Simon never gets old when it comes to the King's teachings, telling him piece by piece of information that he already knew since he was a kid. In his mind, nothing works around except the King's words. In their country, the King's words are the law and when he says no, then it's a no. However, being a prince does not mean he should follow everything that his grandfather says. Despite the hectic schedules, he felt something unbearably empty inside. As if his whole life is just part of his title and not part of him as a person or human.
A robot has a role in society, sometimes to serve his master, sometimes to be beneficial in society. The young prince felt the same. For him, he's more like a robot than a human. Perhaps a robot with a human appearance. Every move and acts are dictated by his grandfather. Every decision should be discussed and every passion should be tested.
Growing up without a mother to guide him, Simon's world is a whole mess. Despite his smiles and laughter in gatherings or public meetings, he's dying inside, which is what he really feels. It is unknown how many times he smiles in private or with family.
His teenage days must be the great years of his life. The time when he can just do what he wants and love who he wants. However, all his life, he never felt the real feeling of love.
It was a great morning for everyone in Aurland. The weather is perfect and the sun is warm. Sitting on the couch, Simon can't stop thinking about what he should do when he finally meets the girl who will serve him for today. He's frantically pinching his finger even though there's no reason to be nervous at all. It's not the first time he comes and asks for assistant in the company but it was the first time someone meets his needs. When he saw her profile and characteristics in the app, he wondered what it would feel like to be around such a woman.
Julie is fascinated to work again. She usually gets requests about two to three times a day. Her schedule is damn rumbling. She neatly fixed herself as she took the elevator up to her boss’s office. She rarely gets called but she doesn’t like the idea of being called in the boss’s office at all. She lastly combed her hair before the elevator halts into a stop. Stepping out, she takes a glimpse at her reflection in the glass. She takes a deep breath before she knocks and enters the room.
Baffled at what she saw, Julie still maintained her posture and act. The boss is nowhere but there’s a bunch of men in black inside. Sitting on the couch is a beautiful man wearing a luxurious royal blue suit and Rolex watch. When he turns around her direction, Julie tries to hold herself. She doesn’t know the man or is familiar to her, but there’s something on him that takes her, blows her away.
“Good morning. I’m Julia Adison, an employee of Wales and Co.” she introduced herself.
The man stands and gradually walks towards her. A warm smile meets her. “I’m your client, Simon Hale. I assume you’re the one who will assist me today,” he said.
Julie’s eyes wandered in every face at his back, thinking why in hell he still needed an assistant. “Yes sir. I will be your assistant as you requested.”
Both eyes meet as they stare into each other’s eyes. None of them know what the other thinks. They proceed on signing the papers as per protocol by the company. At that time, Julie knew she hit the jackpot. The client she’s going to serve is actually a VIP client. With this, she can earn extra commission if the client responds to her service with a five star response.
Simon is stunned by the girl’s beauty. Never in his life has he met a woman as beautiful as his mom. Her two colored eyes twinkle brightly with innocence and experiences. The smile of the woman clearly reminds him of the smile he wished to forever see. Her freckles playfully sit across her nose like a sprinkled dust in her face. Her long eyelashes make her look more attractive. When she looked at him, he smiled.
There’s no reason why he should not be excited. The thoughts he’d been trying to keep in his mind were now gone, vanished as Julie’s interesting appearance came in. They both awkwardly stare at each other, making a big fuss in their first ever meet up. Julie likes to smile, maybe because he’s a customer that needs to be served real well, whatever the reason Simon likes it.
Julie’s appearance makes her uncomfortable. It never comes to her mind that dressing casually is a big disadvantage in getting a five star with a VIP. Her basic tank top clearly doesn’t look good around a delicate suit that only wealthy people can afford. Maybe her blazer is acceptable but not really her boots and skinny jeans. Lisa- her friend- used to tell her that her appearance doesn’t matter at all, all that matters is her service which Julie should be focused on.
She led a way out but was directly shoved by one of the black men aside. Four of them got out first before signing Simon to come out. Simon offers the way first for Julie like how a gentleman should with a lady. He comes out after her with the rest of the guards.
They settled in a restaurant around Anderton Avenue. It’s quite far from the building so they took quite a ride, enough to feel hungry as the smell of food touches their noses. Anderton Avenue is known for the exquisite and expensive restaurants that only those with money come and visit. The restaurant they settled in makes Julie’s jaw drop. From the long and huge door down to the marble floor, everything in the restaurant seems to cost half of her yearly salary. They were led to a table set for two and really exclusive just for them only. Julie wonders how this kind of business survives when in fact only few people visit. It takes five tables for another couple then three on their right. She can see her reflection in the utensils more clearly than her eyes reading a book from afar. What bothers her more is the prices of the foods in the restaurant. How in hell can she even pay for an expensive meal when she needs to keep some money?
