Happiness

Will Regina Mills finally get the happiness she deserves? Will she stop having to do things for others?

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3. Jefferson

Chapter 3: Jefferson

 

Leopold’s funeral is sad and Mother is there to support me. Even before the funeral she pulled me aside and told me. “You’re queen now Regina. You are queen and nothing is going to take that away.” I realize I am queen and the throne is mine until Snow’s 18th birthday. Too bad she’s only nine. I have nine years left until I forfeit the throne to Snow. I lay a hand on Emily’s black clothed shoulder and Snow wraps her arms around my waist. My sister Zelena is here…wearing a dark green dress. Victoria wears a black dress because in a way Leopold was her stepfather. Victoria wraps her arms around me as well. Emily wraps her arms around me later. Zelena holds baby Alexander in her arms. The preacher preaches a good celebration of life message in honor of the dead king.
“Dearly beloved subjects, we are gathered here today to honor the late king Leopold. We are here to bury him beside his late wife Queen Ava. We are here to pass the throne on to Queen Regina who will reign until Princess Snow’s marriage. It is law that Snow should be queen upon her 18th birthday but…King Leopold wanted Snow to be married before she becomes queen.

“King Leopold had it arranged that upon his death his two daughters, his stepdaughter and his wife Regina will be well taken care of. Lord Jefferson Hatter has been chosen as Queen Regina’s new husband. He won’t be king but he will be protector of the kingdom.”

When the pastor utters Leopold’s last will my heart breaks. I’m never going to be happy. My beloved Daniel died and I gave away our daughter to make my sister happy, my mother made me marry King Leopold to make her happy and now I must marry a man I do not know to make King Leopold happy. Will I ever earn happiness? My three daughters hold me tighter and the funeral proceeds. Afterwards, I send Victoria home with Zelena and my two other daughters go have tea and visit with guests in the palace. Mother pulls me aside and gives me a lecture.

“You’re going to marry Jefferson?”

“Why?”

“Do you want to lose your throne?”

“I want to be happy. I’ve been making everyone happy for the past ten years. I want to be happy.”

“You’re going to give Jefferson a son. You’re going to do this or you’re going to lose your throne and your daughters. I can make Victoria go away. Do you want to lose your only connection with Daniel?”
“Are you going to kill my daughter?”
“And your sister…and your nephew and your brother-in-law. You’re going to marry Jefferson. In a year, you’ll be Queen Regina Hatter and in two you’ll be a mother again.”

“I didn’t realize that you were planning my life.”

“Yes, I am planning your life. You’ll never get a happy ending Regina. Do what the bible tells you too. Have joy…with joy you don’t need happiness.”

I watch as Mother leaves the cemetery. My ladies assist me back to the palace where I enjoy the company of my two daughters and where I meet Jefferson Hatter. I sit on my throne with Snow in her chair beside me and Emily on my lap. She’s six but she can still sit on Mommy’s lap. Zelena brings Victoria to sit by me as well. I can’t believe my eldest daughter is a year younger than my beautiful stepdaughter. In a year, I’ll be married.

Lord Jefferson Hatter, is a man of noble class. His father made hats and crowns for the White family for generations. He’s a well-respected man and I know him personally. He always went with Leopold on all my late husband’s journeys. I can see why Leopold chose him to become my partner. I suppose Leo doesn’t or didn’t trust me to raise our children on my own. He knew Victoria would be alright, I guess he was worried that Snow and Emily wouldn’t be able to cope without a father. They say we’re going to marry next spring after my 26th birthday. With my luck, he’ll die shortly after. After being married to Leopold for eight years, I can’t imagine being wed to a man I hardly know. A man I view as a commoner, as a peasant, as someone below me. In the end, we’re all below God.

Wedding Day

Snow and Emily and Victoria look beautiful decked out in their dresses for their mother’s wedding. I can’t believe Zelena agreed to allow our daughter to be in my wedding. Zelena may be my sister and may be Victoria’s aunt but Zelena is raising Victoria. It’s a complicated relationship. Snow looks stunning in her light pink dress with golden swirls and her black hair tied back with baby’s breath. Today her twin is her sister Emily. Emily looks stunning wearing a light blue dress with her black hair tied back with baby’s breath. You can hardly tell the difference between the two girls. They both have raven black hair and green eyes. Emily got her hair from me, Snow got her hair from Ava and both got their eyes from their father.

Victoria on the other hand has black hair but has piercing blue eyes and looks so beautiful and breathtaking in her pastel green dress with baby’s breath in her hair. Zelena is wearing a dark green…an emerald green matron of honor dress with her red curls and turquoise eyes the center of attention. I on the other hand opted for a dress unlike the one I was planning for my wedding to Daniel and unlike the one for my wedding to Leopold. This dress has a long train, it’s silk and has tiny seed pearls imbedded into the fabric. It’s a dress I hate with a passion and I plan to burn it after the wedding. I can’t believe that nearly ten years ago I was pregnant with Victoria…now I’m getting married.

I stand with my hands clasped by Jefferson’s. His wild brown eyes match mine…his stringy and dirty hair is unattractive. The man is crazy…no he’s insane. He’s wearing his stupid hat…with a stupid tuxedo. At least he’s not going to be king. He smiles and I give him a fake smile back. This isn’t making me happy…I want to be happy. I know after the wedding Victoria is going off to school. I’m sending her to boarding school. Snow and Victoria are both going to an academy to get an education. Snow’s going to get queen training and Victoria is going to get proper princess training. She’s not a princess but she’s the bastard daughter of a queen so…after the wedding they’ll leave. In a few hours, my two daughters are leaving. Emily’s six…you must be at least nine to get in. She’ll be getting proper training from her teachers here.

