The French tutor
That night I was just doing a small trip to the kitchens because I was feeling peckish when I heard voices coming from Titus’s rooms. I know it is wrong to eavesdrop and you may now boo and hiss but, I heard my name. I paused mid-thought.
‘Christopher. I know you have deep feelings for Taylor.’
‘Dad where is this going?’
‘Are you prepared to lose her?’
‘No, Dad! Where is this going?’
‘Your stepmother decided to spite us all.’
‘Dad?’ Chris’s voice was worried. The amount of worry plucked at the strings of my heart. Man, I sounded poetical just then.
‘You have to leave Taylor. Akki has arranged for you and Phoenix to get married this Wednesday. There is no getting out of it. No divorce just get married.’ I felt a little piece of me break off a die. They would grow old together and have kids leaving me to watch on the outside. Smiling and looking happy for them but knowing that my heart would break a little more every time I was with them, look after their children as they go off to parties. Chris would marry my best friend. I walked away completely ignoring my hunger. I just felt like curling up and dying. Phoenix had been flown back to England with her family four hours, fifty-nine minutes and eighteen seconds ago. She would now be married to Chris. I felt so foolish that I had dreamed up a big part of our relationship. Maybe I was just another girl to him. Just another who means nothing. I sat down leaning against one of the window seats. I heard loud footsteps coming closer and closer to where I was. Chris hurried around the corner.
‘Taylor?’ I ignored him. ‘Taylor. Are you okay?’ That was it. I stood up with the sparks of hate inside me turned into a roaring inferno.
‘Okay? Okay? Do you think I am okay? I just hear that my best friend is marrying my boyfriend. Yeah I am fine. Just fine.’ Chris's face fell.
‘Oh. You heard.’
‘Oh. Did I hear? Is that all you have to say? You heard. Of course, I bloody heard. The door was not exactly shut.’
‘Taylor!’ I kept going ignoring him.
‘DON’T TALK TO ME!’ I screamed. ‘I hate it! Taylor do this. Do that. Here here go there. I am so tired of it. Nobody ever asks me what I want. And I try not to be a self centered brat but I guess I am. I am so not sorry but, obviously Phoenix is a better choice for Lord Christopher Baenziger. Make him look better that he is marrying a commoner. I guess I just have hundreds of guys lining up to just get a look at me. Well go and get Phoenix then. I don’t care. She is obviously better and worth it. I guess I am just another girl. I guess that I can get any guy I like and will be turning head. You need to snap one up fast before all the pretty ones have gone. Just leave me alone. Just leave.’
‘Goddamnit. I can’t leave you. That’s just it. I love you too much. You are the center of my world. My North, my South, My East and my West. Take you out and I can’t go anywhere. My life will have no meaning.’
‘Well, you would say that wouldn’t you.’ I scoffed.
‘Taylor.’ Chris said more forcefully.
I kept going until he kissed me. ‘You don’t care. You don’t care ab-’ When we broke apart I was speechless.
‘I am not leaving you. Even if the world is split in two. I would follow you to hell.’
‘But what about Phoenix and Nikki?’
‘There is a minor loophole. If both parties don’t agree then it is off.’
‘Does not agree. She is currently the love interest of Sir James Maylord.’
‘Yeah. Him. I would burn down the world for you.’ I gave a small laugh.
‘I was being stupid. It is just nobody has thought at me like you do. Like I am equal. Like there is no difference between us.’
‘Because there is no difference between us.’ I smiled at him.
‘I guess people think otherwise. I live in a massive palace with a bodyguard and maids running around doing my bidding. I never asked for it.’
‘I know. Let’s get you to bed.’ I nodded Chris offered me his hand. I took it. We walked hand in hand back to my bedroom.
‘Goodnight.’ I went on tiptoe and kissed him lightly on the lips.
‘So your majesty. Our sources tell us that somebody went on a private walk with his lordship around the palace.’ I cracked open an eyes and focused on Mary.
‘Your point is?’
‘One in the morning! We are only informed by the one and only young Sebastian. His mother was furious that he was up so late. But you can’t blame him for needing the toilet.’
‘Are there not toilets down there?’ Jane looked stumped.
‘We use the nice ones at night.’
‘Right. Well, I will go and have a new maid brought in and you can expect to be down in the kitchens.’
‘Fine. We were spying on you.’
‘Great. Maybe I will keep you. Wait why were you spying on me?’ Jane looked uncomfortable.
‘Well. It is. We all have bets on when you will get married.’
‘Right. I am going to have breakfast.’ Chris walked into the room.
‘They did what?’ Chris was lying next to me in the garden.
‘Yeah. Anyway. Father has decided on a tutor for me. You know that french guy Chris nodded.
‘Who helped us out.’
‘Yeah, him. Dad hired him as he is gay and he owes me one. Or something.’ I was wearing a pair of large sunglasses over my eyes which made the world five times darker.
‘Yes way. Anyhoo. He is coming over next week.’
The french guy turned up three weeks later.
‘So sorry your majesty. My mother contracted Pancreas cancer. She will keep holding on. God told me she would.’ My father nodded.
‘If you need to leave please do. Just warn me okay?’ He nodded. ‘Taylor.’ Chris and I had been listening in on the conversation. I poked my head out of the wardrobe.
‘Vanessa is coming over soon.’ I nodded.
‘Sure. Just don’t do anything irresponsible.’ My father grimaced.
‘Christopher don’t you need to speak to Taylor privately?’ I looked up to Chris who was looking confused.
‘Nope. Not yet anyway.’ Dad gave him a sweet smile.
‘Just stay away from the garden.’ I walked out of the wardrobe and down towards the garden. Chris followed taking my hand.
We were going the back way when we heard voices.
