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The Autumn Princess


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#1 dbcWinter

dbcWinter

    Meg Cabot Fan

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:59 AM

So, what is this? A prequel to The Summer Princess - basically, at the end of Book 9 Mia finds a new hope in Amelie's declaration and in JP, right? Well, I cannot stomach JP so I was totally 'noooooo' when I read she actually saw him as a hope for a better future. And since fanfics are a great way to fix what annoys you in the original stories, this is me fixing it!

Though, I gotta warn ya, this is not what you would call a happy story. This is about heart break, losing yourself and trying to regain a sense of who you are supposed to be.

And since it is a prequel, this explains certain aspects of 'The Summer Princess' and 'The Christmas Princess', like how Mia became friends with Rene and Sebastiano.

Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me - minus the poem.

The Autumn Princess

 

'And I am looking up and I see the sun and I know that up there is the happiness waiting to be felt. I know it all, but I am too tired to climb and it is just too far out of my reach.'

Sometimes when we hit rock bottom, what pulls us back up is the thing we least expected.

 

What will be Mia's ray of light after Michael breaks up with her?

 

Prequel to 'The Summer Princess'.

 

~~~~~

 

Thursday, November 9

 

I don't know.

I just don't know anything anymore.

Not too long ago, only two months ago, actually, I really thought I was finally in control. I somehow made peace with the whole princess thing and I even managed to be somewhat princess-like.

And I really thought I would somehow manage to figure out what Calculus is about. There was actually a time when I truly believed I would pass the third year of High School.

Oh, and not to mention, I had a best friend – well, she could be rather mean to me occasionally. But, hey, that was her way of showing me that she cared. Lilly might not have been the sweetest person but who needs someone who could drown you in their sugar anyway?

And I had a boyfriend. A boyfriend I loved with all my heart and who I thought loved me back just as unconditionally. Honestly, I thought I would marry him. That is how perfect our relationship seemed. I thought we would get the happily ever after.

And where am I now, two months later? Besides seeing a shrink every Friday and with a favorite past time activity writing down the lyrics to my favorite songs ("I'll move on baby just like you/When the desert floods and the grass turns blue/When a sailing ship don't need her moon/It will break my heart but I'll get through/Someday when I stop loving you" * – listening to sad music and feeling sorry for myself and drinking hot chocolate seems to be the norm these days. No wonder I am still not back to my pre-binge-eating week jeans)? Where am I?

Nowhere. That's where I am. I am nowhere.

It's like the world is moving on and I am still stuck in the same place. I watch the world, changing, evolving and I am stuck here, unable to move and I feel myself sinking further and further into the hole. And I try and I try to somehow blend in, at least to pretend to be happy because, I mean, you can totally trick your brain into believing you are happy if you force yourself to smile. But I guess I am just too far gone. I am constantly on the slippery edge and I am losing my balance.

I put a smile on my face and I feel completely empty. And I sit behind our table in cafeteria, everyone is laughing and everyone is happy. And I glance to the other side of the cafeteria and sometimes my eyes meet eyes of someone I thought I would never lose. But I did. Somehow, I still don't understand how, everything just fell apart. I go along with it but I feel myself drowning deeper and deeper and the surface and the light keeps getting further away from me.

Honestly, I just don't know what to do anymore. Dr K told me my depression would get better but with every single day I am losing hope that I will ever feel ok again. I mean, I might not be binge eating anymore, but I still feel like I am in that damn hole.

And I am looking up and I see the sun and I know that up there is the happiness waiting to be felt. I know it all, but I am too tired to climb and it is just too far out of my reach.

 

Thursday, November 9, later

 

Mr G, the devoted teacher he is, of course still thinks he can salvage my Calculus. He just spent an hour sitting with me in the kitchen, helping me with homework.

I wish I could repay his efforts and actually figure out what Calculus is about but I am just so … tired.

I am tired of Calculus

I am tired of trying.

I am tired of this pain.

I am tired of this life.

 

Thursday, November 9, later, very late

 

As I lie here in silence

I can almost hear my heartbeat

And I wonder, how can it be

When I feel so lifeless?

 

The blood is running through my body

Yet I feel so cold

As I subconsciously take a breath

I can't help but wishing it would just end.

 

When you are out there,

When you smile and your dreams are coming true

Do you ever stop for a second

And wonder if I am happy too?

 

Is there ever a moment when you pause

When you think back on those days

Days when we thought we had it all

Do you ever wish they would happen again?

 

Do you ever feel bitter,

Does our end ever play in front of your eyes?

Do you ever wish you could erase it

And feel me in your arms again?

 

As I stand on a bridge where you once stole my kiss

The wind I feel are only memories haunting me

And I watch birds so effortless, so free

I'd jump for that second before the end, just to feel something besides the pain.

 

Do you ever think of me?

Did you ever love me?

Does it even matter?

I'd still give everything to have you here.

 

Friday, November 10

 

I know Dr K is only trying to help me, but I really think prescribing me some pills would make life easier for both of us. I mean, he wouldn't have to deal with my chaotic life anymore and could actually focus on somebody he could help. I am beyond help. Nothing but chemicals can get me out of this hole. I tried everything else already. I just can't get out. It is too tough.

I sat down in the armchair, like every Friday, and he looked at me with a peculiar stare.

I didn't say anything.

"So, Mia, how has your week been?" he finally asked.

I shrugged.

"A week like any other."

"Do you and your grandmother still argue?"

"We always do. It's just that recently I haven't really had the energy to fight with her."

"Do you have it now? The energy, I mean?"

"No … I really don't feel like arguing about the necessity of knowing how to butter bread properly. So I just let her be."

"Isn't buttering buttering?"

"Maybe … but this is royalty. Everything royal is slightly different - she has been a princess for decades, I only for a few years. I guess she knows better. So I don't argue with her anymore."

"But don't you think maybe she should teach you more useful things?"

"Useful like what?"

"What do you think it is necessary for princess to know?" he shrugged.

"I don't know … how to butter the bread?" I sighed.

"Anything else?"

"I don't know … maybe how to tell the world to stop writing articles about your hairstyle?"

"Do you really feel like you could do something about that?"

"No … but is there anything I can do something about? Life is like water – we think we can control it and that it is so beautiful but in the end, it gets the better of us. When a flood hits, you just can't win."

"So you are saying you should just let go?" he was looking at me with curiosity in his eyes.

"Why fight if the end is inevitable?"

"What is the end?"

"Death?" I suggested.

"Do you feel like dying?"

I thought for a minute.

"No ... but I don't feel like living either."

"Why?" he asked.

"Because it hurts too much … and it is tough."

"Tough comparing to what?"

"Just sleeping, just lying with your eyes closed …"

"Is that what you want to do?"

"No, not really … because then I start to think," I said and I could feel the tears gathering in my eyes.

"And do you want to start thinking?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"It hurts," my voice broke.

"Then why don't you do something that will stop you from thinking?"

"Like what? I told you, I don't feel like doing anything."

"Sometimes you have to force yourself to do things, Mia. To break the cycle."

"But then again ... even if I do try, even if I do break the cycle, what will I get out of it?"

"Maybe you won't feel so tired anymore?"

"But I will still be in the exactly same place as I am now, right?"

"Have you ever considered that maybe this place is not where you are supposed to end up? That maybe it is just a stopping place, just a transition to someplace better?"

"Honestly, what could this better place be?" I said

"What do you think of when you say better placed?"

That was easy. I had been in that place before.

"Peace. Happiness. Safety."

"Well, do you think there is a place that could give you this?"

"I had that place but I let it go," I bit my lower lip.

He didn't look one bit compassionate.

But then again, my problems guarantee his paycheck, so why would he be?

"And you think there is just one such place?"

"Honestly? Yeah."

"But wouldn't it be foolish from life to give us just one shot? Just one opportunity? I mean, we are human, we make mistakes. Don't you think whoever put us into this world, would have predicted that we would mess up and therefore gave us more than just one chance?"

It sounds so poetic when he says it. It sounds good, right.

But then I think of what I lost and I just know.

It is all just words.

"I just don't see how anything could ever compare."

"Maybe it won't compare. Maybe it will just be," he suggested.

"Same thing – how can it be better than what I had?"

