A Promise of Forever

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Erika was the princess, he was the knight...

Submitted: March 28, 2010

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 28, 2010

A A A

A A A


A Promise of Forever
Part I
_____________________________________________________
I could remember everything about him. His scent, his manner of speaking, his laugh, everything. But somehow, I couldn’t remember the feelings anymore.
I had known him for over ten years now. I was the princess, he was my knight. At least, that’s what other people say. They say that when we are together, we look like a picture. But no, he couldn’t be a prince. He came from a middle-class family and I am the Allard family heiress. We are not fit for each other.
I grew up believing that people underneath my social standing are inferior to me in every way. I was always disgusted by how they curry favor to a spoiled brat like me to get the approbation of my father, who is the CEO of the Allard Group of Companies. And I pushed around people a lot, just because my father is rich and powerful.
My heart used to shiver from the coldness of solitude. I was all alone, and didn’t have any friends at all. At school my classmates all hate me, probably because of my attitude and of their jealousy because I am rich.
But one day, my father decided to have me home-schooled, and hired a private teacher for me. That was when he came into my life.
_____________________________________________________
“Erika, I want you to meet your new tutor, Gabriel.”
I stared hard at the boy in front of me. He was around ten years old, I heard from my nanny, but he was already entering high school. He was a very bright child, but since he came from a poor family, his parents cannot afford to send him to school. So Father took him under his wing and will pay for all his school fees but he has to render service to Father in exchange.
He had a slim and lanky figure, and his height towered over me. He had a thin, prominent aristocratic nose, and the palest cream skin. Black rimless glasses framed his empty glass eyes, with dark soot lashes. His aura was somewhat intimidating, with his sharp, stoic expression. He merely took a small but respectful bow. I curtseyed.
“It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Miss Allard.”
His cold, grey, glass eyes stared back at me. I glared at him, when I realized that we had the exact same expression in our eyes.
_____________________________________________________
“Go get my carpet slippers.”
I threw my pink quilt over my body and propped my head up on the pillows. I watched as Gabriel stood up from my study chair at the end of my room and pick up my slippers. He brought them to me and placed them at the side of my bed.
“Remember to always say please, Miss Erika.”
“I don’t want to. Now get out. I’m going to sleep.”
He stared at me. “You are being a spoiled brat, Miss Erika.”
That remark ignited my fiery temper. “Disrespectful! Out! Out!”
He continued to stand at the side of my bed defiantly. “Not until Miss learns her manners.”
I launched at him and tried to scratch his face with my fingernails, but he held my hand fast. “Control your temper, Miss. An heiress does not lose her temper.”
“Heiress your face, peasant! Go out! Leave me alone!”
At those exact words, the lights went out, and we were engulfed in total darkness. My face froze. I could still see his calm face by the moonlight which came in from the large picture window in my room, but fear resided in my heart. I was afraid of darkness.
“P-P-Please leave.”
I pulled the quilt more tightly around me and turned to the other side with my back on him, so he wouldn’t see my trembling hands. I heard him sigh.
“Miss… You are afraid of the dark, I see.”
“I am not. Just leave me alone.”
I heard the clicking of a lighter, and a gentle glow penetrated my eyelids. I opened them, and saw his face gently illuminated by the flickering candlelight.
“Would Miss like to see something extraordinary tonight?”
I stared at him in surprise. “Extra… ordinary?”
_____________________________________________________
I tugged my cloak around my face as the cold night wind blew full in my face. I was running blindly, not knowing where to go. Gabriel just told me to hold on to his hand, and trust his guidance. We were running through a great clump of yew trees which surrounded the Allard mansion. He promised me that the journey would be worth it, that I would see something I wouldn’t regret seeing. He was running in full speed, and I tagged along. Suddenly, he stopped. I halted beside him, panting. He was staring at the night sky silently, the moonlight bouncing off his rimless glasses. I also looked up at the sky.
“What is it that you want to show me?” I asked impatiently. “If you wanted to show me the moon, it would’ve been better if we just climbed up to the astronomy tower.”
“Please be quiet, Miss, or you’ll scare them away.”
I was stunned by his words. What on earth…
The sudden flash of tiny lights at the sky surprised me. They were like little glowing dots which hovered above my head. I stared in awe.
“They are… fireflies.”
“Yes, Miss.”
“So… beautiful.” I gasped.
“Darkness is sometimes good, Miss, for they allow us to appreciate some things better.” He said. A tiny smile started creeping across my face as I continued watching the fireflies. He’s right.
“Would you care to sit for a while, Miss?”
I turned my gaze away from the flying insects and saw him laying a soft blanket on the ground underneath a tree. I took a seat beside him and leaned my back on the tree trunk, enjoying the beautiful sight of the lightning bugs dancing in the cold July night air. I was mesmerized.
“My mother used to tell me that if you catch a firefly, you could make a wish.” He suddenly spoke up beside me.
I stared at him. “A wish?”
“Anything you want will come true.”
I stood up. “I want one, then.”
He smirked. “As you wish.”
With that, he took out a small jar from under his cloak and opened the lid. He also stood up and approached me. I stared at him. “What are you doing?”
He swiftly tucked in a stray strand of my wavy golden locks behind my ear. I was surprised by his sudden action.
