“Mah..Taylor wake up were here.” Leighton says as he shakes me. I don’t quite remember when I fell asleep but it was somewhere over the middle of the ocean.
“Wait,” I say as Leighton goes to get out of the helicopter, “What am I supposed to do, or say, or act. I am scared. I don’t know what to expect.”
“Calm down, you’ll be fine just be yourself.” Leighton says as he extends a hand for me to take
“Can I get changed before I meet anyone I don’t want to make a first impression in my pyjamas,” I say
“You made a great first impression on me in your pyjamas,” he says with a laugh, “But sure go change quickly and we will take you to buy some new clothes before we take you to meet my, well she’s actually our mom.” He replies with a sympathetic grin.
After I get changed and we grab all of my stuff out of the helicopter we all pile into a limousine, I have to say it is very different from anything I am used to, I guess that’s what I get for being hidden for most of my life.
“So we will go in here and Jolene will pick out some outfits for you and then do your hair and makeup, its probably a good idea not to mention you are Mahlia Hart, for now just keep being Taylor Short, my friend I met on a camp a couple of years ago. We don’t want the press here before you have had the chance to meet everyone. Now also tonight there will be a dinner to introduce you to anyone and everyone of importance in Ambaland.” He says as he leads me out of the car and into a huge building
“Ok thank you so much Leighton I don’t know what I would do without you,” I say as I give him a small hug
“Probably be a mess,” he says as he hugs me back and then we walk into the huge building, once inside I see a room one side lined with beautiful clothing and the other a beauty parlour. A lady starts walking towards us and I take a step behind Leighton. He motions for me to step forward.
“Darling, I am Jolene and you are?” She asks as she extends a hand, one that has talons for fingernails.
“Taylor Short, a friend of mine from camp who is here to meet my mother,” Leighton says and takes a step forward so he is beside me
“Ooh meeting the mother it must be serious Mr Hart, come with me dear” Jolene says with a giggle as she motions for me over to the dresses. A good 2 hours later I have enough clothes and makeup to last me until I’m fifty, Leighton tells me we have to go now to do introductions before tonight. As we step out the front doors there are a whole heap of people with cameras asking Leighton a million questions, who was I, how long had we been together, were we in love, would I be the next queen well at least they got that part right. I was feeling very claustrophobic when a motorcycle comes to a screeching stop in front of us.
“Taylor go, I will get there but I need to get you out of here,” He says as he grabs the helmet off the bike
“No Leighton I don’t want to go without you,” I say as I try to get him to change his mind
“It’s for your safety, this is my best friend you can trust him, ok.” He said and I reluctantly took the helmet put it on and jumped on the back of a stranger’s bike. We weaved in and out of traffic until we reached the gates to a castle; I’m guessing my castle. There was a man at the gate
“Name,” He says without looking up
“Really Neville,” The stranger in front of me says in a sarcastic tone, the first time I have heard him talk.
“Sorry Sir and who may this be with you? Just for security with the princess arriving today,” He says trying to see who I am under my helmet
“Taylor Short she should be on the list,” He says and I already know he is smirking under his helmet although I haven’t seen his face I feel like I know him.
“Why yes Mr Clarke sorry,” He says as he opens the gate. We ride for what feels like forever before I actually see the castle, its huge and definitely not like in the movies. It is at least five stories and the sandstone walls have a chiselled design in it and a huge archway leading to the front doors. We keep driving until we reach the front doors. Mr Clarke helps me off the bike before he himself gets off. I take my helmet off and hand it to him and then he takes off his. He has blonde hair that is perfectly styled into a quiff even though he just took off a helmet and his eyes were as blue as the sea, well what I imagined the sea to look like, I’ve never actually gone anywhere other then White Falls. Have you ever had that feeling like you know someone, when you can’t quite figure out from where but its just a gut feeling. Well I have that right now.
“Sorry I should probably introduce myself you probably don’t remember, Alastair Clarke, we used to play king and queen together when we were 5.”
“Alastair, I don’t remember I’m sorry.” I say as I try remembering
“That’s quite alright Mahlia, we were young if it wasn’t from the pictures I probably wouldn’t remember either.” He says with a smile
“You will have to show me sometime, I would love to remember anything about before,” I say as Alastair leads me up the walkway towards the castle doors.
As he opens the door I slowly await the awkwardness that will surround me meeting my family. When the doors open there a quite a few people gathered around expecting my arrival. There were 3 teenage girls, 2 teenage boys, 4 ladies and 1 man. One of the boys was the first to notice Alastair and my arrival and as soon as he did he ran over to me and hugged me. He was a younger boy maybe 14/15 but he looked genuinely happy to see me, which is a relief.
“Mahlia, I am so happy you are finally here,” he said as he let me go
“I am guessing you are Skylar then?” I ask
“Yes, do you remember me?” He asks looking hopeful
“I’m sorry but I don’t remember anything from the age of 9, I had a fall and lost all of my memories.” I say as I take a step back, one of the ladies starts walking towards me with tears in her eyes,
“Mahlia, you have grown into such a beautiful young lady. Oh how I missed you,” she says as she embraces me, I take a deep breath and inhale her perfume and have a flash back. I was sitting on her lap I had a scraped knee and Leighton is cleaning it for me. I snap back out of it as my mother pulls away but I don’t let her, I pull her back in and start crying.
“Mom,” I say as I am balling my eyes out. At that moment Leighton walks through the door and I pull away from my mother and run up and hug him.
“I remember you,” I whisper into his ear as he embraces me back.