dedicated to my readers who have read both this and Princess Anna series.
If you didn't read Princess Anna's story, it's okay, you'll still understand. All you need to know is Eastralia is a country in the east of Westralia. Its crown prince is called Prince Edward and his wife is Princess Anna. These two characters came from my other princess story.
I'm bored. Really really bored. It's been a month since Grace and Alfred's wedding. Marco went back to his country the next day because he wanted to help rebuild his country after the earthquake. We're now officially "going out" but we haven't had a chance to actually "go out".
I wanted to go with him but he wouldn't let me. He said I should just stay here for now until things settle down over there. I really miss him. We hardly talk because he seems to be busy all the time. I don't want to be a demanding girlfriend so I let him be. He promised once he finishes his job there, he'll come back to me. Plus, he'll still need to finish his study over here.
But it's been a month. ONE WHOLE MONTH. I've tried everything from baking cookies to annoying my sister-in-laws but nothing works. I'm still bored.
I saw on TV that people are volunteering to help out in Araluen. I want to volunteer, too. But what can a princess like me do over there? If only I were a nurse.
Hmm. Maybe I can help out in the emergency kitchen. Yes, that's right. I can cook. I'm sure they need cooks over there. What a brilliant idea. I'm going to go and tell my father right now.
-- oOo --
"I would like to speak to my father please," I tell the secretary.
"Do you have an appointment?" his secretary asks.
"I'm his daughter! I don't need an appointment," I remind her.
"What is this regarding?" she asks with an expressionless expression. If you know what I mean.
"I want to go volunteering," I tell her.
She raises her eyebrows to indicate her doubts. "Volunteering…?"
Argh, this is taking too long. I ignore her and march to my dad's office.
"Your Highness, wait –"
"Daddy!!!" I run inside and hug him. "I want to go volunteering!" I tell him.
My father gives me a cough as a reply. Then I realise he wasn't alone. The Prime Minister and several other ministers are there.
I grin at them. "I'm sooo sorry for interrupting! I'm going to be quick." I turn back to my father. "So can I go volunteering, Daddy?" I ask again.
"Can we talk about this later, sweetheart?" he replies.
I pout. "Fine."
"Where would you like to volunteer, Your Highness?" One of the ministers seems to be interested in my idea. He must be the one who deals with social services thing.
I tell him my plan about volunteering to be a cook in the emergency kitchen in Araluen.
"No, Irene. You can't go to Araluen. It's a mess over there right now. It's not safe for you."
"Yes, Your Highness," the same minister answers. "But if you're interested, you can always do some charity events in the country. It'll be good for your reputation."
Charity events are boring. All I get to do is stand, smile, and wave. "Never mind," I quickly say. I better get out of here before the minister plant some ideas about me doing charity events into my father's head.
"You can go to Eastralia for the coronation of Prince Edward on Westralia's behalf….," I hear my father says.
What? Coronation? Meeting other royalties? Even worse than charity events. At least charity events are for good cause.
I smile politely at my father. "I'll let you carry on with the meeting. Let's talk later."
"I heard the Prince of Araluen is representing his country attending the coronation…"
Eh? Now, we're talking. "Really?" I ask carefully.
"Uh-huh." I can see a twinkle in my father's eyes.
"When is it?"
"This weekend." That's three days away.
"Count me in!" I agree immediately.
"Excellent. We'll discuss the details later tonight."
I grin from ear to ear. "Bye, Daddy. See you, everyone." I curtsy and leave the room.
HAHA! I'm going to Eastralia to see Marco! Erhm…I mean to attend Prince Edward's coronation.
Dum dum dum la da da da. I hum to myself while trying to decide which clothes to wear to Prince Edward's coronation. I want to look good for Marco…and for my country, of course. Yeah, as if.
Should I wear white? Or pink? Or blue? Oh gosh I can't choose. Maybe I should make a new dress but it's a bit too late now.
I pick up the phone and call Elena. I know it's a bit late at night, but this is an emergency. I'm leaving for Eastralia tomorrow afternoon!
After a lot of convincing, Elena finally arrives in my room.
"This or this?" I point to the two dresses I laid on my bed.
"This," Elena points to the pink one. "Is that it? Can I go now?"
"NOOO! Why this one?" I ask her.