"Why do you want it to be better?"

I raised my eyebrows.

"Isn't this what life is about? Striving for something better?"

"That is what people say. What do you think?"

"I think …. Why would you want 'better' if you already have something that is perfect?"

"And what if you don't have that 'perfect' anymore? What do you have then?"

"Something that is less perfect?"

"And why do you think that just because you have something that is 'less perfect', you cannot be happy anyway?"

"But if there is such place, where is it? And why does it keep getting away so that I cannot find it?" I said with angst in my voice. Because I want to feel happy again, I do. I just don't know how.

And it is so tough.

"Maybe you are trying too hard. Sometimes it is better to just let go and things will come to you by themselves."

"Encouraging, Dr K. Are you saying I should just stop trying and give in? Are you saying death is the ultimate happiness? That is what Freud thought. He…"

"I know Freud's school of thought, Mia. No; I am saying stop trying to be happy. Just live. You might bump into happiness when you least expect it."

"And what if I never bump into it?" I whispered.

"Then you'll never bump into it. But at least you will try, right?"

"I don't know. I just don't know anything anymore," I sighed.

"Have you replied to the email he sent you?"

"Yes."

"How did that make you feel?"

"Lonely."

"Why?"

"Because …" I thought for a minute. "I don't know. "

"You know."

"Because he is out there, and he is happy, all his dreams are coming true and I am here and I am lost and I don't know what to do to be found again."

"Why do you think he is happy?"

"He wrote it!" I exclaimed and you'd have to be deaf not to notice how much it hurt me. "Things are great, people are cool…"

"No, I don't want to know what he wrote – I want to know why YOU think he is happy."

"Because he got rid of me?"

Dr K didn't look to happy with my answer.

"If he was so happy to get rid of you, then why would he still writing to you?"

"To rub salt in my wounds?"

"You really think that is why he is writing to you?"

I thought for a minute. I hurt Michael. I broke his heart – just like he broke mine. I am sure many guys would try their best to hurt the girl even more but … not Michael. He isn't that kind of guy. He would never do anything to deliberately hurt me.

I mean, he hurt me badly when I found out he had slept with Judith Gershner. But I think he honestly had no idea it would hurt me so much. It's a guy thing – sex is just sex for them.

But I do resent him for not even thinking of how badly it might affect me. I resent him for thinking I'd be just fine with it.

"No."

"Then why?"

"Because we are friends. And that is what friends do."

How can a word hurt so much? It is just a word, just seven simple letters but it feels like knives in my heart.

"Do you want to write him?"

"I told you already, Dr K, it is killing me to be his friend. Just his friend."

"Then why don't you tell him that you don't want to write him anymore?"

I wish I could. I wish it would be a clean break. That I could just say screw you and move on. But what I feel for Michael … I can't just let it go. At least not yet.

I rather feel pain than feel nothing at all. Because without Michael … who am I? Besides being a princess, I mean. Who am I?

Masochistic much, ay?

"Because those emails are the only thing I have left?"

"Left of what?"

"Of what it was."

"You mean they remind you of the happiness you once felt?"

"Yes."

"Don't you think at the same time they are reminding you of what you will never have again? At least subconsciously?"

How does he know just what to say to make me feel even worse?

Oh, right, he has to guarantee his paycheck.

"Maybe … but it is not about what I will never have, it is more about what I had."

"Don't you think those two things are the same?"

"No. I remember the good things."

"Then why do you cry? Why aren't you happy?"

"Are you telling me I need to stop writing to him if I want to be happy again?" I said, knowing I could never do that.

"This is what you said, not me. I am simply saying these emails take you back to a place where you were happy. But Mia … was this place really the only place you were ever happy at?"

I was almost offended when he said it.

"No, I was happy before we started dating."

He nodded slightly.

"Now repeat that."

I swear, sometimes I think he is crazier than me.

"I was happy before we started dating."

"So then you do not necessarily need Michael to be happy, don't you think?"

"I don't follow."

"Yes, you do. If you were happy before you ever got together with Michael, why do you think you could never be happy again now that you two are not together anymore?"

"Because … I can never be as happy as I was when we were together."

"Didn't we say 'less perfect' doesn't mean it will make you unhappy?"

"I know I can be happy without him. But I also know that it won't be the same."

"Why would you want it to be the same? What would life be like if it was the same all the time?"

"But how can I live if I know I will never be as happy as I was then?"

"Says who?"

"Me. I know how I felt when I was with Michael."

"Exactly. You felt that way when you were with Michael. Who knows, maybe out there is a place when you will feel a completely new type of happiness, happiness you cannot even imagine yet. And maybe you will be surprised by how intense the happiness will be. Maybe … maybe you will be even happier than you were with Michael."

"I could never be that."

"Life works in mysterious ways sometimes. You never know."

"Well, I am pretty sure about this one."

"What is wrong with having a little faith?"

I could go on and on about that.

"You are disappointed."

"By life? By death?"

"It is like belief in afterlife. You believe there is but in the end you will be disappointed when you see it is only death."

"But don't you think, if it turns out there is no afterlife, you won't even feel disappointment because you will be dead and death is the ultimate end?"

"Ok, you have me there," I admitted.

"See? Why would you fear having a little faith then? But let's talk some more about places where you were happy at. Didn't you say you were happy with JP?"

"I think I was in a momentary haze."

"You are not happy with him?"

"Maybe one day I will be," I said.

"Or maybe this relationship just isn't right for you," he simply said.

"You saying I should break up?" I frowned.

"Well, if you are not happy, why keep it going and giving him the wrong idea?"

"Well, you just said I should have faith that one day I will wake up happy."

"But why depend on a relationship, a boy to make you happy? Wouldn't it be better if you reach happiness by yourself? It would be even sweeter, knowing you were the one who did all the hard work, don't you think?"

He was saying I should break up with JP.

He is crazy. I can't just leave him, not after everything he has done for me. I mean, he was there when I crashed and he did his best to help me get up. It is not his fault if I am just too far gone.

"But he has been so good to me…"

"Well, Michael was good to you too and you broke up with him," he interrupted.

"That was different. I had a reason to dump him; I have no reason to leave JP," I argued.

"You being unhappy isn't a reason valid enough?"

"It is not his fault if…"

"Was it Michael's fault that you took yours and his virginity so seriously but never quite told him just how strongly you felt about it? Was it his fault that you never specifically asked him if he had ever been with a girl before you? Was it his fault that you simply assumed?"

I just stared at him. It wasn't like that at all. Michael was wrong not to have told me about Judith. And how can Dr K say Michael didn't know how serious I was about my Precious Gift? Hello? I told him every three months that I wasn't ready to give it away yet! If that wasn't big enough of a clue, then, I am sorry but I do not what else I could do!

"That was different," I insisted.

"How?" he demanded.

"It just was. He broke my heart!" I exclaimed and my voice broke.

"And in retaliation you broke his? You thought it would make you feel better?"

"Well, I know dumping JP WON'T make me feel better."

"Or maybe it will."

"How could it possibly?" I laughed.

"Well, for one, you will stop feeling guilty for not feeling the same way about him as he feels about you. And you will stop forcing yourself to be happy when you are with him. Then maybe you will focus on other things. Like trying to figure out how to be happy, for example."

Try to figure out how to be happy.

Happy without Michael, Lilly or the life I had before September. I need to find a new direction, a new hope, a new happiness. I once thought Amelie's declaration would do that for me but honestly, it has done more bad than good.

Now, as I am sitting at Ray's with JP, Dr K's words are lingering in my mind.

And I realize he is right.

JP really doesn't deserve this. I mean, he is talking to me and looking me in the eyes and I can see he is trying his best to make me laugh but all I think about is all those times I was here with Michael.

I can hear fragments of talks we had here.

I can see him laughing at something I said.

I can feel the touch of his hand when he reached out for mine.

I remember how intoxicated I always felt when he was so close to me.

And inadvertently I think of his shocked, broken face that day in front of the chemistry lab and I feel my stomach turning upside down. I feel like I will throw up any second now.

It was my actions and my actions alone that led to that moment. I consciously made the decisions and every single one of them was just wrong.

How can I ever trust myself after that?

How can I ever make a decision without doubting myself?

I know I am not ready to move on yet. No way am I ready for a new relationship. I am still way too caught up in the past and my heart is still broken - and every single piece of it still beats for Michael.

