“I’m sorry we did everything we could for him…. My deepest sympathy goes to you.” The man in the white lab coat said before turning away leaving me behind in the cold empty room. Dead… He was dead? No… Not possible… This had to be a dream… If it was, then I really had to quit taking those pills before bed… I stood up, fearful that my knees might give way. Taking a small step, I reassured myself preparing for the worst. As I walked to room thirteen, my heart was sinking farther and farther down into the deep empty cavity which was body. If anyone had a reason to be overly depressed at that moment, it was me.
My father, Anthony Tyler Dyson lay in bed in front of me. His body pale and lifeless…. It took all my strength to keep myself standing. He looked so fragile… If I touched him, would he crumble away like dust? I watched him. Waiting… hoping and praying to see his chest start to rise and fall… Nothing happened. Nothing was the one word I wished was not in my vocabulary.
All the strength left in my body was gone. I fell to the floor, my head slammed against the tiled ground, it felt like ice against my feverish skin. I wondered if the tile felt like what my father felt like. Ice cold, hard as rock. All the thoughts of grief poured into my mind. Why him? What the hell had he done wrong in life! Nothing! That one word, I wished to be gone, repeated over and over in my head. Nothing…. Nothing….
* * *“Nothing Ari, nothing.” My dad said as he stared at me through his light reflecting glasses.
“Dad, you’re sure nothing is bothering you? It just seems that you have something to tell me is all.” I asked him, very curious about what he was thinking. He always told me, curiosity killed the cat. I was just hoping I wasn’t the cat. Even if they have nine lives. He shook his head and stood up. Kissed me on the forehead softly and said,
“Ari Liana Isabelle Dyson, I know that you think that because you’re seventeen you think that you should know every thought and secret that’s in my mind. Even though you think it, doesn’t mean it’s true. Remember, curiosity killed the cat.” He smiled and walked into his office. I thought that because tonight was his last night, he would be different, maybe actually sit and talk with me, watch TV even. But no, not even the fact he was going off to war tomorrow in some country that was rebelling against their monarchy would take him away from his work. I sighed slamming my body down on the couch. I closed my eyes and tried to wish my troubles away. Yeah, like that would ever work.
* * *I really did wish I could have wished all my problems away. Shortly after departing from our home in Seattle, Washington, I had gotten word from the security heads from the country’s army office that my father was in critical condition and might not make it back to Seattle without dying first. In the rural country of Terisscott, they didn't have the equipment to save my father's life. That's probably why he was dead now. He was dead because that country's monarchy could care less about health care. They probably thought, 'Oh, because we're so special, there will never be a war! Much less one that takes away the all the family a young seventeen year old girl has left!'
It was that country's fault my father was dead. I still had no clue why he had gone off to war in that country. Stupid, reckless and idiotic. Those were three characteristics my father did not have. So why did he act on those lines!? My brain was rattled with thought, I didn't even realize that I had been placed into a bed. Had I passed out? I wasn't sure. My heart was racing, if it had a mouth, it would probably be swearing , questioning, screaming with all it's might. Trying to break free from the hell that it had been placed in unwillingly. How could I be in this situation? It was bad enough when my mom died when I was little, but now this?! My mom, Liana Arabella Covington or Liana Arabella Dyson, when she married my dad, had died when I was four. I don't remember much of her. My dad used to tell me I was a lot like her. So imaginative, funny and curious.
I thought about my life in the past seventeen years: Let' see, first my mom died because of some flu. Then my dad got some job in the US away from Seattle and left me behind for three years. Forced to live with my grandma on my his side, until she died also. Now, after my friend was in a fatal car accident four years ago my dad was dead from going into a war in some country called Terisscott. What am I? The grim reaper?! I laughed at the thought, as sick as that is. A few minutes later a woman came in and smiled at me. I was though she was a nurse at first, but she didn't look the part what so ever. She was wearing a pale blue top with a lace cardigan over it. On her legs she was wearing a very formal white skirt with blue lace running up and around it like vines. On her feet, were a pair of white heels. Now that I thought about it, she really didn't look like a nurse at all. Maybe she was in the wrong room. She smiled at me through perfect teeth. When I say perfect I mean perfect. As in so straight you could use them as a ruler. So white, the could blind you permanently in the right light.
