Chapter Eleven, Season One - Disappointed (b)
My peaceful slumber was awakened by continuous knocking on my door. “Your Highness? Your Highness?” someone called out to me, the knocking persisted.
I groaned as I opened my eyes. “Come in, come in,” I answered as I sat up, rubbing my eyes and fixing myself.
The door opened and my page entered, rushing over to me. “Your Highness,” he bowed. “Gonzalo is outside. He said he has something to tell you.”
“Of course, of course, let him in,” I nodded, getting out of my bed. My page left and as he walked out of my room, Gonzalo entered.
“Gonzalo,” I greeted, finishing after I fixed my bed.
“Your Highness,” he bowed. “Apologies if I was gone for a long time, young prince. His Majesty has sent me on a very important errand.”
“He did mention it to me, because I was looking for you so no need to apologize,” I smiled, sitting down on the edge of my bed. “My page said you have news for me.”
“Yes, it’s from His Majesty.”
I groaned, rolling my eyes as I threw my head back. What is it this time? “What did he say?”
He began to prepare himself as it seems like he’s about to say something that can outrage me. “He warned me to approach you about this matter with extreme care. I would for Your Highness to keep his emotions at bay so I could finish,” he replied.
I cleared my throat, sitting down properly. “I will do my best, Gonzalo. Please proceed.” I’m not going to make any promises because I know when it comes to James right now, I’m not in the mood to be forgiving.
Gonzalo put his hands behind him, “His Majesty has requested a different schedule for your fishing trip with him after you visited the Kingdom of Middle Earth tomorrow. He also said that he’ll make sure it will happen this time.”
I closed my eyes, bowing my head as I let out a sigh. My hands tightly gripped the sheets on my bed. It isn’t Gonzalo’s fault but for him to mention the fishing trip just made my blood boil and my patience grow thinner.
I heard Gonzalo quickly getting down on his knees, his head on the floor with his hands on each side. “Please, Your Highness, don’t be mad with me. I was only told to deliver this message to you,” he begged.
I let out a deep sigh before standing up. I walked towards him, “Get up, Gonzalo, please. You don’t need to beg.”
“I will only stand if Your Highness’s anger has abated,” he quickly answered in fear.
“There’s no need to worry about that, Gonzalo. I’m not mad at you,” I replied.
He stood up and fixed his clothes, his head still down.
“Did my father mention why he can’t tell me this message in person?” I enquired.
Gonzalo looked up to me, “His Majesty arrived from his trip with the lords. They’re currently in the study and are still having a meeting.” He continued, “He said he would want to be the person to tell you but he fears that you won’t listen so he sent me to do it.”
I walked past him, keeping quiet because I’m close to my limit. He fears that he might get rejected so he sent Gonzalo? He’s never going to make an effort to reconnect with me.
“Tell him I will think about it,” I turned around, making Gonzalo do the same. “Also, tell him,” I walked towards Gonzalo, my hands behind my back, “That a disappointed child isn’t easy to place. Tell him I’m reminding him eagerly of that.”
“Yes, Your Highness,” he bowed. “Is there anything else?” he kept his head low.
“Kindly summon Mallory up here and tell her to make it quick,” I answered. “I would like to have a word with her before I start packing for tomorrow.”
“Right away, young prince,” he bowed and went on his way. I sighed and started reading a few reports that I kept here in my room while waiting for Gonzalo and Mallory.
In the middle of a very important report, someone knocked on my door and then it opened.
My page peaked his head through the door, “Your Highness?”
“Hm?” I raised my eyebrows, not turning my attention away from the report.
“Gonzalo is here with Mallory,” he informed.
I closed the report and put it on my bedside table, “Let Mallory in. Inform Gonzalo to have my dinner sent up here in my room.”
“Yes, Your Highness,” he left the door open and Mallory entered.
“Close the door, please,” I stood up, walking towards her.
Mallory gently shut the door behind her and walked over to meet me. “You asked for me? That’s odd.”
“We need to discuss my unplanned introduction to your friend,” I began.
“Robert, if you don’t want to, I understand--”
“I did say I’m letting you introduce me to your friend, correct?” I interrupted, my hands on my hips.
“Oh, thank you, Robert! Thank you!” She was about to hug me but I stopped her, blocking her with my hand.