JP is a good, sweet guy; he deserves somebody who could love him back. I can't. I am just too broken.

And I know he'll say he is willing to wait but …

Who knows when I will put myself back together. And I don't want him to wait for something that might simply never happen.

At least I can spare JP some pain.

"… and then I say no way, it cannot be, and he is like, John, you are only a kid and you have no idea. I have been here long before you and I saw things you didn't even see on TV. Trust me when I tell you, the story is total rip-off," he laughed. "You know what I mean?"

I just smiled. Honestly, I had no idea what he was talking about.

"Hey, are you ok?" he asked me with concern in his eyes. He put his hand on mine and I felt the tears gathering again. His touch was warm, caring but to me it felt like the touch of death. All I could feel was cold. Just as if it didn't fit. As if our hands simply weren't meant to be this close. Just as if my hand was meant for someone else's.

And he wasn't here anymore.

And he would never be here again.

And then I know JP could never be Michael.

And right now, I still want Michael.

"I am sorry, JP, but … I don't think us going out is a good idea."

"Are we going out? I thought we were just having friendly dinners," he grinned.

"I am serious, JP. I don't want you to get any wrong idea. I mean, you say you have feelings for me … don't get me wrong, you are a great guy and I will forever be grateful for what you have done for me, I honestly don't know how'd survive those first weeks if it wasn't for you. But … I just don't feel what you feel for me. It is not fair of me to lead you on and give you false hope. Honestly, JP, I have no idea when I will feel ready to start something with anyone. And I do not want you to wait for me."

He just stared at me for what seemed like forever.

"Mia … I understand you are not ready for a relationship. I mean, Michael broke your heart; it takes a while to get over that. But I like you, I am in love with you and … I don't care how long it takes. I want to wait for you. Take all time you need."

I shook my head.

"No, JP. I don't want you waiting for me. I cannot promise I will EVER feel the same way you feel about me and … I don't want this to wreck our friendship. So I just rather tell you how things are now. I wish this could turn out differently but it is the way it is."

He laughed in disbelief.

"Wait – are you breaking up with me before we even started dating?!"

What else could I say?

"I am sorry, JP, I really am," I said, opened my wallet and threw a bill on the table. "You are a great guy but … I just can't. I am sorry."

He just stared at me in disbelief for about a minute.

"I seriously hate that guy for messing you up like this," he said angrily.

"Don't, JP, it is not Michael's fault," I dismissed him.

"Hell right, it is. He can't just go to Japan, expecting you'd be fine with that. You were in a relationship; you should have decided stuff like that together!"

"It wouldn't end any differently. He would still go; I would want him to go. And can we please not talk about him?"

"I think he seriously needs to be told a few things. Somebody needs to put that conceited jerk…"

Lars came to our table and it might have been only my imagination, but I really think he sent JP a really ugly look.

"Princess, are you ready to go?" he asked me.

How did he know just when to come?

I gave JP the best smile I could manage before walking out with my head down.

But of course it wasn't over. It is never over for me.

In front of Ray's there was a crowd of reporters. The moment I stepped out the door, they started yelling my name and I knew that in the morning, my tearful expression would be on covers of all magazines in Eastern US.

But honestly, I didn't care if they saw me crying.

Why would I?

I was already left with nothing.

What more could they possibly take away from me?

 

Saturday, November 11, very earlyž

 

"Amelia! What were you thinking?!" Grandmere shouted when I told her that I broke up with JP. "John Paul is a fine young man and he comes from a very respected family! It is hard to find a boy of his quality! What could have possibly been so wrong with him that you felt the need to break up?!"

"I realized I couldn't give him what he deserved and therefore, it was better to just let him go," I said, "besides, I don't think this is any of your business."

"It is my business, young lady, it is very much my business! It has been ever since you declared democracy in Genovia! Do you realize that there will be elections and your father will have to PARTICIPATE in them if he wants to maintain the position in the parliament? DO YOU REALIZE WHAT THAT MEANS?!"

"That he will have to take part in elections, just like anyone else who will want to be in the parliament. It's democratic, you know."

"It will kill him if he doesn't win. And it will be all your fault! Just the fact that he needs to participate like anyone else is a shame for Royal Family!"

"Why? Because we are royal, we are automatically better equipped to run a country?"

"Watch your mouth, Amelia! And absolutely. Our family has been in charge of Genovia for…"

"Well, then maybe it is time for a change, don't you think?"

Seriously, why don't I ever think of my words before saying them?

"Well, Amelia, if you are so keen on talking about changes, then why don't you finally forget about That Boy who was wrong for you in the first place and who you should be glad to have gotten rid of him anyway? If indeed it is time for a change, then why don't you finally start acting adequately for your royal status?"

It is my fault, really. I should have known she would say something like this. She never lets me forget that Michael is gone, only that she sees nothing but absolute positive in that. She acts like Michael was plague and we have finally gotten rid of it. Now we can go on living, completely unaffected!

"You don't have anything else to say now, Amelia? Honestly, he has done you a favor when he left before you two could get any more serious. Luckily he realized you two are coming from two utterly different worlds that just don't mix. It lasted for too long anyway. You had your fun and now you can finally focus on what's important."

"School?"

Right. Not in my world.

"No! Your royal status! School is overrated anyway. Like sitting in that classroom will do you any good, what you need is to get out, experience the world. Speaking of experience, you better pack when you get home this evening."

"Why?"

"We are flying to Genovia tomorrow, what else," said Grandmere like she said the most obvious thing. Rommel made a noise that was probably meant to sound like barking. I think he hopes that when he gets to Genovia, the royal vet will change his mind about Rommel's OCD and finally uncover the real problem - Rommel is allergic to all this purple he is being forced to wear ever since Gucci started making special clothes for him. Grandmere is vigorously dressing him in clothes that match hers and I don't think Rommel likes them very much (well, who does, besides Grandmere?).

"What? I don't know anything about that!" I screamed.

"Of course you do, I told you. Why else do you think we would be going over how to behave at formal dinners? I told you a hundred times – it is not my fault if you rather to dwell on a boy who has broken your heart than to listen to you dear grandmother who wants nothing but the best for you," she maliciously said.

"Dad will never let me fly to Genovia during school year!"

"Of course he will. This is very important for Genovia and thanks to your little declaration, he knows we need every good promotion we can get these days - besides, you will be back by Monday evening so don't sweat, you won't miss that much of that Calculus subject you are so fond of."

"And what exactly is this superbly important event I absolutely must attend?" I sighed.

"The Queen is coming to visit us with his grandsons. Since she knows everything about our current position, her visit will doubtlessly benefit us while dealing with it. Our families need to connect more in order to…"

"Ok, I guess I can understand that but why do I have to be there as well?"

"Well, Amelia, as much as you sometimes like to pretend like it isn't true, you are a member of our family and therefore, you are obligated to attend the events of this importance."

"And you think, in my condition, it is a good idea for me to be there?"

She leant closer to me.

"Amelia, I do not care about your condition because you got this on yourself by yourself. If you listened to me from the start, this wouldn't happen. That Boy was trouble, I told you from the moment you so foolishly announced you loved him. Maybe this will teach you to listen to me. And like I said, you got us in this mess and you do not get a say in what you will attend and what you will not, do you understand? You lost that privilege in September. Do I need to go on?"

See what I mean? I am nothing but a princess. A princess always prevails. Because when you are a princess, you cannot be anything else. You can't even be a heart-broken girl. You are just an actress, smiling and waving and acting like you are the happiest person in the world. And you are that, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, twelve months per year.

I am princess.

And I will forever be a princess and only a princess.

 

Saturday, November 11, not much later

 

I can't believe Dad said I have to come to Genovia. I can't believe he is on Grandmere's side! What happened to school being important? What happened to all the pressure I was under to maintain good grades? AND WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS DEMAND THAT I DO NOT JOIN GREENPEACE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL TO SAVE WHALES BUT INSTEAD I GO TO SARAH LAWRENCE?

