A sudden noise aroused me. I jumped, startled by it. My bedroom door widened open. My brother, Jonathan, entered my room.
“Get up, Rena!” he greeted me.
“Good morning to you too, Jonathan.”
“C’mon, mother wanted us downstairs ten minutes ag0. You should’ve been there already. She told me to come and get you, but then I see you still sleeping!”
“My bad, I must’ve overslept.”
“You’re so childish! I can’t believe that you’ll be the next queen. It should be me.”
“Of course, mother favors you over me.”
“That’s because I actually act like a prince. You, on the other hand, act like a peasant.”
“You know, peasants aren’t that bad.”
“If only you understood what a peasant was.”
“Okay, then if you do, GET READY!”
He walked out of the room. I yawned and slowly got up from my bed. I hurried up and got ready. I put my lilac, flowy dress on and brushed my brown locks. I bolted out of my room and down the entrance stairs. My mother and Jonathan were already down there with the queen and king of the Northern kingdom. Of course, my family looked way better than me since I only had ten minutes to get ready.
You’re probably wondering, what’s going on? Where possibly could my father be? Why am I next for the throne? Why am I in such a rush? And of course, what on earth is the king and queen from the Northern kingdom doing here in the Southern kingdom? Well, why don’t I start from the beginning. When I mean the beginning, I mean before I was born and when my parents met.
My father was the prince of the Southern kingdom. He hated being royalty, like me, and always wanted to rebel and do what he wanted to do. My grandparents didn’t think that was a good idea for him to rebel. They thought the best option was to find someone who could make him a better future king to the kingdom. His parents arranged a marriage for him with my mother who was the princess of the Northern kingdom. Of course, when my father found out that he was getting married, he went ballistic. He yelled at his parents and ordered them to let him be who he wants to be. My grandparents didn’t think kindly of that idea, so they told him that he would marry my mother anyway. Sooner or later, they did, but my father didn’t look too pleased on the altar. After that, my mother became the queen of the Southern kingdom.
One month later, my mother was pregnant with me. My father would’ve rather had a boy than girl, so when he found out he was having me, he was infuriated. When I was born, he still didn’t like me, but when my brother was born, my father adored him. When I was seven years old and my brother was four, my father started to favor me more. Probably because I never listened to my mother. I wanted freedom and my own prerogative. To be honest, I was exactly like my father and that’s why he loved me so much. My mother liked my brother more because he was more like her. Principles and royalty were their thing. My father and I had a special bond that no one could break.
When I became twelve years old, my father died from some type of food poisoning, they say. I think my mother poisoned him because my father said that he was always unhappy with her and wanted someone better. My mother always was about certain rules, not like my father. Most of the time, you would hear them arguing everyday. I think she just wanted the throne for herself. To rule the Southern kingdom her way without my father. Of course, since I lost my best friend, my mother treated me like I was her horse and she was the rider. When I didn’t do what she wanted me to do, she would start comparing me to Jonathan and say that I’m not even close to his level. Obviously, I didn’t care because I didn’t even want to be on his level. She just wanted me to make myself feel bad even though it wasn’t working whatsoever.
If you asked my mom who should be on the throne, she would pick my brother. To be honest, she’s correct. It should be Jonathan, but that’s not how it works. It has to be me even though I don’t want to be the next queen. There’s one thing that my mother doesn’t know though. I’ve been dating a cottier. Us royalty aren’t supposed to date or marry peasants, so that’s why I’ve been keeping a secret from her. You would say that us people are first class and peasants are third class. Jonathan is the only person who knows about my boyfriend, Alexander. He found out a long time ago when I was visiting Alexander in the village. I asked him not to tell anyone, especially mom, and he said that he wouldn’t. To be honest, I don’t know if he’ll tell anyone, including mom, but I’m hoping he won’t.
I met Alexander one day in the village. I visited the market, even though I’m not supposed to. Alexander was looking through the shops for some strawberries. I greeted myself and he actually seemed to be nice, not like the other peasants that my mother speaks of. I was shook by the fact that he was being polite. We started talking and actually became good friends. He told me that he was getting strawberries for his little sister. Strawberries were her favorite fruit. He took me back to his house and I spoke to his family.
