Raising the Crown

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Prolog (v.1) - Prologue

Submitted: June 14, 2019

Reads: 142

Comments: 1

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Submitted: June 14, 2019



Oh, my God! I can’t believe he’s chasing me! That son of a gun is actually chasing me down a highway at ninety miles an hour! This man was crazy, and to prove my point, he just aggressively rammed into my back bumper. This made my body violently jerk forward, and I felt the whiplash that followed instantly, but thank God the airbags didn’t go off!

“WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!?” I shouted as tears streamed down my face while I simultaneously looked in my rearview mirror, and then added five more miles to my speedometer. “JUST LEAVE ME ALONE ALREADY!”

My husband was a crazy man, abusive really, and I felt so stupid for allowing him to ever come into my life. I had to leave him, though, and go find my son’s father! Please, somebody call the police, because I had to ditch my cell phone! I threw it out so that he wouldn’t track me with it, and I planned on stopping at a convenience store somewhere along the way to upstate New York. Nothing, however, has gone according to plan since I dropped Luca off at my mother and father’s place. Tim knew where I was, and he seemed to read my mind, and tracked me to the highway. Surely a cop or state trooper was around here on the highway by now! Get this crazy son of a bitch off my tail!

I couldn’t help the tears that flowed endlessly in fear. I had dropped my son off with my parents earlier, because once I saw the welts on his back last night, I knew that my husband’s abuse was no longer just focused on me. Up until last night’s discovery, I thought Timothy only ever laid a hand on me. Then I caught Luca, my sweet, sweet ten-year-old prince, changing into his pajamas as he got ready for bed. Only then did I know something was wrong.

That’s when I saw the welts. That’s when I asked him about them. That’s when he broke down and cried more than I had ever seen him cry in the first decade of his life. His confession of everything that my husband did to him since this monster entered our lives has made me realize just how stupid I’ve been all along. I should have stayed in Xudia when my baby boy was born.

I am the heir, and first in line, for the crown of Xudia, a small, charming, and peaceful country that was located snugly between Italy and Croatia while Slovenia hugged it from behind. If I would have stayed there in Xudia, as was customary for each generation of Xudian royals to be born in the Palace of Moscjen, the Capital of my country, then I would have never met Tim. Oh, Camila, what the hell have you put your son through? My hands trembled on the wheel in fear, but my thoughts of my little boy’s smile brought me comfort. Oh, he was so much like his father, his real father.

His father was a famous musician and a notable actor of Hollywood whom I met at fifteen years old, right before he caught his big break, and became a household name. Giovanni Vincenzo Palladino was his name, but his own father already went by Giovanni, and he had a cousin whom everyone called Gio, and they had an Uncle Vincenzo. That being said, in order to stand apart from his male relatives with the same name, he decided his stage and registered Screen Actors Guild name would be Vince Palladino. Our son, Luca, knew all about him and the fact that this man was his biological father, but he also knew that Vince didn’t know about his existence at all. Oh, my precious little boy absolutely adored watching his father on the screen and listening to his music, and he wanted more than anything to meet him, but he also has understood why I have kept him away from his father all these years.

I couldn’t tell Vince about Luca. I wanted to, especially right after he told me he actually wanted kids with me, but his mother tried to give me money in order to dissolve my pregnancy with Luca when she found out. I never did anything wrong, but being that she was an Italian with a hatred towards Xudians, she simply never approved of me. I would never be good enough for Vince, her only baby boy. Xudia and Italy have been at war with one another for seven centuries over a piece of land no bigger than Rhode Island that consisted entirely of Xudia, because Italy felt the land rightfully belonged to them.

Thankfully, there was a wall, which was similar to that of the Wall of China in strength and durability, but certainly not large enough to be noticed from space. This wall at the border between Xudia and Italy has stopped most of the fighting throughout both countries, but the hatred is still so strong that the violence at the border has continued, and appears to have no end in sight. King Chaudhry Oorija is dying, and I have tried to convince him to end the war, because legally speaking Italy could not take our land in this modern era, and the hatred simply has to stop. Italy has tried on multiple occasions during King Chaudhry’s rule to offer a peace treaty, but His Majesty is a stubborn one, and is not one to let go of a centuries old grudge. If I make it out of this shitty mess that I have right now with this monster of a husband, I will take my son back to Xudia for his rightful crown training, and he will accept his coronation, and then he will sign a peace treaty with Italy once and for all.

Luca and I both want to see peace among his two peoples in his lifetime, for he is half Italian and half Xudian, and I want to see him honor both cultures without being subjected to racism. Even though she does not know I am a princess, I want to show his paternal grandmother that her hatred will lose. Hatred and racism will lose. Even though I am 100% Xudian, the Italian culture will always be a part of me, because of my son and his father, both of whom I love with all my heart. Despite how much Mrs. Palladino has hated me since I met her son eighteen years ago, I always offered her truce and peace and respect, until she shoved money into my hands and told me in a hushed voice that Vince couldn’t be a father at twenty-three years old, or it would undo everything he had worked so hard for up to that point.

