I have changed names a little. Let me know If you like the previous names. I will edit it 🙂
Friendships which children huddle each other stand the test of time. They will guard forever each other’s secrets.
This is because it is difficult for children to break their promises: to adult eyes their honesty is enviable. I was so sure that the secret that I and Charles we sharing would have been safe for eternity.
I smiled to myself satisfied, because my plan was carried out exactly as I had imagined.
I hesitated a lot, but at the end I had won and Charles had been a less formidable opponent than I thought: he should had to undertake more to reach my level of wits!
<< Chris, what are you laughing at? >>.
<< Eh? See Charles, for this: because we’ve just become friends. I’m glad! >>.
I certainly could not tell him what I was really thinking! So, after having shot such a falsehood, I realized one thing: this was the first time in which I became friend with someone for convenience.
Charles looked at me in awe and with a defiant look:
<< Chris, you’re laughing again >>.
<< Come on, what’s wrong?! By the way, Charles …>.
The question came to me spontaneously and, since we were among friends and no one was listening to us, no frills courtesy I asked him:
<< But, what were you doing here? >>.
Didn’t seem like to have seen him in the ballroom: if he would had been there before, being the prince’s third son they surely would have introduced him to me.
So he was having nothing to do with the ballet which was taking place in the hall.
<< I came to read a book >>.
<< To read? >>.
Judging by his answer, I realized that he must have escaped from the party too.
Looking closer I realized that all this time he had held in his hands a thick book with a red cover, perhaps illustrated.
I looked around: we were in the dark, in the garden, because the sun had already set long ago, and it was barely possible to distinguish our feet in the moonlight.
<< How can you read? >>.
<< I can not read anything because … it’s dark >>, Charles replied sadly.
Just the answer I expected.
<< Yeah.. I see… >>.
Probably he had come here to read during the day and thought to come back again in the evening, without realizing that with no light he would not been able to read a single word. He was just a baby! I was almost about to smile.
<< Listen, Charles >>.
I thought that this should have been the right moment to teach him a bit of label:
<< Would you please give me that book for a moment? >>.
<< Why? Can you read it even if it’s dark? >>.
<< Charles, keep in mind what I am about to tell you: knowing how to read is not the only talent which can be exercised through books! >>.
I set the volume on my head and began to make turns, making the wheel with the skirt of my dress and laughing defiantly: the book had not moved a centimeter!
<< See Charles! Books can also be used for that! >>.
<< Wow!!! >>.
It was already the second applause I received that day: I was very proud to have demonstrated to Charles that I was a well-educated girl.
I took the opportunity to show him one last thing which I learned from Marie.
<< Listen Charles >>.
<< What, Chris? >>.
I returned the book holding out my hand:
<< We can hear music from here also… what about to dance? >>.
<< What? >>, he asked incredulously, staring at my outstretched hand.
Then he looked down, mortified.
<< I cannot dance already, I… >>.
<< But I can! >>.
In front of his bad attitude, I decided to take the initiative:
<< Come on, give me your hand! >>.
Even if I knew the steps and, therefore, I knew how to dance, being seven years old only I was not allowed to perform in public, such in a party like the current one, for example: however, here in the garden, we were safe and sound. In the end we were not doing anything wrong: I just wanted to test my skills with a dancer “to my height”!
Encouraged by me, Charles stretched out his hand fearful: I shook it with ease.
<< And one, and two, and one two three! >>.
Following the rhythm of the music coming from the hall and imagining that there was Marie to beat the clock with her hands, I drove Charles with the first step.
I was not satisfied: neither our steps nor our breath were in synchrony, and the result was definitely ungraceful. It was all Charles fault who did not know how to move.
<< Ohh come on, Charles! >>.
<< I told you that I can not dance!!! >>, Charles said firmly, looking me in the eyes.
In fact he was right: how could a 5 years old child dance! Sighing I kept guiding him.
<< Sorry, you’re right. I was wrong to compel you! >>.
<< Watch out! We are falling!! >>.
Speaking and dancing together made us lose balance – which was already precarious – and, together, we fell into a bloomed flowerbed.
<< …… >>.
<< … ouch… >>.
We stood belly upwards, speechless and stunned.
Oh God!!! What if a member of the royal family would got injured, because of me??
I do not know why, but almost without realizing it I began to laugh out loud: not with my usual vulgar way of doing, but more gently. It was a genuine laugh, an expression of joy which I felt like getting on the bottom of the stomach.
<< Ahahahahahahaha, hilarious, ahahahahahahahahah! >>.
Carried by my amusement, Charles began also laughing his socks off: our naive laughter echoed in the garden. I don’t know how to explain what had just happened, the fact is that we found it too funny to be able to hold us back. We kept laughing that way, lying on the floral mantle.
After I do not know how many minutes, maybe 2 or 3, we finally managed to stop and get up. With my hands I wiped dirt.
<< So, bye Charles. I must go now >>.
I checked no dirt was left on my dress and no leaves were still in my hair, and with a quick comb I put the latter back in order.
<< … Are you leaving? >>.
<< Yes. See you Charles! >>.
I tried not to make me soften from the sadness expressed by his voice. I could not stay there anymore: my father would soon have come for me and, at that point, all my efforts to look the perfect daughter who he wished would have been vain.
I began to move away from the garden with a firm step, directed to the ballroom, not caring about the sorrow which I was causing to my new friend.
<< Hey Chris! >>.
I felt again his voice calling behind:
<< We will meet again, right? >>
In front of that hopeful question I answered with a smile:
<< You can be sure! >>.
Although I knew that he was a member of the royal family, I turned to him proudly, widening the shoulders. My certainty was based on a very precise reflection: being the daughter of a duke and having the same age as the young prince, we would certainly meet again in the future.
Also, Charles and I were linked by a much deeper fate, perhaps dating back to our previous lives, those described in “The Maze of Destiny.”
<< Do not forget it next time we meet, Charles! I am Christina Noir, sole heir of the ducal family Noir, and your friend! >>.
After getting laid off as well, I moved on and walked toward the ballroom.
Without being seen by anyone I came into the hall, still repeating in my head the name of my new friend.
Third son of the royal family, blue blood was flowing in him. He could be one of three men who, in my previous life, have been linked to Mishley.
<< Or he could just be my betrothed! >>.
Charles Eduard could also be the betrothed of the wicked daughter of the Duke, who was me: Christina Noir.
Since that story’s images – mostly dating from the mid-10s – were ruined, I had not realized it immediately, but when I heard his name i remembered all.
Charles and I, as decided by our families, were promised to each other and, as recounted in “The Maze of Destiny”, this would have represented an obstacle to the love between him and Mishley. In the book was also written that I would have killed myself with poison after the marriage between the two. May it be that the meeting of that night with Charles could have changed our fortunes?
I smiled thinking back to his happy face when I told him we certainly would have met again.
Maybe even I would have never been able to change fate but, for some reason, at that time I felt so happy.
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