I guess this is the price I have to pay for making Amelie's declaration public. I mean, I still think it was the right thing to do. It would be wrong to keep it a secret – besides, democracy can only do good for the people of Genovia.

But still, I cannot help but to wonder if maybe, just maybe, sometimes the right thing is actually not something that is supposed to happen. I mean, what is 'the right thing' anyway? It certainly doesn't feel right, not even good.

It is tearing my family apart. I know Dad is upset with me but he does his best to hide it from me. He is devastated that he will have to take part in elections. And he is terrified that he won't win and will instead have to be just, well, a prince.

And as of Grandmere … she has never explicitly hidden her hatred for me and my unroyal manners, but somehow it could be worse. And it did become worse. She is totally MEAN to me! And not because her son might lose his position in the parliament – no, the thing that concerns her the most is that WE WON'T LIVE IN THE PALACE ANYMORE.

But I guess I deserve it.

Is there any aspect of my life that is not totally in ruins? I mean, this morning I had to see myself on the covers of all major newspapers, looking as bad as someone can possibly look. What happened to getting over a broken heart alone in your room, listening to Damien Rice and eating your weight in chocolate?

Hmmm … Actually, I don't think that went anywhere. It is just not in my cards. Princesses do not do private. We do everything front-cover style.

 

Saturday, November 11, still later

 

I checked my email one more time before leaving.

JP sent me like 5 emails, asking what he has done wrong and what he can do to fix it. I guess this is what I get for 'losing' my phone.

I didn't lose it; I just don't want to talk to him.

Or anyone else. Like Tina, who is all about how cute JP and I are, because we are both tall, with blond hair and blue eyes.

I just want to lie in bed simply … lying.

But anyway, that is not what I want to write about.

I found this in my inbox:

 

SkinnerBx: Hey, Mia, hope everything is well.

Things here are fine, thanks for asking, Charlie is coming along great – well, for this stage, anyway.

We are having great weather over here so a few days ago, I went sightseeing with some of my colleagues. They took me to this great statue of Buddha called 'Ushiku Daibutsu'. It's actually authorized by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest standing Buddha figure in the world. There is also a flower garden on the site and apparently the flowers change with seasons – I will have to go there in spring to see it by myself.

Oh, and they promised to take me to Tsukuba Space Center some time! I heard there's the exhibit hall which features models of the H-II Transfer Vehicle and a full-sized mock-up of the KIBO module on the International Space Station. Can you believe how cool that must be?

Of course, I am still waiting for them to take me to the Geological museum here!

Anyway, I hope you are doing alright. How did the midterms go? You doing anything special for Thanksgiving? Are you once again going to visit Mr G's family in the morning and attend your grandmother's dinner in the evening? Or are even your relatives from Indiana showing up?

Michael

 

Why do I even bother? I'm serious. Why?

I am trying so hard and what do I get in return (besides seeing my wet face on cover of every major newspaper – aren't they supposed to report on wars and political crisis and stuff?)?

All I get is a reminder of everything I had and lost.

Not that 'lost' is the right expression. I threw it away.

Like a useless piece of paper I threw away the greatest thing I had.

 

Saturday, November 11, Genovian Royal Palace

 

**List Of The Saddest Moments In Movies – With Rating By Mia Thermopolis** **

 

1. That fight in The Notebook. 'Wait a minute, we are not really breaking up, are we? This is just a stupid fight we're having and tomorrow it will be like it never happened …"

Mia's Comment: fighting about things you have no control over. When you are just at the wrong place and the wrong time and what you feel is suddenly simply not enough. Yesterday is not enough anymore and tomorrow never comes. All there's left is screaming, shouting, tears and broken hearts.

Rating of Ultimate Heartbreak: 5/5 because I can relate so well.

2. Jack dying in Titanic. "I promise, you're going to get out of here, you're going to go on and you're going to make lots of babies and you're going to watch them grow. You're going to die an old, an old lady, warm in her bed, not here, not this night, not like this, do you understand me? You must, you must, you must... do me this honor, you must promise me that you will survive, that you won't give up, no matter what happens, no matter how hopeless. Promise me now, Rose and never let go of that promise. Never let go..."

Mia's Comment: I know he is right, life goes on and it is such a waste if you let it pass you by because the pain you feel is making you numb. But at the same time, it hurts, it hurts so much, knowing no matter what you do, the thing you want most in the world will always be out of reach. It takes all your strength to fight the hopelessness and rebuild your life. There is no guide book to show you the way; you have to be the one doing all the hard work. And honestly, sometimes you wish the brick would just fall on your head and you wouldn't have to try anymore. The pain never goes away; you just learn to live even though it is tearing you apart.

Rating of Ultimate Heartbreak: 5/5 because it shows you there is a way. An obscure way, but a way nevertheless. And I love Rose's hair.

3. A Walk To Remember. "I'm sorry she never got her miracle." "She did get her miracle, Landon, her miracle was you."

Mia's Comment: When there's nothing that can prevent the inevitable, just use the time you have left well. There is no point in fighting the wind mills; you are losing the precious seconds and, in worst case scenario, the goodbye kiss. And all there's left are words lingering in the air, words you didn't mean but can never take back.

Rating of Ultimate Heartbreak: 3,5/5 just becausethey were happy together so basically it was a bittersweet end. Besides death, there was nothing keeping them apart.

4. Pearl Harbor. "When Rafe says to Danny: "You're gonna be a father." And Danny, who knows he is about to die, replies: "No. You are."

Mia's Comment: ok, I can't really comment but it is just SAD.

Rating of Ultimate Heartbreak: 3/5 because I haven't experienced any of it. No, 3,5 because I love the song and Josh is cute.

5. Denny and Henry dying in Grey's Anatomy.

Mia's Comment: both deaths happened just as they found some peace in life and when it seemed things will somehow be ok. Denny got a new heart and the future was bright for Izzie and him …. And then he just died. And she clung to him, crying her heart out in her pink dress …. And Alex picks her up and it signifies now it is their time. But given the start I guess it is not that surprising that they too end … and as of Henry, well, he and Teddy were my favorite couple in GA. Who cares about Meredith and McDreamy anyway?

Rating of Ultimate Heartbreak: 4/5. Because there was a time when I wore a pink dress and I thought I would spend my life with the guy I walked in, holding hands … and then he slipped away, out of my life, so rapidly and suddenly. And a guy picked me up but he too wasn't enough.

6. Snape dying. "Look at me … you have your mother's eyes …"

Mia's Comment: while Sirius' death was a bigger shock, I was emotionally drained by the time Snape died that overall I find it more heartbreaking. And when we find out love brought him on the good side and that in reality he was such a brave, kind, broken, faithful man … why is life so cruel? Ok, I do realize it is just fiction but STILL! There should be a law against writers making us howl like babies.

Rating of Ultimate Heartbreak: 4,5/5. You don't realize what you had until it is torn away from you …. As it is slipping away and you see it dying, you realize just how lucky you were. And just how empty you will now forever feel.

7. Forces of Nature. "I've never forgotten Sarah, and I'm pretty sure l never will.Wherever she is, I really hope she's happy."

Mia's Comment: Some people are like falling stars – they come to our life, they bring light but in the end they fade, leaving behind only a memory. I hope he sometimes thinks of me, of the good times, not of the hurricane. And I hope he wishes me well.

Rating of Ultimate Heartbreak: 3,5/5

8. Veronica and Logan breaking up in Veronica Mars.

Mia's Comment: they find themselves at two different places in life; they just haven't reached that point when they are ready for each other. I mean, Veronica is self-sufficient and just isn't ready for someone taking care of her, she cannot open up that much yet while Logan is still caught up in the past and cannot let go of control and give Veronica the freedom she needs. He is too afraid the cycle of heartbreak will happen again. Most heart-breaking moment: when Logan asks 'are we ok?" and she replies "yeah, we are ok." But ok is just a word and a quick fix. Problems don't go away just because you feel the arms of the one you love around you.

Rating of Ultimate Heartbreak: indefinite - BECAUSE THOSE WORDS HAPPENED TO ME!

 

Saturday, November 11, very late in night / quite possibly Sunday already

 

I sit in the garden where Michael and I exchanged Christmas presents last year.

And it suddenly hits me again.

And it hurts just as much as it did. Dr K said it would get better but it is still as bad as it was. I can still feel my heart, torn apart, struggling with every beat.

I can't help but to start crying. And tears are falling down my face and I am once again surprised that I even still have any. I might be some world phenomenon, with a never ending flow of tears. Yay, genetic malfunction number … I lost count years ago.

