"Find the maiden, and marry her." That is the words that the bed-ridden king uttered to his only son.
The prince, devastated by the condition of his father, only held his hand. The words of the king, though it may only be said to him alone, is now a law to him.
'To make father proud.' He closed his eyes and sighed as he watched his father succumb to a sleep. A knock on the door came. "Come in."
In came the doctor, and the prince, not wanting to seem rude, smiled a small smile at the doctor and carefully let go of his father and stood up, leaving the doctor alone to give the king his daily medicine, for a chance of cure.
The prince walked down the hallway to his own room, his mind aimlessly goes back to the fair maiden.
She bowed her down at the sight of him, her hair of bright red, catching the sight of the prince himself. The maiden stood up properly and smiled at the prince kindly as the wind blow softly, then she turned around and left.
"Your majesty! We have lost the girl!" The shout of the running captain brought him back to reality, as the blonde maiden came back to his mind once again.
He looked at where the red haired maiden went, and to the glass slipper on his hand. "Your majesty?"
"Ah yes." He looked at the tired captain that he grew up with. "Rest. We'll have to look for her in the morning."
The captain nodded, bowed and left. As soon as he was gone, the prince immedieately turned around and ran after the red-haired, though the possibilites of seeing her once again was little to no chance at all.
Knock knock knock
The prince looked up, confused for he was still in a hallway. There, he saw the red-haired maiden, the one he failed to chase after the night before, and to his surprise, she is wearing a maid's uniform.
Though quite filthy was her clothes, it did not fail to disguise to beauty of the maiden, and it did not also fail to make the prince fall for her. The prince unconsciously smiled at her, and she smiled back, and bowed. "Emilia?"
Both were surprised at the sudden voice. Then another maid arrived, one with a little trolley with equipments for cleaning. "Emilia, dear. Will please help me clean up the ro-"
The older maid stopped right in her sentence after seeing the prince and bowed. "Oh my, good morning your majesty."
The older maid bowed, then the younger maid. The prince nodded and smiled at the both of them as they stood up properly, and the prince took a few steps closer. "Emilia is it? May I spe-"
"Your majesty! We have found the girl!"
"Find the maiden, and marry her."
The words of his father echoed inside his head and reminded him of his father's request of him. The prince looked at the two whispering maids before him, and he nodded, his eyes lingering at the younger red-haired for a second longer.
"Where is she?" The prince continued walking in a faster pace, the captain catching up to the prince to follow him. "She is in a far household that now belongs to her stepmother."
"We shall go there at once." Soon, the prince, along with the captain, are now riding their horses, the prince disguised as one of his men. They are now on their way to the blonde maiden's house.
Once they have arrived, the stepmother opened the door for them. The prince, still in his disguise, did not move to get inside the house and waited. After a few minutes, the duke and the captain has left the house, with the stepmother sending them off, a devilish smile on her face.
"Lavender's blue dilly-dilly,
The soft singing has been heard, making each and everyone stop on their motions. The prince looked closely at the duke, testing him whether he will be loyal to the royal family.
As soon as the duke and the captain was done arguing, the prince started talking, and the men beside him removed his disguise, making both the stepmother and the duke freeze, and stiffly bow.
The prince dismounted his horse and went inside with the glass slipper, waiting for the blonde maiden in the living room. But as he stare at the glass slipper, all he could imagine, was the red-haired maiden, whom he had found out was one of the maid.
That's when he realized he should make an important decision, should he follow his heart? Or fulill his father's possibly last wish of him.
Hard it was for him to decide, but he ignored what his heart says, for he knows, it is too late for him already. The prince turned around, and saw the blonde maiden.
Fall in love with her.
He willed himself to fall for her, he convinced himself that he is in love with her, and the acting was made realistically, but not in the way he wanted, but in the way his whole body desired it to actually be.
He smiled at the red-haired maiden and held her hand, then he blinked and the illusion is gone, and back was the blonde maiden. Cinderella.
And at the balcony, he stood with Cinderella, and kissed her, making the two officially married. They both smiled at the crowd, but his smile disappeared, as he saw, right in the middle of the crowd, was the red-haired maiden, and the way she looked sadly at him made his heart drop.
But the way Cinderella looked at him, makes him guilty, for he knows, that if he ever starts to follow his heart right now, it would hurt Cinderella.
He knew then, at that very moment, the reason why he is called as 'Prince Charming', for he is someone that charms women, and he is charmed by women, but never to a single maiden. He knew, that he will never be satisfied with his own life.
© Mae Uy, 2018. All rights reserved.