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Prince Charming For Real: Part 2
I walked out of Cheryl’s bedroom with the long, green dress on. It was tight, but puffy. I felt like a princess wrapped in cotton candy. I could barely breathe, but Cheryl assured me that the dress was supposed to feel like that. She told me to practice walking and breathing in the dress while she looked for shoes that matched. As she rummaged through her closet, I kept reminding her how wonderful she was for doing this. She just laughed and told me it was nothing. I got hungry and slowly slid into the kitchen for a bite of pizza. As I raised it to my mouth, the cheese started to slide off; I tilted my head with my mouth wide open, ready to catch it. I didn’t. Luckily, it landed on the floor instead of the dress. I cursed loudly anyways. Cheryl ran in, carrying a pair of pale green heels, scared for the worst. “Sorry,” I mumbled. The lines of worry of her face were quickly replaced with laugh lines. We had another laughing fit and soon found ourselves collapsed on the couch, holding our sides. I struggled to sit up and take a breath. “What time is it, Cheryl?” I said as I looked around for a clock. She looked at her watch in alarm.
“Sh*t! We have one and a half hours until the ball starts! It takes half an hour to get there!” Cheryl jumped up.
“But the castle is only ten minutes away. How-?” I questioned.
“The traffic is horrible. The crowds are even worse. But, anyways, we need to get ready! Can you help me with my dress and then we’ll do hair and make-up?”
I grabbed her arm to pull me up and agreed. We got completely ready in an impressive forty-five minutes. We piled into her car (which is hard with those huge dresses) before I realized I needed to get my phone and wallet. To prevent from getting our dresses dirty, Cheryl drove into my drive way so I could gather my things. When I picked up my phone, I saw Mirrly called twenty-seven times while I was with Cheryl. If it had been anyone else, I would have thought it was an emergency, but that was just Mirrly. As I stuffed myself back into the little car, I called her back. It rang for half a second before she picked up. “LESIL! Do you have the dress? Did you get a girl friend? Did you get my email? For god sakes, Lesil, did you get the email?!”
I sighed and replied, “Mirrly, I got a dress. I got a ‘girl friend’ and no, I didn’t get your email. Now Cheryl is giving me a funny look, Mirrly. No, I’m not letting you talk to her! No, I said no! Mirrly, I’m on the way there. No, you can’t talk to her! Bye Mirrly.” I closed the phone and turned it off. “Sorry,” I told Cheryl. “She’s the best friend across the world.” Cheryl nodded understandingly and drove on. As we drove, I saw she wasn’t exaggerating when she said the traffic was bad. The streets were packed with vans, trucks, little cars, and minivans. The road was flooded with all colors and shapes and brands of vehicles. It took us fifteen extra minutes to get to the castle past the guards. After parking the car, we had to hold our dresses up as we ran to the huge entrance. We were pat checked and our bags were searched; a guard was very amused with my McDonald dog-shaped key chain on my purse. When we walked through the grand doors, we were greeted by more guards. We were standing on a platform connected to two set of stairs. One went down to the main floor and the other went up to the balcony. The balcony stairs must have led to where the royalty sit, because it was very enforced and the chairs seemed to shine. They were covered in stones and gems and made of a silver and gold mixture. They looked fancy, yet strange.
Cheryl led me down the stairs, where other couples and older people alone walked down. A few people already dancing and visiting on the main floor occasionally glanced at the arriving guests. When Cheryl and I stepped on the glistening floor, the lights went dim and everyone turned their attention to the balcony. It was the king and queen. I’d never seen them in person, only on TV and the websites I did research on before moving. The king had his shoulders thrown back, chin in the air, and his hand wrapped around a cane. The queen was beautiful. Her face shone in the spotlight and her red velvet dress seemed to sparkle. They both had a faint smile on their face. Then, the king spoke.
“Good evening, everyone,” his soft, gentle voice surprised me. I was expecting a deep, commanding voice. “Welcome, my people, to the Castle of Relicka. Thank you, people of the Brevnik region, for attending your, yes your, annual ball. Please enjoy the music, the food, and the fun! Thank you and have a wonderful time! My dearest son, Prince Munin, will join you in a moment to dance and visit!” Cheryl carefully, but excitedly, jumped up and down.
“The prince! Did you hear that? Last year I came so close to a dance with him. He looked me right in the eye, and then some stick up older woman grabbed him before I could even curtsy! And the hours I had practiced were wasted! But not tonight; tonight I will dance with him!” Her face was stone serious, but she quickly broke into a smile. “Let’s go find him!” She grabbed the sides of her dress and began to scurry across the room, faster than my eyes could watch her. Soon, I was lost and ended up walking in circles. Eventually, I found the refreshments and took some brownies (which, if I might say, were to die for) and a glass of red wine. I nibbled on the treat and slowly sipped the wine as I scanned the crowd. There were 200 to 300 people, maybe; I’m not good at estimating anything. Long purple drapes fell over large windows, not letting any light in. After my wine was gone and only crumbs were left from the brownie, the lights slowly began to come on. I put my wine glass on the table, not knowing where else to set it. I started to go search for Cheryl when I bumped into something stiff.
“Oh! I’m so sorry! Excuse me!” I stepped back and patted the thing I ran into. I then realized it was a column. People around me chucked and a few pointed and nudged their friends and partners. I went red in the face and began to run off again. I ended up running into something else. “Those d*mn columns!” I said aloud while backing up.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to interfere. Am I supposed to be a column because, well, I’m not? Sorry if that’s a problem, my lady.” A gentle but gruff voice answered.
I gasped and put my hand over my mouth. Slowly dropping it I said, “Oh! Sir, I am so sorry! I bumped into… earlier… you see, what happened was… Um, again I’m very sorry, sir.” I looked into the blue eyes of the man standing over me. He was so much taller than me. He was black hair about chin length, but it covered his forehead and an eyebrow. His posture reminded me of the king, how he was so confident and proper. Was that how all Relicka men were?
“It’s quite alright, my lady. A common mistake, well not really. I’ve never been mistaken for a column. A duke, maybe, but never a column.” His laugh sounded like it came from the heart, and then gurgled up his throat. I smiled meekly at the young man and didn’t know what to say. After a long pause he held out his hand and said, “May I have this dance, my lady?” I took it and he pulled me closer to him. My chest was pressed against his, his hands over mine, raised in the air. He was leading, moving swiftly around the room. People started to stare and moved against the walls. Soon, everyone had formed a circle around us, but I barely noticed. I just stared into his huge, sweet, blue eyes. I was lost in them. After minutes of us smiling at each other, never looking away, the song ended. He stopped and I stopped. He lowered our arms but we were still just as close. I felt his hot breath on my face. He backed away, bowed, grabbed my right hand, and said “This was a pleasure, my lady. I hope we meet again.” I just nodded and clumsily curtsied. He laughed silently and walked away. A few strangers walked up to me and patted my back, congratulated me. I was confused. All I did was dance with a nice man.
It all made sense when Cheryl ran up to me shouting “The prince! The prince! Lesil! You just danced with the finest man living! Ah!” She wrapped her arms around me and we span around, jumping up and down.
“The prince? Really? Hm.” That amused me. Mirrly would be amazed. She’d probably say something along the lines of, “D*mn, girl! You got game!”
“Yes, the prince! Ah! I’m so envious! Ah!” Cheryl was nearly bouncing off the walls. Shouldn’t I have been doing that? “I could die!”
“Oh, I doubt you could die! I mean, after all, it’s just a prince!” I waved her off. I mean, after all, he’s just a prince.