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The Princess and Her Meadow
“Princess! Princess! Come back here, please! Princess Lily, come back!” My maid-servant, Isis was running after me as I escaped another morning tea with the king and queen.
“Princess Lily, please!” Isis breathlessly called out, but I continued running. I pity her, but
I pity myself more. I just could not stand another boring moment with them. I couldn’t stand listening to all their boring talks about what’s right and wrong for a princess or about their political dramas, or about the upcoming war with the Martian kingdom or whatever that kingdom’s name was. I mean, I could just skip all the dull adult stuffs and ride on my own white stallion, “Horse”, to my meadow.
My meadow was my sanctuary. There can never be a meadow as enchanting and beautiful as my meadow. There were hydrangeas in one side, on another were shrubs of roses and one another side were calla lilies and orchids. There were lilies-of-the-valley and clovers all over the vast land too. Flowers aren’t the only ones beautiful in this place.
You could hear the sweetest orchestra here; birds were chirping, the leaves swishing with the wind and the silent flutters of colorful butterflies. Then the wind, yes, let’s not forget about the cold and warm wind… it was comforting. I breathed in the freshness of the place.
When I discovered this meadow 3 years ago, I never would have thought this meadow would become as beautiful and as close to me as it is to me right now. I’ll do anything and everything to protect this. I’ll sacrifice everything for this meadow.
I came home 3 hours after lunch, just in time for the afternoon tea.
Afternoon tea at the palace meant lots of cupcakes and that meant there was no king to deal with, he’d be in his library. At least, I’d have to deal with my mother’s ramblings only and get to enjoy all the delicious treats. I headed to my room to change. I noticed the door was slightly opened when I passed by and I accidentally heard their business inside. It was the king and Marcus, our army’s first in command. I know that it was wrong, but it wasn’t my fault, they left the door open.
“Look for a place where we could camp our soldiers for the war, Marcus.” The king’s voice was as usual calm and full of authority.
“I already found one, sire.” Marcus uttered. I had a certain feeling where it was, but I still was
hoping I was wrong.
“Where is it?” The king asked.
“At the meadow beyond the palace forest…” Marcus spoke the words I shouldn’t have heard. “As of now, it is still full of flowers but soon if you shall already permit us, that would become a bare land where we could build our camp. That would be a perfect place. It’s away the palace and away the people’s villages…” I saw the king nodding, agreeing to what he was saying.
“No!” I suddenly barged into the room and protested, “That place can’t be your camp…” Marcus and the king looked my way, wondering.
“Why are you here, Lily?” The king asked.
“Your door was open and I heard what you’re planning… That place… it’s sacred and it shouldn’t be used for some soldier camp… I won’t allow it…” This was the first time I talked to him like this. I mean this was the first time I ever talked to him; all I say before him is a yes or a no... or I simply nod before him. I never thought, I had this much courage in front of him. I mean, he’s the king.
“Princess Lily, you do not know that place… It’s beyond the palace forest you couldn’t have reached that place yet.” Marcus thought he knew everything.
“Just because it is beyond the palace forest; it does not mean I haven’t reached that meadow Marcus…” My eyes were fierce and fixed on the two of them, at the same time pleading for my father to spare that place.
“This is none of your concerns, Lily. As what you have said and have always reiterated, politics and ruling stuffs are matters that do not concern you…” The king sounded stricter now. He was challenging me; I knew he was.
“This isn’t political stuff, father… we’re talking about my meadow…” I had to make my point, but they were not hearing me at all; they never had and never will.
The king threw me out of the library and had ordered me to join the afternoon tea with the best possible graces I ought to have as a princess because the queen had.
Neither the tea nor my manners were my concern as of the moment. I just could not allow those soldiers or anyone else destroy her beautiful meadow…
“Princess Lily, the queen and the chairman of the committee on peace talks are at the palace garden waiting for you.” Isis informed as I thoughtlessly walked pass her.
“I see…” I sighed. Isis just looked at me in wonder. She always does.