Five months later, we began dating. For the first week that we were together, I visited Alexander in the village everyday. I think that’s how my brother found out about me and that definitely took a toll on our relationship. Now, since you know everything, maybe it’s time we get back to the original plot of the story.
“Good morning, mother, grandparents,” I greeted them as I was walking down the stairs.
“You’re late and dirty,” my mother said.
“I’m sorry, I was in a rush as you can see.”
“Now, shall we begin?” my grandfather started.
“Of course!” my mother replied.
“Her majesty, my prince, princess. There has been a major discussion with the other kingdoms.”
“What may it be, father?”
“The other kingdoms believe that the Southern kingdom is inessential. They say without a king, your kingdom will be in ruins.”
“Well, what are we supposed to do? We can’t bring my late husband back from the dead!”
“Why don’t we make me the next king?” Jonathan implied.
“What a great idea, my son!”
I rolled my eyes, knowing that my family were trying to get my grandparents to make Jonathan the next king. It was so obvious and just pathetic.
“I’m sorry, my daughter, but we can’t allow that,” my grandmother chimed in.
“And why not?”
“Rena is supposed to be the next heir to the throne. We can’t just make your younger son the king out of nowhere. That’ll make the other kingdoms even more ruffled. Your alliances will disband from the union.”
“Then what must we do?”
“Create an event, a ball for that matter. Try to convince the other kingdoms that you are stronger than ever without a king. Hopefully, that’ll persuade them that the Southern kingdom is foundational,” grandfather requested.
“Are you sure this will work?”
“I don’t know, it’s how you lure them into thinking that.”
“Okay, we’ll create a ball in the next three days.”
“Three days?!” I exclaimed.
“Yes, is there a problem, Rena?”
I stopped myself. “N-No, mother.”
“Alright then, the ball will be prepared in three days. We may commence the decor.”
“Good, then we’ll be on our way.”
“Thank you mother, father, for the information.” My grandparents walked out of the palace.
“You two, choose something out for the ball. This is going to be special, so pick something nice and elegant. Nothing like what you wore for this meeting, Rena.”
Jonathan and I headed up the entrance stairs. He stared at me, implicated. “So, what was the blurt for?”
“I’m supposed to visit Alexander again in three days.”
“Oh, I see. You want to visit your boyfriend while you still have a chance as a princess.”
“Yes, my coronation is in a month. I want to visit him as much as I can before that happens. You’ve already seen what mom’s been doing. She’s doing work 24/7. It’s like she never catches a break. I know I won’t be able to see Alexander often when I become the new queen.”
“I don’t understand why you won’t tell mother. I get that you don't want her to know, but what if she finds out on her own? She’ll literally execute you.”
“I know, that’s why I’m hoping it just doesn’t get out.” I groaned, worn out. “I don’t understand why I have to be queen! I’m not even a good princess! If only you were the older one.”
“I wish! I would love to be the next king, maybe I could help our kingdom out. I’m even fit for it more than you are. It’s just the law, though. The elder sibling becomes the new heir for the throne and the other siblings stay a prince or a princess.”
“Ugh, why are you so lucky?!”
“Hey, why don’t I help you escape Tuesday.”
“At the beginning of the ball, we’ll be introduced and make our grand entrance. After that, I’ll help you skedaddle out of here to go see Alexander one last time.”
“You’ll do that for me?”
“Of course, you’re my big sister after all!”
If only I’ve known that he was just playing with my feelings. Trusting my brother was a big mistake. I went up to my room and picked out the perfect outfit. Yellow dress, white heels, and pearl jewelry. This will definitely impress my mother!
“Why not?” I asked her.
She glared at my outfit. “It looks too fancy.”
“Isn’t a ball supposed to be fancy?”
“Rena, I’m not trying to have you walk out there looking like horse piss.”
“Yellow’s my favorite color though!”
“Why would you choose such a horrible color? Why not red? I mean, red is-”
“Blood and royalty,” I interrupted. “I know, mother. It’s your favorite color and you wear it all the time.”
“The Southern kingdom is known for the color red and the Northern kingdom is known for the color blue. You were born here, in this kingdom, so you choose the color red. No matter what!”
