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Found

By J.L.Carr All Rights Reserved ©

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One day can change your whole life. I didn’t know that until the day I found them. I don’t see how my mother could be so careless with letters like that; just leaving them lying on the top of a drawer. It was idiotic of her to think that I wouldn’t find them. After all, how could I not when they were just lying in front of me and with the Royal crest on the letter head - how could she think that it wouldn’t peak my interest? Unless, of course, she intended for me to find them all along, but surely, if that were the case, she would have just handed them to me instead of attempting to keep them secret and hidden.

At first I was excited, thrilled to the extent that I emitted a short squeal of delight – maybe we had been invited to a Royal ball of some sort, but then I could never find a reason as to why the Royal Family would seek out my family to attend such an extravagant event. We weren’t Royal or even of noble descent. The letters just being there didn’t make sense to me. After all, why would the Royal family wish to correspond with commoners like us?

My parents were at work when I found the letters and it was the day before I turned eighteen. My family had planned this huge party thinking I had no idea of it. Of course, I knew the minute they began their plans – nothing stays secret within my family for long. So then why has nobody realised that mother was in correspondence with Royalty? Granted, my family has adored the Royal family for as long as I can remember – I knew of every monarch from King Rupert II onwards, it has been a passion of mine and my parents encouraged it. The one thing that we have never done, however, is see the Royal Family in person. I’ve always wanted to see them in person, but mother forbid it. Why? I do not know.

As I looked towards the letters once again, I began to think about which of the Royals my mother could be writing to; maybe one of the young Princes? But no, why would she possibly be writing to an eight year old? I didn’t want to believe that my mother could be writing to the King without telling me of it – she knows of my passion for everything Royal!

I hesitate as my hand reached into the drawer, before shaking my head and taking them in my hand. I quickly hide them from sight, paranoid that someone may see me snooping in my mother’s drawers, but there is no one in sight. Eventually I take a deep breath as I realise that nobody was going to see what I now held in my hands. I slowly stood and made a quick dash for my bedroom. It wasn’t too far to walk as we only lived in a three bedroomed house and my room was next door to my parents.

My room wasn’t much, it had what I needed; a bed, a writing desk, a book shelf, a wardrobe and a bedside table with a lamp and an alarm clock. My bed was a soft double with equally soft duvet and pillows. The bedstead was simple, a plain wooden stead with a headboard that had shelves where many of my books called home. I loved to read and I will read anything that has words, so my mother should have been a little more careful if she wanted the letters to be kept a secret.

I set the letters down on my bedside table and braid my hair into two French braids – I’ve always been inventive when it came to styling my hair. I find that a simple knot or a pony is just too simple for me. I’m constantly trying to find new ways in which to style my hair and most of them have worked out.

Once my hair is braided, I settled down on my bed sitting Indian style before reaching over and taking the letters. I decided that if I was going to read them, then I would be reading them in chronological order and so I looked at the dates and found the first letter dated Tuesday 18th November 2013. I knew that date. Well, not the date exactly but a date somewhere in that area. I thought long and hard about it before it hit me – the 16th was the date of the Queen’s death. Queen Emily was only 42 when she died of lung cancer. The doctors had tried everything but nothing seemed to take effect. It was a sad day for the country. But why would someone of Royal blood be writing to my mother only two days after the tragic loss of the Queen? I asked myself, my eyebrows knitted together in confusion. It didn’t make sense. I then decided to read the letter.

Dear Mrs Ironheart,

I have recently been made aware of a certain situation that concerns you and your daughter.

As my dear wife, Queen Emily, was enjoying her last night of life she thought it pertinent to tell me of a secret that she has hidden from me for over seventeen years. She told me of a child, a little girl, born to us on the sixteenth of March seventeen years ago. I, of course thought our child to be a boy but alas, my wife told me at the time that the child was born stillborn. They had already taken the body of my baby away before I had the chance to even glance at it. As you would expect, I was heartbroken; it was my first child and had been stillborn.

