Chapter Seven - Unrequited (b)
“Is that true?” she smiled.
“Yes,” I moved even closer, her hand safely engulfed in my hands. “I promise you that no one will ever hurt you, not even me. I will do everything in my power to keep you safe even if my life depends on it.”
She smiled as she looked down at our connected hands. She then slowly pulled her hand back, “Never make a promise that you can’t keep. A promise isn’t something to be taken lightly.
I pulled out my pinky finger and moved it closer to her, almost right into her face. An adorable giggle came out of her. “What?” I asked, trying to stop myself from catching her contagious giggle.
“Aren’t we a little too old for pinky promises?” she continued, still giggling.
“I don’t care,” I shook my head after a short silence. “Do you agree and believe what I just said?”
She then smiled her beautiful smile; a smile that accents her beauty even more. I’m running out of words to express how beautiful she is whenever she smiles at me. She took her time as she looked at my finger back at me. She gently twisted her pinky with mine, “I trust you’ll keep your word, young prince.”
“Of course, I will,” I responded with full confidence. We pulled back our pinkies after my reply.
“Would you like to return now?” she asked.
“What?” I asked in disbelief. “We just got here. I would like to stay a little longer. I also had an idea: this place could be our hiding place,” I suggested.
“What do you mean by our?” she asked.
“Every afternoon, we could meet here and spend some time together,” I shifted my attention back to her. “By the look of this scenery, watching the sunset would be perfect. We could watch every sunset together.”
“You do know I have work in the bakery, right?” she replied. “I can’t just sneak out of work every day to watch the sunset.”
“I’ll talk to Grandpa Ben about it, then,” I answered.
“That’s just a horrible idea, Robert,” she frowned as she disagreed with my idea. “It isn’t even close to a good one, Robert.”
“Laura, telling him can’t be that bad,” I blocked her answer. “He would appreciate it if we tell him.”
“Robert, if you do that, he will continue to tease me at work,” she said. “And if the rest of the bakery hears about it, they will tease me as well.”
“I’ll ask him not to tease you, then.”
“Your ideas are just making everything worse,” she let out a sigh as she rolled her eyes. “He’ll tease me more if you ask him to do that.”
“Then what can we do if all of my suggestions aren’t good enough?”
“You don’t have to ask anything of him. I’ll meet you here every afternoon. Just don’t tell him anything.”
“He might think of something suspicious if he catches you skipping work every afternoon. You said it yourself,” I reminded.
“He’ll be happy if he catches me going out because that’s what he wants,” she argued. “If we tell him, he’ll tease us and he will never stop.” She turned her attention back to the sunset.
“The sunset’s starting,” I said.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” she remarked, in complete awe of the beauty of the sun.
I looked at her face while she’s busy staring at the sunset. I took in every inch of her face without her knowing it. The way the wind blew her hair, the way its brown shade radiated when the sun hit her hair, the way her emerald eyes shine as they’re made from pure crystal. Without a doubt, there are a lot of beautiful women in court. However, I surprised myself to be even taken aback by the simple beauty of a mortal.
The ladies of the court are superficial, always covered with different palettes on their faces. Their gowns show off an unrealistic size of their bodies. Laurs is just her, simply her. Her character is her true beauty.
I smiled as I appreciated the stunning view in front of me, “Absolutely breath-taking.”
Her eyes batted a few times out of confusion, turning her head towards me after.
I cleared her throat and pointed towards the sunset, “The sunset, I mean. The sunset is just… beautiful.” I quickly turned my body towards the sun, doing my best to put all of my attention to it.
“Why do I feel like I’ve known you for a long time?” she spoke.
I looked in her direction and found her staring back at me. As the sun continued to set in front of us, we stared at each other, not taking our eyes off of each other. I was lost in her emerald gaze and she was entranced with my stare. For that moment, it’s like I can see right through her. I can see who she is.
“Perhaps we already met somewhere in time, I just don’t know where or when,” she continued.
Without any sort of warning, my hand landed on hers; as if my body has a mind of its own. With a smile, I answered, “If that’s the case, I’d like to go back to that specific time and tell you how much I enjoy having you near me.”
My response caused her to smile, her face started to flush and turn into a shade of light red. How adorable she is when she’s blushing.
She turned her face to the sunset, seeing that it’s about to finish. “We have to go. Grandpa Ben might be looking for me already,” she said as she stood up.
She didn’t even answer what I just said. All I got was a smile and I don’t even know what that meant. “Is there something wrong?” she was quick to notice that I wasn’t standing up.
“Hm?” I turned my head to her in haste as I noticed as well.
“Are you all right? You’re not standing up yet,” she continued.
