Chapter Eleven, Season One - Disappointed (a)
Rushing towards the door, I think the guards sensed my anger as they quickly blocked the door.
“Let me in,” I ordered.
“Your Highness, His Majesty is--”
“I don’t care whatever he’s doing right now. Let me in!” I shouted, not caring even if my voice is heard throughout the castle.
I heard one of the lords inside say, “Is that your son, Your Majesty?”
I looked at the guards and they were confused, absolutely having no clue what to do.
“Are you going to open the door or are you going to wait for me to explode and have you both sent to the dungeon?” I threatened.
They quickly removed their spears, giving me a way to barge into the study. The lords and James suddenly looked in my direction as the doors swung open and hit the wall behind them.
“Robert,” was all that James could utter at the very sight of me.
“May I have a word with you?” I replied, trying to control my anger.
The lords began to look at each other. One of them mustered up the strength and entered the conversation, “Your Highness, we’re about to go on a trip right now. Your father needs to prepare.”
I looked at them with one eyebrow up, “I mean no disrespect for what I’m about to say but did I ask for your opinion?”
The lords took a step back together, fear and anxiety can be seen in their eyes.
I looked back at James, “Well, can we talk for a while?”
James cleared his throat and spoke to the lords, walking away from his chair, “My lords, kindly wait for me downstairs. I need to have a word with my son.” He continued, leading the lords to the door. “He doesn’t barge in like this unless it’s important.”
“But Your Majesty, we might be late--”
“We will not be late, my lords,” James reassured as they reached the door. “We’ll be there before you even know it,” he continued as the lords were finally out of the door. “Guards, kindly escort them downstairs. Don’t leave them no matter what,” he instructed.
The guards bowed and went along with the lords.
James slowly closed the door, letting out a sigh as he locked the door. “What is this about, Robert?” he asked, turning around. “You knew that I was with very important people. Did you have to barge in like that?” he walked towards me.
“Ah, so going on an unexpected trip with your advisers is much more important than going on a fishing trip with your son?” I replied sarcastically. “And you know what’s the best part?” I walked closer to him, putting my hands behind my back. “I received this news from my mother which should’ve come from you.”
“Robert, I understand you’re upset that I didn’t tell you,” he began. “But I had to attend this trip. The people are in revolt because the current tax collector has been collecting money without our consent. We could schedule the fishing trip after you return from Middle Earth.”
“And you couldn’t tell me this personally?” I replied, trying to keep my anger, which is at the very top, at bay. “I would’ve appreciated it. I would’ve understood it more.”
“What are you so angry about, Robert? It’s just a fishing trip. We can do that anytime,” he snapped.
I stood there, taken aback by his response. It’s all clear now: he didn’t offer the fishing trip to make a connection with me. He just did that to make me think he was trying to reconnect, to feed his ego.
“I see it now. I see it all now,” I started to walk past him.
“Robert, it’s not what you think,” he tried to backtrack on his response.
“You don’t have to add another lie to me just to appease my anger, James,” I answered, turning the doorknob. “I thought you were doing that to reconnect with me and I was stupid enough to give you a chance; another chance to disappoint me.”
“Robert, that’s not what I was trying to do,” he walked towards me, stopping in front of me. “I did want to go on a fishing trip with you so we could have time together. I just need to handle a very important, diplomatic matter right now.”
I shook my head, my lips forming a tight line on my face. “No… you didn’t do this for our relationship as father and son. You did this so you could feel better about yourself. You did this so you could tell yourself that at the very least, you tried.”
“No, Robert, what you’re thinking isn’t true.”
“Oh, it’s true, James. Your actions say so,” I snarled as I leaned closer, “I hope you’re happy to see me frustrated with you, James.” I opened the door with brashness and walked out, preventing my tears from coming out.
I started heading to the garden. I need some fresh air.
Mother’s garden is always a beautiful site to see. All of her different flowers, plants, and trees… so many green things to see and it helps my eyes and mind calm down. I sat on a cement bench in the middle of the garden, taking a deep breath.