And my body shakes from sobbing while the moon is shining down on me. I am bathing in the beautiful moonlight, a setting of so many romantic scenes I've seen in movies and the reality is just too much to bear.

And so I cry, letting the tears fall from my eyes, alone, with a tiara on my head so many would kill to wear and I have never before felt so hopeless and so completely alone.

 

Sunday, November 12

 

Sebastiano is thrilled to see me. He keeps going on and on about how tall and curvy I have apparently become since the last time he saw me (at least that is what I think he is saying. He is rather hard to understand when he starts speaking very fast). During rare moments when he isn't complementing my new, slightly longer hair (too depressed to cut them) he is telling me about this new line he is working on (actually, I am surprised there are no lines by him in stores yet. He might annoy me most of the time, but I have to admit that he is a very, very good designer. I mean, before the influenced-by-meat growth in my chest department, his gowns were the only pieces of clothing that successfully created an illusion that I actually had something there). Apparently, he is taking traditional gowns of countries all over the world, transforming them into their 'How Would They Look In 21st Century' version.

He showed me the modernized version of the dress that was, according to him, worn by Greek Goddess. It is in dark turquoise and it is gorgeous. And super comfortable. I mean, he totally made me try it on.

"Sebastiano, this is great," I said but he just shook his head. It looked pretty theatric since he was wearing this bright green shirt with a very, and I mean very big collar.

"Your hair. Your hair do not ma the dress."

"What?"

"This is a dress the requi long hair. Yours are too sho. I canno put them over one shou. The dress fits perfe, but the hair is missing."

And that was the problem because …?

"Yeah, well, but it is not like I am gonna wear it or anything," I shrugged.

Sebastiano already opened his mouth to say something but then the door swung open and René came marching in, with the ever-present grin on his face.

And similarly ever-present smell of alcohol floating around him, as I discovered.

"How is my Baby Cousin doing?!" he shouted, walked straight towards me and hugged me. It totally caused me to lose balance and I almost fell off the footstool I was standing on.

"Stop calling me that," I said, "and let go of me."

"Let go of you? Why? I missed you!" he exclaimed, lifting me up and (I changed my mind about Sebastiano. This was way more theatric) swirling me around, "I haven't seen you in so long!"

I doubt he even remembers the last time we saw each other since he was so drunk he ended up sleeping in a lobby of Genovia's biggest hotel, thinking it was the palace.

"And you are my baby cousin. How old are you, again? Seventeen?"

"Sixteen," I corrected him. Do I really look only seventeen years old? I feel way older.

"Then you are even more of a baby than I thought!" he laughed, "I am going off to some casinos in the evening. You want to come with?"

"Casinos? Are you crazy, why would I want to go there? Besides, don't we have formal dinner or something? The Queen is here, right? That's why I am here, anyway."

"Who said they wouldn't go along too?" he winked at me. Then he frowned. "I get a feeling you are not too happy to see me. Is it because of that thing at the end of the summer? I just drank a bit much, I said I was so…"

Honestly, he annoys me so much, but somehow, I can't really resent him. I mean, this is René, after all. He doesn't mean any harm; he is just clueless most of the time. Life is just one big party for him.

"It is not you, I just don't feel very social at the moment," I dismissed him.

"Oh, how insensitive of me!" he said, made a sad face and embraced me again. "I heard about Michael. I'm so sorry, BC. I know how it feels."

"How what feels? Having your heart torn out while it is still beating?"

"Oooooh …" frowned René. "He broke up with you? Well, I did find it hard to believe you called it quits - I mean, you were all about him the last time we saw each other?"

"It is so sad," nodded Sebastiano, "you two were the cut coup."

"It's complicated," I said.

"Complicated? Break ups are never complicated, at least not as far as I've experienced them. Break up is a break up, the most obvious thing in the world. Relationships are what is complicated here. Come on, tell your cousin René what happened. I am a guy; I might be able to help you."

Yeah, right. I will tell René how I dumped my boyfriend because he slept with a fruit-fly-cloner before we started going out. Because René will totally understand my perspective and comfort me. Because René is so not the one who got busted having something that suspiciously resembled an orgy on a royal yacht this summer.

"Honestly, I'd rather tell Oprah. Besides, when did you have a relationship that lasted long enough for you to be an expert on topic?"

"Well, I am a guy so that automatically makes me more of an expert on guys' minds than you will ever be, BC."

"I told you to stop calling me that. Why do you even care? It is not like we are friends or anything."

"Ouch, that hurts! Of course we are friends! We danced together the whole summer!"

"Just because Grandmere forced us to dance together, it doesn't mean we are friends," I said.

"So where is Princess Amelia of Genovia that my granny cannot stop talking about?" I heard somebody shout. I turned around to see who entered the room and in front of me stood none other than Harry, with his bright hair color and notorious grin.

"I thought we weren't supposed to be introduced till dinner?" I asked.

"That's my cousin, always super worried about the protocol," René pointed at me (he totally needs Prince Lessons more than I do, I mean, pointing at people is NEVER under NO circumstances polite).

"Well, what our grannies don't know don't hurt them, right? I'm Harry," he winked at me.

"Mia. Please don't call me Amelia. Or Princess," I shook his hand.

"Yeah, I know all about that. So, you hitting the casinos with us this evening?"

"No, and you are not supposed to go, either."

"Well, who is going to stop me?" he shrugged. "This is a free country, I can do whatever I want. I don't think your father put out a notice that everyone should wear the same haircut as him, has he?"

"We have to be here, this is an important evening for our families. Our grandmothers worked very hard to arrange this for the benefit of our countries. How can you be so ignorant of that?" I frowned.

"Worked hard? Are you high? They have people that arrange that stuff for them, you know?" he laughed.

"Honestly, I think nowadays Clarisse puts the hardest work into yelling at Chanel for not having just the right shade of purple," added René.

"And benefit of our countries?" Harry went on, "yeah, right. I think all they want is some attention and in the case of Clarisse the dearest, an excuse for new facial…"

"Why are you so mean?" I asked. "We are royals, we attend dinners, it is what we so. You can't just ignore it."

"Yeah, well, I might be royal but I am also a human being. Hey, I have an idea. Why don't we rent a car and drive to Italy? I am in the mood for some genuine Italian pasta!"

"Totally with you," nodded René. "And Sebastiano will go too, so you are now in minority, BC and are coming along."

As if Sebastiano understood what he way saying. He can get by in English, but a normal conversation is too fast for him to follow. He didn't care, really, he kept looking at the dress I had on.

"Yeah, right," I rolled my eyes. "Grow up, you can't just ditch dinners when you feel like it. It is mean."

"Who are you calling mean?" laughed Harry, "me? I am sorry; I thought you were the one dumping the boyfriend?"

It felt like somebody hit me in the stomach.

"How do YOU know about that? Does EVERYONE know that?"

"Clarisse is telling everyone who has a spare minute. Or rather two, because she is really excited. I believe our grannies are currently discussing the most inappropriate consorts we had. I had some bad ones but my granny makes them sound like angels comparing to your dear Michael."

Honestly, I didn't know where to even begin. Who was this guy and why was he so rude? And I could totally hit René because he was on his side! What did he say again about missing me?

Luckily, Sebastiano saved me.

Or unfortunately, don't even know anymore.

"I have a great id! You could be my mod!" he exclaimed.

I looked at him skeptically. I thought I misheard him. Because, I mean, come on, I know he is a genius and geniuses are usually crazy but this was way too pathological to come out of a mouth of a sane person.

But I have to say, I love Sebastiano. He always tries to make me feel better even when he has no idea what is happening.

"Yeah, thanks, Sebastiano, but I kind of don't have time to be your model."

"What else is there for you to do? It is not like you have a boyfriend or anything," smirked René.

Sebastiano didn't listen to me, but who ever does, anyway?

"I ask Paolo to do your ha. I have it in my mi alread!"

"No, really, Sebastiano, I am sure you can find someone better for modelling…"

"Why are you so against modelling, BC? It ain't like you are deformed or anything."

"I don't want to be a model."

"Rubbish, every girl wants to model," said Harry.

Well, of course in princes' minds, every girl can be a model. And usually is a model. Just look at my Dad. And from what I've read, Harry is not much different.

