The Winner's Crown

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Chapter 22

It's as if time stands still. The King is gone. I think the only people who truly miss him are Richard and the Queen. But both of them in different ways. Desmond, I can tell, has been engulfed in his own guilt. He has been in his chambers alone for days now, the only person who he allows to come inside, is me. I sit there on his bed, watching him sleep sometimes.

It isn't creepy he tells me, he thinks it is romantic. I don't know how I really feel about the Kings death. It was a horrifying way to go, but I cannot say that he didn't deserve it. I cannot say that he did not get what was already coming for him.

The only thing that I wish had never happened, is Desmond. I wish Desmond had never been involved in his fathers death. I wish that Desmond had never killed his father, no matter how evil I think his father truly is...was.

I haven't seen the Queen these past few days either. She must be locked up somewhere in the palace just like her son, I assume. But I may be wrong. The only place where I dare to venture, is to the kitchen for food, the gardens for peace, and Desmond's chambers for human interaction. Desmond told me on one of my visits to his room, that he will never leave these chambers.

He does not want to inherit the same room his dad slept in for years, when he becomes King. I do not blame him, and I tell him so. I want him to be happy that his father is gone, but I know that is a selfish thing to think. It will take time for Desmond to heal. It will take time for everyone to heal.

The kingdom hears about the King's death, but they weren't told the real reason on how. The Queen thought it best to make sure no one would truly know of Desmond being the one to kill his own father. Desmond is to be King, and it would look bad if everyone were to find out this huge secret.

The Queen made us all swear over the gravestone of the deceased King. It is a promise that can't ever be undone. If you do however break the promise, you will never be forgiven so long as you shall live. Those were the Queens words, not mine.

The King's gravestone lays out in the back gardens of the Palace. I have never seen anyone visit it, other than the time of the swear, between the people that knew what really happened to the King. I might have seen a couple Pinks walk through the Palace giving their condolences to Sara and Venus kindly, but they never seem to visit the gravestone. I don't think that they even know there is a gravestone at all. That there is a grave where the King lays dead in the ground.

I haven't seen Richard or Carolyn since the King's passing, but I know they are around here somewhere, probably sneaking around the palace together as Desmond told me they do. I know I have no right to feel the way I do, but I feel rather betrayed by Carolyn. I knew she was mean, I knew she was used to controlling people, to controlling me.

But I never once thought that she would be so terrible as to mess with me emotionally. Becoming my friend, and then making me think that she may want to be something more, and then pulling away again in order to marry Desmond and become Queen.

That must have been her true intention all along. Marry Desmond and become Queen. I never should have trusted my instincts and gone with my thoughts, that she wanted nothing to do with the title of becoming a blue.

At least the King cannot hurt anyone else. That is a good thing come out of his death, that everyone here may not ignore. For some, this fact is a beacon of light, of hope. But for others, it is only plain, a fact, but not something to go crazy over. Not something for the King to have lost his life over. I don't want to say my position on the topic. I never have out loud, although Desmond told me his.

He is glad his father is gone. He is glad that the Kingdom might finally be at rest, in it's separation against each other. We all know it won't come quickly though. But Desmond soon becoming King, will allow him to make the correct decisions, in ruling equally against all people. No more grouping people into upper and lower classes.

Desmond is afraid of how the people, the upper class people, will take this news. But I have assured him countless times that when the time is right, everything will be fine. In my own mind however, I am torn. I do not know what will happen to the Kingdom when this news is announced publicly. I still think that there will be a war against each side. The upper classes have made it clear to me that they want blood more than anything else. So the greens, oranges, and yellows against the purples and pinks. I don't have a clue on how, if there even is a war at all, it will end.

When the King died, I instantly told Desmond to take me to Kenneth. We'd arrived just in time. Kenneth had been still on the floor, but he had still been alive. He is recovering even now, back in my chambers. I requested this, him in my chambers, so that I will not have to be without him for long.

I don't think I will ever leave the palace. I don't think I can return to "normal" life again. I barely even know what normal means anymore. Desmond does not want me to leave either, almost pleading with me, to never let go of my place here at the palace. I always ask him what he means. My "place" here at the palace. He is always silent after he says that, leading me to believe that I know that he must be suggesting. I never admit to it though, and we usually stay silent until I finally leave his chambers to check on Kenneth.

I want with all my heart to see my family again. I wish to see my mom, dad, Sterling, Wright, and Harvey. I want to hug them all and laugh and cry again together. Just like everything was before. But I know deep down in my heart, that nothing will ever go back to the way it was before. And although I may see my family again, I don't think that we can be together for long.