She opened her mouth to speak, but then closed it quickly as if she was nervous or something. I sighed mentally and open my mouth instead, “What do you want?” The girl looked taken aback. I guess she thought she was going to be the first one to talk. She cleared her throat and said,
“Are you Ari Liana Isabelle Dyson?” I think she had tried to speak with authority but it sounded more like she was a wounded sheep. I was confused, who was this girl? I had never seen her before. I nodded slowly, unsure if I should really tell her who I was. She smiled again and nodded. “Good. My name is Tiffany Mortimer. Assistant to the Queen of Terisscott. Or ex-assistant to her majesty Queen Liana Isabelle Covington.” Liana Isabelle Convington? I was shocked and confused. Why did the so called “Queen” have My mother's name and maiden name and my middle name?! I tried to speak but it was as if my lips had been glue by an invisible being. I closed my eyes, pulling up my courage from the bottom of my heart. I spoke,
“Why did the Queen have my mother's name, maiden name and my middle n-name?” I stuttered on the last of my words. Tiffany now looked very nervous. She sighed and said,
“Her Majesty, was your grandmother... Princess Dyson.” PRINCESS?! What did she mean by princess?! I was so confused.... How was this possible?! No, I couldn't be possible. It was a lie, it had to be. My parents would have told me about my... ordeal. I shook my head. No, it wasn't true. I was dreaming. I began to start pinching my self. Whacking my arms on the bed sides, it hurt so bad. But I wanted to wake up from this nightmare. I couldn't do this! I screamed at myself,
“WAKE UP ARI! WAKE UP!!!!” I was guessing Tiffany was terrified by now. She was probably think that her so called “princess” was a total psychopath. After a few more minutes intense pain, a doctor came rushing in, a needle in his gloved hand.
I immediately knew what it was. It was a sedative. Two men came in behind him, pinning my arms down, I attempted to kick one, but he grabbed my leg before I could knock him in the face. The men were wearing Black dress shirts and dress pants. Each had a badge on. They read: “Royal Security”. My adrenaline was still very high. So high that if it went any higher I would probably turn into superman and fly away. Within a few seconds, I felt a sharp pain in my thigh, then everything went silent. My heart slowed down and my muscles felt like Jell-o. I closed my eyes, just wanting to home. Go home to my dad, where he would be waiting for me. His arms stretched out to embrace me in a warm hug. But, that wasn't going to happen. He was dead. My mom was dead. I wished I was dead. But, I was a princess to the country that killed my father.
* * *“I don't know Miss Mortimer, he still is very agitated. I don't think she's ready to leave the country. He father died yesterday. She has emotional scarring.” I heard a man say. I wasn't sure, but I was guessing it was the doctor.
“Well, I'm sorry Doctor Morris, but she had to leave by seven o'clock tonight. She isn't a legal adult yet. I’m her guardian right now. Both her her parents are dead. Nothing we can do about it. Terisscott is in trouble and we need her. Queen Liana wanted me to find her grand daughter and bring her to Terisscott to rule...” Rule?! As in be queen?!! I shot up out of the bed and shook my head.
“NO! NO! NO!” I screamed as I walked out of the room. Tiffany looked at me as if I was crazy. She was probably right. I was crazy. I was crazy enough to trust this women last night when she told me everything would be alright. Nothing was alright. It was so F***ed up. My life was falling apart. The doctor looked very concerned. He took a step towards me but I backed away. My chocolate brown hair was in my face, hiding the tears. My hand clutched in fists, my black painted nails digging into my palms so hard they drew blood. I ignored the pain, too filled with grief. Tiffany had a sympathetic look on her face that was probably covering a look of disgust. She was most likely so pissed that the girl who was supposed to rule country was a psychopath. I sunk to the ground and lifted my head.
