I dipped my sponge into my bucket and slapped it noisily onto the marble blue floor. I reached up and pulled the white cloth tighter to my brunette hair.
A patter of feet slapped on the floor, coming my way. My head shot up, and I moved myself and my bucket closer to the boulder. The Prince turned up behind the corner tagging along after his Mom.
“Oh hurry up, Edward! You mustn’t be late for the dance!” The queen swaggered her dress tail at her son, pulling him by the arm.
Edward glanced at me with a bright smile. Then a worried expression swept over his face, and he snapped his fingers and suddenly looked eager to follow his mom.
He glanced at me one more time, giving me that worried expression as if something was wrong. I shot my head down looking straight down at the floor.
My face turned red, and I continued to dash my sponge on the floor, and scrubbed. The water splashed onto my heavy blue apron creating wet splodges.
I brought my aching arms onto my lap and leaned restlessly on the white boulder. I wiped my brow hesitantly.
“Hey you! I want those floors scrubbed now! And if you don’t want the consequence, do em’ now. Ya hear? And I want them finished before the dance is over.” A bulky red faced man pulled me up by the collar, throwing me roughly on to the half wet floor.
My face turned redder than ever, as I picked myself from the floor, stammering to the man that I would have them finished.
I suddenly felt my face about to pop when I spied the Prince watching me shyly about to enter the ball room.
I picked myself into and upright position. The prince gave me a wink, and I decided to wait there till after the dance if no one else gave me anymore work.
After the dance, the prince came out before anyone else. Coming over to me, he put his hand on my shoulder. “Mary?” He lisped my name softly.
“Edwards...not again?” I glanced up, my face tanned with red. “Don’t get me in trouble...”
“Don’t worry. I won’t.” He smiled, a small chuckle escaping his lips. “I...I just wanted to talk to you.”
I looked up the color escaping my flushed face.
“Yes...I just thought I had to warn you about something.” He glanced hesitantly around. He pulled me roughly by the shoulder and pushed me forward, grabbing me quickly by the arm. We ran out the door and down the palace steps, with me lagging behind.
“Oh, Edward, I’ll get in trouble!” I cried, tears running down my cheeks. Of course I didn’t want to get in trouble again. I shook my head wildly.
“Look! You’re the maid and I’m the Prince! You listen to me! You hear? Listen!” He whispered harshly, squeezing my arms tightly. “I’ll be responsible for you if anything happens. Okay?” He assured me.
A picture of compassion spreading over his flushed face. His body shook slightly, and I was assured that he was eager to get to wherever he was taking me.
I was shocked at his harsh expression, even in the dark, but I let myself be dragged into the darkness. He was my friend after all.
“Where are we going?” I whimpered, dodging the trees.
“Trust me!” Was the only answer.
I bit my lip, squeezing the Prince’s hand tightly. He pulled me into the green house and sat me down hard. “You’re in trouble!”
“Wha...what do you mean You’re...” My voice trailed of in a hoarse whisper.
“I mean you are in trouble!” He felt around me as if he was looking for something. Giving a grunt of disgust, he turned to me. “You’re hair.” He lisped softly. “You’re hair!”
I bit my lip, shaking my head wildly. “I...I can’t. Not even that. Not even to you.”
“Com’n,” He coaxed. When I stubbornly refused, he sat back in his chair, and looked at me.
“Alright. I’ll tell you why you are in trouble. It...it has something to do with you’re hair.”
“My...oh...I see what you mean. People want my hair.”
“Yes...There is...um..uh...” I looked up, stroking my hair. He looked like a balloon, as he sucked in air and held his breath. I could tell there was something on his mind, but I didn’t coax him, and he didn’t say anything. Suddenly he grabbed me by the shoulders and hugged me with all his might. I let myself fall into his arms.
“There is something on your mind. You can tell me...
“No...no...no I can’t.” He turned away from me.
“I understand.” I pushed him away from me gently. But deep inside, I knew that Edward wasn’t usually that secretive, and I also knew I should, can and would find out what he was hiding from me.
TO BE CONTINUED...
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