It was nearly time for the banquet to end and I couldn’t stop thinking about Jackson. He’s so different to the other guys who find me attractive and the fact that he wants to know me for me makes me like him more even though he doesn’t actually know I’m the Princess, I could see it in his gorgeous grey blue eyes.
I got into bed as mum walked in. She sat on my bed, “Happy birthday, Emily, did you have a good time?”
“Yes, for the first time I spoke to a guy and he didn’t know that it was me. I felt like a normal teenage girl.”
“That’s good, what was he like?” Mum asked.
I happily replied “Well he was very polite and well mannered, dark curly brown hair but it looked black, light brown skin, blue grey eyes...he was amazing mum but I probably won’t see him again.”
“Don’t say that, anything’s possible but right now you should get some sleep.”
Once mum left I slowly dozed off to sleep but being asleep didn’t stop me thinking about Jackson.
The days that followed after my birthday felt long and dreary but on Saturday after breakfast I left the Palace and went into town. It wasn’t a warm day so I decided to wear black skinny jeans, a white singlet and a mint knit sweater and brown leather boots. I kept my hair tied up because it was windy. I was walking down the street and I smelt pastries like the ones from my birthday banquet. I stopped, looked around then spotted a bakery across the road. I crossed the street, walked into the bakery and saw a guy behind the counter. He wore a grey short sleeve top, dark blue denim jeans and a faded orange apron, the guy turned around and I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was Jackson. He wiped his hands on his apron then said “Hello, how can I help you?”
I looked at him then replied “I was across the street and the smell from here reminded me of a smell from a few days ago, is your name Jackson?”
“I am, I don’t mean to sound rude but do I know you?”
“Kind of...we met at the banquet. I was the girl in the silver dress.” I explained.
He looked at me, smiled then placed both hands on the counter. “That was you? Wow...you’re more beautiful without the mask.”
I felt myself blushing and said “Thank you.”
“What’s your name? I never got it.”
I walked up to the counter, smiled then said “Emily.”
“Well it’s nice to meet you, Emily...” Jackson said as he put out his hand for me to shake.
I looked at his hand in hesitation before saying “It’s nice to meet you...Jackson.” I placed my hand in his, as I did so he lifted my hand and pressed his lips against my knuckles like a proper gentleman. Jackson’s lips felt gentle against my skin which made my heart start beating quickly. He let go of my hand, looked into my eyes but as he did so his eyes were sparkling, Jackson said “I know we have only just met but do you...do you want to go on a date with me?”
I looked at him in shock then replied “What about the Princess?”
“I have a feeling that I’ll be waiting a long time for that...I would like to go on a date with you, Emily.”
I studied his face before answering, Jackson genuinely wanted to. I replied “What are we going to be doing on this date?”
Jackson gave me huge smile and said “There’s a meadow by the Palace, I go there to watch the sunset. Meet me there at six o’clock but just bring yourself, I’ll do everything else, okay?”
“Okay, do I need to dress warmer?” I asked as I looked at my clothes.
“No...What you’re wearing is perfect.”
I left a while later with a big smile on my face. Tonight will my first proper date with a guy but I’m worried that when he finds out I’m the Princess, he’s not going to treat me the same so it’s better that he doesn’t know...for now.
I arrived back at the Palace and mum was waiting for me at the front doors. “We were getting worried about you, where have you been?” She asked worried.
“I lost track of time, I’m sorry mum.” I replied as I gave her a hug.
Mum hugged me back and said “Okay but next time keep an eye on the time. Dinner’s nearly ready so you go and freshen up or get warmer, you’re cold.”
“I don’t feel cold, mum, it might be you who’s cold.”
I went inside, walked up the stairs to my room then changed into my blue and green dress. I put my hair down and it fell around my shoulders so I took two strands away from my face and styled it so it stayed behind my head. I grabbed a white long sleeve knit cardigan and put it on then put on my silver ballerina flats. I went downstairs to the dining room and saw my parents waiting for me, Mum said as I sat down across from her. “You look beautiful, Emily.”
Dad looked at me and asked “How was your trip to town today?”
“Good, it’s changed a bit since I last went. Can I ask you something mum?” I asked as I looked at her. Mum looked at me and replied “Of course you can.”
“I was scared to ask before but at the banquet a guy said that the last time we met was at his father’s funeral. Is that true?” Mum looked at dad then at me again but something changed in her eyes, she looked hurt and sad. “Yes it’s true, you were nine at the time. There was an accident at the coalmine and in the explosion two dear friends of your father and I died, they were Mrs. Mitchell’s brother, Anthony and her husband, Edward. Edward and your father were very close so it struck us by surprise when it happened.”
Mum stopped talking to get a breath before I saw a tear run down her cheek but she carried on. “Edward left behind a son, he was at school when the explosion happened and saw his father die. He didn’t talk to anyone for a long time after that but now Fiona and Jackson, her son have finally repaired their lives.”
After that dinner was a quiet affair, once dinner was finished I made my way to the meadow and met Jackson.