I paced up and down my bedroom thinking and rehearsing a million ways to tell my parents about my love whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
The night before, while I walked the royal chambers, I heard my father talk about a prospective suitor for me to my mother. It was a prince from the neighboring province. I knew my father wasn't even thinking about my best interest. He only wanted to seal the union just to extend his borders and create allies.
Then I thought about the love of my life as I settled in my dresser. The way his smile melted my insides. He wasn't royal but everything about him made me feel like a queen in our own world. He was tender and always made me feel more than a woman. With him by my side, I would conquer the world.
I looked at the smile that had adorned my face in the mirror just from thinking about him. I combed my dark long hair, wore my best confidence, and proceeded to my father's chambers.
“Father! I do not wish to marry anyone but Suli. He is the one my heart yearns for”. I stood in front of my father with my shoulders raised high.
He was looking down at his feet the whole time. He rose his head, his face expressionless. Sparing me only a glance, he said, “I see this juvenile madness hasn't left you. I made a mistake by letting you go on with that peasant boy for a long time. Do you think he has anything to offer you? A princess?” my father rose from his throne to face me. Disgust was written all over his face.
“No father! You are wrong. He has everything I need in a man and more. If you'd just listen to me this one time, you'll see that I'm making the right choice”. I was desperately searching my father's eyes for some compassion.
“Guards! Take her in. I must end this nonsense. Summon that peasant by dawn. He shall answer to the king”. My father was fuming this time.
I knew exactly what that meant. It would be the end of Suli, my love. After the guards escorted me to my room, I called in my most trusted maid Zara. “It is time to see the night sky,” I said to her.
She looked at me with fear in her eyes. “ My princess, the night is dark and full of terror”.
“I know. But this beautiful sky I must see today”
Zara composed herself, bowed, and walked briskly away. Twenty minutes later, with Zara's help, I outsmarted all the palace guards and escaped.
To see the midnight sky was to be with my one true love again. I hurried to our favorite spot by the riverside to wait for him. Zara had already sent word to him but some of my father's guards got hold of the messenger first. I needed to move fast.
I sat by the water and soaked my feet in it. It felt cold and numbing. A chill ran down my spine as I heard footsteps against the sound of the birds chirping. “Could it be the guards?”
Then I felt a cold blade travel from my spine to my neck from behind. I didn't dare to move. “A beautiful princess beneath the beautiful midnight sky. Tonight, will you be mine? Confess your love here and now before the stars”.
I could feel his breath on me. He slowly withdrew his blade and held my waist lightly. I turned to face him without losing body contact. Gently, I recoiled in his arms tracing his temple. “Suli”. I cried out softly.
“Come on Bri, let's go. I sense a presence approaching”. He was scanning the river path with his eyes while tightening the grip of his sword but all I could see was my heart and protector. “Come on”.
We walked cautiously for a few minutes, to where his horse was retired. Leaning into him and resting my head on his back, I tightened my arms around him as we rode into the night.
“Where do we go from here?” I whispered.
“Wherever our love takes us to. It would be a new dawn and our new year”. He replied.