My hands are still shaking out of anger… and sadness. I’m just really disappointed with what just happened. And I thought he was doing it for the best. He was just doing it for himself, to make him think that he’s trying to make something change between the two of us.
I shouldn’t have given him the chance to lie to me… to hurt me.
“Robert?” a voice came from behind me. I turned to see Mallory, her hands behind her.
I sighed and shook my head. Just my luck, Mallory is here to add more to my misery.
“Hello, Robert,” she sat beside me, her hands still behind her back.
“What is it this time, Mallory?” I asked, annoyed. “Because I don’t have time to have another argument with you.”
“No, I’m not here to fight with you,” she quickly said. “I just thought that… maybe you needed some company.”
I sighed. “That’s very considerate of you,” I answered, looking at her. “But right now, I just want to be alone,” I continued, looking away.
“I know I’ve been a bother to you for the past few days,” she started. “So, I’ve decided to get something to… at least, appease your anger. Here you go,” she pulled out her hands from behind her, holding a small basket with a ribbon that says Winston’s Bakery.
Winston’s Bakery?! What was she doing here? Was she following me this whole time? Does she know what I’ve been up to?
“Where did you get that?” I asked with wide eyes, pointing at the basket.
“Oh, I visited a bakery in the Mortal Realm because I had a friend there for quite some time now,” she said. “It’s been quite a long time since we last talked to each other and I have a lot of stories to tell.”
Stories? Why do I have the feeling that she told his friend of hers about us? “What kind of stories?”
“About my life, mostly,” she replied, opening the basket. “How it’s currently going, everything that I do now in the castle and…” she stopped right at the end.
“Did you say something about us?” I quickly asked.
“It’s not like that--”
“Did you tell someone about us?” I asked once more, not letting her explain anything.
“Robert, let me--”
“I don’t need an explanation, Mallory,” I cut her off once more, this time my blood began to boil again. “Just answer the question: did you mention anything about us? Yes or no?”
She let out a sigh. “Yes, Robert… I did.”
“Mallory, I told you not to!” I scolded, standing up.
“Robert, please listen to me first,” she yelled, still sitting down.
“How hard is it for you to follow simple instructions?!” I continued my rant, not minding what she had to say. “Is this how you want a relationship to be?! Constant arguments?!”
“Robert, calm down!” she stood up. “I did tell her but I never mentioned your name, okay?” she continued calmly.
I groaned as I turned my back on her. “I’ll let this incident go once. But if you do something as reckless as this again,” I turned my face to her. “I swear, I won’t hesitate to have you arrested.”
She quickly held my hand, “Don’t be mad about this but… I promised her I’ll introduce you to her by tomorrow.”
I faced her once more, my eyes are now wide open. I shook her hand off, “Mallory, what are you trying to do?! What did I tell you before we started this?!” I continued to shout at her, “You made a promise never to tell anyone. Now, you’re saying you’ll introduce me to a friend that could jeopardize my position as heir and my family as a monarchy?!”
“Robert, I just,” she struggled to find words to explain, desperate to reason. “I just want us to be together forever. And I figured that maybe if I told other people, you would take responsibility for our relationship,” she continued. “I thought that this is the way to do so.”
“Mallory, when will you wake up and accept the truth?!” I shook her lightly, looking into her eyes after. “We can’t be together forever and we will never have a forever.”
“Why?! Is it because you’re arranged?!” she started to cry.
“Yes, Mallory, yes!” I shouted in frustration.
“Why are you choosing that unknown fiance of yours than me who knows you for almost all your life?!” she threw the basket to the ground, scattering all the cookies on the nicely-trimmed grass.
“Because I have to, Mallory, you know that!” I said, irritated. “I have to do this for my family’s reputation and my place as an heir!”
“Then cut off the engagement!” she yelled, throwing her hands in the air. “Be with me, Robert. Please, choose me,” her hands clung to my arms as tears continued to run down her cheeks.
I let out a sigh, doing my absolute best to calm down and regain control of my emotions. “Mallory, even if I call off the engagement, I can never be with you.”