When I got to the garden, the queen and John Sweis, the chairman of the committee on peace talks, had already been talking and eating my favorite blue berry shortcake tarts, but that wasn’t my concern. Soundlessly and gracefully, I bowed before them and forced a weak smile.
“Princess Lily, I’ve heard you’ve been very bored in the palace…” John uttered casually, flashing that sweet smile that could melt anyone’s heart away. We went to the same college before and he was our school’s heartthrob. However, his smile didn’t melt my heart away.
“Well, you heard right, John… but, I usually go horseback riding. You should join once. There’s a good place I’d like to show you.” I invited him as I took my seat next to the queen. She was still smiling as ever.
“That would be nice…” This was the first time the queen ever agreed with me. At least, I did something good in front of them today.
“I’d love to princess. It is with great honor and pleasure that I accept that invitation. Probably, after the upcoming war… I still have a lot of things to do… discuss with a lot of other kingdoms… the usual…” John said.
“You still have a lot of things to do despite that a war is about to be broken? Peace talks are over with the enemy, what possibly could keep you busy?” I queried. John smiled and the queen’s right brow was slightly arched up.
“Talks with other kingdoms to become our comrades are not over yet, Princess Lily.” The queen answered.
“Well, that’s quite a work, John…” I answered as I grabbed a piece of tart. Just then, Isis was running in. She whispered something into my mother’s ear. I saw her nodding, still regal and expressionless. She had to excuse herself for a while. There was an important messenger she had to face.
“Gosh, Lily, why did you suddenly sound so… uhm… let me think… formal?” John said.
“I don’t know what you mean, Mr. Sweiss… I’ve always been like this…” I answered. “You were the one sounding all diplomatic, as though you were here for some peace talk… calling me princess all of a sudden?” He laughed.
“You never fail to impress me, Princess Lily…” He was grinning.
“We were in front of the queen. I could not disrespect her. So what place was that you were saying? Could that possibly be your room?”
“Shut up… horses don’t get to enter a princess’ room.” I uttered weakly.
“I thought your boredom could get me there now.” John uttered.
“Stop being a pervert, Mr. Peace talk.” I smiled lazily at him. We were quiet for a while. I don’t know what was running in his head, but I know what was running in mine now; my meadow and how I could save it from Marcus and his soldiers.
“I came here to see you just before I go… It would be a long journey, but I know I’m coming back after the war… you’re still going to show that place you were saying…” John said, breaking the silence. I looked at him baffled.
“Had this been what’s running on your head just a while ago?” I asked.
“It’s been running my head before I came here… yesterday, the other day, the other week….” John uttered.
“Exaggeration…” This time I giggled.
“No… well, probably, but really… I’m looking forward to that ride somewhere with you after the war.” John said.
“After the war? John…” I took a deep breath. “I don’t know if I could still show you the meadow after the war.”
I saw John’s expression change. “Is there an expiration date to your offer? Does that mean you really don’t want to hang out with me?”
“No…” I immediately denied.
“Then what is it?” Jhon uttered.
“Is there something wrong?”
“After the war, it’s going to be destroyed…” I found my tears rolling out of my eyes; they were tears I never knew were even there.
“We’ll tell the soldiers to protect that.” I felt his arms around me, comforting. “You’re the princess remember.”
“They’re the ones who’ll destroy it…” He was still hugging me.
“They’re going to use it as their camp for the war. I don’t know how to save it…”
“Anything could be resolved with peace talks.” He winked at me as he wiped my tears with his handkerchief. Suddenly, Marcus came in.
“I didn’t know flirting with the princess is part of your job as chairman on the committee of peace talks, John.” Marcus sourly insulted John; he always does and as usual John remained cool.
“Jealous?” John had let go of me and had stood up, facing Marcus with his signature smirk.
“No…” He looked at me, hesitant. His fierce eyes met my own fierce eyes. “I don’t like Princess Lily.” John giggled.
