She was it. The girl. The Ideal princess. She smiled a smile of sunshine and one couldn't help but smile back when caught in her radiance. Her eyes were the color of warm brown. A chocolate brown color that melted a person's mind and heart when they looked into her eyes. No one could defy her, hate her or even be jealous of her. One could only admire her radiance. She was the princess of her kingdom.

It was on the night of her 18th birthday that I had the honor of meeting this princess I had so often heard about in childhood tales. My family, a middle-class family, was sent an invitation to an evening ball by a messenger from the Royal Palace. The invitation drew excitement from my two older sisters and brother. I laughed and dazzled at the beautiful ball gowns that I would be able to wear that night, as did my sisters. My brother polished his shoes to a brilliance it rivaled the moon on a starless night and picked out his best set of clothes for the night. Our family couldn't wait for the night to arrive any sooner than it did. When the clock struck a quarter till seven, our family all filed into the carriage; the women in beautiful and shimmering ball gowns and the men in suits that displayed status and wealth. We arrived at the palace and stared in wonder at the grandness of the building. Enormous pillars decorated the entrance with potted plants sitting about the base of the giants. Giant doors decorated with a flowery pattern sat open, inviting guests inside to a bright and warm dance floor. A servant stood at the doorway and introduced our family to the party, bowing to us as we stepped forward and toward the other guests. Seeing the large crowd, my nerves grew inside my stomach and I clasped my hands together in front of my chest in fright of getting separated from my family. Elizabeth, my second eldest sister, gently took my hand, smiling at me as she explained that she didn't want me to get lost among the crowd. I smiled back, relaxing enough to look around me with wonder. In the eyes of this nine year old child, everything seemed beautiful, big and like a fairytale come true. The ladies around me all had finery of the high class decked upon them lavishly. Some wore garlands of flowers upon their head while others had beads braided into their hair. Some wore gowns with byzantine patterns upon the skirts, velvet laced with colored thread with beading upon the hems. They were great swans in my eyes. Just then, a trumpet sounded and all turned toward the great doors at the head of the room.

"Her Majesty, Princess Floare, has arrived." The servant announced. The men and women immediately cleared a walk way toward the throne chairs. Two servants rolled out a red carpet in this walkway and then disappeared again at the end of the walk way. The doors opened. Behind them stood a concupiscible figure of beauty and authority. The Greatest swan of all had come. Her long brown hair had been half tied up with a dazzling tiara setted with small rubies upon her head. Her gown was ruby red with long sleeves and cuffs at the wrists. Sparkling rubies were sewn onto the front of her bodice and my eyes sparkled with their brilliance. The skirt of her gown was divided into two with the velvet petticoat underneath peeping through. Upon the two halves of her skirt was a golden printed pattern of leaves and swirls that only belonged to the elegant. At the hem of the velvet petticoat was an intricacy of beading. As she passed by, each guest bowed deeply before her, awed to be in her presence. When she reached the throne, she gracefully turned and sat. With a wave of her hand, the orchestra began again and the guests stood around in a circle, some moving to the center of the circle to dance with their partners. My eyes, however, were not captured upon the experienced and beautiful dancers. My big green eyes were watchful of the Princess before me in her regal throne. She sat with a posture that spoke her title and her appearance was beautiful. But what had captured my attention was not the beauty of her, but instead her brown eyes. Looking at them, I didn't feel warmth that I had so often heard from the tales my mother had told. I only felt a dark loneliness of one who had no companionship all day and then to be among strangers at night. Without thinking, I released Elizabeth's hand, and made my way toward the lonely girl. At the steps before her, I curtsied and she nodded her head in acknowledgment, giving me a smile that I knew had been instinct. I looked at her for a moment, staring into her chocolate brown eyes. Curious, she leaned forward a bit.

"What is your name, little girl?" She asked. I replied.

"Allie." My small voice could only be heard by her. Princess Floare smiled kindly at me.

"What is it that you are here before me, Allie? Instead of dancing with your brother or your sisters." She asked.

"Your eyes." I replied. A look of confusion crossed her face.

"My eyes?" I nodded, holding my hands in front of my chest as if in prayer again in nervousness.

"You look beautiful, Princess, but your eyes look so lonely. I often hear tales of the warmth you bring to your people and that your eyes are the color of chocolate brown and could melt a man's heart in an instant. But I only see loneliness tonight, Princess." I answered. A guard nearby Floare's throne stepped forward.

"How dare you say that about the Princess?!" He criticized. I flinched, ready to scramble back toward the cover of my sister's skirts. As I was preparing myself for the wrath of the guard, Princess Floare raised a hand, stopping the guard.

"No need for that, Henry. She is only being honest and after, a child." Princess Floare turned to me again. She raised a hand and beckoned me closer to her chair. My steps were slow and trembling. When I was directly in front of her, Floare motioned for a guard to bring a smaller chair up beside her for me. They did so and soon I was seated beside the person I had always dreamed of. She turned toward me.

"What you said is true, Allie. In this castle, I have no one of my age or close to my age to play with and spend my time in the library with books and instructors who teach me about my future. It surprises me that you, of all people, would notice my loneliness. I thank you for your kindness." I only stared at Princess Floare with wide eyes, surprised. She smiled.

"Would you like to sit and talk with me, Allie? I don't mind if you would rather go and dance with the others." The voice that I had known to be strong and powerful was now a kind and caring whisper. I shook my head.

"I would like to stay by your side, Princess." I squeaked. Floare's smile afterwards reached her eyes, and in that moment, I could see the sunshine on a spring day.