The Lady of the Moon
I Love New YorkWhen we arrived in the mundane world it was nothing like what I expected. For one, I didn’t see humans with overgrown facial hair clambering around wearing animal pelts. Some more unexpected things were the tall buildings, littered roads, metal machines driving cleanly shaven humans around, and the smoke that filled my lungs and burned my eyes as I walked. The smoke was everywhere.
Eventually after walking around cluelessly, without being able to track her, we decided to ask where we were.
“Oh, Hun, rough night last night? Probably too much to drink, huh? Well you’re in the fine city of New York, New York! Hope you can find whatever you’re looking for, dear.” A kindly old woman with wispy white hair said when we asked. She patted our shoulders and gave us sad smiles.
At first I didn’t think we would, but then I heard a familiar girl scream out of a high window above us, down at the old lady.
“Listen, Mams, I’m going out tonight with Latisha. Oh Mams, who are you talking to? Remember, no talking to strangers.” The voice was Cariania’s.
Before the old lady had a chance to respond, Arthur yelled up to Cariania, “Sorry about the bother! We were just asking this nice lady where we were! We’ve had a confusing night and it turns out we’re a long way from home! I don’t know what we’ll do!”
The surprise was so apparent on Cariania’s face that I could have laughed. Luckily, the old lady intervened before I did, “Oh, Hun, can’t we let these nice fellows stay with us for one night? They look like they’ve been through a lot.”
“I… uh…” Cariania stumbled with her words and soon enough the woman seemed to take her silence as an answer.
“Great!” She cheered, “I need to go get some groceries, but I’ll take them up there first.”
It seems like this mission was going to be easier than I thought.
I was a stupid, careless girl for going home for even an
hour. Now six boys from Ambar are in my living room talking to my adoptive mother. Just great!
When I talked in, I tried to act natural, I could talk to these guys when Mams left. That’s what I call my adoptive mom: Mams. It was weird being in front of these guys wearing jean shorts and a tank top that said ‘I love New York!’ on it. So much of my skin was showing that shouldn’t be back in the realm.
I decided that until they brought up who I was and what happened, I was going to play ignorant. I put on an awkward smile, extended my hand towards my long-lost love and said as breezily as I could, “Hey, my name is Cara. Good to see my mams has grabbed another handful of freeloaders. What’s with the clothes? Did you get wasted at a renaissance fair?”
Shock showed visibly on Arthur’s face. I think it was my New York accent that I was talking in that bugged him the most. “Hello, I’m Arthur. And yes, we got totally wasted?” Arthur said unsurely.
I winked at him and said, “You guys must have killer hangovers. I’ll go get you some Advil. Mams, here is the shopping list, we’ll be ok here. I’ll get them some decent clothes from the lost and found.”
I left the room and waited for the front door to close, signally that Mams was gone. When I walked back in everyone was staring at me, but I just sat lazily on a couch and opened my pop.
When Po finally cleared his throat I said “”Oh sorry, clothes I forgot. You guys obviously aren’t hung over, so I doubt you’ll need the painkillers.”
Arthur shot up when I was about to open the door, “Wait!” He exclaimed.
“Yes Arthur?” I asked, half hoping he would kiss me and half hoping they’d all just disappear.
“Cara, was it?” He asked, biting his lower lip, a bad habit I love about him.
I put on a smile and sweetly said, “Yes?”
“I once knew a Cariania.” He began, “I quite loved her, but it was a long time ago. Do you think there’s any chance she still feels the same way?”
I felt the tears rising in my eyes as I lamely said, “With a guy who’s as hot as you, she’d be stupid not to.”
Arthur looked really confused and was about to say something more when one of the other guys who came along started talking, “Look, girl, we don’t have time for this. Are you, or aren’t you Cariania, the Lady of the Moon, one of the two surviving Triplets of the Crown?!”
“Well when you put it so nicely,” I began but then stopped when I saw his eyes glaring at me, “Yes. You found me. Ask me what you want and then please leave. I have a party to go to tonight and Mams can’t afford to feed all of you.”
At the moment Arthur ran to me, wrapping his arms around me so tightly I thought I couldn’t breathe. When he whispered in my ear, my heart melted and I fell into his arms, “Cariania, I love you. I have always loved you.”
I felt weak, lying in his arms, and I had to stop myself from running from what made me leave my realm. I muttered into Arthur’s tunic as best as I could, “This isn’t safe for you. If Eskedeilia found out…”
We just stood there for a while, trapped in our pathetic embrace. Sure it’s not the meeting I’ve dreamed about, but I got to hold him close to me once more, and that was enough for me.
“Ok… So what now, Po?” Asked the guy who asked if I was Cariania. Wow, I really need to learn his name. “Do we bring her back?”
That made me jump which separated me from Arthur, “No!” I yelled.
When they all looked at me, utterly confused, I knew I had to explain more. “If I come back, my sister will bring even more suffering. Plus… Arthur, I assume Po told you how she convinced me to leave in the first place.”
Arthur grabbed my shoulder with one hand, and raised my chin so I was looking up at him with the other, “It is torture having you gone. I would rather fight your sister with a chance of being with you, then going back to a life of misery and regret.”
I thought for a second that he was going to kiss me, but then I remembered all of the PDA rules back home. You never kiss while others are there. It’s one of the many reasons I like human culture better.
Arthur, I can’t come back, and you can’t stay here forever, either. You can stay the night, and then I’ll show you how to get back to Ambar in the morning.” I said as one silent, single tear crawled down my face, moving so slowly, it was as if it wanted to go backward, and reunite with my eye. Arthur gently wiped in off my cheek.
Arthur started intently into my eyes and said softly, but forcefully, “I’m not leaving you now that I have you back again.”
I closed my eyes and whispered, “We’re still only 17, so you still have plenty of time to find someone else.”
Arthur’s laugh was short and without warmth, “No. Cariania, you can’t make me leave, just like I can’t make you leave.”
I tried to protest, but he just put his index finger on my lips and said, “So, I guess we need new clothes. Let’s get working.”
I returned with a big box of clothes that should fit them, and even when Arthur tried to take the box away from me, because it was obviously too large for my petite frame to carry, I just pulled away and set it on the table. I’m not a delicate little princess anymore. When we got them all dressed I had to laugh. Ambarian people look so weird in human clothing. With our perfectly symmetrical faces, and absurd colored eyes, we look barely human, and positively beautiful.
Arthur pulled me aside and looked me up and down, “Cara… what are you wearing?”
I rolled my eyes at the comment, “We’re not in Ambar anymore. This is what people wear here. I can show a little cleavage without an adult hunting me down for it. Oh, and guess what? I have legs. Long legs actually. See, now that I’m not wearing a giant dress, people can see that.”
“That’s what worries me…” Arthur muttered, looking at his feet and his cheeks turning crimson red.