Simon is back from talking on the phone. He left Julie after his phone rang. He sits more comfortably in the chair. He unbuttoned his suit as he sat and gave Julie a sweet smile. His eyes shine brightly in the light. When he smiles, two small holes appear in the side of his mouth. He has perfect teeth, thick, flowy dark hair,long eyelashes, and chiselled jaws. His sharp jaws appear much sharper when he smiles.
"Are you okay?" Julie snaps when she hears him say something.
"Yes, of course. So, what do you do?" she asked, trying to take her concentration back on track.
Simon hesitates, but he smiles. "Nothing really. Just business that goes and comes," he answered.
Julie knits her brow as confusion hits her, "What kind of business is that?"
Simon snorts, resting his arm on the table. "You don't have to know. Don't worry, it's not illegal."
She smiled. Right on track, the food Simon ordered came. Julie can't believe she can get to eat foods as expensive as her life. From the plating to the taste, it was hell perfect. They eat silently, which Julie wished from the moment they entered the restaurant. She needs to sink everything inside her stomach to at least savor the moment and chance. It's hell once a lifetime and surely her friend-Loren- will be jealous.
After eating, Simon doesn't really know where to go. He wants to spend the rest of the day knowing the lady but he doesn't know how to keep her. She's too fine for his lousy social interaction. If ever she'll know he's a prince, he'll probably face the most embarrassing moment of his life. She'll surely laugh at him for his lack of socialization.
"Something's wrong?" she asked.
They're both standing on a sidewalk under the open sky. The sun is too hot to stay in there doing nothing but it didn't bother Julie at all. She's used to the sun and hotness of summer. During her freetime, she helps her dad tend the farm animals in the county. Usually, they need to stay under the sun for a couple of hours in order to accommodate every animal in there. It was freaking exhausting but Julie liked it.
"No, nothing," he answered in defense.
Julie looked at him. Her shoulder slumped and eyes straight into his. "Do you have any idea what you want to do? I mean surely you didn't rent my time just to stay here under the sun, right?"
Simon panicked. He doesn't know how to answer her. She's right in every angle but how can he tell her?
"Sort of," he blurted out.
Julie sighs. She turned around and pulled his hand, gripping his wrist tightly as they crossed the street. Anderton Avenue is not just known for their expensive and fancy restaurants. They are also famous because of their location. Across them is a wide sea that feeds the eyes of society. It was really beautiful that even those in the middle level status came just for the view.
She took her boots off, signaling Simon to do the same. He hesitates. Never in his life has he become so free. He always follows procedures and rules. Etiquette is necessary when royals are in public places. What Julie makes him do is undoubtedly against the proper etiquette. He lost his shoe ties anyway. He removes his shoes and takes them with his fingers. He looked at Julie, who's having a satisfactory grin on her face. They started walking on the white sand. It feels so good on the feet and it relaxes them. The sound of waves is deafening. As they walk in the open seaside, Simon wants to talk to Julie. He likes talking to her and getting to know her more. He never perceives her as a reserved woman so he wonders why she's too silent. Is she shy like him? Should he do the first move?
"Julie, why don't you tell me anything about you?" he asked, nervousness messing with his voice. The question turns out hoarse and cracked.
Julie looked at him. "Why don't we play a game? You give one question and I'll answer it then vice versa. It's like give and take."
"So, why did you ask for a friend? Don't you have friends?"
If only he could tell her friends are rare in the royal family, it would be easier and understandable. Simon settles in a smile, much more assuring than any gesture. "I do, they're busy. There are few of them, which makes me alone when they're busy with business." He nods at the idea, believable enough for her not to notice. "My turn. Do you love beaches? Or even just water."
Julie chuckles, "really? Can't you think of something interesting? To answer your question, yes I do, but not much though. I like mountains and forests more than beaches and oceans. She looked at him. "So you asked me for what reason? I mean you got friends, surely you didn't ask for me just to have free friends for a day." She snorts.
Simon shakes his head. "No, I'm… I need someone to listen to me. I-" he stops. He wants to explain it more elaborately for Julie. He wants her to understand where he's coming from. He wants her to see his broken self.
Julie turns at him. Her head tilted a bit in the side to see Simon's face. Because of their height difference, it becomes easy for Julie to see Simon's face when he lowers his head. Julie can see his eyes about to tear up. Deep inside, she knows Simon needs someone to comfort him. Perhaps it's the reason at all why he asked for her.
