The joust had been intense. The other knights had fought bravely, but over all, the winner had been Terryn. He had been so delighted to receive Roesia’s favour, he was completely energized when he had entered the field. He now had someone to fight for. He had been a valiant competitor, and he wanted to gratify his lady. He had honored her. Roesia was convinced that Terryn was a worthy man. She still worried she would mess up, but she felt comfortable with him. She loved him.
This went along perfectly with the king’s plan. He could tell the girl cherished his son. If things kept going smoothly, they would be married before they left the next day. He just wanted his only son to be content.
The king had been right. Immediately after the tournament was finished, Terryn went up to Roesia.
“My Roesia, you are the fairest flower of any field. I have known you for one day, but it has felt like a lifetime. I have not experienced such an emotion as this,” he revealed.
“It is new to both of us,” murmured Roesia in a shy voice.
“You have no idea how it makes me feel to hear you say that. It does my heart wonders. Will you stay with me forever?” he asked.
“Yes,” she responded.
“Will you love me forever?”
“Will you marry me, then?” Terryn proposed.
“No,” Roesia said.
The prince was taken back. This was not what he had expected. This was the first time he had been completely open to someone, and he had been rejected. He was hurt and let down. He assumed they meant the same to each other. He didn’t understand. He was humiliated. He began to shuffle away in shame.
“Please, Terryn, come back. I need you to listen to me,” the young woman pleaded.
As, injured as he was, he still loved her. He didn’t think anything in the world could change that now. He peered over his shoulder toward her.
“Terryn, I love you, I really do. I want to be with you forever. I do want to marry you,” Roesia said. He could perceive that she wasn’t telling him the whole story. She was holding something back.
“If all that is true,” inquired the knight, “then why did you say no? Why are you refusing my proposal?”
Roesia filled her lungs, held the air inside, and released it slowly. It seemed to help her control her stress and figure out what to say next.
She worded her statement very carefully. She spoke clearly, “Last night my mother and I had an argument. I wanted to live a life of my own, but I didn’t want her to be a part of that life. Now I’m not so sure. I miss my mother. She has always been there for me. Now that she is getting older, she is a lot feebler than she used to be. It’s my turn to be there for her. I want to be your wife, but I have other responsibilities I need to handle first.”
Terryn’s heart filled with compassion. He swore to her, “I promise to come back for you when you’re ready. I will wait for you until the end of my days.”
He went off to join his father and the other men. They had to get some sleep. They had a long journey back to the castle in the morning. Terryn was dismayed that he wouldn’t be able to bring Roesia home with him, but he accepted the way things were. He was still optimistic that they would end up together someday.