My wife told me of the little girl she gave birth to and her reasons for lying to me and I could definitely see her point of view. You see, it is of the utmost importance that an heir is produced so that our line can continue. Being a man myself, I always wanted a male heir and so Queen Emily thought that I wouldn’t care for a baby girl. At the time I probably would have agreed with her, after all I was a young King determined to have the perfect male heir to my throne – I was immature. Of course, as the years went by I matured and now I couldn’t care less if my heir was male or female. When we had Prince Robert we were overjoyed. I had my heir. Until my wife’s last day of life, I had thought my son was my only child. Emily told me that the first pregnancy we had seventeen years ago was perfect and very much alive. I had a little girl and she was alive and well. Emily mentioned that your mother was one of the midwives that helped deliver our baby girl and that you adopted her.

At first I was furious that she had given my child away for adoption, before realising that being angry was a waste of the precious little time I had left with my wife. As soon as she told me your name, I asked researchers to do everything in their power to find your address so that I could write you and ask if I could see my daughter. She is a Princess and deserves to know her true family.

Sincerely,

King Eric II

This was crazy. It couldn’t possibly be true! Mother wouldn’t lie to me about something like this, I was sure of it. It didn’t make any sense. Could I really be the daughter of the King?! Surely not! But wait, I always got complimented by strangers on the colour of my hair, they’d say it was the exact shade of the late Queen – that if the King and Queen had a daughter, she would look like me. This was insane and very difficult for me to process. Surely my mother wouldn’t have lied to me for my whole life. I quickly went onto the second letter, dated 23rd January 2014.

Dear Mrs Ironheart,

Thank you for the reply, even if it did take nearly a month. I realise that my response is not as prompt either but I’m a busy man. I would like to thank you for the pictures of my daughter; she is truly beautiful like her mother. Please do not think that I am trying to denounce you as her mother because I’m not. After all, you are the one that raised her. I would like to ask if you have told her of her Royal descent. I would like to think so; she deserves to know that one day she may become Queen of Aestas.

I realise that you have some reservations about telling her that she is a Princess, but you can’t hide her destiny from her forever. I would love to get to know the beautiful young lady that I see in the photographs you have sent. Robert has been told he has an older sister and he is excited to meet her. He made me buy frames for all of those photographs you sent so that he could have a picture of his older sister on his bedside table. He feels like she is watching over him, protecting him. I of course, also have a photo of her on my bedside table, right next to her brother and mother.

I’m glad that you have accepted my suggestion of allowing her to meet us. Of course, you will always be her mother and so you would be welcome to stay, along with any other family or friends she may have. I suggest that she meets us the day after her eighteenth birthday, the seventeenth of March, if you think this is agreeable please let me know.

Kind regards,

King Eric II

I felt numb. I couldn’t believe that mother would keep something this big from me for as long as this. Surely she could have told me the moment she read the first letter? I’m glad I went snooping now. If I hadn’t, maybe I never would’ve known about this. I never would’ve known that I had a little brother, and a father who loved me. The letter said that she agreed to allow me to meet them, then why does she constantly deny my wishes to see them in person? Of course my mother will always be my mother, she raised me and taught me my morals – I just have a biological mother now too, well, did have. I never even got the chance to meet her, I thought sadly as I thought about the late Queen, my mother.

Friends? What friends? Nobody wants to be friends with the strange girl who has the obsession with the Royal Family. Even my teachers thought I was strange, and because of that I never got the chance to be in the school musicals, even after the outside director said I would be perfect for one of the leads. After my audition, I heard sniggers from the popular girls saying things like, ‘She’d probably try to invite the royals’ and ‘like the royal family would ever be interested in her’. It hurt when I was younger, but now I’m just used to it, which is sad. Hah! Wait until they hear that I’m their Princess and future Queen, I thought wickedly.

The day after my eighteenth? Sounds good enough for me, although I may have a little bit of a hangover thanks to the ‘little’ celebration my parents are putting on. I simply can’t wait until I meet my new brother! Wait! The day after I turn eighteen?! That’s in two days’ time! Why hasn’t mother mentioned this to me yet?! This letter was received months ago! Putting my frustrations and the letter to one side and picked up the last letter received on Monday 11th March, a few days ago?!

Dear Mrs Ironheart,

I am surprised to hear that you have yet to tell your daughter of her true heritage, and frankly disappointed. I have made arrangements for a cart to arrive on Sunday in order to bring my daughter to the City of Cor. Expect the carriage to be there promptly at ten o’clock in the morning. As you are her mother, you may choose to come along or not. While I would like to meet the woman who brought my daughter up, I would also like to spend a couple of days getting to know my daughter. I will also be hosting a ball for her and inviting several noble families from around the world, to welcome her home.