“Do you Regina take Jefferson to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
“I do.”

“Do you Jefferson take Regina to be your lawfully wedded wife?”

“I do”

            “By the power invested in me by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride?”
            Jefferson wraps his arms around my waist and pulls me in for a kiss. I fight the kiss just as much as I fought Leopold. Something about the kiss makes me not want to fight. I’m doing this to make my late husband happy. Everything I do, everything I’ve been doing for the last ten years is making people happy and yet I haven’t been given an ounce of that happiness. I just want to be happy.

 

5 months later…

            I walk down the steps and into the dining room. Jefferson is already eating breakfast and reading various letters that were addressed to me.

“Why are you reading my mail?”

“Because it’s all from my stepchildren?”

            At that very moment Emily runs through the palace and zips past me. She’ll be eight in a few weeks and I can’t wait. I sit down at the table and begin reading the letters from Snow and Victoria. As far as I’m concerned they’re both enjoying school as much as I did when I was their age. I’m glad that both Victoria and Snow are enjoying school. I can’t wait to see them because I miss them. It’s been nearly six months since I last saw my daughters. I know Zelena misses Victoria just as much as I do.

            I sit down and begin eating my breakfast, knowing in a few minutes I’ll be throwing it back up. Jefferson kisses my cheek and I smile. I’m growing used to the fact that I’ll never be happy…I must make myself happy by finding joy in obeying my husband. The Bible says that I need to obey Jefferson. I kiss his cheek back and he takes his seat beside me. I know it’s hard for him, since I’m queen and he’s just a lord. He’s prince consort. Emily comes running through the dining hall again and I call for her.

“EMILY ROSE! Sit down and eat your breakfast.”

            Emily takes a seat and lowers her head in shame. Jefferson tickles her and she giggles. She sits and begins eating her breakfast. When Emily’s done she looks at me and says.

“Mama, I miss Papa. Do you miss Papa?”
“Everyday little one but we have Jefferson now and I’m happy that I have him. He takes care of us. Papa was good when he chose Jefferson to care for us and marry me.”

“Mama do you love Jefferson?” I glance across the table at Jefferson and smile. He’s lowered his head into his food. I smile…

“Yes Emily, I love Jefferson. I’m glad your Papa knew what I wanted because I sure didn’t”

“Mama…when are Snow and Victoria coming home?”
“In seven months. They’ll be home just in time to welcome the new baby.”

            Emily’s face lights up when I tell her she’s going to be a big sister. Jefferson looks up from his food and stares at me. I nod and he smiles. Emily runs of with her nurse and leaves me and Jefferson alone together. He stands up and walks over to me. He helps me stand and wraps his arms around me. He places a soft kiss on my lips and I smile.

“Did I hear you correctly? Regina, are you carrying our child?”

“Yes, don’t be angry if it turns out to be a girl.”

“I won’t care because it’s going to be my child.”

            Jefferson squats down and places a hand over my naval. He stares up at me and smiles. I wipe away the single tear rolling down his face. I pull him to his feet and place a kiss on his lips. He smiles and I can’t help but smile as well.

 

 

 

Seven months later…

            My two daughters run through the palace and into my arms. They’re a whole year older from the last time I saw them. They hug me carefully and then Victoria runs into Zelena’s arms. She greets her brother Alexander with a smile and he reaches for her. My daughter picks up her brother and holds him close. Then she comes back over to me. She kisses my cheek and Snow latches on to me. She’s eleven…she’s gotten so big.

“Mama you’re pregnant.”

“Yes Snow, I am. Your baby sibling will be born soon.”

“If I ever have a child…I’m going to name her Emma.”

“You said that to me when you were four.”

“I was being serious.”

            Emily walks in and cries when she sees her sisters. It’s been a long hard year for her without them. Next year all three of them will be sent off to school.

“Where’s Jefferson?”
“He’s sick. The doctors say he has cancer. They don’t give him long to live.”

“Mama, why didn’t you tell us?”

“Because Snow, I wanted you to focus on your studies. Come on let’s go see him”

            The girls walk in and find Jefferson on the bed…he’s barely breathing. I know he’s holding on to see his baby. He doesn’t have to wait long because the baby will come soon.

            The news of ogres on our borders come as I go into labor. Snow and Emily are taken by Zelena with Victoria to wait patiently for the birth of the new prince or princess. Jefferson orders knights to assist him into the delivery room. He watches the birth from a chair and he smiles as the cries of a newborn fill the room.

“It’s a girl.” Our daughter is put into Jefferson’s arms. He looks at me and then back down at our daughter.

“What does she look like?”
“Regina, she has brown eyes and blonde hair. She’s beautiful. Looks nothing like your other two. Victoria and Emily favor but this one…this beauty looks so different.”

“Jefferson…you’re her father. What’s her name?”
“Sophia Grace Hatter.”

            Two weeks later…

            Jefferson’s funeral isn’t as lavish as Leopold’s or as simple as Daniel’s. He’s the second husband I bury and with a newborn baby in my arms…it’s hard. The funeral is rushed because ogres are approaching our borders faster and faster with each passing day. I refuse to marry ever again. I have three children I care for and another one I care for temporarily. I’m not getting married ever again. When Jefferson’s, funeral is over the maids take the girls to their rooms and a nurse takes Sophia out of my arms. My maids assist me back to the palace where I take a seat on my throne and watch as peasants…I mean subjects come to give me their sympathy. I don’t want their sympathy. Jefferson’s in a better place…I hope. He never told me if he was saved or not.

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