10. Memories of Hate
I watched the closed doors as my hands fisted on each side because of my anger. It pained me to do this. I didn’t want to hurt her, make Mila hate me, but I had no choice. Mila needs to stay away before I do something to her.
I turned around and walked back to my bed. Taking a seat, I stared at my stone’s hand that was now better. Opening and closing my hand, I stare at it, studying each movement that I lacked before.
It seemed Mila’s healing power helped me, but involving her in this meant she would know who I am, and I didn’t want her to see me with hate or disgust as everyone else did.
A soft knock has me looking up.
“Leave!” I yelled from across the room. A loud sigh has me frowning. Who was it?
The brown wooden doors opened slowly, and Rosa walked in with an angry face. My eyebrows shoot up as Rosa makes her way towards me.
“Stupid child!” Rosa said, slapping my head. “How dare you treat that girl like that?”
I had no words for her sudden outburst.
“Mila is trying to approach you, and you’re pushing her away like that?” Rosa retorted as she slapped my head again.
“Hey, Rosa!” I said, covering my face with my arms. “Calm down, would you?”
“No! You’re quite stubborn, Zion. So you need someone to make you reflect!” Rosa growled.
“Ow, that hurts, Rosa!” I screech as her hand grips my ear.
“Listen to me, well-child, that girl is here not because of your brother but because she cares for you. So if I hear you are mistreating her again, I will not make your favorite cookies again!” Rosa exclaimed angrily. “Now get yourself up and go take a bath. You stink!”
“Rosa, calm down, please,” I tried to plead as a smile crept up my lips.
“Stop telling me what to do. Now get a bath. You seem better thanks to her,” Rosa said, walking to the bathroom.
I let out a chuckle and stood up, doing just as Rosa asked.
Getting in the bathtub, I relax. I have to say it surprised me to see how better I felt. It seems I was healed for right now.
“Zion, why don’t you apologize to Mila?” Rosa suddenly blurted out. I looked at her from over my shoulder. “You mistreated her right now. So apologize.”
“Why?” I said, turning back to my bath. “I didn’t ask her to be here.”
“Yes, you didn’t but, you fail and continue failing to see she cares. It’s the second woman after me that doesn’t fear you. Instead, she seems interested in you,” Rosa chuckled. “Just think about it.”
I shook my head and washed my body quickly.
Once out and ready, I headed back to my bed when a figure distracted me. I raised an eyebrow as I saw the two people standing close to each other.
“Why are you here?” I ignored Mila and directed the question to my brother.
“You’re rude, Zion, but I’m here because of something,” Noah answered as he stood straight. Mila just rolled her eyes.
“About what?” I asked, taking a seat in bed and drying my hair.
“Oh, your majesty!” Rosa said as she bowed in surprise.
“Hi, Rosa, perfect timing,” Noah smiled. I raised my eyebrow and stared at him. What was he hiding with that smug face? “Rosa, I think I haven’t introduced you; this is the saintess, Mila.”
“Hi, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” Mila smiled as Rosa held her hands.
“The pleasure is all mine, dear, welcome!” Rosa smiled warmly.
It seems Rosa likes Mila.
“So, brother, why did you come?” I asked, getting their attention.
“Rosa,” Noah called, without taking his eyes from me. “Prepare the room next to Zion for Mila.”
“What?” I snap, standing. “What do you mean?”
Mila stared my way. She looked annoyed.
“What you heard, brother. Starting from today, Mila will live in the castle. She will provide her healing powers so you can get better, and she will do you some company,” Noah smiled.
I was boiling in anger. How dare he do this? And how can Mila agree? Did he offer her money? Is that it?
I glared at her, making Mila flinch.
“No, she leaves!” I retorted.
“No, Zion. Mila will stay like it or not!” Noah retorted. We both stared at each other.
Bursting in anger, I grab the first thing I find and throw it at my brother. I seethe in anger, but a wince has me stopping.
“Oh, my goddess!” Rosa exclaims as I turn to look at her.
My eyes widened as I took a step back. Mila was bleeding from her face. Holding her cheek, I notice the blood oozing down.
“M-Mila!” I said nervously, but Mila turned to look at me, her eyes brimming as tears slid down her face. “Mila, I-I’m sorry.”
“ASSHOLE!” Mila snaps as she turns and leaves. Rosa turned to look at me. Then, shaking her face, she turns to go as well.
I stood, stunned. It wasn’t my intention.
“You really won’t change, right?” Noah mumbles. He shook his head and turned to leave. “I’m disappointed in you, Zion.”
My head hangs between my legs as I stare at the dirty.
I felt terrible for what I did to Mila, but it wasn’t my intention. It was an accident. Letting a sigh out, I lean against the enormous tree and look up at the blue sky.
Groaning, I stand up and head back in. The hallways were empty, like any other time. Occasionally you would notice a maid here and there.
I stopped every person I found, asking them if they’d seen Mila, but no one had seen her.
After my brother left, I went to look for her to apologize, but she was nowhere. It made my chest ache the more time passed, and I couldn’t apologize. Mila must be furious about what I did.
Feeling dejected, I stop near the garden and look outside. A scowl formed on my face as I recalled my time in the Fry Garden. That was the only place no one could see me, judge me, or tell me something.
I leaned against a pillar and gazed outside. So this was the rose garden my mother liked. If she didn’t die because of my father, things wouldn’t be like this. And maybe if I hadn’t made that deal with that gypsy, things wouldn’t be like this.
He turned to look at the person calling. A smile played on his face as he felt the happiness of seeing his best friend rushing to his side.
