I stared up at him through his open window. I knew it was wrong, but I could not look away from his beauty. It is rare to hear a man described as beautiful—handsome, yes, but not beautiful. Yet he was. Beauty radiated from his perfectly symmetrical face as if carved from the purest onyx gemstone. He was darkly alluring, as exquisite as he was powerful. His statuesque musculature was intimidating to even the fiercest warriors. His hands were capable and skilled, yet smooth as polished granite. In short, he was flawless.

I knew it was hopeless the first day he passed by me. It was like looking at a solar eclipse—the very air around him paled by his illuminated darkness. Yet, it seemed like only moments had passed before he moved beyond my sight. I was once again reminded that I had no place in his world, nor he in mine. I was nothing. And then he was gone—forever unattainable.

So, I watched from below his bedroom window like some sort of tormented stalker, yearning for one glance at his splendor.

Occasionally he would come down and walk through the grounds. The palace had many gardens, but I spent my time here in the flowerbed outside his chambers. There were many of us throughout the estate, stationed amongst the roses and lilacs, peonies and marigolds. We were beneath his notice. He simply cared about admiring the beauty of the flowers, breathing in the fragrant smells. We made ourselves nearly invisible as he strolled, not wanting to interfere with his enjoyment. Yet, the pull to be near him was overwhelming.

Everyday I grew bolder, edging a little closer to see his face. The others laughed at me. A prince would never stoop so low as to choose me, when he had everything, and everyone, at his disposal. I knew they were right, but I could not stop myself from daydreaming about how my pale white skin would contrast against his ebony perfection. How he would place his massive hands gently around my waist. Slowly, carefully, he would bring his warm face down to mine, pausing a moment to inhale my scent before gently caressing my cheeks and…

"…coming here tomorrow. I want this place cleaned up. Everything must be perfect." His voice! When did he leave his room? I craned my neck to view farther down the garden wall in order to see him sooner.

"Yes, Your Highness. We will begin with the gardens on the east end of the palace. They require the most pruning. Is there any particular design you would like carved into the greenery?"

I tried to keep my head down like I have been told, to melt into the scenery around me, but I could not. As he turned the corner, I could see him absently running his tongue over his lower lip in thought. Oh, how I longed to touch those full, luxurious lips! I found myself leaning in towards him and had to force myself back to task. They were coming closer.

"Anything except animals. They are so cliché. I would like a theme of sorts though. Maybe, 'heaven', or 'paradise'…something that reminds her that this is where she belongs."

Her? HER! What did he mean "her"? Who was this strumpet that dared to capture my prince's attention? She could never deserve him. I was shaking now. Rage filling every corner of my being. It did not matter that I was unworthy of him; that he had always been beyond my reach. There should be no one else either. He was too perfect. No one was good enough for him.

My shaking drew his eye—thankfully, he did not recognize it as rage. Words cannot describe the warmth that flowed through me as he finally noticed me. That I, an insignificant nothing, was worth even a parting glance from the Prince himself, caused new shivers of anticipation to roll through my body.

He took a few steps toward my hiding place and stopped. Slowly, his hand extended, his fingertips only a breath away from caressing my upturned face; every fiber of my being yearned to lean into his embrace, to accept his gentle touch. But before I could force myself to move, he pulled back. I wanted to scream, Come back!, but no words would come.

"Sinclair, please remove this from my garden." Disgust dripped from his tongue. I recoiled in pain.

The man standing next to the my prince bent down, plucked me out from amongst those flowers whose virtues lay exposed…and tossed me aside.





A/N - This was a short story written for The Review Game's Writing Challenge Contest.


The prompt for the contest was:

"What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered."

Quote made by Ralph Waldo Emerson.