The day they came to tell my best friend, Nalia we were in the garden looking at the map, try to find the secret door of King Kelman. We found the map earlier today in the library, after I knocked a suit of armor on the bookcase holding a whole bunch of scrolls.
“Carsen!” Nalia yelled at me, but not too loud considering we were in the library.
“I was just admiring the armor when it decided to attack the bookcase,” I explained to her.
“Stop being such a boy,” she said in an I’m messing with you voice.
“But I am a boy and your parent’s dearest friend’s son,” I said, as we took the scroll out of the library as fast as we could so, the crass librarian wouldn’t notice us.
“Yeah, thats why I’m friends with you,” she said with sarcasm in her voice.
While we were searching the castle walls for the secret entrance, Cornelius, Nalia’s steward came over and said, “Your highness, your parents request your presents in the great hall,” in a royal accent.
Nalia got up, straightened her dress and left with Cornelius. She looked back as she walked away, her hair blowing in a mess like usually.
“I’m not sure how long they’ll want me,” she said.
“I’ll find you afterward and we can look some more,” I responded.
The odd thing is that her parents are always busy. She hardly ever gets to see them except for special occasions and maybe on occasion when they aren’t very busy so, whatever they want her for must be pretty important. So, while I waited I decided to browse the castle halls. Within an hour of walking the halls I heard why Nalia’s parents wanted to see her.
I was walking through the one of the old castle hallways when i heard one of the maids say to the other, “Did you hear about the princess?” asked the first maid.
“Yes! I can’t believe princess Nalia isn’t really a princess and her name isn’t really Nalia, either, and that she didn’t even know the whole time she lived here,” the second maid said to the other.
“Yea, I know I can hardly believe it. She is leaving as soon as later today.”
“Do you know where she is being taken.”
She was about to answer when Cornelius came over to them and said, “You two, go help the….. princess pack her bags,” Even though he ordered those maids, I could still hear something in his voice; a sound of unsureness, almost sad or disappointed.
Then I started to think: I guess that makes sense. Nalia never really was like most princesses, she was much clumsier, her hair was always unkempt, and her dress never perfectly straight… So what would that make her real name, or where she is really from… She must be devastated, to know now that everything she has ever known was never actually hers, that she was never who she thought she was… Oh my gosh she was never who I thought she was, but that doesn’t change who she is inside. She is still my friend, no matter her name or identity… I need to talk to her before she leaves.
I left the hallway to see if I could find her. At first, I decided that it might be a good idea if I walk around the castle to see if I can find a carriage waiting, but there was no carriage. So, I thought I’d go up and check her room, but she wasn’t there either so, I went over to the window to see if I could get a better view. When I looked out the window I saw her coming out of the door on her way to the carriage by the palace stables. The carriage she was walking toward was a simple conveyance, but it was nothing compared to the fancy royal carriage drawn by four white horses bearing a girl that looked just like….Nalia, but at the same time nothing like her. This girl was as graceful as a deer walking in the woods, her hair fell smoothly down her back, she looked like the perfect princess.
I rushed out the door,I have to talk to Nalia before she leaves. I went down the stairs as fast as I possibly could. By the time I got out of the palace doors she was already in her carriage. The carriage had started to leave, I tried to run as fast as I could and even yell, “Nalia! Nalia!” but the carriage never stopped and I guess she must not have heard me. I stopped running and bent over with my hands on my knees to catch my breath. “Good-bye, Nalia,” I thought as the carriage road off, for the person inside I might never come in contact with again.
I decided to go back to the garden and walk the landscape but, before I had a chance, Cornelius came up to me and said,“Um young man, the King and Queen request your presents in the great hall before dinner.”
So, before dinner I went to the great hall. It was a good thing they asked me there to talk, I had a few questions to ask them about the whole situation. When I entered through the giant, heavy, decorative wooden doors, both the King and Queen were at the end of the aisle. I started down the aisle, royal blue colored carpet under my feet as I walk. Then I was standing before them. They both wore very nice clothes, not simple but, not extravagant. They both sat by each other both in their own royal chair, embellished with royal blue embroidery.
