She held the paper in her hands. She held it as if it were a baby, scared of dropping or harming it in any way. She was taken aback, me? Having to marry someone she didn’t even know? They would not be getting a response out of her. The prince can find another wife, she was sure of it. A random city girl picked out of the billions of girls in the world. Surely he could find someone that was in his own country. She gently placed the letter inside of her desk and continued working on her college assignments. She was close to achieving everything she ever wanted as a kid. How could she give it up for someone she didn’t even know? She was going to be a CEO. One of the youngest CEOs to exist. She pulled strings and finally got somewhere with her bold self. How could she give up a position to be someone’s lover and do whatever she’s told? She wasn’t going to be a princess and look pretty. She never wanted that as a child, surely she wanted a beautiful wedding but with a partner who would support her through her decisions. Most royal relationships are just for looks, not for love. She would just be used to carry another heir. She was worth more than that.
Days had past and she heard a knock on her front door. She unlocked and opened it slowly, unaware of who it could be at seven in the morning. Did she have class and she forgot? In front of her stood a tall, young man, with dark brown eyes and long dark brown waves. Behind him stood two older men in black suits.
“May I help you?”
“Yes miss, you may. Do you know someone by the name Jayelyn Canvers?”
She blinked, “yes, that’s me. I’m Jayelyn.”
For some reason she felt embarrassed as she was dressed in an old graphic t-shirt, and flannel pajama pants. Not to mention, her hair was an absolute train wreck.
“So you were the one who ignored my request?”
She shook her head, confused, “request? You mean the letter? You asked me to marry you? To become the wife of the next heir to the throne of Iceland?”
The young man smiled, “yes. That would be me.”
“I’m sorry but I simply can not marry you. You must have the wrong girl. How do you even know me?”
“We met when we were kids. At Dawn Center Park? We had a lovely kid wedding in front of the swings.” He chuckled at the memory.
It took Jayelyn a moment to remember. It was all blurry, she tried repressing the past if she could.
When she came to, she nodded. “Yes, I remember. You’re- what was your name… Dakota?”
“Yes. Dakota Ember. Heir to the throne of Iceland. It is nice to see you again Ms. Canvers.”
“What’s all the ruckus?” groaned someone, out from the hall came a short girl with messy dyed green hair. She rubbed her eyes and pulled her glasses out of her pocket. She stared at Jay and the prince. She froze, “who’s that?”
“I apologize, that’s my roommate. One minute please.” Jay held the door closed and turned her head.
“I’ll explain later. This has to do with that letter I received last week. Go back to your room Alice.”
“Oh shit okay.” She listened and turned around with a grin.
Jay opened the door again. “Your majesty, I appreciate the wonderful offer. It would be any girl’s dream to be royalty, but for me it is not. Please find someone who can give you their love and time. For I can not supply it.” She ran her hand through her hair and exhaled.
“Ms. Canvers, I can assure you that you are the only one I would like to be beside while making decisions for my country, and the mother of my future children.” He stared at her, compassion in his eyes.
“I’m about to become one of the youngest CEOs in America. I can not give up my dream for a marriage that I won’t be happy in. Please, if you’ll excuse me.” She gently closed her apartment door and shook her head. She must be in a crazy dream because none of this felt real. She pinched herself, “shit.”
She stayed near the door until she heard the footsteps fade. That was easier than expected, almost too easy.
“Sooooo? What was that about?” Piped Alice, appearing from around the corner.
“You would never believe me if I told you. This is some The Selection type bullshit.”
“You got chosen to marry a prince? Exciting. Cliche but exciting I suppose.”
“I know. I turned him down. I was his only choice, or the one he wanted, at least.”
Alice’s eyes widened, “are you kidding me? God, I know I don’t want to be in your shoes but about seven billion other girls want to be.”
Jay shook her head, “I know. I have too much of a life here. I built myself up and I will not fall now just for some boy. Not even the King of Iceland.”
“Of Iceland? That’s your home country isn’t it?”
She smiled slightly, “yeah, it is. Apparently we met when we were kids and that’s why he wants me to be his wife. He probably fell in love with me as a child. Sure he was my first crush, but he was a stranger! We were little kids playing on the swings while our mothers talked.”
“What a weird coincidence, eh whatever. Hopefully he moves on. Maybe he has a sister that I can meet.” Alice grinned.