“I’m not finished,” I continued. “You may introduce me after I return from Middle Earth.”
“Middle Earth?” she asked. “Why are you going there? When are you going there?”
“My mother and I have to go to Middle Earth tomorrow and I don’t know when I’ll be coming back,” I explained. “We’re going to spend some time with the royal family there.”
“But isn’t that where your fiance lives?” I could sense she’s beginning to worry about the fact that I’ll be staying in Middle Earth for quite some time.
“Yes, that is where she lives,” I nodded.
Without hesitation in her eyes, her hands quickly held onto mine. “You won’t have another woman, will you? You’re mine, right?” she quickly replied.
I removed her hands, my brows knitted together. “You’re the other woman, Mallory. I was arranged to be with her first,” I answered. “And I wasn’t yours, to begin with.”
She suddenly took a step back, gulping as her eyes widened. A stunned expression on her face, trying to stop the tears from coming out of her. “Why do you have to be so harsh with me?”
I shook my head. “You may go, Mallory. That’s all I have to say to you.”
“Why are you so heartless to me, Robert?” she continued to ask. “You weren’t like this before we started our relationship.”
“It’s because, at that time, you know to yourself that we’re only friends and you weren’t that annoying,” I said, raising an eyebrow at her. “Now, if you would be so kind to leave me in peace while I prepare my things for tomorrow, I would gladly appreciate that,” I pointed at the door.
“Why can’t you be more gentle with me? Loving towards me?” she took a step forward.
“Mallory, don’t expect much from me because this relationship isn’t real and it won’t last,” I continued, turning my back on her. “We agreed that we’re doing this to give you a chance to be with me. I didn’t say I will be loving and caring to you. I can do that as a friend but not a lover.”
She started to cry behind me.
I closed my eyes, controlling my temper. “If you’re quite done, please leave. I don’t need to hear you crying over something that shouldn’t be a big deal.”
She stomped her feet before rushing to the door, slamming it close.
I sighed out of relief and began choosing the clothes from my closet.
My door opened again. “Your Highness, here’s your dinner,” Gonzalo spoke. He carefully put the tray on my bedside table.
“Thank you, Gonzalo,” I replied, putting down more clothes on the bed. “Can you please have some of the servants bring up one of the chests so I could put my clothes in it?”
“Certainly, young prince,” he bowed. “Right away,” he quickly went and left the room.
I stopped looking for clothes to wear and proceeded to eat my dinner.
An hour has passed and I just finished packing my things and my dinner. As I waited for my body to feel sleepy, my door suddenly creaked open. I put the report that I’m holding on the table, removing the cover from my legs.
As I began to get out of my bed, Elizabeth entered the room slowly.
“Oh, Elizabeth,” I breathed out in relief. “I worried for a second on who it was.”
“Um, your page wasn’t here so I thought you’re not that busy,” she reasoned, pointing to the other side of the door. “Are you doing something? Is this a bad time to visit?”
I smiled as I patted the part of the bed near me, telling her to sit beside me.
She closed the door and walked towards me, grabbing my hand that I put up in the air to help her sit down.
“Elizabeth, how many times do I have to tell you that you’re always welcome in my room?” I replied, cupping her hands in mine. “No matter what I’m doing, if you want to come and talk to me, you can.”
She smiled and nodded. “I just don’t want to bother you if you’re doing something.”
“Elizabeth, you’re my sister,” I responded. “You’re much more important to me than anything else.”
She suddenly pinched my nose after a giggle. “When I entered, you seemed to be on your toes. Were you scared?”
I scoffed, throwing my head back. “Why would I be scared? You know I’m always prepared inside my room. I was just nervous about who’s entering my room without my knowledge.”
“Did you think it was James?”
I sucked in a big breath and let it all out. Until now, hearing James’ voice still makes me angry. But I can’t show Elizabeth what I’m currently feeling about James. “I thought it was Mother. I was afraid she’d be scolding me right now about something.”
“Afraid of being scolded on how you reacted to your canceled fishing trip with James?” she asked once more.
I sighed as I looked down at her hands that are still in mine, caressing her hands with my thumbs.
“Robert, I’m not here to lecture you. I would like to make that point very clear,” she started, reversing our hands. Now, my hands are in hers. “I just want to know what happened.”