“Welcome!” Zion smiled as he hugged his best friend. “You came earlier than expected.”
“Yes, indeed. But before we go, I have someone I want to introduce to you.”
“Who?” Zion asked curiously. His best friend smiled and whistled the opposite way. Zion frowned as he heard a rustling sound behind the tall bushes.
A tall boy with long curly hair that reached his waist and pale skin stepped out of the bushes. Zion furrowed his eyebrows and looked at the stranger and his best friend.
The tall boy walked over with a smirk as he approached both boys. Zion stared at him from head to toe.
He was furrowing his eyebrows more. He found the stranger odd, especially since his clothes looked different.
“Zion, my friend, this is Crudel, a gypsy-like me and a black magician.”
Zion scrunched his nose.
“Pleasure to meet you, prince,” the stranger bowed. However, there was something Zion didn’t like about him.
“Hey!” his best friend said, poking his ribs.
“Nice to meet you as well,” Zion answered as he watched the stranger called Crudel and his best friend talk.
Zion kept his eyes on the strange boy. But something else at that moment caught his attention, and it was the necklace he carried around his neck.
“Curious?” Crudel asked with a chuckle. “I can show you.”
Zion turned around and scoffed their way. His best friend chuckled and started following him with the stranger. Looking over his shoulder, Zion glanced one last time at the necklace. Strangely, he felt attracted to it, even if he didn’t want to admit it.
I walked around the garden. I was distracting myself from the memories of that day. Plucking a rose, I smiled awkwardly. Would it be good if I apologized with roses?
“That’s stupid,” I muttered.
“What’s stupid?” Mila asks from behind. I turned abruptly and looked at her in fright. How the heck? “Sorry, did I scare you?”
I stared at Mila, who looked curious by my reaction. Then, feeling embarrassed, I looked to the side and cleared my throat.
“No,” I answered plainly.
“Oh, I see,” Mila said, moving away from me. Her arms behind her back.
My eyes moved to her face. She was looking at the blooming roses. Then, staring at her, she turns her face and frowns. I wanted to say something, but my words ceased when I saw her cheek.
There was a bandage over her porcelain face. I lowered my head in shame.
“I’m sorry,” I mumbled.
Mila didn’t respond, so I looked up. She was looking my way with a pained look.
I panicked and tried to approach her, but Mila pulled away from me. My hand started shaking as I retracted and hid it behind my back.
“I’m sorry for what I did, Mila,” I repeated. “It wasn’t my intention.”
I couldn’t look at her. It was already hard to apologize.
Hearing a shuffling, I lift my head.
My mouth opened and shut as I stared at Mila’s back. So she was leaving just like that?
Slumping my shoulders, I fist my hand, ruining the rose that I held.
What did I have to do so she could forgive me?
I closed the book in my hands as I headed to my brother’s office. It was already noon, and the sun was setting on the horizon.
“You sure have to go?” I heard Noah ask someone. I looked towards the open door.
“Yes, I will be back tomorrow with my things,” Mila answered.
The guards that stood on the door didn’t utter a single word, as I just watched in silence.
Noah moved from behind his desk and approached Mila. I frowned as he raised his hand and moved a hair strand from her face. My hands tightened on the book I was holding. What was he doing?
“Fine, I will pick you up tomorrow, all right?” Noah smiled at her.
“No need, I will be hereafter I do my work in the morning,” Mila answered. “So, don’t worry.”
Noah nodded as he smiled down at her.
“I’m sorry for what happened earlier,” Noah said, putting his hand over Mila’s cheek.
“It’s all right….” Mila whispered.
I clenched my jaw and stepped into the office. Both Mila and Noah were surprised.
“Brother, is something the matter?” Noah asked. I looked at Mila, who didn’t even look my way.
“I just came to visit,” I said through gritted teeth.
Noah looked at me suspiciously.
“I see. Well, Mila, you must go. I shall see you tomorrow,” Noah said as he handed something to Mila.
“What is that?” I questioned.
“Mind your business,” Mila answered as she bowed to Noah. “Have a good evening.”
With that, she left. She didn’t even spare me a glance.
I turned to follow, but Noah stopped me. I lowered my eyes at his hand on my stone arm.
“Don’t!” Noah hissed.
I yank my arm and close the gap between us.
“Why?” I asked angrily. “Who do you think you are?”
“Your brother and I are ordering you to stop it,” Noah retorted. “Can’t you see Mila is angry with you?”
I scoffed at him.
“You will pick Mila up tomorrow,” Noah ordered. I snap my head in his direction.
“Excuse me?” I retorted.
“It’s an order,” Noah growled.
I stumped out of his office and rushed towards the carriage that would take Mila back home.
“WAIT!” I ordered as Mila was getting on the carriage.
Mila rolled her eyes and said something to the guard that was assisting her.
“What do you need, King Zion?” Mila asked.
“You are leaving?” I asked stupidly.
“Uh, yes?” Mila said sarcastically. “What?”
My hands tightened on my pants.
“I said I’m sorry, and you didn’t answer me,” I said without daring to look at her face. “I mean it, I’m sorry.”
“What an apology,” Mila mumbled and got on the carriage. I looked at her desperately. “I don’t want your apology, King Zion. So if you could excuse me, I have to leave.”
“Mila…” I whispered. Her eyes met mine.
“See you tomorrow,” Mila whispered and turned her face away from me. I nodded obediently and shut the door.
Closing my eyes, I lower my head.
What did I have to do? It was frustrating because I couldn’t understand what she was thinking.