*Doesn't fit the prompt*
Note: This is Part 2 of a collab I did with Jasey Lovegood✨! Make sure to check out the first part of my POV (link: https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/contests/88/submissions/61853/) and her POV (link in the comment below).
For my friend, who liked me years ago. Thank you for the countless amounts of inside jokes and arguments. You’re somehow annoying and amazing at the same time. It’s your superpower.
“I’m telling you, son. You never do anything right,” my father growled. “A trespasser that you were in charge of escaped a few days ago. You don’t look like a prince, nor do you act like one. Then there was that trade with Aeirnum you botched up. The kingdom’s citizens don’t like you; they think you’re not worthy of the throne. You’re ruining my reputation!”
I protested, “Father—”
“Don’t get me started, boy,” he snapped. “You have no right to talk back to your king. You’ve done nothing right as a prince. I expect more from you. Don’t fail me.”
He walked out of my room and slammed the door shut before I could shoot back a response.
I felt like a failure. Father, otherwise known as King Cornelius, always knew where to strike me with his words. He always knew what to say to break me. Some say the tongue is more powerful than any gun. They’re right. My father could never hurt me more by hitting me.
The urge to please my father hit me hard. I wanted to make him proud. To be confident of me. I knew just the thing to do that.
I knocked on the door of Aurelia’s room. It was right behind one of the corridor’s fireplaces: somewhere my father would never check.
“Fitzroy?” Aurelia opened the door and let me in.
“Yeah,” I said, feeling uncomfortable. We had not spoken since Aurelia’s birthday.
“It feels like I haven’t talked to you in forever,” Aurelia looked just as uncomfortable as I did. “What’s going on? Why are you here?”
I looked down. “I think you know why, Aurelia.”
I felt that I had approximately one second before Aurelia threw me out of her room and locked the door behind her.
Shockingly, Aurelia didn’t; she just shook her head. “I can’t endanger you like that. If you touch my gold, it’ll curse you for the rest of your life!”
“I don’t think you understand, Aurelia. I’m not asking this time. I have to give some gold to my father to show that I’m worthy. All of my life, I’ve been treated like a dog on the streets: useless. I can’t be the person he wants me to be, so I have to do something about it.”
“No!” Aurelia cried. “No, no, no. I’m not cursing you!”
As if responding to her feelings, a chunk of gold popped up from the ground. My eyes widened. The solution to my father’s bitterness was right at my feet. I didn’t care about the curses. I didn’t care. No curse could be worse than having a father who didn’t accept you and loving a girl who didn’t love you back.
“Don’t. Fitzroy, please, don’t.”
But Aurelia’s voice sounded tiny and far away. I picked up the gold.
“No!” I barely heard Aurelia through the ringing in my ears. The solution to my problems was in my hands. “The curse will kill you!”
She sped to me and tried to make me let go of the gold. I couldn’t let go. For once, despite my lack of muscles, I felt strong. I held onto it like it was the only thing connecting me to life. Maybe it was, in a way. Without the gold, I would never be happy.
A few seconds was all it took for the curse of the gold to overwhelm me. I dropped to the gold, feeling unbelievable pain spreading through my body. It felt like molten lava was my blood. I felt myself heating up like I was on fire. I gasped and dropped the gold. But the pain didn’t stop. It felt like fire was spreading across my body, burning through it one cell at a time. It was excruciating.
If I’m going to die, can you please make it quick? I begged in my head to no one in particular.
The pain intensified, and I felt my life slipping away. I writhed, trying to make it stop. I wanted to let go. I felt my heartbeat dying out and my breathing getting more labored. The webs of heat made their way toward my heart.
Suddenly, a voice rang clear in my head. “I love you, Fitzroy!”
The burning stopped, and the pain faded away until it was gone. I saw Aurelia wiping the tears from her face.
“You make me feel like the luckiest person in the world,” she continued, her voice shaking but with a ring of truth. “And I always forget that I’m burdened by this stupid ‘gift’ when I’m with you. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not realizing it sooner. Because now you’re leaving me.” She inhaled. “I’ll say it a million times if I have to. I love you, I love you, and I love you. I wouldn’t be able to bear it if I lost you. So come back to me, Princeling. Because yeah, maybe I’m the one with separation anxiety now, I admit it. Just don’t leave.”
Aurelia loved me. She loved me.
She loved me.
That realization shocked me to the core. I tried to move, but my hand only twitched.
“Fitzroy?” Aurelia said through her tears.
I tried to move again, and I was able to take Aurelia’s hand. She laughed shakily, and I could see the relief on her face.
“Hey, Aurelia,” I said weakly. ”I think I forgot to tell you this, but I love you too."
“Shut up!” Aurelia smacked my arm playfully. I managed to smile, rubbing my arm.
I coughed, feeling the remnants of the burning sensation in my throat. Aurelia wrapped her arms around me, and I didn’t complain.
“I’m sorry, Fitzroy. I’m so sorry,” She apologized. The smile didn’t leave my face as I tucked one of her beautiful blonde curls behind her ear.
“You don’t have to be sorry for anything, love. I’m the one who should be sorry.”
Before I could even process what I was doing, my lips were on Aurelia’s. Pure happiness and love coursed through my body. Maybe I could get a happy ending after all.
My father was quite angry when he found out about Aurelia. Even the fact that we had unlimited amounts of gold didn’t please him. After his anger faded, I could tell that he would always want something more out of me. He was never satisfied with me.
But I had Aurelia on my side, and that was all that counted.
We dated for a while and married a few years later. I couldn’t say that Aurelia was a perfect princess. But then again, I wasn’t a flawless prince.
When I became king, she was still with me. We went through all of our struggles as royalty and as a couple together.
Of course, I would die someday. And as much as I hated it, Aurelia and our children would die, too.
So this wasn’t quite a happily ever after. Not everything was perfect. But some things were even better than perfection.