A guest article by Lydia Vandezande.
Still, not convinced, Sariah did find herself looking at things differently the next time she went to the village with the king. So far, she had been able to find acceptance in both worlds, at the palace and in the village, but that day she realized for the first time that she would have to make a choice.
Until now, she had never been asked to do anything that the king had strictly forbidden. Today she was. It seemed so tempting, so innocent, and for a minute she considered going along with these friends.
Then, she thought of Danielle’s words and at the same time looked down the street and saw the king, holding a tiny baby. “You were like that,” he had said.
She looked back at her friends, who were waiting impatiently to see what she would decide. They, too, knew what her decision was about. It wasn’t about a game—it was a question of where she would place her loyalty.
The king was no longer in sight. If she did what they asked, he wouldn’t find out until later. Still, she hesitated, and her friends started to laugh uneasily, a laugh so hollow that she wondered why she had not noticed the emptiness before.
“I can’t do it,” she said.
Sariah often saw them again when she was in the village with the king. She talked to them, but it was never the same again. The relationship had changed, and Sariah knew that the change was in her. She no longer tried to be accepted by them, but tried instead to gently show them what life could be if they joined the royal family.
One day as they walked home together, the king and Sariah, he put his arm around her. “Want to talk about it?” he asked.
She knew what he meant, but found it a little difficult to put her thoughts into words. “Well,” she said finally, “I think I’ve figured out what’s different now. Before, I was part of the royal family by adoption. Now, I’m a princess by choice.”
“And that, my darling, is a choice that you will never regret,” the king promised, smiling down at her with eyes so full of joy and pride that Sariah knew she could trust him forever.
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