See, this is why I don't like hanging with royal people too much, they all live in their own little bubble, where everything has a tiara mark on. They have no idea what real life really is like. Just look at René – he is completely incapable of understanding that just because he has a royal title, it doesn't mean he is automatically the king of the world (he totally got kicked out of some fancy French economic school because he partied hard wearing formal outfits of his school, thus making it look bad in the media. The principle didn't care that René was royal - 'no exceptions' – not even when Grandmere stepped in. I mean, you gotta admire a guy who has the guts to say no to Grandmere!). And honestly, I like real world. I like being able to go to the store on a bad hair day without getting on the front cover of gossip magazines. I like knowing people like me for me and not because I happen to be royal. I like being treated like everyone else because I don't believe in being different or more special just because my family is royal.

These guys, princesses and princes, they have grown up knowing they have the title, they don't know what real world is like. Their whole lives everyone bent down in front of them, fulfilling their every, no matter how bizarre wish. They just don't understand what life is really like.

I mean, just look at Grandmere.

I don't want to be like her, ever. And I am heading down that path if I spend much time in the company of these people.

I want to be able to yell my heart out at the bus station without worrying how it would make my family look.

If I see myself on the front cover of Times, I want it to be because I did something extraordinary, like saved whales or something.

I don't want the answer to every question be 'because she is a princess'.

I just don't want to be that person.

And that is exactly who I am when I am in Genovia.

And that is exactly who I am turning into ever since Michael left for Japan.

I mean, don't you think I want to dance the night away in casino or eat pasta in Italian cafeteria? I do – it must be way better than sitting behind a table, having boring conversation about politics and economy.

But I know that that sitting behind that table is what I am supposed to do.

Who I am supposed to be.

And, basically, who I am.

And I can't run away from it.

I have an obligation to my family, to my country.

Because I am a princess.

And I will forever be a princess.

And it is swallowing me but there is nothing I can do about it.

All I can do is just … surrender.

"Well, not me, I don't want to model," I insisted. I mean, I could already see the headlines in my mind – Princess Mia decides for modelling! Who cares about whales, all we care about are over the top pricy clothes and stuffing paper in our mouths to lose weight but satisfy the hunger.

"Just because you want to throw snails in the sea, it doesn't matter you can't also be a part-time model," said Harry.

"And have the whole world commenting on my non-existing breasts and extraordinary height? No, thank you."

"What are you talk about!" shouted Sebastiano, "you are beaut!"

"Thank you, Sebastiano."

"If you wanna throw snails into the sea for the rest of your life, why are you so concerned about your looks then?" asked Harry.

"I am not concerned about my looks."

"Hmmm… sorry, but your previous statement objects this. You are fine just the way you are, isn't she, Harry?"

"I'd rather not say anything, it might give her the wrong idea."

"And please don't say that Michael dumped you or whatever because of your extraordinary height. The guy was gaga for you last Christmas and you were not much shorter then," said René.

"Michael didn't dump me because of how I look."

"Then why? Clarisse is too happy telling everyone he is passé to tell anyone the reason," insisted René.

"He just … he just left for Japan," I shrugged.

"Oh. To study?" asked Harry.

"No … he made this prototype for cardio surgery and his university gave him a chance to go to Japan and build it. And he took it."

Leaving me behind, saying he did it for us while really trying to get away from his frigid girlfriend but he was too kind to say it bluntly, I wanted to add but refrained myself

"Wow. That sounds great," Harry kind of sounded impressed.

"Well, if of course you dismiss the fact that he even bothered building it in the first place. Do you New York kids really have no idea how to party?"

"Michael has a direction in life, comparing to you, René. He built it because he is super smart and this will now save millions of lives."

"Are you serious? He built that?" Harry suddenly got this very serious look on his face. Really, how presumptuous can one person be? What gives him to right to interrogate me about my life when we know each other for like … 5 minutes?

Oh, right, the title.

"Yeah. And I am not speaking to you."

"And you broke up with him just because he went to Japan? Have you ever heard of Skype? And, besides, we are royal, remember? You could just ask Philippe to let you borrow the jet for the weekend or something," suggested Harry.

"Yeah, like that would happen. He's happy that I am not dating Michael anymore. He always thought he was too old for me."

"Age is relative," quickly said René. Sure, if it wears a short skirt, age totally doesn't matter in his eyes. "So, what, he decided the long distance thing wouldn't work out? I thought you two were handling it pretty well, I mean, you did spend like a quarter of the year apart anyway when you were in Genovia."

"We didn't break up because of Japan … it … it is complicated and I don't want to talk about it."

"Well, I had my heart broken a few times and keeping it inside never did me any good," shrugged Harry and actually looked at me compassionately.

"It must have been really bad if you stopped wearing that necklace he gave you," added René.

The snowflake necklace … I can still feel it around my neck, you know, that phantom feeling that brings tears into my eyes. It was the token of our love and now it is in some landfill where it ended up after the cleaning ladies vacuumed it from the carpet into which it sank like Titanic after Michael wouldn't take it.

"I … I threw it back at him when … "

And I was practically sobbing again.

"I don't want to talk about it."

"Well, that might explain why he never wants to talk to you again," admitted Harry. "I mean, if he gave you that necklace as a proof of his love or something and you threw it at him … it must have been pretty heartbreaking."

"Actually, we are still exchanging emails."

René and Harry quickly glanced at each other

"You two are still emailing each other? You threw the necklace back at him and he still wants to talk to you?" René raised his eyebrows.

"And he went to Japan to build something that will revolutionize cardio surgery?" asked Harry, sounding like he was deep in his thoughts

"Yeah, because that is just what 19-year-olds do on, like, everyday bases," smirked René and once again exchanged looks with Harry.

"Yeah, René and I totally invented CardioFoot when we were 19, it was a huge success and made us super rich."

"Don't make fun of Michael," I said gloomily.

"Oh, we are not making fun of Michael. Quite frankly, I think I like the guy," laughed Harry.

"You are so mean," I rolled my eyes.

"And you are so dense," laughed René.

"And that is supposed to mean what exactly?!"

"Nothing, absolutely nothing …" smiled Harry but I could see he was struggling to contain laughter.

"You are so mean," I said, "I am totally not talking to you."

You'd think they are sixteen and not me.

 

Sunday, November 12, before the start of the formal dinner that is supposed to ensure better relations between the countries

 

I wish I bounced back as fast as Grandmere does after a break up. Just yesterday she was distraught over the fact that I broke up with JP and now 24 hours later, she already has a new perfect consort for me in mind.

And this time she has a partner in crime.

Yeah, right, she and the Queen set up this dinner to improve the relations between our countries! In reality, all they want to do is hook me up with Harry!

They were drinking tea in the reception room when I walked in.

"I am telling, you, Clarisse," the Queen was saying, "he has such power in Norway! I invited him to one of my estates during summer and the number of Norwegian tourists increased significantly! Not just Norwegians, actually, tourists from while northern Europe flocked to the countryside! You should invite him over, he is a fine man. My husband finally had someone to go hunting with."

"That sounds…" started Grandmere but then saw me standing by the door. "Oh, Amelia. Finally. Come, meet the Queen."

"Amelia," the Queen smiled at me, "I've heard so much about you! You are just as gracious as everyone was saying. Meet my dear grandson, Harry."

Harry, who was half-sitting half-lying on the sofa, just lifted his right hand and grinned.

Extraordinary manners, I have to say.

I just smiled at him and Grandmere's cheeks were super red. For someone, who is so excited about romance, it is a wonder that she is still single.

 

Sunday, November 12, still before the start of the dinner

 

Blah blah blah.

This is so boring.

And all I want to do is crawl into my bed and eat chocolate cake.

And not care if it makes my thighs explode.

 

Sunday, November 12, still before the start of the dinner

 

I know writing in my diary instead of following the conversation is inappropriate, but I think playing games on your phone is way ruder. That is what Harry is doing.

I hate this guy. How can he be so careless?

He is a prince, for crying out loud!

 

Sunday, November 12, still before the start of the dinner

 

I remember two years ago when I met William. I had to endure hours and hours of being told what can I say and do and in the end, the meeting was over in like ten seconds.

That was a waste of time in every aspect imaginable. I mean, William doesn't even remember us meeting already. He too is in Genovia for the big dinner tonight and as he and Kate entered the reception room, he wore a big, welcoming smile on his face as he stepped to me, shook my head and told me it was very nice to meet me.

