about to burst.

“Of course,” I say while staring him in his eyes.

A smile automatically lights up his face. He reaches for my hands and pulls me over to the sitting area of his room.

He sits me down across from him and takes a deep breath. “I know this is going to sound foolish, but I do not wish to marry any of the women here.”

He pauses to look over at me. Confused, I wait for him to explain further.

“Okay so, the life of a Prince is having people tell you what you need to do and then you following through with it. Of course there are some exceptions, but when it comes to finding a wife there is none. And now I am at the age where that nightmare is becoming a reality.”

“How is it a nightmare? I’m not trying to sound rude, I would like to just understand better.”

He takes a deep breath, “Many kids grow up thinKing that they will find that someone that will bring their whole world together. That will make a happily ever after out of any situation. When you are a prince, that choice is basically taken away. Of course one would say that I do have ‘options’, but I shouldn’t have to look at my future wife as an option. It isn’t fair to anyone.”

Noah drops his head in his hands. I place the palm of my hand on his back in an attempt to comfort him.

“I can’t begin to understand what you are going through,” I say honestly. “But I know that whenever you come to a decision, it will be the right one. Whatever you decide to do, you will do the best for yourself and the Kingdom.”

I pause, waiting for a response. But, he seems to be deep in thought.

“I’m sorry. I know I’m not much help,” I say while retracting my hand. But while my hand is midair, Noah catches it and cradles it in his own.

“No, you have helped me so much. Thank you, Sera.”

I give him a small smile, then look down to our interlocked hands. Every instinct I have tells me to release my hand from him, but it feels too right for this to be wrong.

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