"Because I'm tired and I need to sleep. Come on, they both look good on you so just pick one."
"Eleneeeeeee you're so unsupportive! Marco is going to be there!"
"So I need to look good! Now which shoes?" I disappear into my wardrobe to pick some shoes. When I get back outside, Elena is gone. Jeez. And she calls herself my best friend.
- oOo -
Okay, here I go. I'm on the plane to Eastralia. It's going to take about five hours to get there. Marco doesn't know that I'm going to be there. It's a surprise. I hardly can contain my excitement. I could be jumping up and down right now if it's not because of the seatbelt.
- oOo -
"Welcome to Eastralia, Your Highness," two guys greet me in unison when I step down the plane. Tom whispers to me that one of them is Westralian ambassador for Eastralia and the other is Eastralian foreign minister.
"Thank you. You have a beautiful….ehm…airport," I say to the foreign minister hoping to sound diplomatic.
"Ehm…Westralia has beautiful…ehm…airport…, too," he replies.
"I suppose we do," I nod in agreement because honestly, I think our airport is cleaner.
"Did you have a good flight?" he asks as we enter the mini bus that will take us into the airport building.
"Yes, I did. Thank you." Now what am I supposed to say? "Uhm…you must be busy welcoming guests for the coronation."
"It is an honour to meet representative from different countries, Your Highness," he replies.
"Have you welcomed the representative of Araluen by any chance?" I ask carefully. I can see Tom and Jerry are glaring at me. Oh come on.
"Oh yes. Prince of Araluen arrived earlier this morning," he says.
My eyes widen. "Really? And where is he stay – ouch!" I feel someone poking my ribs. "You're not supposed to poke your princess!" I scold Jerry quietly. How rude.
"Could it be that he stays in Sheraton?" I ask again. That's where I'm staying.
The minister looks confuse. "I'm afraid I can't give out that information, Your Highness."
- oOo -
Okay so this whole surprise thing is not working very well because no one can tell me where Marco is staying. The only time I will get to meet him is at the coronation. Well, at least I know for sure that he will be there.
- oOo -
WOW. I've never attended a coronation before. It's WOW. It's so grand. And I'm a princess. I've seen grand stuff. But this is like WHOA. The thrones in the coronation hall are made of gold. I don't think we have ones like these in our palace. There's a red carpet and rows of golden coloured seats for the guests. And there are so many people. It's impossible to find Marco in this kind of crowd.
The ceremony hasn't started so maybe I should look around. I tell the ambassador who came with me that I'm going to the bathroom.
I slowly walk towards the exit while extending my neck hoping to catch a sight of my boyfriend. But no such luck. I continue walking out the door and along the corridors. There're people everywhere. I keep walking until I meet a quieter corridor. There were several people in beautiful clothes walking in and out several rooms. I wonder who they are.
I keep walking and several people pass me by but they don't seem to be bothered with my existence so I continue on until someone knocks me over.
"Ouch," I try to pull myself up.
"I'm sooo sorry!" the girl in a big fluffy pink gown tries to help me up but she trips on her own gown and fall down next to me.
I turn my head to have a good look at her.
"I'm really sorry," she says again.
Wow. She's beautiful. Her hair is pitch-black decorated with a beautiful shinning tiara. Her eyes are as black as her hair.
"Your Highness!" several ladies come running after her. She must be a princess, too.
"Are you alright, Your Highness?" one of them helps her up and another helps me up.
When both of us finally up on our feet I notice she's as small as me.
"I'm very sorry," she apologises again. "I can be really clumsy at times."
I laugh. "Me, too! Especially in these clothes!" I look down at my gown.
She laughs with me. "I can't agree more!"
"I'm Irene, Princess of Westralia." I extend my right hand.
"I'm Anna, Crown Princess of Eastralia." She shakes my hand. "It's nice to meet you, Princess Irene."
"It's nice to meet you, too, Princess An – You're Princess Anna?" I suddenly realise. She's the commoner princess! Oh my gosh! I shake her hand vigorously. "You're my hero!"
"Ehhh?" she looks confuse.
"Your Highness, we really have to go," a lady tells her.
"Ah. Right. Okay." She looks at me apologetically.
"No, it's okay. I understand. It's your big day."