I began to stand up. “Everything is fine,” I started to brush off any dirt and grass that gas attached itself to my clothes.
“Are you sure?” She doesn’t seem to be believing my response that there’s nothing wrong.
I just gave her a light smile and nodded. I don’t want to open my mouth because I might say something to offend her.
We headed to our horses and began our trot back to the bakery. I decided to keep my silence during the whole trip back. I fear that I might ask why she has no response to what I said and I don’t know how I will react to her possible response.
“Robert?” she called my attention.
My brows perked as I turned to look at her.
“Why are you so quiet? Is there something that’s bothering you?” her brows knitted in the middle of her forehead, confused. I could see that she was deeply concerned with me. But how can I tell her that there is something that’s bothering me?”
“No, nothing,” I shook my head, my voice in a low volume but still enough for her to hear.
“Are you certain?”
“Yes,” I replied casually.
No, Laura, I’m beyond the feeling of being okay. You didn’t give me any response when I told you that having you near is one of the things that has put a smile on my face. Couldn’t you say anything else on the matter other than just to smile at me?
A while later, we arrived at the back of the bakery where she keeps Leo. I hopped down Lady as she let Leo rest in his stable. After that, we started to walk towards the front of the bakery.
“Thank you for the stroll and stories, Robert. I enjoyed it.”
Can’t she tell that I’m trying to pacify a storm inside of me? Am I not sending enough signs for her to realize that?
“Well, I guess this is where we part ways,” she turned to me as we arrived in front of the bakery. “Thank you again, Robert,” she repeated, turning around and making her way back to the shop.
My mouth blurted, “Are you not--” I stopped myself before I could even continue.
My sudden phrase stopped her from her tracks, causing her to turn around and walk back toward me. “Is there something you want to say, Robert?”
“I just…” I continued to fight the urge to speak, the force that’s pushing me to the edge. It’s urging me to tell her what I’ve been feeling ever since we left the fields.
“Robert, you know that you can tell me anything,” she looked earnestly into my eyes.
As I looked into her eyes, I had more courage to stop myself from speaking. She looked so fragile in the sense that if she heard one negative thing, she would break into a million pieces. I know myself; I know that I can be offensive at times and it’s something she doesn’t deserve.
I sighed, lowering my head. “It’s nothing,” I looked back at her, “You can go back to work now. I’ll be off.”
“Robert, there’s something that you’re not telling me,” she crossed her arms, examining my body language. “Why are you stopping yourself from being heard? You know you can always tell me what’s running in your mind.”
Not wanting to talk about it, I quickly turned around and jumped onto Lady. I need to get away from her to prevent myself from saying something that could hurt her feelings.
“Robert, what’s happening to you?” she persisted, wanting to know what’s wrong.
“Nothing’s happening, Laura. You said you needed to return to the shop,” I said. “Now that I’ve returned you safely, I need to go back home.”
“That’s not the reason why you’re acting strange,” she responded.
“I don’t have time to discuss what you think, Laura. I need to go home,” I replied. I punched myself in my mind for the way I just talked to her.
She moved away from Lady and me, taken aback by how I answered her. This is why I don’t want to talk anymore. If this conversation will continue, I’m afraid it will be the end of our beginning.
“Have a safe trip home, Robert,” she sneered as she turned her back on me. She rushed back into the shop without giving me a second look.
I sighed as I closed my eyes, shaking my head out of disappointment from what I just did. She didn’t deserve that kind of treatment. But I have to return home now before dark completely falls.
As soon as I arrived at the stables, I hopped off Lady and let her loose inside the stables for a while. I kicked a nearby bucket with all of my anger, water splashed all around the hay inside the stable.
“AAAHH!” I screamed to relieve some of the frustration that has built up inside of me all the way home. As I looked back on my previous scenario with Laura, I never felt so disappointed in myself. I handled that situation very badly.
I know she didn’t mean to cause me any pain or anger. It wasn’t her fault that I got angry. I was overthinking everything and because of that, I treated her in such a way that I don’t even know myself. I was raised to be a person with manners. That shouldn’t have happened.
Lady went on and helped herself with the stack of apples on the side as I sat down on a bench, my head slowly sunk into my hands. I let out a sigh of desperation as I knew that she probably hates me by now.
I then heard footsteps coming to the stables. I looked up and saw Nana Olsa, carrying a bucket.
“Robert, dear,” a confused yet concerned look on her face. “Were you the one who screamed?”
“Nana, I rushed over to her. I peeked through the bucket and saw that it was full of soil. “Let me help you with this, Nana,” I took the bucket from her and walked back into the stables.
“Oh, thank you, my boy. Just put it on the side of the entrance, please,” she sat down on a nearby chair.