She thought I wasn’t good enough and she thought I was just a gold digger. I was restricted by my king from telling her and Vince the truth about my royal lineage. I couldn’t tell her I was a princess and that her grandson would be a prince. I couldn’t tell her that next to the king, I was the wealthiest person in my native country. All she could know was the fact that I was from Xudia, and to her that meant I wasn’t good enough, and that I would just simply be troublesome and no good for her son.

Focus, Camila, focus on the task at hand. Lose your tail and get the hell to New York! As soon as you can lose this monster, find some place to get a new phone, and call Gloria. Let her know what’s going on, so she can give Vince a heads up that I’m coming, since his agent won’t return my calls. I tried to reach Gloria earlier too, but her phone went straight to voicemail, which only meant she was still in bed.

She was Vince’s wife now, and the mother of their two younger sons, but she was an amazing woman. She came after me ten years ago when she first found out that I dumped Vince. She was furious that a woman ‘like me’ could make a strong, level headed man cry as much as Vince did after he woke up one morning to read my goodbye letter on the pillow next to him. She actually slapped me too. I deserved it, since I broke Vince’s heart, but I couldn’t conceal the truth from Gloria.

I told her everything. I told her about my background and my upbringing. I told her about the last conversation I had with Vince’s mother and how she gave me money to abort Luca when she saw my lab results that I had in my purse. I told her about my last conversation with Vince, and how I couldn’t tell him what his mother told me, because he would have been devastated. I told her how I didn’t want to be the reason Vince would burn the bridge of the close relationship he has with his mother, because that’s exactly what would have happened if he knew what she told me.

Gloria then cried with me, hugged me in comfort to no end as if we had been sisters or best friends all along, and then she begged me. She pleaded with me to drop abortion as an option. In the end, I found she was right, and I owe Luca’s life to her. She was in love with Vince when I left him, so I told her to be his rock and his comfort, and to marry him. If I couldn’t be with Vince, then I didn’t want him with anyone else, only her. I knew she would treat him like the king I wish I was allowed to have as my royal consort.

I made her promise not to tell Vince of Luca’s existence, and if she kept that promise, I would allow her to stay in our lives as she so desperately wanted. She has surprisingly managed to find a way every year to visit Luca on his birthday in Xudia, and Luca has stayed in contact with her throughout the years with email and video exchanges, but only when Vince was away on tour or on a film project, or when Gloria was away on her own job as a linguist. Finally on Luca’s tenth birthday, I confessed to Luca that she was his father’s wife, which made her his stepmother. I thought for sure that Luca would feel betrayed for not knowing this truth sooner, and that he would question my love for him or something along those lines, but Luca in turn confessed that he already knew. Unbeknownst to Gloria and myself, Luca had watched his father’s every move in the limelight, and there were times where Gloria and their sons were by Vince’s side for all the world to see.

Instead of being angry or upset and throwing a fit like a normal ten-year-old kid would have done, Luca remained calmed, and just simply told us that he understood. It was at that moment that Gloria and I both knew what an amazing person Luca was growing up to be. We knew he would make a great king, a king with a kind and gentle heart, and a king who would certainly be wise beyond his years. I told Gloria that if anything ever happened to me, I would legally hand full custody over to her and Vince, because I knew that they would continue to raise him just as I have. Gloria laughed and assured me nothing would ever happen, but as I felt another violent jolt towards my steering wheel, I now knew that to be an unforeseen lie.

I could feel it. I would not make it out of this alive, not while this bastard kept ramming into my back bumper. Finally I could see red and blue lights and a siren catching up to us. Before I realized it, Tim had changed lanes to go around me, and then he belligerently cut me off. Instinct kicked in and I turned the wheel in response, and after hitting the highway divider my car flipped, my very last few thoughts in the air were on Vince and my last conversation with Luca.

“Luca, it’s time to meet your father,” I told him as I knelt down to his level outside my parents’ house and met his beautiful brown eyes. “But I have to go get him first. I need you to stay here where nana and pappy can keep you safe, okay?”
“No, Mommy, I want to come with you!”
“No, Luca, you can’t come with me. It’s not
 safe. Baby, I would never forgive myself if something happened to you while you were with me on this trip.” Luca’s eyes welled up with tears and I knew he was upset with me. “You’ve been wanting to meet your daddy for a real long time, sweetie, and I’m going to make it reality, I promise, but I need to do this alone. Do you trust me?” Luca nodded in response and then I held my baby boy’s face. “I love you so much, sweetie.”
“I love you too, Mommy.”

I then kissed my baby’s forehead and left him on the porch steps with his grandparents. I feared for my life, but I had enough hope in me that I could turn to Vince and Gloria. Little did I know until now, I would never meet up with them, and I would never be the one to tell Vince why I left him in the first place. I would never be the one to introduce him to our son, and little did I know until now, this memory with Luca would be my last. Please, Vince, take care of our little prince.

© Copyright 2019 Jenah Pierce. All rights reserved.


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