She nods. "It's great to meet you, Princess Irene." She seems as though she was going to curtsy to me but then she probably realise that she's also a princess like me so she turns it into a bow.
I bow back to her. "The pleasure is mine."
She smiles and follows the other ladies.
"Princess Anna!" I yell before she disappears into a room. She turns around. "Good luck!" I say.
"Thanks! I need that!" she smiles at me.
Oh gosh. No wonder people like her. She's so….humble…and nice.
I better go right back to the hall before anyone else knock me over. It seems that this is where the princesses get ready.
As I walk back I can't help but admire the palace architecture. The palace seems older than ours. I guess they have a longer history than –
OUCH! Once again I land on the floor. What is wrong with these people? Why do they keep knocking me over?
"I'm really sorry!" this time a guy in black tuxedo bends down to help me up. I try to fix my misplaced tiara before I get up.
"Irene?" Hey, he knows me. I look up.
"What are you doing here?" he asks.
"Same thing you're doing here!" I grin widely.
"You're….attending the coronation?"
"Durrrh. Help me up, will you please?" I extend my arm so he can pull me.
"But you're not the…attending coronation…type…," he says.
"Well, desperate times call for desperate measures." I give him a hug. "I missed you."
I can't believe my eyes. Irene is hugging me in the corridor of Eastralian Palace. What's more unbelievable is that she's here to attend the coronation.
"Excuse me," a gentleman interrupts us. "It's time for everyone to be seated." I push Irene away from me. "Thank you," I tell the guy. "We'll be right there."
Irene gives me a questioning look. "What's wrong? Why are you pushing me away? Aren't you happy to see me?"
"I – "
"I knew it. You've forgotten about me! That's why you never called! Did you meet another princess? You don't love me anymore, do you?" she yells loudly at me.
"Ssh!" I cover her mouth with my hand. "People are look- OUCH!" I quickly pull my hand and rub it. She bit me!
"I don't care if people are looking! I want an answer! Do you or do you not love me?" she demands with her hands on her hips.
"Irene!" I say while still rubbing my hand. "A guy came saying we have to be seated. Didn't you see him? That's why I pushed you away."
Irene extends her neck and looks around. "A guy? What guy?"
I sigh. "Look, let's talk later. We need to get in now."
She looks at me suspiciously as if I was going to run away from her.
"You're sitting with me." She drags me into the coronation hall. I can only follow her will if I don't want her to make a scene again.
After kicking Westralian ambassador out from his seat, Irene pulls me down to sit at his place.
The coronation is running really really slowly. I can't wait for it to end. I have so many questions floating around in my head as to why Marco hardly calls me and why he is acting so cold to me after so long we haven't met. Doesn't he miss me?
Maybe there's another girl. That must be it. I'm not good enough for him because I'm clumsy and unprincessy.
"Marco, there's another girl, isn't it?" I whisper to him when we all stand up as the new King and Queen take a bow to the audience.
He looks at me and shakes his head. After that he puts his arm around my waist and squeezes me adoringly.
Maybe there isn't another girl after all. But I shouldn't be too sure until he says it himself.
"Sweetheart, would you like to come back to my hotel so we can talk?" I ask Irene after the coronation ends.
"Let's go back to mine because I need to change for the dinner. You don't need to."
Good point. "Okay."
We then part and go to our own cars.
I walk up and down my hotel suite. Why isn't Marco here yet? We left at the same time but it has been fifteen minutes and he hasn't appeared yet. Did he change his mind? Did he run away from me?
"Knock knock –"
Jerry was about to open the door when I grab the knob. "I'll get it."
"Hi!" I grin ear to ear when I see Marco. "Come on in. What took you so long?"
"You didn't tell me which hotel you're staying."
"Nope," he says in a tone that sounds like it was all my fault.
"Well, you didn't ask," I snap back. "I thought you knew!"
"Alright, don't get all upset," he says. "I'm here now, aren't I?"
I pout. "Have a seat." I then signal Jerry to leave the room.
Irene actually looks kind of cute all angry like this. I smile when she throws herself loudly into the chair.
"What's so funny?" she demands.
She crosses her arms in front of her chest and pouts again. I walk over to her and push her chin up with my hand. "You look very beautiful when you pout like that."
