A/N Hi, this is my very first story on this site so I am a bit nervous. It's a story I wrote a while ago. I translates it from Dutch because that's my first language. I tried to translate it as good as I could but there might still be some minor grammar and/or spelling mistakes. If there are I am very sorry! Besides that I hope you enjoy it and if you have any comments or criticism, please share.

If you ever feel like enraging a six year-old the only thing you have to do is call it little. That is about the worst thing you can say to a kid (except maybe that Santa doesn't exist but that is just cruel) Little kids want to be big, or at least most of them. I never had the urge to grow up, I always wanted to stay little. My dad loved this. Since he'd read an article in one of my mother's parenting magazines about a twelve-year-old with a drug addiction, he was frightened for the day I would turn twelve. So he encouraged me to try to stay six for as long as I possibly could. My mother however liked the idea of a twelve-year-old daughter who she could do mother-daughter things with. Drinking tea with Mr. Bear wasn't one of those things.

My mother always got it her way. No matter how I fought against it every year I became older. It was the year I turned eight that I met Sam. He was the youngest in our class, only seven years old, and thereby my role model. Sadly Sam was just in his 'all girls are stupid an annoying' phase so he had a hard time coping with my never-ending adoration. However I was never one to give up easily so I kept forcing myself upon him until eventually he gave in, but not before he made me promise never to do 'girl stuff' in his presence.

Despite our rough start, we got along really well. While around us groups of friends were emerging and falling apart like it was daily business, we stuck together. It was around my ninth birthday that Sam concluded that a girl as your best friend only made you manlier because now he could be the hero and protect me from all things evil in the world. That's why his favorite game at the time was 'the prince and the princess'. In which I played the role of the poor, helpless princess locked up in a tower or a basement or whatever, and he was the brave courageous prince who came to the rescue. That was never easy. There was the lava and the soldiers and sometimes there was even a dragon that had to be defeated. But he always came for me and to take me to his castle on his (imaginary) horse.

A castle that hat we had to build first but that only made it better. I lived very close to a forest and when the weather would allow us we would build our castle there. In the woods. We weren't critical when it came to castles, ten branches set against a tree were enough for us, that was all we needed for a happily ever after. Ten branches and each other.

Then I turned twelve and to my father's great delight I still didn't show any signs of an upcoming drug addiction. We'd forgot about the castles 'cause that is how it goes when you grow up. Things come and things go, whether you want them to or not. I didn't want them to. I didn't want to be twelve. People start taking you seriously when you're twelve because, after all, you are nearly what they call 'a young adult' whatever that may be. But I didn't want to be taken seriously so me and Sam made a plan. We would do as many stupid dumb things as possible. It didn't have to be complicated things, just stupid. Like 'Let's jump in the river with our new clothes on' stupid.

This all infuriated my mom enormously but my dad just blamed puberty and kept telling my mom that they were blessed with a riverjumper, after all it could have been a drug addict. So most of the time I got away with it. Sam however didn't and after his parents grounded him for another week we decided that it was enough. They would have gotten the message by now.

My fourteenth birthday arrived and we were in love. We never actually fell in love, we just were. Out of the blue. We couldn't ignore it neither could we escape it so we just gave in to it. And even though everybody around us seemed to have an opinion on 'us', to us, it was merely the next step in our relationship. Like an evolution that would've come anyway. We always held hands and gave each other kisses so this was nothing more than the more grown up version of 'us' (even though we wouldn't dare to call it that ourselves)

We were happy together. Even though we fought a lot (mostly about nothing). Also people seemed to like predicting our 'ending' as much as they liked to omen the end of the world. However both of those predictions always turned out to be false. We stuck together and we kept each other together. We'd done that as little kids and we would keep doing it as whatever we were now.

That is how we reached graduation day. Together. For me this was a black page in my book. Now I was officially an adult and people would see me as one. The whole day was hell for me. The ugly clothes, the way too long ceremony and the stupid fake people who I had only talked to twice in my whole school career, that suddenly came over to hug me and to wish me 'the best of luck with my life' because apparently my ''real'' life had only just started.

When I finally found Sam I burst out in tears. Most people thought they were tears of happiness but Sam knew me better than that. He understood me, he always did

He pulled his arms around me and held me close. 'Let's get out of here,' he whispered softly after I had calmed down a little. And under loud protest of both of our parent I let him drag me away. I didn't know where we were going but I couldn't care less.

Turns out we were going to the forest. And there, under the high trees at the edge of the woods, stood a little hut. No, not a hut, a castle. Decorated with balloons. I nearly attacked him, in a good way of course (if there is a good way to attack somebody). He was still my prince who would always come and save me to take me to his castle. We stayed there till it became dark and cold and I never felt so happy. It was just us and the castle. We didn't need more to live happily ever after. Just ten branches and each other.