Lauralie was sitting in a wheelchair next to Penelope’s bedside. She wanted to be with Penelope before the surgery. Elaine knocked on the door, and came in, taking a seat on the edge of the bed.
They were talking to each other when suddenly Penelope went ridged and her face paled. Her fists clenched and went completely white. She choked on the air, and couldn’t breathe. Lauralie suddenly started doing the same thing. Elaine stood up and hurried out of the room in search for the doctor.
By the time the doctor came into the room Penelope and Lauralie had gone back to normal. After giving them a complete check-up he pronounced them healthy.
“It’s a miracle,” the doctor said, “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“So you have no idea what caused all of this?” the queen asked.
“None what so ever,” the king said bewildered, “Never have I seen anyone in Lauralie or Penelope’s condition suddenly change like that.”
The doctor left Charles with Penelope and went to check up on all of the other girls to see how they were doing.
What he saw astonished him even further. All of the girls were healthy and normal. They were starting to act like their normal selves again. He couldn’t explain what was going on with them. It didn’t make any sense to him.
Harper paced anxiously. She was getting nervous. Eveline had gone down to the dungeons before dawn the day before, now it was afternoon and Eveline still hadn’t come back. Finally, Harper couldn’t take it anymore. She headed for the dungeons.
“Where’s the fire?” Lauralie laughed as Harper bumped into her.
“Sorry, ma’am,” Harper apologized, “I didn’t see you there,” she looked up and let out a gasp, “Lauralie!”
“What are you doing here?” Harper asked, “I mean, I thought you were sick.”
“I was, but this morning I started to feel better, and at lunch the doctor said that I could get up and walk around if I felt like it, and I felt like it.”
“You’re better?” Harper asked, “What about your other sisters? Are they feeling better?”
“Well, I don’t really know. Penelope seems stronger than she has been in a long time.”
“That’s good,” Harper said, “Now, I’ve got to go.”
Harper took off in a run. If the princesses were starting to get better that means that Eveline had accomplished her mission. She had to find Eveline. She had to see what had happened to Eveline.
Harper sprinted down the steps to the dungeon, searching each one as she passed by. She found the open passage in the second cell. She ran down the stairs, almost falling down the steps and breaking her neck. She entered the dusty, dimly lit, wet cavern.
There at the far end of the cavern, in a puddle of water, was Eveline. Her hair was matted, and her clothes were muddy and ripped. Harper ran over to Eveline’s side.
“Eveline,” she called, “Eveline, can you hear me?”
“What’s going on?” came a voice from behind Harper.
“Elaine?” Harper asked, turning around, “What are you guys doing here?”
“Well, Lauralie told me about your encounter, so I decided to follow you,” Elaine shrugged, “Now what’s going on?”
“It’s Eveline,” Harper said.
“Harper,” came Eveline croaked out.
“Eveline,” Harper said relieved, “We are going to take you upstairs, okay?” Harper turned toward Elaine, “Will you help me?”
Elaine hurried over. She helped Harper lift Eveline to her feet. Eveline walked in between Elaine and Harper, leaning heavily on them as they walked back up the stairs and out of the dungeons. Elaine rushed off in search of a doctor as soon as they got into Eveline’s room.
The royal family paced up and down the hallway, anxiously waiting for word on Eveline’s condition. They all stopped and looked up as the doctor squeezed out of the door and gently closed it behind him. He looked at the family.
“Well,” he said, taking his glasses off and rubbed his forehead, “We’ve tried everything we could think of, but nothing seems to have worked. There is nothing else we can do.”
“You mean?” Lauralie asked, “Is she…dead,” she said, choking on the last word.
“Not yet,” the doctor said, “She’s still hanging on, but she doesn’t have much time left.”
“Can we see her?” Helena asked.
“If you wish,” the doctor said, stepping away from the door so they could enter the room.
They rushed into the room and gathered at Eveline’s bedside. The sight tore like a knife. Eveline was pale against the already white sheets. She looked so young and frail lying there.
“Hey,” Lauralie whispered around a lump in her throat.
“Hi guys,” she smiled weakly up at them all.
There were a million things to be said and not enough time to say it all in. They didn’t quite know how to begin.
“Eveline,” Lauralie started, but she was unable to finish her sentence.
At that moment a page came into the room.
“Sorry,” he apologized, “But I was told to tell you that Rosemary has had her baby. It’s a boy.”
Excitement washed through the room, sending the sister’s scattering. Only Lauralie and Elaine stayed behind with Eveline.
“Go,” Eveline whispered, “It’s alright. I know you’re just dying to.”
“But,” Lauralie started.
“I’ll be here when you get back.”
They left the room, leaving Eveline alone with Harper. She came to her lady’s side and sat down beside her.
“Oh Harper,” Eveline breathed.
“Sh,” Harper choked, “You need your rest if you are to get well.”
“I’m not going to get well, Harper. Not this time.”
“Don’t say that,” Harper said, eyes brimming over with tears, “You’ve always gotten well before. You have to get well again. You have to.”
“Don’t worry,” Eveline smiled sadly, “Everything will be fine,” she weakly raised her hand and took Harper’s hand.
Eveline felt so tired. She leaned against the pillow and closed her eyes. Harper sat there, gently clinging to Eveline’s hand.
“Harper,” Eveline whispered.
“Yes,” Harper said immediately.
“Thank you. You’ve been a great friend.”
Eveline fell back onto the pillows and went limp as she drew her last breath. Harper whispered Eveline’s name, gradually getting louder with each time she spoke. Tears were streaming down Harper’s face as the realization of Eveline’s death hit her. She sat down heavily into the chair by the bed. She picked up Eveline’s hand like it was a delicate flower that would break at the merest touch.
Harper encased Eveline’s cold hand in both of hers and leaned onto the bed. She sat like that until the princesses came back into the room.
Due to the birth of a male, Eveline’s funeral was a simple affair. It was just like her life. They didn’t have the long procession and to do that they had when Serephina had been buried. Instead just a few people gathered around the gravesite and watched as the coffin was lowered into the ground.
Her death, just like her life, was overshadowed by something else. Her strength, courage, and compassion had saved her family and her kingdom from destruction, and yet Harper alone shouldered the pain of her death.
Before long, Eveline slipped out of everyone’s mind but Harper’s. Eveline once more became the forgotten princess.
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