Escrita por: ~itsalebb
The air around her was filled with uncertainty about how the night would go. In the early minutes, before she entered the ballroom, the young princess still had hopes, medium sized. Her hopes in the beginning of the day were medium sized as well, when she met the prince, they went up high. After her sister dellivered those disgraced news, they went down, back to their original size. Though, she was glad that they did not fade away completely.
When Astrid left, Katherine was paralized, as she usually remained, after receiving news of that sort, betrayal-like. She did not say a word, out loud at least. In her mind, thoughts struggled to stay on focus since all of them were dangled up. With no more effort to spare she caved in, she let the thoughts go drowsy, all of them except one, her most selfish one: “I have got to make that man fall for me”. In that instant she did not care if that plan was immoral or not, because she came to the conclusion that Astrid would not rule kindly. It was not even the image of herself not being ruler that disturbed her so profoundly, in her mind that was acceptable. What she could not let happen was leaving the kingdom to a possible dictator and horrible person.
Katherine did not mind much about that thought for two reasons:
1. She was running late
2. She knew that those unethical thoughts would soon be gone, though she was not too sure of that statement.
As she remained sitting down, staring at her hands while caressing one another, trying to calm and reassure herself that it would all end up fine. She consoled herself by saying that the prince would be smart enough to see which one would be a better ruler and person and that it all would be alright. After a few more seconds of quietude, the princess resumed to her original tasks and there was only one left. She walked out of her bedroom after taking a few more glances at her outfit, making sure that everything was perfect, and walked through the hallways that directed her to the ballroom.
There was one specific hallway that called out a little bit more of attention. In that corridor, the same maid sat there on the floor, cleaning the evidence: the smudged stains of their love on the paper wall. As she passed through it, the maid raised her face to look at the girl’s. It seemed as if she was pleading her not to tell anyone about the encounter both of them were thinking of. After walking some more and leaving the maid behind she carried out a little bit of regret for choosing that pathway. But her curiosity, for some reason, told her to go there. And she obeyed.
At the ballroom, she could see eyes staring at her as if they could see right through her. That feeling that she got was unsurprisingly wrong and she knew of it. The royals that stood there with their glasses full of red wine and their dresses worth a million "breads" could not see anything other than their own reflection. “Ghosts”, she whispered to herself. That was all they were, sadly. Soon after that judgment, solely based on superficial concepts, was formed, she dropped it and reminded herself that there was more to everyone than the eyes can see.
“Stop thinking so much!” that was the only thing that both her parents and she demanded from her. That and for her to be more social, just how future queens should be. The only part that annoyed her, but even she agreed on, was that she would have to be kind to everyone, even those which she despised. It all would be for the sake of the country that would futurely be hers, as she hoped.
Katherine decided, finally, to mingle. She took a glass of wine thanking the boy two or three times. On the way to greet her overrated parents, her eyes glanced across the room as she looked for someone that her memories remembered and appreciated. She couldn’t find many people, but the ones that she looked for were named Sophie, Alice and Clarissa, her ladies. She missed them very much. Her parents pressured her to maintain more than simply three of those, and perhaps they were right, but the princess thought that she had what she needed. The ladies were girls with whom she had actual friendships with, and she was thankful for having them in her life. Even though she decidedly chose to think that she needed no one to take care of her.
When she arrived at the altar, she said nothing, there was nothing to be said. Her movements were limited to bowing and fake smiling. Her mother observed her from head to toe, Katherine imagined that an insult was bound to be said, so she prepared herself with a quick and sutil comeback, or at least she tried to.
“Where did you acquire such dress?” Katherine smiled and waved her head delightfully with the knowledge that she was right about the condescending tone that her mother had used. Another reason to that smile was that she had no idea where that dress came from.
“I do not know” she spoke, smiling, happy with the mystery of the red dress. She had her face turned away from the queen and stared at others, giving each ghost a separated glance. It was as if she was looking right through them. For her surprise, her eyes landed on someone whom she knew she’d see, at some point, though felt no need to interact with, she was still mad at him. Sebastian. Curiously, she couldn’t help but to smile. He walked towards her direction with his bright contagious smile. She was a tad disappointed at the fact that he was not there to speak to her. He gave the same type of bow and smiled the same smile that she gave when she bowed to her parents, though more convincingly.
