Sunday Stories: Sleeping Beauty – Part Six
Sooooo…. Technically, this would be called “Monday Stories”, seeing as it is no longer Sunday. I totally meant to write this up and post it yesterday afternoon, but I ended up going to a big family Christmas party, and then a big Mother-Daughter dessert party, and was gone from 10 in the morning to 11 at night! So there really was no time to get together my weekly story! Sorry!
Anyway, here is part six of my “Sleeping Beauty” story from 2008. Things take a turn for the slightly dramatic/bittersweet this week, which is really funny for me to re-read after all these years. 🙂 Hope you enjoy! Here are the past five installments, if you need to catch up.
“Your highness.” Hannah was waiting for me when I returned.
I was much too tired and depressed to deal with this. “Hannah,” I yawned. “Regardless of what my mother says, you shall only call me ‘Princess’ when others are around. I prefer the name ‘Valerie.’”
“Oh, your highness!” Hannah’s eyes widened and she shook her head.
“Valerie! Now please help me get out of this dress.” I finally got the lace gown off my head and pulled on an old forest green one. Much more comfortable.
“Oh, Valerie,” Flora said. I hadn’t noticed her standing by the window. “Your mother informed me that she would be sending for a dress maker to design you a whole new wardrobe, darling. No more simple dresses, she said. Now that you’re grown you must always look your best, she says.” Flora lowered her voice. “You must to catch a prince, she says.”
I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks. I don’t need to catch a stupid prince! That was just utter poppy-cock!
Flora wrapped an arm around me. “I don’t think your new dresses will be as fancy as that lace one, sweet. And heaven knows you won’t need a prince to wake you up.”
I was up at the crack of dawn the next morning. Daniel’s leaving today! I jumped out of bed but Hannah gently pushed me back in. I blinked at her sleepily. “You’re an early riser.”
She smiled. “I’m a light sleeper.” That’s when I noticed that the door that adjoined our rooms was open. “I heard you tossing and turning,” she said, wringing her nightgown. “Prin… Valerie, I know your friend is leaving today, but you must eat something. Flora told me that you skipped breakfast yesterday.”
“I’m not hungry.” My stomach growled.
Hannah laughed. “Just wait until I’m dressed, Valerie. Then I’ll call the serving maid.”
By the time I was finished eating, the sun was already rising in the sky. I pulled on my favorite light green dress and quickly braided my hair. “I’ll be back soon, Hannah.”
I ran toward Daniel’s house, hoping to catch him alone, but I found a carriage already waiting by the front door. Daniel hugged each sibling and kissed his mother goodbye. When he looked up and saw me, he gave me one last wave before climbing in the carriage and driving away.
I wouldn’t see his smile for another year. I wouldn’t hear his laugh or see his light blue eyes for over three hundred and sixty five days. Maybe never again.
Daniel’s mother was sobbing and holding her little ones to her chest protectively. Slowly, I approached her. I found my cheeks were wet also. The mother looked up at me and sniffed. I touched her shoulder softly and bit my lip. No words were needed to tell her how sorry I was.
“Thank you for coming, Valerie.” She shooed away the two little ones in her lap and stood. “Daniel told me to give you something.” I followed her into her home and stood by the door.
A few moments later she returned with a letter. She handed it to me sadly. “I’m going to miss my boy.”
I sucked in my breath. I wanted to tell her that it was my fault he was gone—that Mother thought we were too close and sent him away—but I couldn’t. “I’ll miss him, too,” I said instead.
“Ma, who’s there?” I heard from inside Ruthie’s room.
I walked into her room and smiled. “Hello, Ruth.”
“Hello, Princess. Is he gone?” Her blue eyes looked worried.
I forced myself to nod and sat on the edge of her bed. “But I’m here now.” I grasped her thin and smiled.
Once I was alone in my bed chamber again I smoothed out Daniel’s letter and read it.
I’m writing this soon before I leave, with the hope that you will visit with my family at some point and receive it while I am away.
You are my best friend, you know. I’m glad we became friends.
I’m sorry this note must be short, but I’m leaving in a few minutes.
I’ll write you. I promise.
Please look after Ruthie.
To be continued….