‘So you think that she is better than me?’
‘Yeah?’ There was a slapping sound.
‘Well. I think you should commit to one person not two. One at a time.’
‘Then why did you do it?’ The female voice was reaching the volume of breaking glass.
‘Shall we turn back?’ Chris suggested. I shook my head.
‘Cuz. Cuz. I dunno.’ I walked around the corner. The maid that Chris had seen making out with that guy saying sure was looking livid.
‘What is going on?’
‘Go away. This is private business.’ I mentally flipped through all the lessons my grandmother gave me on our maids.
“Their business is our business. We should let them know that we care about what they are going through. This is the twenty first century. It is all about communication.”
‘Well I was told that I should help you with your problems. Rebecca is it?’ She threw a glance my way and then curtsied.
‘Sorry your majesty. Ray cheated on me.’
‘Taylor I will be in the gardens.’ Chris said leaving me with the irate maid.
‘Right.’ I sat down leaning against the wall. ‘Pull up a pew and I will tell you a wonderful story from my life. I had this friend who wanted to date my best friend. Small problem is that he had a girlfriend. She kissed him in front of the girlfriend. Hell was raised about that. If you think he is not worthy enough for you just break it all off.’ Rebecca nodded.
‘I thought I had something special for once.’
‘I thought I had something special with someone only a couple of days ago. Turns out he and my best friend were meant to get married this wednesday.’ Rebeccas black eyes were round with excitement.
‘Really?’ I nodded.
‘Hurt so much when I found that out. Okay. I have to go now. If you do need anything just tell me.’
I found him in the middle of the lawn grinning like a cat.
‘Took your time.’ I stuck out my tongue at him.
‘Bug off.’ I sat down next to him. ‘Maids are so rancorous.’ Chris sniggered.
‘Sorry. Go on.’ I took a deep breath and started. I said it in a high annoying voice like a mosquito. That was what most of the maids sounded like though.
‘Your majesty may I take you coat. Don’t run to dinner! Sit straight. Bla bla bla bla bla.’ I pulled a face.
‘That high voice is not good for you.’ I shrugged.
‘I don’t care right now.’
‘You are in-’
‘One of those moods.’ I finished for him. ‘I just want to scream and scream and scream but then the maids will come running.’
‘I am so glad I am not you.’ A piece of hair fell in front of my face. I blew some air upwards to move it. Mission: unsuccessful. Chris moved it for me.
‘I was just about to do that!’
‘I got there quicker. And a maid would of done it for you.’
‘Would have done it for you. Grammar.’ He rolled his eyes.
‘You need to get out more. ‘
‘No. I am fine.’
‘Okay? You agree?’
‘No I don’t. I just have to respect your wishes.’
‘Not that again. Anything but.’ I got up and stretched. ‘I don’t know about you but I am starving.’ Chris stood up behind me and tasered me. I did a weird move thing as a reaction. It had been going around my school for ages and Chris had found out about it. And I was super ticklish. Tasering for you uncultured swine is where you pinch someone above the hips and below the ribcage. As a result they should -if ticklish- move away in such a way they look as if they are having a fit. If unticklish they will just look at you like you are crazy.
‘You have really pretty eyes.’ he said suddenly when I took off my sunglasses.’
‘In the sunlight they look brown at first but then they melt into golden rays, like an eclipse. They are not just one colour. Yours are slightly green and seem almost to be the colour of your hair.’
‘But then if you mash loads of colours together then you get a mess of brown so if you have brown eyes it is like you have taken everything the world has thrown at you and kept going. So people with blue eyes have had an easy life.’ He took my hand again and kissed it gently.
‘Seriously are you feeling okay?’ I asked. Yes I was feeling flattered but Chris was never like this.
‘I’m fine.’ He kissed me full on.
‘Yeah you’re fine.’ I said.
We walked back towards the palace holding hands. Chris pushed me into a bush as my father approached.
‘Rumor has it there is food being served.’ Chris whispered as my father walked past our hiding place.
‘Maybe there is maybe there is not Mr Voiceinabush.’ My father answered. I poked my head out.
‘Seriously. You knew it was us.’ Dads eyes were twinkling with mischief.
‘Yes but why you were hiding in a bush is the question.’
‘Because we were hiding from the terrible chocolate monster running around. He threw chocolate at us.’ Chris nodded looking dead serious. My father looked around with a comical expression on his face.
‘Where is he? I will eat him up.’ There was a shout from the palace.
‘Your Majesty. The Prime Minister is on the phone. Something about marriage laws.’ The joking atmosphere dissolved like potassium in water. He grew serious and if possible older.
‘Dinner is being served. I must take my leave. They are trying to say that her majesty ,Taylor, must be married before the age of seventeen.’
‘What?’ Chris spoke at the same time as me.
‘Are you kidding. That gives me less than a year. I could drop dead.’
‘Then you would have a husband to carry on the family.’
‘I am not getting married anytime soon. No offence Chris.’ He put up his hands.
‘Non taken. I am not getting married. Sorry Taylor.’
‘Feeling is mutual.’ My father ran his hand through his hair.
‘This is what I am fighting against. I don’t want you to grow up so fast. That is why I brought you up in England. Fifteen seemed a good age to bring you into this mess. Anyway you have to get married or you will be called inappropriate to rule us all.’
‘That is just sexist.’ I said.
‘This is just the world.’ Dad replied.
‘YOUR MAJESTY PLEASE!’ Came the shout again. My father took off.
‘Bloody politics.’ I muttered.
‘Preach it sister.’ We just sat there staring straight ahead lost in our own thoughts ignoring our rumbling stomachs.
The sun set pretty quickly after that making us going inside before the moths and mosquitoes came out to feast on our blood.