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  I prepare for the day wearing a red gown that is light and would allow me the luxury to play around. I tie my hair up and put red pins in them showing off its kinky nature. Giving myself a little smile at my reflection in the mirror, I stand up from the dresser to see that Nabir is by the door, waiting for me.

"Where is the King?"

"Probably in his study"

"I see...Where is the kitchen?"

"Follow me Princess." Nabir leads me to the kitchen which is large! At one corner of the kitchen is a stove that is against the wall. It stretches till it reaches almost half of the kitchen. In front of it is a big island with all sorts of fruits and vegetables. By the opposite side are jars filled with different grains. I bring out some utensils, with the help of Nabir and begin to cook Okro soup. One of the soups my people are known for. I chop up the meat separately and season that, bringing it to a boil using the water from it to boil my okro and season that as well. I add some dry fish and then the meat, finishing it with red oil. I bring a plate and dish out some,  handing it to Nabir to try but she refuses.

"Please, I need to know if it is good enough"

She reluctantly accepts the plate from me and tries it. Her face brightens. "It tastes great Princess! Is this okro soup?" I smile and nod at her. She finishes the whole bowl and helps me dish some for the King. They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Hopefully Nabir wasn't trying to make me happy by saying the soup tastes great.

"He hasn't eaten all morning so he should accept this. Although he hardly eats in the morning." she explains as we walk to his study. My heart is beating so fast, I have no idea how he's going to react. Nabir knocks on the door and his voice lets us know we can come in while the guards by the door watch us closely. I walk in behind Nabir with the tray in my hand. I set it in front of him and bow my head.

"What is this?" he asks me. I look up at him and say "I want to apologize with this-"

"Get out!" I bow my head immediately and leave with the dish I prepared. He didn't even let me get all my words out. Nabir follows after me and takes the tray from my hands. "It's okay Princess, he probably still needs time to cool down," she says to me. I nod even though I'm very upset. I took my time to prepare this soup for him and he didn't even taste it. Is it because of yesterday, or is it something else? I walk to the kitchen and put the pot inside a large clay basin on the floor that is filled with ice. I don't want my food going bad. If he doesn't want to eat it, Nabir and I can enjoy it, it's his loss. Who am I kidding, he might end up pushing my Banishment forward! 

"It's okay Princess. The king won't hurt you," she tells me, obviously sensing my distress. I nod at her. "Do you want to see the gardens?" I nod again and she takes me to the most beautiful garden I have ever laid my eyes on. When we walk in, the maids and servants bow and begin to leave. 

"Please don't let my intrusion disturb you!" I call out causing them to look at each other, probably shocked with my statement.

 "Please" I say again. They come back to the garden and begin to chat and talk like they had done before. Nabir smiles and ushers me to a wooden seat. I sit down and look around. The maids and servants seem so happy. I thought they feared King Xerxes? Why are they acting like they aren't scared of him? "We all know the king is hot tempered, but he does take care of his maids and servants, even though we fear him a lot. This garden is sort of a 'safe haven'. It's a great place."

It seems the king has been through so much for him to want people to actually fear him. He's probably not a beast as said in the books. "Are we allowed to pick flowers?" I ask her. "Not us, but you can."

I get up and begin to pick flowers that entice me, Cherry Blossoms, Orchids, Tulips, Lilies, Roses, and my favorite, Forget Me Not.

"Princess do you need help?" one of the servants calls out, causing the others to look at what I am doing. I turn around and see them staring at me. Shaking my head and bowing, I tell them "It's alright, please carry on,"  they bow back to me and continue their conversations. As we head back into the castle I ask, "Is it because it's a garden, that's why it's mostly women that occupy the space?"

Nabir chuckles and says "Not at all! Men go there too, but by this time of the day, the maids and servants know that the king is in his study. So they come here to see if they can get his attention. He can see the garden from his study"

"Oh, so women really want the king's attention that badly?"

"Of course you rat! Who wouldn't want the king's attention?" Oma says coming out of thin air. I sigh, honestly not ready for another tantrum from her. "I apologize," I say trying to walk past, but she blocks my path.

"You really think you have a special place in the king's heart?"

"And you got that information from?"

"Oh don't play dumb with me! I heard that you prepared soup for My Lord, but from the timing of your entrance and exit, he didn't even touch your food," my heart clenches when she says this.

"I only meant to apologize for-"

"Apologize? Who in their right mind would send the king breakfast? Everyone knows he doesn't eat in the morning, except you. You're desperately trying so hard to get-"

"Desperate is not the word. I just wanted forgiveness for what happened last night. But now I see you are even more of an airhead than I thought."

"How dare you?!"

"So because the king hates eating breakfast that's why no one gives him a meal in the morning? Even the kingdom's dumbest person with half a brain should know that breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. If not anything, that is the one meal he shouldn't avoid. Nabir?"

"Yes Princess"

"Every morning, we are going to take a meal up to the king, even if he rejects it."

"Yes Princess"

"Excuse me!" Oma yells. This woman needs to get a grip. I am getting fed up with her already! "You really think you are going to be the one the king chooses as his wife so that Cordelia and I can be thrown away? You are out of your mind!"

What does she mean by that? Is there some sort of tradition I am missing here?

"Excuse me Lady Oma, my flowers are in need of water," I bow and leave immediately not waiting for a response.

We get to the kitchen and Nabir brings out a metal cup in which she fills with water. I place the flowers in it and turn to her asking for directions to the king's chambers. She leads me up to the Fourth floor and we get to a large door guarded by two men.

"Please, I just want to put these on his table and I'll leave. You can watch to see that I don't try anything funny."

They both look at each other and back at me. One of them opens the door and I walk in. It looks just like mine, except there is a large bookshelf and more designs, with a larger bed and more pillows. I quickly leave the flower vase on the small table beside his bed and walk out. Hopefully he doesn't throw these away. 

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