She woke with the dawn, not knowing that it was a year to the day since her departure. Her back hurt. "Just part of being in your last month of pregnancy," the village woman had told her. Rising with difficulty, her husband muttered something in his half drunken state. He had come home only hours before and they had argued--again. Oh, well, after the baby is born maybe things will get better.
There was still a house to clean and chores to do. Picking up a worn, straw broom, she walked outside to sweep the front porch. Their house was small. It sat at the edge of town, not far from the bridge where he had waited for her that first night. Her eyes followed the path up to her Father's Castle. The King had still found little ways to show her that he had not forgotten her; that she was still loved. But what he had said was now true. Nothing was the same.
Her eyes wandered to the East to spend a few minutes watching the sun rise, a simple pleasure that she shared alone each morning. It's rays almost blinded her, distorting the trees and the hills beyond. Squinting against it's brightness, she returned to the job at hand, first glancing absently up the High Road.
Her heart seemed to stop, gripped as if by a strong hand. The broom quivered in her grasp. Far down the road came a white horse, it's rider sitting straight and tall. He seemed to be coming straight out of the sun. The horse quickened it's pace as it neared the castle, sensing the excitement of it's master. Her heart began to beat again, now loud and in rhythm to the pounding hoofs. He reighed his mount to a stop outside the castle's front gate. She could not make out his features, but his stance spoke of honor and character. He knocked on the front door, her front door not that long ago. The King stepped out to greet him, and she watched as they conversed; watched as the King spoke with his hands, and then pointed toward the village. Involuntarily, she took a step back into the shadow of the porch.
The noble Prince listened carefully, his strong shoulders sagging in disappointment and sadness. Shaking the King's hand and receiving from him a consoling hug, he mounted his horse. He looked toward her village home, his eyes finding her in the shadow. For a moment they both stared. Then, pointing his mount back toward the sun, he rode away into it's brightness.
She felt the hot tears on her arms and hands long before it occurred to her that she was crying. Nothing, she thought, will ever be the same.
♦ THE END ♦
Written by Pastor Jerry Ross
Stay in the Castle is a story written by Pastor Jerry Ross about a young lady who finds herself at a crossroads. One road is marked, "My will,” the other, "God's will.” It is a love story–a story of misplaced love, lost love and genuine love realized. Best of all, Stay in the Castle is a true story.
I hope this story was helpful to you. I know that it encouraged me to "Stay in the Castle" and wait on God's will for me no matter how long it takes! Going God's way is always best! :)
Have you enjoyed this story? Has it encouraged you to "Stay in the Castle"? Please feel free to comment with your thoughts! =)