“Hello, Sebastian” her mother spoke, smiling kindly. All of the proper chit-chat was spoken. Words thrown into the air for filling the silence and fulfilling ego’s. Katherine stood still, distracted by the lives of others and her own thoughts. It was only when she heard the following sentence that her mind drove back into her body:
“I think it’s only proper that the future King and Queen dance in their own honor” her father spoke. Her father with his persuasive smile which she inherited. He was a good man, though mostly destroyed by his own animalistic life. At the time, in the same day as the incident, Katherine was not big enough as a person to see his side of the stories. Subsequently, after a few days, she’d return to the same optimistic thought that stated that he was good person. But for now, the memory of the incident that will remain undescribed still devastated his image in her eyes.
Sebastian laughed and she turned around, surprised, in a way, they even mentioned her name. Let it be noted that if she could she would have blushed severely.
“Gladly” he spoke before turning around to face her, bowing and raising his hand ready to receive hers “If only the princess would say yes” it was very silly of him to say such a thing. Not only did she have no choice but who would deny the touch of such a charming man? Katherine took one second or more to decide, but she knew that the answer would remain the same in any scenario. So, the girl raised her hand as if in a fairy tale and rested on his. His touch was, once again, warm. He raised his arched back and, maintaining his eyes on hers, told her parents to excuse them.
"It would have to be a special moment", she thought. The king and queens first dance, a moment she’d remember for life, and her self-destructive self was determined to ruin it.
They turned their backs on the altar and started to walk towards the centre of the room. Silence prevailed for a few mere seconds and she worshiped those. The silence made everything more special, and she could think more and more about how perfectly her hand fit into his. She was dreadfully nervous and so was he, on some level.
“Beautiful dress, Katherine, it fits perfectly” they turned to each other and started to dance. Her hand on his shoulder and his hand on her waist and finally, both of their hands meeting in the ends, like a knot tied on paper: impossible to detangle without tearing it apart. Quickly, she noticed from his smile that he was the end to her mystery, so she laughed and said:
“How could you possible know my measurements?” she spoke, smiling and wondering if she looked like a fool with so much happiness so easily noticed on her face.
“Something tells me that your maid didn’t tell you about the gift from Scotland” The last part of his sentence hurt her a tad. In the beginning of their conversation she imagined that the gift was his and solely his to her, but now, she knew that it was a diplomatic present and it saddened her. It upset her so badly that it was visible in her face. It was almost the same representation of feelings as earlier, though this time she frowned both eyebrows and the sadness was much less intense than the scenario before. He instantly reminded of them, those eyebrows.
“Did I say something wrong?” he asked, bringing his face closer to hers as they danced. His expression was slightly worried, but she was focusing on their feet and so she could not see his worry. She decided not to express her feelings, imagining that they would show weakness from her side.
“No” she fearfully spoke “Nothing, really” she raised her head with a not very convincing smile on her face. She normally did not put much effort into fake smiles, perhaps they did not last long. Since everyone seemed to believe in it, why work hard to make it credible? Except that, for the first time, someone did not believe in it. It felt as if her mind was an endless ocean of thoughts in which he was alowed to drown in.
“I suppose, since we ought to be married in a couple of months, that it is not fair for you to hide your feelings from me” she reacted surprised with a frown and a smile as he continued “So please, do tell me why you are sad, my princess?” The way he named her... She felt as if it had a ring to it. “Maybe when we are married” she quickly daydreamed “He will call me his queen”
“It’s an exageration, truly” she spoke, still trying to hide them away even though she knew that it was not the right thing to do. He looked down, smiled as he raised his head. She could easily faint from all of the emotions that she was feeling. He made her so happy that in the midst of the beginning of that conversation, she could barely remind of both incidents that occurred early in the morning. Of course, ignoring it helped.
“Exageration or not, I’d very much like to know” he spoke. His eyes were brighter than ever and she was hypnotized by them.
“Since you insist so badly” she said, bitting her lower lip with a hint of insecurity that he could easily notice, though thought of it as adorable “I was... stupidly... disappointed that the gift was not from you to me. It was simply a diplomatic present, that saddened me a tad” she playfully measured with her fingers how much she was upset. He laughed in response. His laugh was so charming, contagious, even. She imagined that she was in a play, or a novel. That whole scenario, it couldn’t be true. It just couldn’t, and she would soon be sure of it.
The look on his face, suddenly, turned serious “Sadly, that is somewhat inside of the subject that I wished to talk to you” in that moment the music was over. They both turned to the musicians and honored them for their lovely music. Thankfully, that small mean time that she spent quietly did not give Katherine any ideas and for the first time a very long time, she did not think, about anything, at all.
Her father rose from his chair and hurriedly and happily left the altar. The king, that was holding a glass of red wine, raised his half-drinken cup and dosed a bit of his happiness around with the rest of the court with a sappy speech. All eyes turned to the king in a furry coat. He smiled and Katherine imagined that he was so very happy from the fact that he had so much endless control over everyone that night, even over herself.