“I didn’t imply anything like that, Marcus.” John teased him all the more. Marcus’ glares were turned to John now. Then, the queen came back with the king. Immediately, they dropped of their intense
“So, Sir Marcus is joining us for the rest of the afternoon tea too! That’s delightful!” The queen gleefully uttered.
“It’s my honor to join you, my queen.” Marcus bowed. It was a formal afternoon tea, but my thoughts were not there. John had told me that anything could be resolved with peace talks, but there was no way to stop the soldiers into marching their way to my meadow to camp. My word against the king’s orders, there was no chance. The only solution was to stop the war, but how?
It was a week before the war was to be broken. The dawn was singing peace and tranquility, despite the threat that was coming. “Isis, I’m going out early.” Isis was surprised to see me in the kitchen that early. ”I need to bring 2 sandwiches, a bottle of hot chocolate and a bottle of cold water.”
“Princess, it’s not safe to go outside…” Isis uttered.
“Thank you for the worry, but I’m going to be okay.” I uttered, but I wasn’t really sure if I believed what I said too. Well, who cares?
“Just prepare what I need.”
“Would you be back for afternoon tea, princess?” Isis asked.
“I don’t know… probably.” I answered her as she handed me the bag where she placed my food. Then
I was off with “Horse.” I passed through the forest and then I reached my meadow, my sanctuary. It was beautiful and still not tampered. Marcus said, they were going to clear the land of my meadow this afternoon. I won’t allow that to happen. I can’t let them harm this. I wanted to linger a little longer here, but I still had something to do. “I’ll not let those men turn you into a den of filthy soldiers.” I whispered to the wind as I swiftly rode off. I was heading to the railway station.
I was catching the very first
flight of the day.
“Good morning, princess!” It was Thomas, the train’s conductor.
“Good morning Thomas!” I greeted him. “Where are you actually heading, princess?”
“Where this rail end.” I smiled. I saw his brows crease into a frown, wondering.
“I know.” I assured him it was okay. I told him, I’ll stay at the cart for the animals. I wanted to stay with horse. The cart was dark, filthy and it smells like animals.
I opened the cart and saw how beautiful the lands and trees were as the train swiftly passed by, but this was nothing compared to my meadow.
I reached the place I never knew ad ever would have imagined to be my destination. I bid my goodbye to Thomas.
He was hesitant to let me go, but I insisted. As the train hooted away and I was left all alone, I came to realize how different this place was from my place. It felt deserted and every home was closed. I heard the sound of the soldiers marching and their loud chanting. I knew right away that they were already in war mode.
I looked around. We are cloaked under the same blue atmosphere; I know I’m still standing on a land connected to where I came from; this is the same air I breath, but it feels like I came to a whole new world out here.
I felt scared, but I was courageous enough to lead “Horse” to the palace gates. I don’t know where this courage came from, but it was there. “Who are you?” The guards blocked me with their jousting sticks. I took one deep breath and heaved a sigh.
“I am Princess Lily from the West State Kingdom.” I sat regally on my horse.
“The princess of the West State kingdom, you say?” I was now dragged before their king. He was in every inch, different from my king. “Have they become so desperate? Have they turned into cowards that the king has sent his only daughter to beg for my mercy?”
“I’m sorry if this shall taint your pride, but I came here on my own accord. The king, my father, is not a coward and neither are our soldiers. They are in every way ready to war with you. And I don’t call this begging, sire…This is peace talks.” All I had was to stop this war to save my meadow. “I need you to stop this war, sire…”
Silence. And then, the men surrounding me blurted into laughter. Why do men always find women’s bravery funny?
“How sweet! The little princess trying to be so brave to save his father and their kingdom…” He smirked evilly, but it didn’t look good on him, no, not the way an evil smirk would look good on John.
Yes, John… It was John who gave me an idea to do this whole peace talk thing and now I’m here. He was good at this but was not able to succeed… How would I?
My heart was thudding fast and loud. How I wish there was a switch to turn it off. I had to turn it off to feel at ease… “This isn’t a joke, sire. Please do take me seriously.”
He was grinning menacingly now.
“Well, princess, what would I get when I stop this war?”