Kenneth has told me that he plans on returning home to the yellows village, once he recovers. I know he will. Once he set's his mind on something, there is nothing anyone can do to stop him. But I think that it will be good, in a way, for him. Then he can tell our family what has happened while we were away. And maybe he can tell them where I am, why I might never come home myself.

My feet touch the ground, but they make no sound. If only just a light tapping sound. I move quickly through the blank and depressing hallways, knowing exactly where to go in order to reach Desmond's bedroom chambers. I have perfected the patterns of the palace's maze-like building design.

It is quite easy to navigate. That is, once you have been here, stayed here, long enough. And I have gotten lost enough times to the point in where whenever I would stray off course on the path to the kitchen, to the gardens, to Desmond's chambers, anywhere, there will be a sudden voice in my head, telling me that I am walking the wrong way. Simple as that it is. But very true as well.

I do not knock on the door to Desmond's room, he knows that it is me. It is always me that comes here at the exact same time every single day. It is a kind of pattern that we have created, but it works just the same.

My dress falls around my legs in ruffles as I step through the door. Venus has told me that I look the best in purple. I know she has been trained to the eye on these kinds of things, so I trust her. Now my wardrobe is full of purple gowns. I seem to like them longer as well, always wanting them to fall all around me, so that is what I receive.

I am spoiled, I know this. But one day everyone will be too. One day everyone will be equal. Until that day comes though, I walk the halls of the palace and wait for Desmond to become King so that this can actually happen. So that the new King may pass a law stating that the competition is no more, and that the system built on status is demolished just as well.

Desmond is sitting on his bed, writing something down in a leather book in front of him. I close the door behind me and sit beside him, leaning over his shoulder to look at what it is that he is doing. He closes the book instantly, as my eyes begin reading the lines and lines of words filling the once-blank pages. I frown, wondering what he is keeping from me, and I hold nothing back. We don't lie to each other, we don't even bend the truth. I am always honest with Desmond, and him with me.

"May I read?" I ask Desmond, saying the words as polite as I can possibly act. He sighs, and my head lifts up with his shoulders at the deep breath of his.

"Not this time." Desmond tells me. Sometimes he writes in this journal. He will always let me read what is said within each of them, so it is very unlike him to hold back on me now. Usually he writes letters to people from his life. He wrote one to his mother once, and even one to his father another time. So I cannot believe that he is holding this back from me. My face falls as he says this, and his hand traces my chin in apology, causing a light blush to spread across my face.

"Please Desmond?" I try my luck one more time, opening my eyes in a way that really asks him why I can't read them this time. He sighs again, this time lightly.

"This time Lydia, I need to be the one to read it to you." He glances at me to make sure I understand and I nod eagerly at his request. He begins reading, one hand holding his journal and the other softly placed around my waist.

"We met not so long ago." He trails off so short into the letter, and I know in a heartbeat who this letter is for and why he didn't want me hearing it. I shake my head no, ready to let him be done with it already.

"It's ok, I don't need to hear more..." Desmond cuts me off with a kiss to my cheek, and I can feel my face get slightly hotter with the action. He smiles as he notices and resumes reading the letter. I let him. If he is alright with me hearing this, then I will let him carry on.

"The first time I met you, I instantly fell intrigued. I didn't have to know the beautiful girl standing right in front of me, right in the darkness of an alleyway, to know that she was horrified by me. But I knew that it wouldn't be this way forever. I had been curious you see, to meet the guests that my father was mysteriously inviting to our palace. So I snuck out without my father knowing, and pretended to be a guard, in order to blend in on the journey to the village of the yellows. I never expected however, for it to be as frightening as it was. But among all the destruction of the so called town, was a girl who is everything I am admire. Kind, gracious, equal in her ways, and most of all intelligent and strong."

Desmond pauses in his speech to look right at me. Taking my hands in his own, he continues, slower this time.

"Lydia Moore, I have loved you since the very beginning, since everything we have gone through together. I know that you are the one meant to be Queen. No one else is as good a leader as you." Desmond places the book down on one side of himself, abandoning it to speak without anything in front of him now.

"If you haven't figured this out already, I know you have, but just in case you have not...this is me proposing to you." Desmond seems to shake in panic that I will not know what to say, but that is beyond preposterous to me. I know exactly the answer to give him.

"I accept." I say calmly, knowing that this is the proper answer to give the future King.

Desmond leans forward, pressing his lips onto mine, and it is as if the whole world is spinning, as so many things really click into place, all at once.

I am about to marry the only person I have ever been truly in love with, and that means that I will become Queen.

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