“You were born in the Northern kingdom, why don’t you wear blue?”
“Because I’m the queen here, which makes me born in the Southern kingdom. I wear red, darling.”
“Why don’t you wear purple? I mean you were born in the Northern kingdom and the queen in the Southern kingdom. Blue and red make purple. There you go, now you’re mixed.”
“I would rather not wear that sickening color. Red is all that you will wear.”
“C’mon Rena, you know that mom doesn’t like the other colors, just red,” Jonathan chimed in from the other room.
“I’m not like you or mom. I would like to wear whatever I want! Why do I have to wear red? Don’t you think it’ll be a little too weird if the entire family wore the same color?”
“We’ll be matching. Wouldn’t you want that?”
She sighed. “Rena, I’m trying my best to get you ready to become the next queen. Do I want you to be the next heir? No, but I don’t have a choice. You’re so childish and being childish doesn’t work when you’re queen. Get with it or I swear, I’ll make your life a living hell.”
“It’s been a living hell for me since the day father died.”
Mother smiled. “Good, then I don’t have to teach you a lesson.” She walked out of my room. I plopped down on my bed. Why won’t my mother just let me be? I’ve tried and tried to be just like her, but it’s hard.
I went down to the ballroom. Everything was ready and propped up. Tonight is the ball and when I meet Alexander. I need to be ready. My mother picked out a red dress. I kept the white heels and the pearl jewelry. Some of the maids helped me with my hair and make up. They placed my hair up into a braided bun. My mother wore a red dress as well, but it was bigger than mine and had more laces. Her hair was down and curled. My brother wore a black suit with a red tie. His hair was slicked back. Our guests showed up and entered our palace. I wasn’t able to see who was all here, but I heard it was a lot. It was now 6:30. Jonathan, my mother, and I walked down the entrance stairs. Slowly, so we would look graceful and sophisticated. Also, having everyone’s eyes on us. That’s what my mother said.
“Her majesty, Queen Delilah and her children: Prince Jonathan and Princess Rena!”
When we walked down the stairs, my mother greeted some of our guests. She pulled my arm towards her direction and smiled.
“Rena, this is Count Vladmir and Countess Willow.”
“Hello, it’s so nice to meet you,” I said, curtsying.
My heel almost slipped and would’ve ruined my curtsy form, but I hurried up and got up from it happening.
“This is my daughter, Rena. She’s the next heir for the throne.”
The count and countess did the same thing. “Wow, she’s so beautiful!” Willow replied.
“She’ll make an amazing queen, but there is a problem, Delilah,” Vladimir stated.
“Is there something wrong?” my mother asked.
“If your daughter is to become queen, she must find a noble man to marry.”
The count continued, “The only way for her to have a coronation is to marry a titled young man who is capable of having this kingdom.”
“I don’t know, Vladimir. If she marries a prince, doesn’t she become a queen of that kingdom?”
“Yes, of course, then Jonathan would become the next heir. Silly me, how could I forget?”
“Excuse me, I must go,” I intervened.
“Where are you going?” my mother questioned me.
“I’m going to speak to the duke and dutchess!”
“Oh, well then, you’re excused.”
I ran away and headed towards my brother. I didn’t notice that he was talking to someone and I accidentally interrupted his conversation with the viscount.
“My fault, brother, but may I talk to you for a second?”
“O-Of course, I’ll be right back, Viscount Lorenzo!”
I heard the viscount mumble under his breath, “What poor queen she’ll be.”
I pulled Jonathan to the side. “Okay, how are you going to help me escape?”
“Alright, calm down! Jeez!” He sighed, “I’m just going to take you outside wearing a disguise. I’ll come back here in the costume and then changed.”
“That’s your plan?”
“Good, let’s do this!”
I don’t really like balls anyway, so I think leaving is the best option. Plus, my mother is already annoying me. I think she’s trying to have me marry a prince, so I could get away from her. Then, my brother will become the king to the Southern kingdom. Yep, that is her plan. I’m not mad, but I wish that she wouldn’t make it so obvious. By the time I visit Alexander and come back to the palace, my life is going to change for the worst.