“What do you want?” I asked. I saw a glint of evil in his eyes.
“I want you…” He uttered. Now what did I get myself into?
“M…M-Me?” I stammered. My eyes wanted to look away, but I couldn’t. He read what I was thinking.
“I’m sorry if this shall upset your vanity, but I want to take your life…” His evil voice echoed in my thoughts, drumming through every wall of my skull…
It hit me straight to my head, penetrating through my skull and exploding inside my brain. I looked around; these were people I never thought would be the last people I’d see on my deathbed. I closed my eyes…darkness. Then, I was back at my meadow. I was running around freely; I lay down on the soft grass and surrounded myself with different flowers. I listened to the music of the nature as the wind embraced me under its arms.
“Lily! Lily! Lily!” I heard Isis’ voice. I felt a vehement shaking and felt water dripping. How dare she do this to me?
“Lily!” I couldn’t be mistaken; it was John’s voice.
“Lily!” Marcus called me too. How dare he be so personal in addressing me. I’m a princess.
I opened my eyes. I found myself in a room that was all white. Could this be what heaven looks like? But then I saw three faces, they were a blur but I recognized them; Isis, John and Marcus, no doubt.
“Lily, are you okay?” Isis asked.
“Why am I here? Has the war stopped? Did I make it stop?” I sounded frantic. I looked at John and Marcus with a smile. “You’re here, so that means the war has not broken… I’m so happy to have saved my meadow and the West state kingdom…”
The 3 of them looked astounded and blank, as if they knew nothing about what I was talking about and as if I was talking nonsense like a lunatic.
“She really is not okay.” Marcus uttered. Obviously, or I wouldn’t be here in what looks like a hospital room.
“We better call the doctor.” Isis said and was gone.
“Lily, do you still know me?” John asked, worried, as he stroked the hair on my forehead away from my face.
“Of course I do, John.” I uttered and turned to face Marcus, “I recognize Marcus here and Isis too.”
“Thank goodness the golf ball that hit your head hadn’t caused an amnesia.” John heaved a sigh of relief as he hugged me tightly.
“Huh? What did you did you say hit my head?” I asked.
“You were hit by a golf ball this morning when you were serving tea to the guests in the veranda.” Marcus informed. “It’s good that it didn’t cause you amnesia, but it seems like it turned you into a lunatic.”
“Oh princess… It’s going to be alright…” John was caressing my face now, trying to comfort me as my face creased into a frown.
Bits of pictures came into my mind. There was that vast green land I’d always see every day; no, it was nothing like my meadow. There were no flowers, just tall trees. There was that familiar scent of brewed coffee, green tea, cinnamon powder, yes, it was a café. Then I realized something.
I looked at the two men on my bedside; they wore the same white polo, black slacks and black necktie. I stood up and gazed at myself through the mirror. There was no crown, just my bandage. My hair wasn’t in luxurious waves, just a disheveled hay stack. There were no fine jewelries that shouted prominence just a simple stud on my ears. Then I looked at my attire; it’s nothing like any of my couture-like gowns; instead I wore a white three folds polo accented with a black necktie and a high waist short shorts.
I looked at my name plate that says, Lily Schmitz, waitress.
Then, the doctor came in, bringing in the golfer who had hit my head with his golf ball and had been responsible enough to bring me to the hospital, pay for my bills and other medications needed for my recovery. I was surprised to see him. He looked exactly like the king of the Eastern Kingdom, but he wasn’t anything close to that horrific nightmare.
“I deeply apologize for what happened, Ms. Schmitz. By the way, I am King East.” He uttered. I weakly smiled.
I insisted that I was already okay and I wanted to go home already, but my friends just won’t take that. I had a couple of tests and was discharged after the results showed that there was nothing wrong with me.
Well, I’m Lily Schmitz, a waitress at the West State Country Club. However, as soon as my eyes close I transform into Princess Lily, the princess of the West State Kingdom. And I have a meadow, the most beautiful and enchanting meadow one would ever see. And it lies where reality ends.