(Previous post: An evening stroll)
The princess stood on the balcony of her castle watching with a smile at her kingdom below. She cast her gaze over the rolling green hills, the vibrant forests teeming with life, and the small villages in between where her people were hard at work bringing in this year’s harvest. Winter would soon be upon them and they must be ready.
Sabina was sure they would be. She believed in her people, in her kingdom, when winter comes they would want for nothing… Well almost nothing…. The prince was still gone, her prince, the love of her life… He had gone far away to war and left her alone to rule the kingdom and dream patiently of his return… Sabina sighed. She missed him, as much as she had ever missed anyone….
And then she gave her land one last longing look and suddenly there he was. Seated on a white horse as a true prince should be, triumphantly returned from a distant war, he looked up at her and she smiled when they eyes met almost crying out with delight before remembering that a princess should not act that way.
It is not real… None of it is real… It was his voice, soft and soothing in her ear. “None of it is real.” Sabina said to herself closing her eyes and feeling the fantasy melt away. When she opened them again she was Sabina, a teenage girl who lived with her mother and sister and her mother’s best friend. But no longer with Eduard. He had gone to college, he had left her alone.
She felt the tightness in her chest she usually felt when she thought of that so she went up stairs and walked in Eduard’s room and threw herself on her bed closing her eyes. His bed still smelled of him, it was faint but she could feel it. It made her smile slightly, it also made her believe that if she willed it again she might go back to her fantasy. There she might be happy. But it was hard now that she knew it wasn’t real. Sometimes lines of reality would blur itself for Sabina. It had been that way ever since she was little. Her mum would say she has a vivid imagination and so Sabina thought herself. But Eduard was more concerned, he urged her to see someone, talk to his father, he wasn’t a psychiatrist but he was a world renowned doctor, he must have know someone…
Sabina didn’t want to. She was afraid of the doctors more then her hallucinations so eventually Eduard left her alone. Still he helped her the best he could, he helped her discern what was real and what wasn’t, when ever she had a hallucination or an extremely vivid fantasy he eased her back into reality. Sometimes that was easy, but sometimes it could be painful, sometimes she couldn’t stop crying when she realized she was not in fact a princess… She didn’t have a crown or beautiful gowns, a kingdom to rule… At those times Eduard would hold her silently in his arms and let her cry it out… And she was sure that she did have a prince at least…
How could he leave her? She thought angrily. He knew she needed him… Sabina knew however Eduard wouldn’t like it if she kept gorging in self-pity so she got out of bed and went to her own room where found all the letters he had sent her since he had gone away, the letters were actually emails Sabina printed out, it would be dangerous for Eduard to send actual letters because her mum or his dad might pick them up and neither of them wanted their parents to know about their relationship, not to mention the time it would take for the actual letters to arrive.
Just reading the first one made Sabina smile again. It was so good to see his words, even if they were just written on a sheet of paper….
The next morning she found mum and Andrew in the kitchen. Her mother was busy making breakfast while Andrew was about to take his usual place at the counter, carrying a warm cup of coffee in his hand. Sabina didn’t know anyone who liked coffee as much as Eduard’s dad did. He gave Sabina a warm smile wishing her a good morning. She replied equally pleasant and went behind him to the kitchen. She noticed her mother had made a fresh batch of lemonade and she hurried to have some.
It had been nicer around the house now that both adults were retired… If only Eduard was here as well everything would have been perfect…
She was seated besides Andrew when her mother spoke.
“There is something me and Andrew were meaning to tell you and Domynika but seeing as she would probably be up late again I will tell her later…” Sabina looked at her with interest. “Me and Andrew are going away.”
“Away?” Sabina asked.
“Just for a long weekend.” Andrew said with a smile.
“Where would you go?”
“Just a small vacation. You girls would be home alone? Are you okay with that?”
“Of course we are!” Sabina said hastily. She was sure Domyinika would agree, it was a teenager’s dream, home alone for three or more days… Her mother frowned slightly at her hastiness.
“Well I talked to your aunt Rita, you can have dinner at her place tomorrow. And as for the weekend I gather you girls can cook up something on your own?”
“Sure.” Sabina said quickly before her mother had time to make any more arrangements….
“I am not going to aunt Rita’s.” Sabina’s twin told her as they were boarding the bus next morning.
“Why?” Sabina asked. Domynika just gave her a dark look and Sabina sighed. Domynika was dating Jacob Gradle now and it was no secret their cousin Maja had a crush on him. Domynika and Maja who were closest friends once now weren’t speaking, and Maja’s own twin Lena was also very hostile towards Domynika as well. Sabina knew her sister didn’t care, if nothing it often seemed their hate fueled her but she guessed she didn’t want to cause any awkwardness at their aunt and uncle’s house…
“Besides I have a chess match today. I was paired with Jacob’s little brother go figure. I am going to crush his little dreams.” Her sister added in her characteristic fashion and Sabina only smiled in response. Chess brought painful memories… It had been hers and Eduard’s game, he had been teaching her to play all last year and just as she was getting good he left… She sighed.