Let it be known that as you raised my daughter, anything you wish will be granted to you. I cannot repay you enough for raising the future Queen, I just hope that she wasn’t brought up to be spoilt or bratty because that is not how Robert was raised and I would hate for him to see his older sister acting as an only child. Of course, it may take her a while to get used to being who she was destined to be but I am positive she will adjust.

Once again, I would like to inform you that you may visit her and she may visit you whenever you wish to. Don’t be shy when it comes to asking for things, if you want a house closer to our palace in Cor then I would be happy to personally buy you your very own stately home. It could be a small cottage or a large estate, it is your choice and the offer will always be there.

If there is an emergency with my daughter before I see her, please contact me on this number; 06487593256, it is my personal phone.

Kind regards,

King Eric II

Wow, the King thinks I could be a spoilt brat. That’s further from the truth than a lion being found in the North Pole. I am also very upset that she hasn’t informed me of my true heritage! It was very kind of him to offer to buy my parents a house closer to Cor just so that they could see me frequently.

I have always found it strange that we have things like telephones and big machines that make these electrical powered vehicles and yet we don’t have faster ways of travelling long distances other than by horse and carriage. The electrical powered vehicles only work in certain areas – the areas where electricity is available – and they only have enough energy in one charge to go around town. But if you tried to travel from Montis (that’s where I live) all the way to Cor, it’d be impossible. There are very few towns in between the two destinations and the ones that are on the way are too far apart to make it on one charge, hence the use of horse and carriage. I prefer the old fashioned ways anyway. I love the idea of horse and carriages, of beautiful gowns and big old fashioned balls, and even the simple dresses that we wear day-to-day. My mother despises dresses. Even though it’s part of her uniform for work, she always hides some of my step-fathers pants underneath the skirt. She also refuses to wear a corset, which is funny because I love wearing corsets. If they fit you properly and you can fill them out properly, then they are fine and give you curves in all the right places.

You know what, I think I may give the King a ring, I thought as I picked up the telephone and dialled the number. It rang for a few seconds before –

“Hello?” It was the King.
“Hello, your highness. My name is Lucy Ironheart. I’ve just found some letters stating that I may be
your daughter.” I replied, biting my lip in anticipation. I heard a small gasp from the other end of the line.
“Well I must say that I am surprised to hear from you. I thought that if anyone, it would be your mother. Of course, I do not mind that it is you. What do you mean you found the letters?” He asked, confusion clear in his voice.

“Well, I was doing a spot of cleaning in the sitting room and I saw that my mother’s desk drawer was open. I walked over to close it before I noticed the royal seal on an envelope, and it peaked my interest. Imagine my surprise when I find out through letters that I would be a Princess.” I rushed out with exuberance.

“So your mother still hasn’t told you? I do believe it is the day before your eighteenth. Are you aware that you will be travelling to Cor to come and live with use here in the palace?” He asked gently.

“She has yet to tell me of any of this. And yes, it is my eighteenth birthday tomorrow. The only way that I am aware of Sunday’s itinerary, was through these letters. I’m furious with my mother for keeping this from me. I had a right to know that I was a Princess.” I ranted as I fiddled with the ends of my braids.

“Well, at least you know now. Try not to be too hard on your mother, I’m sure she just doesn’t want to let you go.” He replied with a sigh. “So, tell me about yourself. What do you like to do? Are you in school? I want to know everything about you, my dear.” He inquired. I grinned and began to tell him of my hobbies and interests. When I told him of my love for the stage, and how it’s my dream to one day be on stage performing one of those British West End shows, or being in a feature film, he told me that while my options may be limited when I’m Queen, while a Princess I can be in as many shows and films as I would like. I told him of my school grades and how I was a straight A* student and was taking three extra course on top of the mandatory number of three. He said he was proud of me and couldn’t wait until I got my final set of results from school. They should be out next month, I mused. Soon enough, I heard the front door open and close, signalling the arrival of my mother. I hung up from my father after a quick goodbye and promises of seeing each other on Sunday.

I walked swiftly into the sitting room and saw my mum looking at the open drawer as if looking for something. I raised an eyebrow and held up my hand, the letters clutched in them.


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