Marco's face is just an inch away from me. I can feel his breathing on my face. It makes me nervous. It's been awhile since we're so close like this.
"I – "
"Ssh…" He then bends down and kisses me.
Mmmh. I miss this. His kiss is still as sweet as I remember it.
After he ends the kiss, he places his hands on my shoulders and gently strokes them. "Look Irene, there's no other girl, princess, woman, or any other female person. I still love you and I will always love you."
Awww. "Then why you never call me anymore?"
"It's not never," he protests.
"Okay, not never but hardly. Even when you call you always say you're tired and will talk to me tomorrow. And the next day it's the same thing again."
He finally takes a seat opposite me and sigh. "I AM always tired and exhausted. I'm sorry, sweetheart."
"You are? Why?"
"Rebuilding a country is a lot of work."
"Then let me come over and help you! I'm not stupid, you know! If I can make cakes I can rebuild a country!" Okay, so that didn't come up right.
Marco laughs. "I'm sure you can."
"So why not let me?" I ask. This time more calmly. "I love you, Marco. I want to be there for you. I want to lessen your burden. Okay so if I can't rebuild a country, I can at least look after you, cook for you, or massage your neck when you're tired, or something. There must be something a princess like me can do. I'm not the type of princess who can only sit and be pretty. For a start I'm not that pretty –"
"Irene, you're blabbing," he interrupts me.
"I know. I understand," he says. "It's not that I don't want you to be with me..."
"But…we're still early in our relationship. If I take you to Araluen, it's not good for your reputation."
My God. "Stuff reputation! I don't care about reputation!" I yell again.
"I know you don't. But I do care for your reputation. You're my girlfriend whom I will marry one day –"
Awww. "You will?"
"Irene, please let me finish."
"Right. Okay. Carry on."
"I don't want people to say bad things about my wife to be," he finishes.
What can I say now? He worries for me. He loves me.
"So, Irene," he takes my hand. "Please wait for me. After the crisis in my country is over, I will go back to Westralia. I will go back to uni and we will date again properly. When the time comes I will ask for your hand and then I will take you with me. Can you wait for me?"
"I…I suppose I can."
"Thank you, sweetie. And next time, if you're so desperate to see me, just tell me. I can come and visit you. You don't have to put yourself through a coronation like this."
"You can visit me?"
"Why didn't you?"
"I was going to. I was going to go to Westralia from here."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"It was meant to be a surprise."
"Uggh!" Now I want to strangle him. "I came all the way here for nothing then! If I knew you were going to visit me I wouldn't agree to attend the coronation!"
Marco grins. "Well, at least now you know how coronation is like because in a few years, it will be you who's crowned a Queen."
Wow. Even though I'm a princess, I never thought I would be a Queen one day. I always thought I would marry a commoner and become a commoner.
As if he can read my mind, Marco asks, "what? Do you change your mind now about dating me?"
I quickly smile. "Nah. Never."
"Come on," he pulls me up from my seat. "We have few hours before we have to go to the dinner." He carries me to the bedroom and closes the door.
Three years later, both Irene and Marco graduated. While they were studying, they try to have normal dates as much as they can without being followed by the media. Since both of them were expert at disguising, they did it very often that it became a private game between them. They would ditch their bodyguards together, go to a bar and pretend that they don't know each other. Marco would hit on Irene the way he did the first time they met.
After they graduated, Marco proposed and they got married. Irene moved to Araluen and became the Crown Princess. She brought with her Tom, Jerry, and her cooking recipes. She amazed Araluen's royal family with her ability to make cookies and cakes. Three months after they got married, Marco surprised Irene with a cottage house up in the mountain. Since then, whenever they had a holiday, they would go there. Even after they had three little princesses and a little prince.
Author's last words
So that's it for Irene & Marco's adventure.
Thank you for sticking with me until the end.
I'm so sorry if the epilogue sucks. I don't have much time anymore to write so I want to end this now. I don't like keeping my story unfinished.
I've been keeping myself busy with other activities so I think I will end my story writing journey here. I don't have time anymore to think about ideas and plot and I can no longer commit to updating regularly.
If I ever write a story again in the future, it will probably be a one shot or a short story.
Farewell and hope to see some of you around.