Sabina had a bad day at school, it didn’t help she was feeling weird all they, as if she had come to school wearing a swimsuit and nothing else… It is not real… It is not real…. She chanted inside her head.
“Sabina?” Someone asked in a polite, quite voice making her turn. It was Della, her cousin, Lena and Maja’s younger sister.
“Hey Della.” She said and tried to smile not knowing if Della would notice her outfit.
“I just wanted to remind you, you are having dinner at our place today.” Della said softly. “Where is Domynika?”
“She is not coming.” Sabina said with a sigh. “Where are your sisters?”
“Oh they are already in the bus.” Della said.
“Okay then we can go there as well.” Sabina said somewhat annoyed. She never was really close to Della, not like with Lena who was her closest friend.
“How’s school?” She asked lamely as they descended down the stairs and Della smiled.
“Quite enjoyable. This semester was the most fun so far.” Sabina nodded although she didn’t really get Della at all… She herself didn’t like school that much, debate club was fun but everything else just a big waste of time…
“Any boys?” She asked teasingly. This time Della blushed.
“No boys.” She said as she climbed the stairs of the bus. Sabina was relieved when she saw Lena had saved her a seat and spared of further discomfort with her younger cousin.
Aunt Rita had made some mac and cheese, it wasn’t much of a dinner, Sabina could have made that herself but her aunt didn’t have as much time to cook, not with two new babies in the house. Sabina though her aunt and uncle must have broken some record, they were pretty old and they had another set of twins, a third set of twin girls.
The little ones were asleep in the nursery and Sabina didn’t bother going upstairs to see them, babies were not as interesting as people pretended they were. Instead she killed time before dinner talking to Maja and Lena. Maja was telling her how she was thinking about starting running.
“I think if I started training now I can run the next half marathon, that would be so cool.” Sabina nodded. It was an interesting idea.
“Maybe we can start training together!” Sabina replied.
“I am in too.” Lena joined in.
Their excitement was cut short by a snort of laughter coming from Della’s twin sister, Nan. “Really? You three are gonna run the half marathon? That is one of the most ridiculous things I heard today…”
“Just stay out of it Nan.” Maja said angrily. “Go string along some poor boy or drown puppies or whatever it is you do.”
“Fine.” Nan said with a shrug. “I was just giving you a friendly advice… Trying to spare you from a great waste of time but do as you like. Not like I care.” She left the room turning fast on her heels and Maja sighed.
“Don’t mind her.” She told Sabina. “She just likes to spoil everyone’s fun. She had gotten even worse now that Aenys had come to his senses and cut ties with her… I hope that Caliente boy gets to his senses soon as well…” Sabina loved high school gossip so she hurried to add her two cents in as well.
Over dinner however she couldn’t help but throw a glance at Nan. She was uncharacteristically quiet, Maja would say that meant she was plotting something. Sabina couldn’t help but wonder how she did it though…. Dating two boys at the same time…
She couldn’t imagine seeing anyone but Ed and hoped he felt the same way… However maybe there was some girl out here like Nan trying to seduce him as they spoke. She shuddered.
Uncle Tomas didn’t join them for dinner so it was just them girls. He had recently gotten his job at the Science Facility back and was having a lot of overtime hours aunt Rita told her. Sabina was glad. Before that he was their science teacher and she wasn’t really good at science which made family reunions much more awkward….
When she got back home later that evening she found Domynika in her room going trough some notes. Knowing her sister it could have been anything from schoolwork to her astronomy work, or even analysis of the chess tournament.
“Hey.” she said from the door. “I am going to bed. I am exhausted.” Domynika turned to her and nodded.
“Did you and the gossip girls have a good time tonight?” Sabina nodded. She did have a good time. After dinner they went upstairs, had a pillow fight and then Maja played the guitar for them. She started of with some slow, sad songs but Lena got her to play something they could dance to and so they did. She would have stayed longer but aunt Rita wanted to get the little ones ready for bed and turn in herself so they had to quiet down and it had gotten boring then so Sabina left.
“Did you win your match?” She asked as she was about to leave to her room next door.
“Sure did. The kid didn’t have a chance.” Domynika said with a wide grin. “I told him to go back to fishing and lay of the chess for a while.” Sabina gave her a thumbs up and went to bed.
/* If you are courios to read more about the Prentiss family you can find their story here. */