Bright sunlight poured into the chamber. The Prince looked at her as she climbed down the stairs. No, She was not beautiful but her eyes pierced into him. How dear her face was to him! How much he adored his princess! But, no! This was not the time. He didn’t have the right to love her anymore.
She reached him. Her eyes looked so trusting, so happy. Happiness seemed to flow through her. She touched his face gently and smiled at him. Her smile died when she looked at his face, so clouded with pain.
“Is it time already, my prince?” she cried! “My Princess”, he said. “Yes, it is time. I’ve come to say goodbye. My family wishes me to return. My people need me.” He saw her face change. The pain in her eyes was unbearable, tearing his heart. “Don’t worry, my precious”, he continued. “There will be someone else worth your love. Someone who will love you more than I do” He forced himself to continue, to say hollow words, which he knew were no comfort to her agony. “I am sorry, princess but I have to do this. My father has found a bride worthy of my family. I cannot marry you. If I don’t marry the bride chosen for me, my father will be very hurt. My family honour.. I need to do this and be unselfish, my princess!!!”
“My Prince”, she said, with a sorrowful smile which hurt him more than if she had cried. “Don’t leave me yet. There is so much unsaid, so much undone. I need you. I can’t bear to live without you. Please, my Prince. Don’t think about leaving yet.” Her words were so earnest, all he wished to do was to forget about his kingdom and stay with her. Stay and live a life of so much happiness that even heaven would not be a match. He turned away so that she could not see the tears in his eyes. “No Princess. I have to go. The decision has been made.
She knelt at his feet, clutching his robes. Her tears fell on the ground. She didn’t know the tears were his also. “My Prince, what have I done? Why such a great punishment? She cried. “Have I not been faithful? Have I not loved you more than my life? How can I ever love any other like I love you? I cannot bear this pain. Don’t you love me too?
“Yes, my princess. I love you too. I’ll always love you. You’ll live forever in my heart. But that is all I can give you. Good-bye. God bless you!” He rode away into the sunset, not daring to look back lest he broke down seeing the agony of the one he loved so much.
She sobbed on the ground, kissing it where his feet had stood. She cried through the day, she cried into the night. She sat looking out of the window, hoping against everything her mind told her. She moved about, reliving their moments together. She smiled, rarely, thinking about the day her prince will come back to her…., to marry her, to live with her. She waited as days passed, as seasons changed. She waited foolishly, without wavering in her trust.
A day dawned. She shivered and looked out of the window. She saw a messenger. She read the message with trembling hands, with a breaking heart. Her prince was getting married. Her Prince, her lover, the one who made her happy, the only one who could stop her tears, was now sending her to lifetime of loneliness. Now she had to live a horrible life, alone, with no one to love her, with nothing to brighten her days ever again. She fell to the floor, like one who could not carry a burden too heavy. She screamed in agony, she raged against her fate. She wept for the lost years, the unfound happiness, her unborn children, and her wasted life. Her mind reeled. Her heart was heavy, breaking under the weight of grief. She thought about his love and devotion, his bravery and his honesty. She lived as if in a dream. On the day of his marriage, something snapped in her. She left for his palace. She wanted to see him.. And his bride.
There he was, standing in the sunshine. And there was his bride, her beauty shone brighter than the sun, past her veil. She looked at his hands holding hers. She looked at them- man and wife. She looked at his face, a face devoid of happiness or pain. She ran blindly from there.
She came back to her house. She kissed everything he ever touched. She lovingly caressed everything that reminded her of him, she walked to the place where he had left her. She looked at the dagger gleaming in the moonlight. She was living her pain, to gather courage for what she was going to do. She whispered his name for the last time... She drove the dagger into her heart. She fell, blood flowing from the wound. But her mind was once again remembering his face, one last time. Remembering his love… remembering his last words to her.
She stood, looking at her lifeless body. She was dead yet she was still living. She remembered his words. You’ll always live in my heart, he had said. So he still loved her. She was overjoyed. She would go to him and live with him. She would watch over him and keep him happy. Her Prince promised to love her all his life and she would be with him. After he died they would be united again for all eternity. She went to him. She saw him staring into the dark holding a piece of her garment. She kissed him and wiped away his tears. He suddenly looked around feeling her presence though he knew it was impossible. He called out her name and stretched out his hand. He shook his head wearily sure that he was imagining her presence. She wanted to scream out that it was she and she was with him. But she could not. She was disappointed but could do nothing. She was content that she could look at him and that he still loved her.
Days rolled on and the princess watched over him faithfully. When she tried to touch him, he shivered and pulled his robes closer. It hurt to just watch him when she wanted to be alive for him. But she bore it silently happy that he still loved her. The princess was so absorbed in her prince that she did not notice the changes around her.
Suddenly one day, she noticed the palace getting brighter. The town was getting more festive and her Prince looked happier. At last a day dawned with a shout of joy. A baby was born to the prince. He walked into his wife’s chamber with a smile on his lips. And as he looked at his wife, weak and tired but with the radiance of motherhood and his tiny son, helpless but beautiful, his heart filled with joy. His heart also filled with a love for his wife and his son that had not existed till then. And in that moment when she saw the happiness on his face, a happiness that didn’t come from her, that she was not capable of giving, she felt the life he had given her, draining. And as she felt the life flowing out of her, she raged at God. At the injustice that killed her before she had lived, at the love she had been given and taken back. As she looked on, his heart forgot his love for her…and as the cold darkness of death wrapped her, it whispered to her, “Weep no more, my princess!” She heard it and wondered if she would find peace yet, as she died away. Died in his heart. As his love for her had died.