“Dear French and Scottish, as you might see, I am so very delighted. Our daughter and future son share their first dance. And as I hope, it shall be the first of many! May this be premise of a happy marriage and alliance between our both countries!” And with that, everyone smiled and rose their glasses, saying in unison: “All hail the future king and queen!” she, whom was until now severely focused on her father and others' speeches, looked at the prince. He smiled, uncomfortably, and that was, sadly, the very opposite of her reaction. When she saw his uneasy smile, hers faded away. Though very quickly she convinced herself that his reaction was entirely understandable: her doubts about her marriage’s happiness had faded away, completely, but maybe his hadn’t and she understood. She returned smiling once again and the happy moment that her father provided went away. The prince motioned with his head towards somewhere afar from the small crowd that gathered around the king and she followed right after him.
After that, they both walked together to a nearby corner in which the could speak alone, in order for him to explain what he wanted to. The position they both were as they walked was dreamy, and she adored it. His arm was raised on the height of his shoulder and he carried her hand, resting on his. They were reaching the spot when Katherine felt a soft hand on her shoulder. She turned her head in a soft movement, careful not to ruin her “hairdo”. Behind them were her ladies. She smiled widely and they returned the gesture for a brief second before they all hugged tightly. They wanted, of course, what every good girlfriend wanted: gossip.
“Where were you girls all morning? All week? All month? What did you girls do? How did the lessons go?” An update for you, uninformed reader: her ladies had all left for a month or more to learn how to behave as the future queen’s ladies. They all grew up together, so rebellion was a part of the foursome and it worried the king and queen. For perhaps two months, Katherine felt the saddest, yet could see the good in their leaving: she would finally be all alone, no interruptions and endless thinking, though those usually led to wrong conclusions.
“First of all, we must ask:” Sophie spoke, very politely “May we borrow our princess, please?” she spoke directly to the prince and he nodded smiling as response. Katherine bowed quickly and they all left to the hallway in order to have a proper conversation. Katherine was astound, the girls were so very different., even in the way they walked. They looked as if they felt that they were superior to everyone else and that scared the princess. She hoped strongly that they hadn’t changed. When they reached their favorite spot: the hall that ended in a window, they started to go back to their normal selfs and the young princess’ fears went away.
“You were chit-chatting with the PRINCE!” Clarissa nearly shouted and Katherine was forced to tell her to “SHHH... Quiet down!”
“We saw it!” Alice complemented with a sort of shouting whisper. Katherine told them it all: how she felt, how the entire day went down and about the electricity she felt when she saw him. The girls spoke about their journey, but there was so much to tell, and Sophie noticed that there wasn’t going to be enough time. In the morning they would start their second day: the four of them together.
“There is never going to be enough time!” Alice complained, her dark shiny sophisticated waves were tied down in a braid which fell over her light pinkish dress. Her caramel skin fit in perfectly with her hazelnut eyes. The four of them had hazelnut eyes except for Sophie. Her eyes were green as fresh grass. Everyone was in love with those eyes. Katherine had a theory that if you looked deep in them for too long you’d fall in love right away. That and so many other non-ordinary thoughts made Sophie call her crazy.
Sophie’s dress, different from all four of them was chosen by Katherine. It was a light violet dress that she desperately wanted Sophie to wear because she thought that it and her eyes would look perfect together, and she was right. Her long straight hair was a little bit opaque and the princess imagined that the girl spent so much time in the sun that the brightness of her hair dried out. Sophie, for some reason, was more serious than others. She was the one that Katherine knew ever since she was little. The young princess imagined that perhaps the lessons got to her in a level that it did not reach others.
Clarissa was the one with the most sensual-looking dress. Another one chosen by Katherine, in a way. The princess sent her friend 5 dresses and demanded her to choose from those, since none of the them had a proper fashion sense, so, in order to attract suitors, every month Katherine would send a certain amount of dresses for each. Those girls were loved so much by Katherine and each others. It was the perfect imperfect set of friends.
Soon after they grew tired of staring at the stars and talking of Sebastian, because they all agreed that all of the conversation subjects should be saved up for tomorrow, they returned to the salon where they faced a terrible vision: Astrid and Sebastian, dancing. Katherine pulled the girls to side and whispered the following sentence:
“Oh, yeah, and I forgot to tell you girl that he gets to choose between me and Astrid.” before they could ask anything at all, Katherine left hurriedly back into the madness of the salon. The girls were left dumbfounded with their mouthes opened due to fear that their best friend would never fulfill her dream and also wondering how that happened.