“Didn’t James already tell you the whole story?” I asked. “Or did he change the whole story and made me the bad guy?”
“I didn’t get to ask James because he was busy throughout the day,” she said, rubbing my right arm. “Although, the conversation between you and James was overheard by the maids so it’s them whom I had to ask.”
“Those maids sure love the gossip around this family, do they?” I smirked. “No wonder they love working here because they have something to talk about.”
She smacked me by the arm, causing me to rub the hit part. For a princess, she has a heavy hand. “Don’t change the topic, little brother. Tell me everything.”
“Elizabeth, if you already heard it from the maids, what’s the point of telling you?” I let out a small chuckle.
She hit me on the arm again, this time with an even bigger smile. “Come on, Robert. I think I would prefer to hear from you because that conversation only involved you and James,” she insisted.
I sighed, shaking my head as I looked down at my feet. The reason why I don’t want to talk about this topic is because I don’t want to feel all the negative feelings that I already told Nana Olsa about.
“Please, Robert, for me?” she clung onto my arm, moving closer as she shook me,
“All right, all right,” I replied, giving in to her request. “But please, stop shaking me. I think my head is about to pop off from my body.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” she quickly let go of my arm, sitting properly beside me.
I let out a deep breath. “To make the story short, James invited me to have a fishing trip with him and even though my gut was telling me not to agree, I said yes because of you, Mother, and Nana Olsa,” I started telling the story. “You all told me to give him a chance and then, he ended up postponing when we’re supposed to go already because of some important errand with the lords.”
She sat beside me, quiet. I could see through her eyes that she’s thinking of something to say to me.
“Elizabeth, if you’re going to defend James, I don’t have the time and energy to argue with you,” I answered.
“No, I’m not saying I’m going to defend James, Robert,” she responded in a heartbeat. “I’m just trying to look at the big picture about everything. I don’t want to conclude everything on my own.”
“And what’s your conclusion?”
She sighed for a bit. “Well, for this one, I’m on your side,” she patted my shoulder. “James did invite you and for him to just cancel everything at the last minute is inconsiderate of him.”
“Thank you!” I exclaimed, throwing my hands in the air. “Finally, someone’s taking my side.”
“However,” she carefully said.
Oh, I know where she’s going with the next thing that she would say. She’s going to still tell me to give James another chance. “Let me guess,” I groaned, knowing that being justified is only for a short time. “You’re still going to tell me to give him another chance?”
She looked at me with concerned eyes. “Robert, you have to understand,” she put her hands on mine. “This one incident doesn’t justify your thinking that he’s not making any effort to reconnect with you as a father.”
“Elizabeth, I don’t know how much understanding I need to have to keep giving James the chance to just destroy the totality of his image for me,” I answered. “I think I’ve given too many chances and since then, there are no other times where he would try.”
She let out a deep breath and moved closer to me, pulling me into a hug. “Just hold onto your patience, little one. I’m sure one day, both of you will figure it out,” she comforted.
“I do hope so,” I gently laid my head on her shoulder.
My door slowly opened and my page entered. “Your Highness,” he bowed, staying beside the door. “Her Majesty has sent word that it’s time for you to have your rest because you’ll be leaving early tomorrow morning,” he informed.
“Of course,” I removed my head from Elizabeth’s shoulder. “I’ll just bid goodbye to my sister. You may take your rest.”
He bowed again and left the room.
Elizabeth and I looked at each other once more, giving each other a warm hug after. “Don’t think about it anymore. Have a good night’s rest,” she rubbed my back.
I nodded, hugging her tighter before we let go. “Shall I walk you to your room?”
“There’s no need for that,” she put her hand on mine. “I have my maids waiting for me by the door.”
“Shall I walk you to the door, then?” I smirked.
She giggled, pinching my cheeks again. “Go to sleep. You’ll need it.” She stood up and walked towards the door.
I removed my shoes and went under the covers, making myself comfortable.
“Good night, dear brother,” she smiled as she stepped out of my room.
As the door closed behind her, I blew the candlelight on my bedside table and closed my eyes. Slowly, I could feel myself drifting into a world where everything is just right and I don’t feel any pain… or any kind of emotion of any sort.