I ran up the big stairs of the castle and quickly knocked on the big doors. The guard opened the door but before he could say anything, the young prince Matthew came running out of the castle. He took ahold of my hand and we ran down the stairs.
We than skipped into the royal garden, still holding hands and giggling with huge smiles on our faces. He led me to center of the garden, where a wooden swing set stood high and proud; this is where we play together, where we build our relationship and where we became best friends.
I am just a common girl. From the kingdom in which Matthew's parents rule. Which, they don't rule very well. Our kingdom is running low on supplies and money. They try to do everything the old fashioned way, which led us into poverty.
Matthew and I met while he was being taken into the market near the castle. He jumped down from the buggy and was talking to the bread maker for some of his finest bread. After Matthew had got his bread and started to walk into the buggy, I was walking by with a giant basket, bigger than me, full of apples. I accidently bumped into him and we dropped everything we were holding and I landed on top of him. I started to panic and he did too, but after we looked into each other’s eyes, everything was fine. I helped him up and we started to talk as we picked up our things.
"I am Christina. You must be Prince Matthew." I smiled at him. We were only about 6 or 7 at this time.
"Indeed I am. Where are you off to?" he smiled back at me and placed the last apple in my basket.
"I am off to that stand over there." I pointed. He looked over and then back at me.
"I was just going there too. Maybe I could help you carry that basket of yours." He walked over and placed the bread inside the carriage and then picked up one handle off the basket. I picked up the other handle and we carefully walked over to the stand.
The man handed me 20 coins and then took the basket away from us.
"Thank you." I said to the prince.
"You are welcome. I better get going." The prince started to walk away.
"Will I ever see you again?" I called after him.
"Come to my castle tomorrow at noon. I will be waiting." He looked back at me and then jumped into the carriage.
I stood there and watched the carriage tug away. I watched it in till it was no longer in sight.
The next day I showed up at the castle and he took me by the hand and walked me around the castle, showing me everything. Once we hit the garden, he got really excited and took me to the center, where the wooden swing set stood, in a field of flowers. He made me sit on a stone bench, as he ran around the field of flowers. I watched and giggled in till he was no longer in sight. I sat there, swinging my little feet and kept watching. Finally he came back into sight and came running over to me as fast as his little feet could carry him. He stood in front of me with his hands behind his back. He told me to turn around. Then he put his arm around me and in his hands, was a rose. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. "For you." he smiled and I turned around and looked up at him. I took the rose gently from his hand and examined it carefully. Then I got up and hugged him tight. After that moment, we became best friends.
Back to present time, we are now teenagers. He is 17 and I am 16. I understand that in 2 years he will have to marry a wife. It won’t be me.
His parents set him up to marry a princess from another Kingdom. She is beautiful, with fair skin and long flowing blonde hair. She may look like a saint, but when you are alone with her, she is incredibly rude and ignorant. Matthew hates her, he said he much rather marry me. Even though I am just a commoner. A normal plane girl. But to him, I am beautiful, strong, graceful and absolutely perfect. I don't understand why he has to marry her, it's tradition he said. He wishes he could break tradition. But his parents are too old fashioned to care.
As we sat on the swing set, we still held hands. I looked over at him and said "Why must you marry her? Why can't we run away? Be together forever."
"Well, if I ran away with you, a commoner, my parents would hunt us down and kill you. Which I could not stand. I would hate to lose you in my life. You mean way too much to me for me to lose you." He stood up and took my other hand and pulled me up out of the swing, then walked me over to the bench where he had given me many roses.
"You are to kind my prince." I sat down on the bench and he sat next to me.
"Besides, I am lucky that I am even allowed to be with you alone." He turned and sat on the bench as if it was a horse and then brought his legs up and crossed them, I did the same and then he took ahold of my hands, which had been playing with a blade of grass.
We stared into each other’s eyes and smiled. When finally a knight came into the garden and asked us to go with him.
We followed the knight into the castle and he made us sit down in the royal living room.
A maid came over to us and asked us if we needed anything, even after we said no, she handed us a plate of cookies. As if we were still young children.
"What’s going on?" I whispered to Prince Matthew.
The next thing I knew the King and Queen walked into the living room and sat down on the other side.
"Good evening your grace." I stood up and curtsied. Then I sat back down next to Prince Matthew.
"Good evening lady Christina." The Queen smiled at me and picked up her cup of tea off the end table.
"So father, why did you wish to speak to us?" Prince Matthew said after a long moment of awkward silence.
"Well, I overheard you talking to Christina here about your arranged marriage." He started to rub his beard as if he were deep in thought.
"I see. Well father, I can explain." He placed the plate of cookies on the table.
"No further explanation will do son. I have had my knights watching you sense you met Christina, a sweet, innocent girl really. But I know every single word you have said. I trust my knights to tell me the truth." The King stood up and started to pace back and forth. "I really wish you had been open with me about your arranged marriage. You really hate her don't you? Well, I don't care. I arranged this when you were a baby. You can't blow off family tradition for some common girl."
"Father, listen--" Matthew stood up.
"Sit back down!" The king cut him off mid-sentence. "I don't want to hear it. The only way you can get out of the arranged marriage is if Princess Tiana agrees to cancel. But I highly doubt that, as she is very fond of you."
"So, if he can get Princess----" I started to speak.
"Did you just speak, without being spoken to?" The King walked in front of me and pointed at my face.
I slapped my hand over my mouth and started to cry.
"Take her out of here. You are band from the kingdom." The King walked away, his back turned.
"FATHER! HOW COULD YOU!? All she did was tried to ask you a simple question." Prince Matthew cried.
2 knights picked me up by my arms and dragged me out of the castle. I said nothing. I cried. My poor prince will never see me again. All because I spoke when it wasn't my turn. I guess that was just his excuse to send me off.
Prince Matthew ran after me as the knights put me up on a horse.
He stood at my feet and took my hand, he kissed it lightly, I used my hand and whipped his tears away.
"One day, if fate is meant to be, we will be together." He looked up at me and squeezed my hand that was on his face.
"I love you my prince." I cried softly.
"I love you too my lady." He let go of my hand as the horse ran off.
He stood in that very place. I looked back at him and watched him, in till I could no longer see him. Like I always did.