The doctor reached out his hadn to help me. I hesitated at first, but he reminded me of my father. His eyes, light brown and calming. His hair, also brown and tastled. I lifted out my arm, placing my hand in his. He helped me up. Once on my feet, I took me only but two sencondes to grasp onto him in a tight hug. My face not lifting from his scrubs, staining them with tears. He hugged me back resting his head on my shoulder. I thought I heard Tiffany sigh with impatience, but I didn’t care. She could go die in a hole for all I cared. Guardian or not, she was still a snobby little baby that couldn’t stop whining. After a few minutes, I got myself together. I pulled away from the doctor, apologizing for staining his scrubs. He told me it was fine and returned to his work, he obviously had other patients. I looked at TIffany, her face cold and hard, once again hiding a look of digust. She then looked me over, after a few moments, her face turned soft and sympathetic. This time, not to cover up. She touched my arm gently and smiled. I tried to smile back, but my face remained neutral. My eyes were red and puffy, my cheeks wet with tears and my nose still sniffling. She lead me back into the room and sat me on the bed she sat next to me and said,
“Listen Ari, I know that this is extremely hard for you. When your mother died, it was a loss for you father. He had no one else to turn to. Our country and the Queen, didn’t want anything to do with him or you. When your mother married him, your grandmother went into an uproar. She made certain laws that, went against her better judgement. But, it wasn’t her fault, you mother’s or you father’s. It was just something that happened. That’s how this war started. After many laws of injustice were passed, the whole country started to rebel against Queen Liana. She couldn’t do anything about it, the stress got to her, and she passed away few weeks ago. I called your father right after she died Ari, he had to know, since you are the only heir left to the throne of Terisscott,” I stared at her in awe, I was the only heir left to the throne?! “Ari, when your father got to Terisscott, he didn’t want to fight, but he was forced. He was swept into the fighting of the crowds. When he tried to explain to everyone what happened, he was killed. He was shot Ari... and beaten, I’m so sorry.” Tears dripped from her eyes. Why was she crying? She couldn’t have known my father that well... Could she? “Ari, your father was my brother. I married a man named Adrian Mortimer. My maiden name is Tiffany Rose Dyson. I’m your aunt Ari, and I need you to come back with me to Terisscott, this country needs you.” I wasn’t sure what I should say. Should I say yes? Or Hell no! She was my aunt, but that didn’t mean I needed to trust her. For all I knew, she could have been lying. Lying was easy to do, but the emotion she was showing, was hard to do. As I looked at my aunt, I could see the resemblance between her and my father. I smiled, she was like my father in many ways.
“Alright, I’ll go.” I said to my aunt, her face immediatly lit up. Her eyes were full of sadness still, but she was none the less happy that I was going to go with her.
* * *The plane ride was long and grueling, it was nice to be on solid ground. As I got my bearing, I saw fields of green behind a GIANT castle. When I mean GIANT, I mean, GIANT. Like, ten stories high, a gazillion sqaure feet in area! I gasped, looking over the castle, my aunt by my side and surrounded by Royal guards.
“Welcome to your new home, Princess Ari.” My aunt smiled and squeezed my shoulder. I smiled back as she led me to the castle’s giant door. When it was opened, I almost fainted at its beauty. The foyer had two marble staircases on each side that each had a red carpet. A gold and diamond encrested chandelier hung from ther ceiling. It’s light lit the beige tinted walls with a warm glow. On either side of the room, there was a door. The doors were made of solid wood, and had tainted glass windows. It was beautiful. One of the doors was open, and my aunt led me through it. It was the library. The walls were so high, it looked like they never ended. The book cases continued up the walls following them until the very top. I glanced at some book selections, and I found my favorite book, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll. I smiled at the memories that story held for me. My father read it too me many times, I could remember it practically word for word. It was a bittersweet moment, to see my favorite book that my father read to me, it showed the realization he was truly gone. He wasn’t gonna come back this time... My heart ached and longed for my father. Which only made me realise, was I making the right desicion? I hadn’t actually agreed to be the queen yet, but did I even make the right choice in trusting my aunt? Was that lady even related to me? ‘It’s easy to lie, but harder to actually be family.’’