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The Royalty

The rope holding me above the ground creaked as I swung back and forth. Sitting on the tire that was streaked with patchy brush stroke of a pastel purple, the smile on my face got wider. I was smiling because I saw him walking through the bushes of thorns and ducking under branches. Him was Riley Devry, and he was not supposed to be walking towards me with a smile, but he was. According to my comfortable spot at the bottom of the popularity pyramid, and his throne at the top, we weren’t supposed to talk, touch, or look at each other, much less hang out, but we did.
I was walking through the woods behind my, well, our houses, the day before and I came upon him stringing up an old tire onto a tree branch.
“Hey there,” he called over his shoulder as I walked up, I guess he heard the leaves crunch under my boots.
“Oh,” I looked around like he wasn’t talking to me, the only person who lived near him, the only one who wandered in those woods, besides him. “Hi.”
“I could use a little help,” Riley laughed and tugged at the rope.
“Oh, okay.” I shuffled towards him like a new born deer, my steps were all over the place.
“Hold this part tight,” be pointed to the knot above the tire.
I pushed my fingers against the twisted rope and held it, Riley pulled the ends and the knot closed around my fingers. “Okay, let go,” He said. So I let go and he gave out a sweet laugh. “Well look at that,” he pushed it and it spun. “Looks like we’ve got ourselves a new swing for our palace Mindy.”
Stunned that he actually used my name when he talked to me, I huffed a little laugh and smiled. He was smiling at me smiling and that made me smile more, but now it was a confused smile. “It is kind of a palace isn’t it?” I breathed the words.
“Yeah, it is.” He stepped closer to me, “And we’re the royalty.” Riley held out a hand and after I got over the shock of it, I took it. “Take your throne my princess.”
He led me to the swing and I sat in it. “I don’t want to be a princess, I want to be a lady of something.”
“A lady? You’d rather be a lady than a princess?” Riley grinned and walked behind me, gripping the rim of the tire in his hands. This puzzled him but he saw me thinking and stopped to watch my face swim with emotions.
“Ummm,” I said. “I want to be a lady of the…. The daisies. Lady of the daisies.”
“Lady of the daisies,” he pushed forward and my body was further and further away from the ground. “I can dig that.”
I was elated as I looked up and saw the swirl of clouds, giggling like a child, with my heart in my stomach. “And,” my vocal chords were vibrating with laughter. “And I think our throne should be purple.”
“Okay, I can do that Lady of the Daisies.” He said and it would’ve sounded weird if anyone else would’ve said it. “Purple,” his lips lingered on the word.
I felt the presence of his mouth near my ear, “What about me?” His warm breath brushed my cheek and moved the small whispers of hair on my face to touch against the corner of my eyes.
“You’ll be,” I waited. I didn’t want to stick him with a silly name, so I thought long and hard. “How about the prince of the, ummm, trees?”
“What if I want to be a king?” He asked, closer to my face.
“Then be a king,” I was confident in my rebuttal.
“Okay, I’m a king and you’re a lady.” Riley whispered, spinning the rope in his palm, in turn, spinning me. “Come back this time tomorrow and I promise your throne will be purple.”
He caught the tire in his hands, halting the motion, my sneakers grazed the ground, kicking up clouds of dusty soil.
“Okay.” I sprung up from the throne and turned to him. “This time tomorrow.”
He tipped an imaginary hat and I did my best curtsy. “Safe travels to you Lady of the Daisies.”
“Safe painting to you Prince of the Trees,” popping up from my curtsy.
“King,” he corrected with a wink.
“Apologies,” my cheeks lit up. “King.”
Now I was back, swinging in our freshly purple painted throne. He was walking to me, with hand in his pocket, and his other hand griping a bundle of weeds. He got closer and I saw, they were flimsy daisies he was holding, with a purple ribbon tied about their stems.
My eyes got brighter, my face lit up, and my heart skipped down the sidewalk of my chest, pounding against my ribs. I felt my head throbbing, I thought from the spinning, then I realized, as the sun flooded in and brought Riley in its wake, that I was dizzy because I had fallen down into a bustling vortex of smiles and daisies and purple paint, I had fallen madly and deeply, for him. King of the Trees.



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