“I want to leave.”
My life as a royal is a mess. I have two half-siblings, Garnet and Sapphire, who actually have a thing for each other since they aren’t technically related at all. Here’s how that works: Garnet’s parents are Tom and Ramona, Sapphire’s parents are Ollie and Sophie, and my parents are Tom and Sophie. Confusing, right? Basically, our parents are a bunch of cheaters.
Right now, the three of us are living in the palace with my dad and Garnet’s mom, who is an awful lady. Her and Garnet moved in a month ago and has made mine and Sapphire’s life a living hell. She acts sweet around my dad, but insults us and makes us her slaves whenever he’s gone.
Sophie used to run the kingdom with my dad but was kicked out when he found her cheating on him with a guy named Ollie. After they had Sapphire, she couldn’t take care of her, so my father took her in.
I watch as the two of them are frozen while processing the words that just came out of my mouth. Eventually, their expressions change.
“I guess I’ll have to agree. I’m fed up with Ramona. She made me give her a foot rub the other day, even though she has her own servant. I had to, or I was afraid she’d make up some rumors about me again,” Sapphire says. Whenever we refuse to do her bidding, and she tells our dad lies about us. She once told him she caught me sneaking out and stealing from the markets in the village. The worst part: he actually believed her.
“She doesn’t mean any harm,” Garnet says, but I can tell he doesn’t mean it.
“You’ll always stand up for your mom,” I say, “but do you really want to stay here? Wouldn’t you rather go out and have fun?”
Garnet is a bit of a wild card. He dreams of sneaking out and going to parties, not that he always gets away with it.
“You’re right. Lessons on the history of our bloodline aren’t my thing.”
“And neither are edicate classes,” Sapphire pipes up.
“Exactly. We’re never allowed outside of this palace unless it’s a special occasion, and even then, we’re surrounded by dozens of guards. I think we’re old enough to leave and explore the world,” The three of us are in our teens: I’m 18, Sapphire’s 17, and Garnet’s 19. “We have no idea what it’s like in the outside world, and I think it’s about time we find out.”
As I say this, Sapphire’s deep blue eyes twinkle with excitement. That’s the one thing that’s different about the two of us. We both have our mom’s golden brown hair and fair skin, but we have different colored eyes. Both of ours are the colors of our names: while hers are the color of an actual, deep blue sapphire, I have lavender eyes. It’s the reason my parents named me Amethyst. Obviously, Garnet doesn’t have red eyes. His are hazel, which goes along with his blonde hair.
“So, what’s the plan? How do we get out of here?” he asks.
“We’ll never get past the guards,” Sapphire says. “Especially with the clothes we have. How are we supposed to sneak out with our poofy dresses and your stiff uniform?” She points to what all of us are wearing.
She’s right. We don’t own any casual clothes, and girls aren’t allowed to own even a single pair of pants.
“We’ll have to make do with our clothes. We can buy some when we leave. I know a guard who can help us escape. You guys know Axel, right?”
The two of them nod with looks of confusion.
“He’s your personal guard, right Ames?” Garnet says.
“Right.” I walk over to my door and open it. I step out and the tall, muscular figure that’s always there is right outside.
“Do you mind coming in for a second Axel?”
“I don’t know Princess. I should stay out here,” his deep voice says.
“But I want some fresh air and my window is stuck. Could you help me?” I ask sweetly.
He sighs. “I know you’re lying, but I’ll come in anyways. Only for a little bit.”
I beam. I lead him over to where Garnet and Sapphire are sitting.
“We need your help to escape,” I say.
“Amethyst! Why would you tell him?” Garnet scolds. “Now he’s gonna go rat us out and we don’t have any chance of leaving this cage!”
“Calm down,” I say. “We can trust him. He once helped me hide Flynn when he was almost caught by dad.” Flynn is my boyfriend and Garnet’s best friend who lives in the kingdom next to us. Our families hate each other, so I’m never allowed to see him unless he sneaks in.
“But this is different Princess. You're saying you’re leaving and never coming back?” Axel speaks up.
“That’s exactly what I’m saying,” I confirm. “We want freedom. We want to be normal.”
“You don’t need to be in the outside world to be normal. It’s dangerous out there,” he says.
“That’s what everyone says. So, I’m going to ask you this once. Will you help us?”
He looks at Garnet, then to Sapphire, as if he was waiting for them to say something. They keep their mouths closed and wait for an answer as well.
“Of course I’ll help.”
The three of us cheered, but instantly stop when we hear a knock on the door.
“Amethyst? Are you in there? Where’s the guard?” I hear my dad call.
“Hide!” I hiss to Sapphire and Garnet. We’re rarely in each other’s rooms, and it would be too suspicious to have them here.
They run to my giant wardrobe and disappear behind the sparkly dresses. Axel makes a break for it too, but I stop him.
“Amethyst? Open up.”
“Coming father!” I open the door and curtsy. He looks past my shoulder.
“Why is that guard in here?”
“Oh, my window was stuck so I called him in to help me fix it. He was just leaving,” I say. I’m a pretty good liar and I can’t tell if that’s a good thing or not.
“I thought I heard other voices. Why were you guys cheering?” He looks at me suspiciously.
“I was just… happy to have the window fixed. I really needed the fresh air.” I put on my brightest smile.
“Alright then. I passed Ramona in the hall and she told me to tell you she wants to have tea with you right now. She’ll meet you in the library.”
“Just me?” I ask, trying my best not to whine. There’s no way this is a good thing.
“Yes, just you. Also, have you seen your brother? I need him to finish some paperwork.”
I tap my chin like I’m thinking. “No, I haven’t seen him. He wasn’t in his room?”
“I was just heading up there now. Enjoy your tea.” He starts walking away, then pauses. “Amethyst?” There’s a flicker of something in his voice, but I can’t tell what it means.
“Yes, father?” I ask hopefully. He never shows me much affection, and since I’d be leaving soon, I wouldn’t mind a simple “I love you daughter”. Not that he has any clue he won’t be seeing me again in a few days.
He opens his mouth to say something, then closes it. “Nevermind.” He walks down the hall and I lower my head, disappointed.
I feel a hand on my shoulder. “Don’t worry about him, Princess. You’ve got your siblings, and you’ve got me.” Axel says.
“Thanks, Axel.” I give him a sad smile. He’s like the real father I never had. I could always rant to him about how boring edicate lessons were or how painful it was walking in heels. I could also talk to him about deeper stuff, like how my father doesn’t treat me like his daughter or how lonely I am. He always gave me the best advice on everything and comforted me when I was sad. I don’t want to leave him behind, but I know there’s no other way.
“Is he gone?” I hear Sapphire’s voice from the wardrobe say.
“Yeah, you guys can come out now,” I say. “I have to go have tea with Ramona. Who knows how she’s going to blackmail me now.”
“Good luck with that,” Sapphire says.
“It’ll be fine. Who knows? Maybe she really does want to have a little tea party with you,” Garnet says, sounding unsure of himself.
I sigh. “Maybe.”