I played along, because, I mean, in the line of duty we meet so many people that it is not really surprising we sometimes forget we already met someone.

Yay! I am boyfriend-less, chest-less, without any math skills, I break hearts and am heartbroken with a terrible haircut and on top of everything, I am even super-forgettable!

But I have to say Kate is sooo beautiful! And her hair is so gracious! I wish I could have hair like hers. I mean, now I am more than ever aware of just how triangular-shaped my hair is!

"I must compliment you on your humanitarian work," William said, "I loved how you threw those snails in the bay to save it from the alga. It is always great when people are so passionate about the environment."

"You were just fixing the Monaco's mistake," nodded Kate, "I love the dress you are wearing, by the way. Who made it?"

"Sebastiano Grimaldi," I said, thinking Sebastiano would probably die when I told him his work was complimented by Kate. He loves her – but then again, who doesn't?

 

Sunday, November 12, start of the dinner

 

We just sat down for dinner. I found myself sitting next to Harry.

Because, you know, I just love the guy and spending the whole evening in his company is just what I want.

Not.

"It's not like he follows your work, you know," he whispered to me.

"Who?"

"My brother. He googled you and you throwing snails was one of the first hits."

"Do you expect me to start crying or something at this revelation? Or do you suffer from younger brother complex so you badmouth your bother every chance you get?"

That shut him up for a while.

 

Sunday, November 12, still at the dinner

 

Do we have a new chef or something? Because I totally don't remember soups here being so delicious the last time I ate here.

 

Sunday, November 12, still at the dinner

 

How can Kate have such perfect posture even when she's eating?

I will never be that elegant and I can live for, like, ever.

Sunday, November 12, still at the dinner

 

Well, even if we do have a new chef, nothing has changed. I am still not served a vegetarian course at formal dinners.

But you know what? It is not like I care anymore. I was a vegetarian for a long time and I never got anything in return, I just got my heart broken.

Maybe my heart will be stronger if I eat meat.

 

Sunday, November 12, still at the dinner

 

"I thought you were a vegetarian?" Harry asked me.

"Yeah, well, I used to think a lot of things too," I shrugged.

 

Sunday, November 12, still at the dinner

 

"Hey, Genovia, I have an idea," Harry said.

"Are you talking to me?"

"Well, yeah. Listen, why don't we sneak into the kitchen and see what kind of desserts we are getting?"

Is this guy mental or something? You don't just leave the table in the middle of formal dinners. You just don't!

"I am starting to think that you are sabotaging this dinner," I rolled my eyes. "You'll see desserts when they'll bring them."

"Yeah, but it so much more fun if you know before the others."

"Has no one ever told you it is not polite to leave the table before the dinner ends?"

"Maybe … but what is right and what's wrong anyway? I think the lines are kind of subjective, don't you?"

"But Grandmere…"

"Won't know. I ain't gonna tell her, are you?"

I looked over to Grandmere. She was carefully listening to the Queen explaining to her about this Norwegian banker or economist or something that has spent the summer over at the palace and was somehow responsible for the flood of Norwegian tourists. She was way too absorbed to notice me leaving the table.

Dad was talking to the Queen's husband, about taxes or something. Since he was at the same time making notes on his iPhone, the chances of him noticing me being gone were too practically zero.

And William and Kate were too busy feeding each other and playing footsie under the table (aren't they the cutest?).

"Fine," I gave in, "but just for five minutes!"

Harry just grinned at me.

 

Sunday, November 12, still at the dinner, the kitchen

 

We do have a new chef!

His name is Pierre and Grandmere found him when he was working in a French restaurant somewhere in Brussels. She was so impressed with his Coquilles Saint-Jacques that she immediately hired him as a main chef in the Genovian Royal Palace (I think that is as emotional as my grandmother gets).

"It is so nice to meet you, Princess, it is my honor to cook for you!" he said in very rapid French, "come, sit here, I'll make you a special dessert!"

Harry's mouth was already full of sachertorte.

"Trust me, Genovia, having good relationship with palace's kitchen staff is like the norm!" he said. "Especially for someone who is a vegetarian."

Pierre handed me a plate with something he called Gelato.

"You're a vegetarian?" he exclaimed, "I did not know that, you should have told me, I would have made you something vegetarian! Rösti Casserole with Baked Eggs, for example, I…"

"It is ok, Pierre, don't put on any extra work for me, I'll eat whatever you put in front of me," I shrugged.

"Hey, Genovia, have you seen the royal gardens lately?" Harry interrupted.

"Why?"

"Because they look great and you, as a princess, should see it," he said putting down his plate, "come on, I'll show you."

"Are you crazy? We have to go back there before they find out we are gone from the table!"

"Blah blah blah, what are they gonna do to us? What have you got to lose, seriously? All you can get is a little bit of fun?"

"Getting yelled at by my grandmother is not exactly my favorite hobby, you know."

"Yeah, but she'll eventually move on to torturing you with Princess Lessons, right? Just loosen up, Princess, enjoy life!"

I crossed my arms.

"Yeah, because it is just soooo enjoyable!"

He sat down on the counter next to me.

"Why do you feel that just because you wear a tiara, you cannot be happy? Just because you happen to be royal, it doesn't mean you are any less human, you know."

"Grandmere…"

"Why do you care so much about what she thinks? This is your life, not hers. Yeah, you are supposed to follow some of her guidelines, but you have to ask yourself, Genovia, where is the limit? How far can you go before you lose yourself? We are just normal people who happen to be royal. We are not royals who sometimes act like Average Joes. Don't let the tiara swallow you," he said and paused for a moment before continuing. "Just like you shouldn't let the heartbreak get the best of you."

"I am just so tired of losing everything because of the tiara. And it hurts so much that he is not here anymore."

"Yeah … but just because he is not here now, it doesn't mean that he won't be here again one day. Or that you won't find somebody who will successfully take his place."

"You saying I will somehow find the happiness again?" I asked skeptically.

"Sure you will. Now come on," he stretched his hand, waiting for me to take it.

And I know I shouldn't take it. It was wrong. I was supposed to be sitting behind the table, smiling politely at the Queen, playing the perfect Princess.

But you know what?

Michael wasn't supposed to just go to Japan and leave me. We loved each other - it didn't seem so at the end but I know what we had was real. And it wasn't supposed to end the way it did. We were supposed to be together because that is what you are supposed to do when you are in love.

Some things simply just … happen.

Relationships fall apart.

People leave – they leave you.

And you are left alone.

I guess sometimes in the end things don't go the way they were supposed to and maybe this is the magic – or curse – of life. It is unpredictable and it keeps rotating and putting together the most surprising combinations imaginable.

Maybe sometimes, when you are down and left with nothing, you shouldn't get back up and try to rebuild what has fallen apart. Maybe you are not supposed to go back onto the road that led you in the hole in first place.

Maybe what you are supposed to do is just let go of the past and go down a different path. I mean, what is the point of going back to the things that hurt you in the first place? Maybe moving on does not mean rebuild and regain what you have lost – maybe it means putting together new foundations, the beginnings of a new life.

And maybe this – for the first time in my life disobeying what I was supposed to do – is just the brick I need to be able build myself back together.

 

Monday, November 13, before going to the airport to fly back to New York

 

And so I took Harry's hand and we ran off into the gardens.

And they were so beautiful.

I swear, the nature will never cease to amaze me. The world can seem so dark in your eyes, so evil and you can be totally broken, but the nature will still stand strong, in all its magnificent creations, blossoming and taking your breathes away even and maybe especially when you'll think you are all out of breath. Sometimes you might be feeling like there is no hope, that the beauty is gone from your life and that all you will ever get is just … endless dusk.

And then you open up your eyes and you are faced with nature and you realize the world is still out there, just waiting for you to wake up from your haze and accept life back into your veins again.

And you feel silly for denying its existence for so long, stubbornly staying in the darkness of your soul, drenched in pain and with a broken heart.

Walking around with your eyes open and embracing the life might not get rid of your heart break, but at least it will make it more bearable.

And right now, I will take anything I can get.

"This is so beautiful," I whispered.

"It certainly is," nodded Harry looking around. Then he pointed at something. "Hey, look!"

I looked into the direction of his pointing finger (princes are not supposed to do that, are they? It is totally impolite!).

"No way," I shook my head, knowing what he suggested.

"Why not? You already sneaked from the table, what can be worse than that?" he grinned.