“Your highnesses,” I said as I bowed before them, “I had a few questions.”
“Yes? Well, we thought we would let you know that Sinda has left, and that Nalia, the true princess has arrived. You will get to meet her tonight at dinner,” said the King in his deep kingly voice.
“Is that her real name? Sinda?” I asked out of curiosity.
“Yes, dear. She was sent back to her home in Treb, to live with her aunt,” the Queen said in a light, caring voice.
“Does that answer your question?” asked the King
“All except one, why was there a false princess? Why did you need Na….I mean Sinda to take the place as princess until now?”
“Well, my dearest friend’s son, according to the oracle [(which is an all knowing woman who gives God’s prophecy for one)] there was a chance that the princess could die, murdered, before her sixteenth birthday. We had to make sure this didn’t happen. We sent Nalia to a convent to be raised by nuns but, at the same time learned what a princess would learn in normal circumstances. Then we sent two wizards out to find an infant that would look just look just like Nalia and they came back with Sinda,” explained the King.
“Ok well thank you. See you at dinner,” I said and left for dinner.
I met the real Nalia, she was nice, intelligent, graceful, beautiful, and confident, but she wasn’t Sinda. The truth is I missed her… a lot. We’ve known each other forever and this is the first time we’ve ever been apart, not able to find each other on the castle grounds somewhere and I love her. I missed her, I missed everything about her. It had been weeks since she left and I’ve been so lonely. I decided to ask if I could get a carriage to Treb to find her. They allowed me but, not at first. A t first the King said, “No, why would you want to do that, she is a mere peasant in a small town?”
“I have known her forever, we are best friends and I miss her soooo much,” I pleaded
“No,” the King said dry and flat.
“You had her summoned here to be raised as a princess, her not knowing who she really was, to protect the real one so that if the princess was to get murdered it wouldn’t be the real one it would be Sinda, my best friend and the person I LOVE!!!!” I proclaimed.
“Ok then, Carsen you must go to Treb and find Sinda, if and when you find her bring her back so that the two of you may wed,” The Queen proclaimed herself. Then said with a smile, “It will be a grand bash of a wedding when you return, good luck!”
“Thank you, thank you I appreciate your amazingly grateful kindness, your majesty.”
I left for Treb the next day in a carriage not much different from the one Sinda left in. The trip took three long days but, when we arrived we didn’t even know. We arrived early morning, the carriage driver had to ask, a man leaning on a small hut’s wall, “Is this Treb?”
“Yes. Oh, let me guess, by the looks of that fancy carriage you want to see the fancy royal girl that rolled in here a few weeks ago. Its on the left with the garden in the front,” said the man, and off we went. The carriage stopped again within a few seconds. I got out and told the driver to to go park and that we would leave later tonight. I walked up to the door and knocked, the old lite by a flickering street light. A middle aged woman answers the door.
“You look as if you came from the royals,”said the woman surprised.
“Is this the home of Sinda?” I asked.
“Sinda!” the woman yelled into the house, then walked back into the house.
From a door in the back of the small cottage came a girl. She wore a filthy dress and looked as if she’d been worked to the bone.
“Carsen?!!” she said with both excitement and confusion. She threw her arms around me with a large embrace. “I’ve missed you so much,” she said into my shoulder as we hugged. She let go and we stopped hugging.
“I’ve missed you, too,” I said then took both of her hands in mine, “But I came here for not only to see you but ask you something. You see we’ve known each other ever since we were very small, and our recent separation made me realize that, Sinda you are the most beautiful, wonderful girl I’ve ever met. No perfect princess could ever match what you have. I love you and never want to be that far away from you ever again. Will you marry me?” I said with all my heart and soul.
It was an amazing wedding, even the King had fun. Sinda’s aunt got to come to the wedding, too and got to where a very extravagant, beautiful dress; something she has never gotten to wear before. Carsen and Sinda got to live in the palace and ended up having three beautiful children. Although, they still haven’t found King Kelman’s secret door.