I woke up late and it was so cold I thought I might freeze to death. I took a hot bath and put on my warmest clothes.
I stargazed for a long time and when the sky turned purple Granny called me inside to get dressed.
I put on my blue dress with a hem that was longer at the back and short in the front so it showed of my knees which is why I had to wear leggings. I curled my hair and pinned it away from my face.
I decided not to wear my star stone so I replaced it with a pearl necklace and I filled my hands with bracelets. I chose a white coat and I didn’t pat attention to the shoes I just slipped my feet in and hoped that they wouldn’t be as uncomfortable as they looked. I did my makeup lightly and I grabbed my coat and headed out side where Granny and Dad were waiting.
The carriage was horse drawn with two small flags of Stellaregno on the bumper. It was warm inside the carriage so I took of my coat. It was a long drive and the windows of the car were dark so I couldn’t see the stars. After almost two hours we got there. My legs were numb I couldn’t walk properly in the heels anyway and now I could barely stand.
The palace was decorated with lights. The small celebration wasn’t so small, there were so many people I thought they invited the entire kingdom.
“Who are these people?” I whispered to Granny.
“They’re friends of the royal family” she replied softly.
“Oh” all I could say.
I had no one to talk to me but Granny said that i should talk to some of the girls. I had no idea who they were and I didn’t want to know. The one thing that i was worried about was how I was going to say no in front of everyone.
I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned around and it was Prince Alec. I gave him a bow.
“Good evening” he said “I wanted to apologize.
“For what?” I asked.
“For this marriage” he replied.
“So, you don’t want to do it either?” I asked.
“No” he said “But there is nothing I can do so....”
“Can I be honest with you?”
“Of coarse” he said. I opened my mouth to say something but Alec cut me off.
“Don’t tell me you want to marry me because that’s going to make me feel badder than I already do” he said.
“No,” I said quickly “and why do you feel bad?”
“Because you’re being forced into this” he said “I like someone else and so do you so it’s going to be hard but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends”
“Yeah, I guess so” I said. “How do you know I like someone?” I added.
“That Capricorn boy you were dancing with” he said.
“Oh,” my face flushed with color “We’re just friends”
“Of coarse you are” he said.
“His name is Tristan by the way” I pointed out.
“Your friend Lyra told me all about him and you” he said, ignoring what I said.
“She did?” I asked, I cannot believe she would have such a deep conversation with Alec. Then I remembered her talkative personality and said “Oh, of coarse she did”
“Geminis are talkative” Alec said.
“Tell me about it” I said.
“See we can be friends” Alec said happily.
“Yes, and we’re two minutes away from getting engaged” I pointed out “I really wish I didn’t have to do this. Why does your father want us to get married anyway?”
“You may not know but the kingdom is growing weak and....”
I muttered “I know that”
Alec continued “That is because the constellations are getting weak and Hydra need Virgo and the only way to work together is to tie our families together and we can only do that by.....”
“Getting married” I guessed.
I still didn’t understand. “I still don’t get it” I said “What can I do?”
Alec sighed and said quietly “You’ll find out”
“That explains everything” I muttered.
“Excuse me” Alec said and walked away.
Granny was talking to a group of old ladies and the queen was with them. I felt sick and I was probably going to throw up. I had to find the bathroom. I had a good plan, to say no to the marriage but of coarse something had to go wrong. Now I had to say yes because the fate of the kingdom was in my hands. I’m not sure why me but it was in my hands. I walked around the hall, hoping I didn’t look uncomfortable. Everyone was shaking my hand and calling me ‘Lady Virgo’. The last time someone called me that was years ago, when I used to attend royal parties like this in Virgus. I should be used to this by now, but I’m not. Soon I’d have to get used to people calling me ‘Lady Hydra’ or what if they call me ‘Princess’?
I shook those horrifying thoughts away, they seemed to scare me and make me even more nervous.
I walked out of the ball room and after a few steps I found the bathroom. I locked the door behind me and grabbed the sink with both my hands and waited for my dinner to spill out. Just before I was about to vomited, someone knocked on the door.
“Annabelle, is that you?” it was Granny “You have to come out now. It’s time”
I swallowed down the chyme threatening to spill out. I didn’t answer. I kept thinking of what to do. There was a window, I could sneak out and run away home. Why do I feel like this? I thought to myself. I was fine before we came here, so now what? I took a deep breath. I’m just getting cold feet, that’s all. I managed to pull myself together.
“I’m coming” I replied.
The only thing I could do was trust my mouth to say what it must. I unlocked the door and put on a brave face. I walked towards the ball room. It was quiet and all eyes were on me. I pushed past people and walked to the end of the room where the thrones were.
Granny was standing next to Dad and they were talking to Prince Alec. I glanced at Prince Keegan and Princess Lydia. They looked calm and triumphant. the King and Queen looked smug. the only person who looked uncomfortable and sad was Alec. He approached me and we stared at each other for a second then he got down on one knee. Here it comes, I thought.
I recalled all the things I would leave behind if I became princess. My friends, Dad and Granny not they cared much but still and my normal teenage life. Tears pricked my eyes. I didn’t want to do it but if I didn’t then there would be big trouble.
Prince Alec then spoke timidly “Will you marry me?”
My dinner was up to me throat but I swallowed it down, my mouth felt dry and I couldn’t speak.
I caught Granny’s eye and she gave me an angry look. My heart was racing and I knew if I didn’t control my emotions I would light up my stars.
It was getting embarrassing for both of us so Prince Alec slipped the ring on my finger before I could respond. Everyone clapped their hands and congratulated me and Alec. I looked down at the ring, it made my hand heavy. My engagement ring was woven from gold and tied around an emerald with tiny diamonds embedded around it. Granny was crying happy tears and so was the Queen. Dad looked happy as well. Everyone was joyful except the two people who were getting married.
Princess Lydia came up to me. I gave her a smile and she did the same. She was wearing a dark green dress that covered her long arms till the wrists so I couldn’t see her tattoos and she had emerald green eyes. Her hair was black and her stars stone was flat and it was embedded in her collar bones. Sure, why not?
“I’m really happy for you and Alec” she congratulated.
“Thank you” I said.
“I’ll be seeing you in the next few weeks then?” she asked. It took me a minute process the words in my head.
“I’m sorry?” I said politely.
“We need to make preparations for the wedding” she said. After a while she asked “How old are you?”
“I’m seventeen” I said.
“Then when are you graduating high school?” she asked.
“In about three weeks but I still have to give my finals” I told.
“The law says that the you have to be eighteen or above to marry.” the princess remembered.
“I turn eighteen in February. ” I informed.
“That’s a long time” she said “and we want to make you a part of the palace as soon as possible. I’m sure my Father will bend the rules so we can get this marriage over with”
She said palace and not family. Does anyone even care about this marriage? Get it over with. What is that supposed to mean.
There was a small celebration and we danced and drank. The weather got colder outside, I wondered if the king would make it snow with The Dome, which made artificial rain and sometimes snow.
I slipped inside the carriage that would take us back home.
“That was so much fun” Granny bubbled “I am so proud of you”
I kept my mouth shut, I feared something bad would come out and Granny would strangle me when we got home. I turn eighteen in two months and then I’ll be a Hydra.