And he handed me the rocket for badminton.

"My coordination is terrible," I insisted.

"Even better," he winked at me.

I looked at Lars but he just shrugged.

Aren't bodyguards supposed to be on your side?

"I am sure, Princess," he said, "that with practice your coordination will get better."

"Don't you New Yorkers have PE in school or something? This will totally do good for you in PE class, you know?"

"Shut up," I said, "five minutes and then we go back to the table."

He grinned.

"Sure thing, Genovia."

And so we played badminton right there, in royal gardens, in the moonlight while we were supposed to at the formal dinner, so very important for the countries whose royals we were. And I was tripping in the long dress and it was a marvel that I didn't break my ankle in the high heel Gucci I had on. But you know what? Despite this – or maybe because of this – it was fun.

"I totally got this!" screamed Harry and staggered backwards to hit the shuttlecock but lost balance and fell into one of the fountains behind them. And that was the final straw. I started laughing.

I laughed like I hadn't laughed in months - since Michael left.

"What's so funny?" asked Harry when he climbed out of the fountain, completely soaked.

"Nothing," I said, laughing even more at the sight of him, "it's just ... it feels good to laugh, that's all."

He just smiled.

And I would probably continue laughing if a flash of a camera didn't suddenly appear.

I blinked and looked into the direction it came from.

And right there, behind the fence that was separating the palace grounds form the outside, was a group of reporters, all pressing their cameras through the railings, trying to get a perfect shot of, well, Harry and me.

You know, just a typical day for a royal. Being followed around by a herd of paparazzi.

"I think we better get inside," said Lars.

To say that Grandmere and Dad weren't happy with me would be an understatement of the year.

Or better yet, century.

I thought Grandmere would have a coronary, I really did. I have never seen her so upset before. I mean, her carefully planned dinner came to an abrupt end when Harry and I returned inside. Harry was quickly shoveled into a limo and our royal guests sped away to the airport to go back home. Grandmere of course went on and on about how I embarrassed her until Dad finally stopped her.

She just rolled her eyes and went to get another Sidecar.

Dad just sighed as we were left alone in the dining room.

"I am sorry, I didn't know reporters would be out there," I said.

"Well, you should have seen it coming since this dinner was a pretty big thing for both countries," he pointed out, "after they get interviews, reporters don't usually just leave, you know."

"I know I should have known better, it's just that …" I said but then just shrugged. "I don't know."

"Well, you certainly seem happier than I've seen you lately," he smiled at me. "But that still doesn't make it ok. You should have been smarter. And to teach you a lesson, I am confiscating your phone for a while. And you can only use the internet for school purposes, do you understand?"

Honestly? I didn't care what punishment I got.

Because no punishment could take away what I got out of the dinner – hope.

Well, not exactly hope, because it was more than hope. Now I knew I could somehow move on and start over.

I got that brick I was so desperately reaching for ever since September.

A brick that could put me back together.

And yeah, in the morning my face was once again on the cover of pretty much every newspaper I saw ("Last night two royal families attended a dinner organized to improve the relationship … however, the diplomacy was over-shone when the youngest members of the families sneaked out of the palace to play midnight badminton in the magnificent Genovian Royal Gardens … seen pictured is young Harry, crashing into one of the beautifully sculptured fountains and young princess Amelia, smiling as she sees her friend taking a bath. What could this getaway mean? Our experts on everything royalty related suggest that this could be a new royal romance springing! It certainly has a potential to become the most popular royal romance, even surpassing William and Kate's! Both young royals are reportedly single – Harry has broken up with his girlfriend of four months, German model Nastassja Böhler while Amelia's love life has taken a wild turn this September after she split up with her longtime steady boyfriend of nearly two years, Michael Moscovitz, when he reportedly left for Japan to attend University in Tsukuba. The Princess was later seen numerous times in the company of her classmate, a son of respected Broadway producer, John Paul Abernethy-Reynolds IV. Though undisclosed sources said the two of them were indeed a couple, no official confirmation has ever been given. Last night rendezvous with Harry, though, raises more questions than it gives answers. This is certainly unusual for a Princess who was, until this September, known for keeping a low profile, not sharing many details of her personal life with the media. Has this changed and is the world about to see a new all-royal romance? We shall see in the upcoming weeks …").

And I KNOW Grandmere liked what reports were saying. Not the 'magnificent gardens' or 'beautifully sculptured fountains' – no, what she liked was that the whole world thought I was indeed dating someone royal.

Because, you know, in her mind, only someone royal is good enough for, well, me.

Rene was of course thrilled to see my wild side, he kept saying that he was proud of me and that he couldn't wait for Christmas when I would come over again. He said he had everything planned out already.

Sebastiano just handed me a suitcase full of clothes he had made for me.

"They will fit you per," he said, "and when you get to New York, go see Paolo, I will tell him how to do yo ha, ok?"

Yeah, right, all I need is a new haircut.

Sebastiano will have to find himself another muse.

Just before I went into a car that is taking us to the airport, René leant closer to me to whisper me something.

"And things will work out ok, you'll see. Between Michael and you."

And I smiled to him. Yes, my heart was breaking, like it always does when somebody says his name, but this time, I could also smile.

"I know," I said.

 

Monday, November 13, before take off

 

I stare at the last email he has sent me.

And I think of the reply I will send him.

Because I want to still talk to him. Not because it would be the only thing left of what were some of the greatest moments of my life.

No.

Because even though we are broken up and he is in Japan, I still want him to be part of my life.

I don't want to be bitter anymore.

I want to move on.

And to move on, I have to make peace with the past.

I cannot do that if I cut him out of my life. I have to learn to live and be happy knowing that he is out there. Ignoring him and denying his existence wouldn't do me any good. Because I know we are bound to meet again one day. I mean, I have known the guy pretty much my whole life, we have more than just our hometown in common.

If not sooner, I will probably see him at my graduation. I know he will be there for Lilly.

So, yeah, I can't just go down the road of ignorance, I have to move on despite his lingering presence.

And it will hurt and it will ache but I guess sometimes life just does that to you. It hurts you.

But as long as you feel the pain, you are alive.

And as long as you are alive, there is hope that one day you will be ok.

 

Monday, November 13, somewhere above Atlantic Ocean

 

And now, as I am flying back to New York, I am realizing something else. It might be because oxygen is so thin at this altitude, but I

don't think this is it.

Maybe I was wrong.

Maybe I am supposed to spend time with these people. Other royals, I mean. I used to think that they were totally into their role and could only pulled me in with them.

But now I wonder if maybe they too are just like me. Some of them, at least.

They have been in this for way longer than me. Maybe I can actually learn something from them.

Like, for example, that despite the tiara I can still be me. Whoever I actually am, because, honestly, I am not too sure about who I am right now.

But maybe I can be more than a princess. And maybe I can even be more than a heartbroken girl.

Maybe I can do everything.

Maybe I could even model for Sebastiano.

Maybe I should do everything to find who I really am.

Maybe I should really just let go and … live. And stop caring about what everyone thinks or expects of me. I mean, Michael expected me to be mature about his departure – and look what happened. And Grandmere expected me to behave yesterday – and look what I did.

And I still feel so bad for disappointing them.

But I guess you can never fully satisfy everyone's expectations.

So I will just live, despite a broken heart. Maybe I indeed will bump into the happiness somewhere, somehow.

And so I turn on my phone and start writing a response to Michael's email. And for the first time in months I don't feel like crawling into my bed, crying.

Don't get me wrong - I love Michael. I love him so much.

It might never go away.

Or maybe it will, who knows.

Or maybe one day I will be ready to make a place in my heart for someone else.

And this is what I will hold on to.

And so I look around and I see the sun and I feel the happiness. Not the same one I used to feel but happiness nevertheless. It is a tiny ray of light, barely there, but it is there and I feel it. And it is so beautiful.

And I know I will be alright.

Somehow.

Someday.

Someday soon.

 

---

*Carrie Underwood – Someday When I Stop Loving You

**Dialogues from these movies obviously do not belong to me, but to their owners, whoever they are

 

The End.

Broughttoyouby:::winter.


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