Charles Remington the Third

Ok, this is kinda hard, so I guess I'll start from our first meeting. I remember it was August 18, and it was at the Midsummer's Night ball where you first caught my attention.

Everyone was flipping out that day. My mother was rushing around everywhere, trying to make sure all the decorations were in place and everyone was doing their jobs.

"Charles! What are you wearing?! You have to get ready for the ball tonight!" She screeched at me. She looked at my apparel as if there was nothing else she would rather do than burn it. I looked down at my clothes, puzzled, and asked,

"What? You mean my t-shirt? Don't worry, Mom, I still have four hours before I have to look amazing." I grin at her, trying to relieve some of her stress through my witty replies. She just rolled her eyes at me and said, "Son, I swear that you will be the death of me. Since I can see that you will be absolutely no help around here, I want you to grab your brother for me and see if you can somehow shove the little monster into a suit. And stop stealing those pastries!" With a resigned sigh, I let myself out of the room and went off to look for the little scoundrel.

After two and a half hours, I finally completed my task. Exhausted, I collapsed in the hall, not really caring about anything. Suddenly appearing out of nowhere, my mother showed up in front of me and screeched, "You only have one and a half hours to get ready! GO GO GO!" Still dazed, I could only nod and wander up to my room. I sat down on my bed, lifted my head, and saw that picture of her:the girl I had loved, the one who had added a vivacious spark to my life, and who had taken it away just as quickly. Looking at the frame, I wandered over and lost myself in the memories. A sudden crash from the kitchen downstairs woke me from my reverie. I pushed myself off my bed and finally started to get dressed.

Just as I was admiring myself in the mirror, my mom barged in and all but shoved me down the stairs to greet the first of the guests. None of them knew this but tonight was a special ball; it was the night I had to choose a girl to "sire my heirs." Oh ew, I just cringed at that line, but anyways, that was what my parents said. I went downstairs and met tons of girls, all dolled up for this event, batting their eyelashes at me and "accidentally" brushing their arms against me. I accepted their flirting, and I even reciprocated some of them. But no one really stood out, until you waltzed into the room, shy and clueless at how every male's attention was on you. You nervously stepped in, and I found myself inexplicably drawn to you. I intercepted your path and pretended to bump into you, and when you turned around, I pretended to make up for my mistake by asking you for a dance. I was surprised that you did not have that usual flicker of recognition flash across your face like everyone else I had ever met had. It seemed as if you really didn't recognize me, and I relished in that fact. You nodded your head, silently giving me consent. As we twirled around the room, I tried to make conversation with you but you seemed so distracted. Frustrated, I asked you what was wrong. I knew I had found someone special when the first words I had ever heard you say were: "I really need to pee."

I was still chuckling to myself when you came back from the ladies' room. Your face was the same shade as a ripe tomato, and you tried to brush me off. But I wouldn't let you leave me. Even if we didn't dance for the rest of the night, I stayed by your side, talking to you, reveling in your sarcastic tongue and dry humor. You were like a gust of fresh wind that I had desperately needed. It was both a blessing and a curse when you vanished as soon as the clock struck twelve, leaving behind that one glass slipper. I couldn't get you out of my head, and I was determined to turn over every rock in the entire kingdom if that was what it took to find you again. And looking for you actually did make me scour the vast land, but whenever I was about to give up hope, I just held your shoe and remembered that night. It became a symbol of hope for me, and I knew that I was destined to find you. The relief and joy I felt was indescribably when I reached your house and you answered the door. That relief, however, quickly turned to confusion when I saw you were dressed like a slave, and you adamantly refused to acknowledge me, even though I had already seen that look on your face when I showed up. Some of the pieces started to fit when your overbearing stepmother shoved her two daughters in my face and all but demanded me to let them try on the shoe. I knew it was futile because you were standing right there, but I agreed nonetheless. When the shoe didn't fit your stepsisters, as I knew it wouldn't, they seemed disappointed and ready to usher me out. I wasn't leaving so easily though, especially not since I had spent so long looking for you. I hated to do this, but I ordered you to try on the shoe. Your family laughed at you, but I could see that their taunting was a challenge to you, and you lifted your head defiantly and consented to try on the shoe. At that moment, I knew that you were the strong girl I had met at the dance, and I knew that I would court you even if the shoe did not fit. When it did, I was elated. All traces of doubt vanished when you opened up your mouth and said, "Keep the shoe. It hurt like a bitch."

I ignored the shocked looks on everyone's face, and could see that you were enjoying the shock on your family's faces, even though the uncertainty in your eyes also proved that you were scared of the retribution. I leaned over, and whispered in your ear, "Come to my palace. You don't even have to date me. I just want to take you away from this house, where I know you're miserable and a servant to these people." When I pulled back, the joy shining in your eyes was enough of an answer.

You didn't know it, but you were actually my savior, because from our first meeting to our reunion was the longest period of time I had ever gone not thinking about her.

Ariana Kingston.