“Why do you always say that?” she asked.
“Because I can only give you friendship,” I repeated, removing my hands. “Nothing more, nothing less.
“Then, learn to love me, Robert!” she complained once more. “Love me! You can do that! You’re just not opening your heart to me!”
“You can introduce me to your friend but that will be the final straw,” I answered, fixing my clothes that have been rumpled because of this conversation. “One more wrong decision from you and I’m ending this relationship that we have. I will not repeat myself,” I walked away. I didn’t turn back even though I heard her fall to the ground in tears.
What was Mallory thinking?!
I told her never to tell anyone and that includes a mortal! Throughout this deal that I made for the two of us, she’s been such a headache. I already knew this was a bad idea but I still went on with it. How am I ever going to get out of this without her making a scene?
“Robert?” a voice echoed within the halls, causing me to stop walking. I turned around and I saw Nana Olsa.
“Nana Olsa,” I greeted with a smile.
“Can we talk for a moment?” she asked, smiling. “This won’t take long.”
“Of course,” I nodded, walking with her to the window. “What seems to be the problem, Nana?”
Nana held onto my arms and started talking, “I heard something from the garden and it bothered me.”
Oh, great! I think Mallory spilled the beans even to Nana Olsa. “What do you mean, Nana?” I asked once more, pretending that I have no clue what she’s talking about.
“I overheard your conversation with Mallory about a contractual relationship which is something I’m not pleased about,” Nana replied firmly. “And I know you feel the same as I do.”
“Nana, I tried to talk some sense into her head about this before,” I explained, letting all of my irritation on Mallory out. “But she wouldn’t listen to me. Her stubbornness is getting on my nerves.”
“I know you don’t want the relationship in the first place,” she answered, cupping my hands with hers. “Just put an end to it because you’ll end up hurting each other.”
“I want to end it as soon as possible but I’m afraid she might make a scene if I do,” I said with a worried look. “And she also promised a friend of hers that she’ll introduce me. I still regard her as a friend and I wouldn’t want to humiliate her.”
She let out a sigh, giving my hand a light tap. “Let her introduce you first. Then you can do what needs to be done,” she suggested. “I love you and Mallory, Robert. You two are everything and I just want what’s best for the both of you.”
“I understand, Nana,” I smiled out of relief. “Thank you for watching over us, especially me.”
“I should be the one thanking you for being understanding of the situation,” she giggled.
“I’m just trying to be the bigger person in this situation. I already made a mistake for agreeing to what she wants, the least I could do is to do the right thing,” I answered. “But I’m thankful because you’re one of the people who knows me more than I do myself.”
“Your parents know you even more, of course,” she cupped my face quickly, giving it a light squish. “And remember, I took care of you and your sister when you were children. Most especially you, dear boy,” she poked my nose after, making a “poof” sound.
“I’ll handle this situation carefully, Nana,” I reassured her. “Trust me that I will do everything to make sure Mallory will understand.”
She gave me a light pat on my right arm. “I know you will, son.”
“Now, Nana, I would like to go to my bedroom and rest before packing my clothes,” I said. “If you haven’t heard, I’m going to Middle Earth tomorrow with my mother.”
“Yes, I heard from the maids. You know how they love to gossip whenever they have the time,” she let out a quick laugh. “You’ll need a lot of rest especially for all the outdoor rides that you’ve been making. What made you an outdoorsman?”
The very thought of Laura made a smile on my face. “I simply… met a friend, Nana,” I answered, trying not to give everything away.
“Are you sure it’s just a friend?” she questioned, teasing me with a smile, a hand under her chin.
“Yes, Nana, I’m quite sure,” I replied, still smiling at her because I know she’s teasing me in a very passive manner.
A giggle escaped her mouth. “Well, I need to go back to the kitchen. Get some rest,” she walked away with a smile.
I then headed over to my bedroom and laid down on my soft mattress. As I closed my eyes, Laura’s beautiful face took over my dark surroundings. I drifted to dreamland with her, holding my hand.