Jay rolled her eyes, “really? That’s all you can think of is screwing his sister while I was given a once-in-a-never-lifetime opportunity? That I turned down?”
“Look, I know royal families have closeted family members in there somewhere. It’s just a matter of time before they all come out.”
Jay stood as she let the steam and hot water surround her and caress her body. She was going to graduate in two months. She was so close to achieving everything. Dakota wouldn’t leave her mind though. What if she could do both? Be royalty and a CEO. No. That was asking for too much. She would never catch a break. She finished her shower thoughts and went out of the shower. She walked over to her room and got dressed. A simple pink dress felt right. It was warming up in the city so it made sense. She looked in the mirror, brushing her hair, “I can be my own queen. I don’t need a king by my side, right?”
Another week had passed and she received another letter from Dakota. Mostly the same wording as the first, she wouldn’t be surprised if he had his own personal writer. Maybe they could be like Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, even though Harry wouldn’t have been king he still left the royal family to live a somewhat-normal life in America. She wouldn’t expect it from him though, no one should ever push their future and life to the side just for someone else. She checked the envelope again before throwing it out and found a round trip plane ticket to Iceland. It was dated for after her graduation. Thankfully he was considerate of her education and didn’t expect her to leave university for him. A note was attached to the ticket,
‘Please take this as a graduation gift from me. It is not much but let me show you what you’ve missed in your home country.’
She snickered, maybe she would take it as a celebration for herself and never speak to the prince. She knew she was raised better than that though, so she reluctantly agreed. She sent a short letter back:
Thank you for the gift. I will gladly come visit Iceland and you can give me a grand tour of what I “missed”. This does not mean I will stay. You will most likely have to find another Queen. Please thank your family as well for the gift. It does not seem much to you but to me it means the world.”
She went on with her week. Forgetting about the letter and ticket but was reminded every time she came back home. She started having sleepless nights due to finals around the corner and the idea of being Queen rattled her mind. How did he remember her? She wasn’t that special. Just a woman wanting to make a difference in the world, isn’t all girls like that?
It was graduation and she had given it all. The last four years she gave her blood, sweat, and tears to get where she was standing. She threw her cap off and smiled, basically grinning from ear to ear. She immediately ran over to Alice, “I’m so proud of you! Look!!! You made it!!”
Alice’s eyes were filled with tears, “I can’t believe I did. This is a big ‘fuck you’ to my dad!”
“I’m sure your mom would be proud.”
Alice inhaled shakily, “yeah. I hope so.”
Jay brought Alice over to her family. Alice had been her best friend since college started and her family immediately took her in. They congratulated her just as much as they did Jay. She had yet to tell anyone in her family about Dakota and the whole letter situation. It was time to tell them but she didn’t know how.
During dinner Alice decided to speak for Jay, which she had no idea what was about to happen.
“Hey Judith, did you hear Jay is gonna be the new Queen of Iceland?”
Her mom nearly choked on her water,
“That’s not something you hear everyday. Are you sure it wasn’t just one of your crazy dreams?”
Jay dropped her fork on her plate and glared at Alice
“Hey I know you weren’t going to say anything until the last minute.” Alice whispered.
“Okay? And??” Jay shook her head and looked at her mom.
“I’m not going to be Queen. I am visiting the prince.”
Jay paused, “you know him?”
“Yes I grew up with his mother. I told you that.”
“I was probably 8 years old. Like I could remember that.”
“Remember the day I took you to that park? That’s the day you met him. He told his mother he wanted you as Queen and she agreed. This could be so beneficial for the family. Dad is the CEO of one of the biggest tech companies in America, imagine his daughter being the Queen of Iceland.”
“No, no. I can’t do that! I worked my way up to this. I’m supposed to take over the company. Who will run it then?” Jay looked in distress and her mother placed her hand on hers, “your brother will, once he is ready. He just started university; it shouldn’t be too long.”
“I promised August I would do him well. I’m sure Mason will be great but give him the freedom I wasn’t granted.” Jay pleaded with her mother.
Her mom sighed, “we will discuss this more later. Everyone please enjoy this evening, especially because the future Queen of Iceland is sitting with us.”
Jay rolled her eyes and she heard her brother snicker.
She walked around the unpacked boxes and made her way to her bed. The last thing she wanted to do was leave. She was comfortable where she was. She was to leave for Iceland tomorrow.