Chapter14: How I met my mother
We kiss again, in an embrace that can never be broken. That is, until Dahlia and Lilly decide to show their shameless faces. They float inside from the window. Jake spots them first, and I don't need to tell you how angry he is with them. He stands up, sword drawn, and both godmothers, or rather fairies raise their arms.
"We're sorry!" Lilly pleads with her knees on the ground, folded arms up in the air.
But Dahlia's a little less ceremonious.
"Put the sword down, boy. You aren't certified to murder, even if you did save poor Briar Rose."
Jake scowls. "I don't need to be certified. You abandoned me in battle! What punishment do deserters get?"
"We are not here to get lectured by a mere peasant boy!"
Now Jake just looks puzzled. "Why do you keep calling me a peasant? I'm NOT a peasant. As far as I know, Corlatia doesn't even HAVE peasants."
"But...you are a peasant. Rose herself said so." Dahlia says.
"Hey! Did not! You came to that conclusion. Jake's the Prince of Corlatia!" I exclaim, and Dahlia immediately colored.
"You're joking!" She says, staring at Jake's face in newfound awe.
"Okay, enough talking. Why are you here?" Jake asks. He's pretty shy sometimes.
"You...Your majesty...we...we're here to lift the curse Acacia laid on the castle. You know, everyone's asleep..." Lilly stammers. Her face is bright red.
"Okay...lift it then..." Jake says and my godmother-fairies hurriedly bow and walk backwards out of the door, successfully maneuvering around the thorns. Then they bow really low and hurry off.
"Well, that was awkward!" I laugh. Jake blushes.
"Hey! If you knew they were going to act like that, why did you tell them?" He half-frowns, but he's laughing at the same time.
"I love doing this to you." I laugh and he punches my shoulder lightly.
"I'm glad you're back." He says, and I smile. He may have his weak points, but he's the sweetest guy I've ever met. And the bravest, and the cutest, and the funniest...the list could go on forever.
Dahlia and Lilly climbed up the stairs to the roof, grumbling the whole time.
"Why didn't Briar Rose TELL us?"
"She has a bit of spite in her. Who knows how she got it? Probably from Queen Samantha."
They finally reached the roof and squatted down, wheezing hard.
"We're getting too old to climb, Lilly."
"Yes. We'd better re-learn how to fly."
Once they recovered, they stood and raised their arms. The dark green remains of the spell tried to attack them, but they had weakened with the death of Acacia, so the fairies just brushed them off.
They started the incantation, and slowly the spell began to lose it's power.
Queen Samantha shook her head and opened her eyes. She had just been dreaming a beautiful dream about her first daughter Rose riding a pretty mare in the castle grounds. So she was in an awesome mood. That is, until she realized what had just happened. An enchantress had just put her to sleep! She had snuck up on her as she was mourning Rose...
Rose! The enchantress was going to kill Rose once and for all! Samantha jumped up and ran to the room where the two fairies said that they were going to keep Rose.
George was still sleeping soundly, but that was not because of the spell. It didn't even take a strand of magic to put George to sleep. Being a king was tiring.
Attendants were waking up everywhere as Samantha sprinted to Rose's room. Her door was open, and the hallway outside it was totally trashed. Samantha's heart was running a marathon in her chest. She slowly turned to look inside, her head flashing with horrible scenes of what might be there. But when she actually looked, she started crying tears of joy.
The fairies finished the incantation and lowered their arms. The spell was eradicated and everyone was awake. Everyone, that is except King George. But he would have to be awakened personally. All in all, a good days work.
We stare incredulously as the thorny creepers slither out of the window. Suddenly, Queen Samantha rushes towards us, and gives us both a joint bear hug.
"Your majesty?" I say, and she laughs.
"Oh, no, Rose. For you, it's Mom."
Outside, the sun sets. It's the end of Briar Rose's sixteenth birthday, and the beginning of a new life for her.
'Mom' tells us the whole story. Apparently, there used to be a witch in Saclerea. She used to be really nice, and she used to help people a lot. But then she fell in love with the king of Saclerea, Queen Samantha's father, and the king was already married to the queen. So the witch saw red and cursed him. She said that his first born granddaughter would be cursed to die at the hands of a rose thorn in this very castle, and this feat would be achieved through trickery. Her first name would reflect her thorny end.
"When your grandfather saw your pretty little face after you were born, I can't tell you how guilty he felt. He told me of the curse, and I got so scared! So I sent you to live with Lilly and Dahlia, since they are fairies. But you can see how well that worked out." Queen Samantha/Mom sobs.
I stare wordlessly at her face, unable to open my mouth.
Jake voices the question running in my head.
"So...Rose is the princess of Saclerea?"
Mom nods. I smile shakily.
"So that's why my first name's Briar. It reflects my thorny end!" I laugh. Mom joins in.
"Acacia's curse was too strong. It overwhelmed me when I was supposed to pick a name for you. I'm sorry for everything you had to suffer, Rose. Really."
I hug her, and my heart races.
"That's why I never believed what my apparent godmothers told me about my past. Are they my godmothers?"
"They are. They wiped your memory clean when they took you in. It was the only way to keep you safe." She replies. I laugh merrily. My whole life is so mysterious! It would naturally depress somebody else, but it just excites me. I've always loved mysteries. And so, I squeeze the two hands I'm holding. My mom and my true love.
My life may have been tough, but things are definitely looking up.
Epilogue: Happily ever after
I live in the castle of Sacrelea now. I regularly learn stuff like etiquette and manners and literature...which all seem totally useless to me but if I want to be a princess, I'd better know them. (That's what mom says). But I get new pets, like a little pet Phoenix just like Jake's (Remember? He called it back in Corlatia for a distraction so that he could meet me in the alley?)
All the people who got affected by the Sleeping Curse (including me) sleep like candlelight. The littlest things wake us up, and we sit in bed enjoying the feeling of being awake.
I have a sister, Amber, you know, the girl I saw in the balcony with Jake? She's pissed off most of the time, since apparently everyone always likes me better than her. I have a feeling it has something to do with Jake. But when we make up, she's a fun sister.
My mom is a dream mom when she's not trying to get me to catch up in etiquette classes. Since I missed sixteen years, I have a lot to catch up on.
My dad, King George, is a dream dad...when he's not sleeping or in court. This takes up 90% of the day.
Remember the hag? We found her half starved inside the vase...but she turned out to be Acacia's minion, according to Dahlia. So mom gave her to an attendant...and that's the last I saw of her... It creeps me out to think about her now, actually.
Beauty, my wild horse, is groomed and happy in the royal stables, eating all the carrots she wants and spending her days romping around with Phillip.
Dahlia and Lilly became the Sacrelean court fairies, though I personally think they don't deserve the post.
Jake...well. He proposed to me on my nineteenth birthday, in the sweetest way on a boat in the lake near the Sacrelean town...and of course I said yes. But the royal families both agreed that I needed more training in etiquette before we could marry, so we are currently planning the marriage after my twentieth birthday. It's maddening to wait, and we're both really pissed off with our parents, but what can you do? At least they're letting us get married. He comes over to Sacrelea pretty much every day, just like when I used to live in the woods.
I don't have amnesia anymore, and I have everything a girl could wish for. I have the negatives too (of course)...but more positives. And so, I'm sitting in the boat with Jake just like after he had given me the ring. We're watching the crashing white waves with his hand in mine. Aurora point shines far ahead in multicolored ribbons. I'm staring at the spectacle...and wondering at how far I've come since the day I kissed Jake at the doorway. I'm a princess and I have wonderful parents, my own castle and the boy I love is engaged to me.
And I'm thinking," This is definitely happily ever after."