She keeps her pace, trying to keep up with him. She gets closer to him, causing them to walk side-by-side, inch apart. "I get it. What's wrong? A bad day at work?" she casually asked like his long best friend.
Simon's face lit up, realizing that Julie's trying to console him. "Not much. I'm just… tired. Tired of everything exactly."
No, he's not daydreaming.
"I'm tired too. Like all of this shit makes me tired," she chuckled.
Their steps become neutral. It just flows with the same pace as the other.
"Work too? How about family?"
Simon knows his question is irrevocable. He's too stupid asking such a question when in fact it's personal. Also, they're not that close yet, how can he?
Julie rolled her eyes. "Work is stressful, that's a given," she pointed at him, "family makes me at peace. They're my vitamins and energy drink. They make me laugh and just forget about anything else. They never fail to make me feel home. Do you feel the same with your family?"
This time, Simon falls silent. He's broken because of them, how can they be his home? The pain they planted on him is too deep to handle and yet here he is, searching for a cure that, he knows, doesn't exist. He's in doubt. He doesn't want Julie to be part of his dramatic life, but what's the sense of asking her to be his friend? Aren't friends supposed to console and help you when you're down?
"Family is the problem. They're not my home nor my peace. They're the opposite. You think if they're my shelter, I would be here with you?"
Looking at the horizon beyond them, Julie knows he's right. The thing is, Simon is not the first ever man who asked for a company. All her clients had private issues and all of them asked her for help. And she's always eager to give her opinion and thoughts, but right now, she doesn't know if she should voice her thoughts. The way Simon speaks about his family pulls a tug of hate and pain in her heart. Maybe she just can't believe people like his family exist.
They almost reach the end of the beach when Julie notices his bodyguards following them from behind, just miles away. She wants to tell Simon to dismiss them, can they even be dismissed? "You think those guys"- she pointed at the boys- "will leave if you say so? Don't get me wrong but I feel really unsure of spending time with someone who comes around with so many nannies following him."
The statement made Simon laugh as he looked and imagined the boys the way Julie sees them. She's incredibly imaginative, he thought. "Yeah, but not so far. If anything happens to me, you'll be the first person to blame. You wouldn't want to see yourself on TV, eh?"
Julie snorts, "are you that important? What are you, a royalty?" she questioned.
Simon continuously walked. He puts his hands at his back, taking his steps slower than earlier, as if he's teasing Julie. "What if I am royalty? Will that make me important enough?"
Julie gasped. Processing what she just heard, she hurriedly walks towards him, blocking his way as she stands right in front of him. Her eyes glimmered under the orange sunlight. The way her hair flies with the wind makes everything unbelievable for Simon. He stopped in his tracks, looking at the angelic face of the woman who satisfactorily captured his interest and likes.
"What did you say?"
His smile makes her more annoyed. It's not just about Simon's undeniable charm that makes her annoyed, it's also the fact that all this time she could be disrespecting royal blood. If ever, her death will never be enough for the King to forgive her.
"Yes, I am. I'm Prince Simon of Aurland. Such a wonderful day to meet and spend time with a very prominent and enthralling person like you."
Julie's enthusiasm just blew right in her face. The way Simon says it is just concerning. His tone is more relaxed but worried at the same time. The way his voice transfers from excitement to uptight. "May god forgive me, are you fucking joking me?"
The statement raised Simon's eyebrows. "Excuse me? I am far from joking. You think a normal person can have a dozen bodyguards? Only billionaires, drug millionaires, and the royalties can probably provide a dozen guards for one person. You still think I'm joking?"
Taking a step back, Julie bows informally in front of him. Though it was really unnecessary anymore, she still feels like a bow may lessen her punishment for not recognizing the prince. When she raised her head, a laugh burst out of her. Never in her life she imagined herself bowing in front of royalty. She never even thought of meeting them and casually talking to them, and yet here she is, laughing at the man who's not proud of who he is.
Under the sunset, Simon's face brightly shines. His skin glows when the light reflects it. And there it is, the smile that can surely conquer the world. His perfect white teeth, curvy lips….
Simon laughs with her. "That is really not needed and a bit uncomfortable," he muttered while laughing, finger pointing at Julie.
As the sun continued to set and the sea waves touched their barefoots, the two enjoyed the company of each other. The company they perhaps need in their life. The sound of waves hitting the sand and the cold water of the sea, added a memorable memory in this magnificent moment.