“What are you doing?” I demanded, my face turning red.
“I just caught a firefly by your ear.” He said, highly amused, as he opened his hand a little for me to peep in. I gave him a doubtful look, and peered inside. Indeed, a small bug with light in its body was inside.
“Miss can now wish for anything she wanted.”
“But you said I had to catch it myself.” I pouted, and clapped my hands over my head. I brought it to my face and took a look inside. Nothing was in it.
“I’m giving you this one, but be careful not to let it go.” He reached out his closed fist to me. “Just hold my hand and make your wish.”
I adjusted my cloak and wrapped my hands around his fists and held it tenderly. I closed my eyes and made a very special wish a five-year-old can make.
_____________________________________________________
“Gabriel?”
He looked up from his book and at me. I was sitting on my study desk in the classroom at home, several books propped up in front of me. He gave me a questioning look.
“I’m sorry for being rude to you last night.”
He turned his attention back to his book without saying anything. I pouted.
“Are you still mad?”
He looked up again, looking slightly amused, which was a contrast to his usually cold expression. “I was never mad at Miss. I have no right to be.”
I smiled, and turned my attention back to the exercise he had given me.
“Miss looks very beautiful in red.”
I looked up at him, surprised. He smirked, and returned to his book. “You look sweet.”
I blushed. “T-Thank y-you…”
At that moment, my heart was beating so hard that I thought that he might hear it banging on my chest. My face felt hot, as it was the first time anyone had complimented me on my looks. I stole a peek at him from behind my book. He was focusing on reading his book, and I observed him freely. The sunlight streaming from the large picture window at his right lighted up his handsome face, which colored his cheeks and made him lose some of his pallor. At that moment, as I surveyed him, I could almost swear that he looked very gentle…
“Is something the matter, Miss?”
I snapped to attention, and took my head from my hands and resumed my work. “Everything is alright.”
He gave me a suspicious look but thankfully, he also resumed his past occupation.
From that day, I couldn’t keep my mind off Gabriel Daniels.
_____________________________________________________
“The generator will come on in a few moments, Miss Allard.” Gabriel said soothingly as I quivered on my bed. He had already been ten years in Father’s service, and he took care of me. He drives me wherever I please, teaches me inside the classroom in the Allard mansion and is my personal bodyguard. And he grew somewhat dear to me. As a brother, or as something else, I am not sure.
The lights had gone out again due to a thunderstorm, and I was scared to death. I hated the darkness still, even after the firefly night in the forest, and was also afraid of lightning and thunder.
“I-I know!” My voice faltered. There was a knock on the door. Gabriel stood up from his chair beside my bed and answered it. A workman was outside, and both of the men spoke in hushed voices. Gabriel was looking back at me every few words, and finally, with a nod, the workman went away and Gabriel closed the door and resumed his place beside my bed.
“Is there anything wrong?”
He sighed, and looked straight into my eyes. “The generator is broken for tonight, Miss, and the workers have found it difficult to fix it in this weather.”
My worst fears have come true.
“But if it pleases you, Miss, I shall remain here with you until you fall asleep.”
I blushed and looked away. “Please do.”
Gabriel sat upright in his chair, and adjusted his glasses, still wearing his emotionless mask. “Good night, Miss Allard.”
I pulled my quilt over me and attempted to sleep, but the constant roaring of thunder and flashes of lightning still scared me.
“Gabriel?”
“Yes, Miss?”
“Could you sit on my bed beside me? I couldn’t fall asleep.”
Through the constant flash of lightning, I saw Gabriel stand up and felt his weight beside me. He leaned on the headboard of my curtained princess-style four poster bed as I also sat up and huddled close to him.
“Rest your head on my shoulder, Miss, so you’ll be more comfortable.”
I did as I was told, and suddenly, I felt safe and secured.
“Gabriel… Don’t leave me okay?”
“Understood.”
_____________________________________________________
I woke up as the rays of the early morning sun hurt my eyes. I sat up from my bed and looked around.
“Gabriel…?”
I got up from the bed and grabbed the pink alarm clock on my bedside table. It was already nine in the morning. I ran to the picture window which overlooked the garden and looked down. Gabriel was standing in the middle of the garden, talking with a cousin of mine. I immediately pulled on my coat and went downstairs. I ran to the garden and was just in time to catch a few sentences of their conversation. I hid behind a rosemary bush as I listened.
“Please do go with me, Gabriel.”
Gabriel still looked as emotionless as he usually does. “I cannot leave Miss Erika.”
“But I already reserved a place in the restaurant. I’m sure Erika won’t mind you being gone for only tonight.”
He looked away. “I’m sorry. I cannot go.”
I decided to reveal myself and step in to their conversation. My cousin smiled at me.
“Erika! Perfect timing! Could I borrow Gabriel for this evening? I don’t have a date yet for the prom.” Sachi Allard said.
I looked from her to Gabriel, and smiled. “Of course. And you can take the car too.”
Sachi looked delighted. “Thank you! I’m going to get his suit then.”
Sachi cheerily ran towards the Allard mansion gate. Gabriel looked at me.
“Miss, are you sure about this?”
I smiled even more brightly. “Yes.”
He looked doubtful.
“Go with her. I’ll be alright.” It would be pretty selfish on my part if I kept you to myself.
_____________________________________________________
I screamed as another peal of thunder roared. I covered my ears as I huddled by myself on my bed. The generator was still broken, and darkness covered the place. I sobbed hysterically like I did when I was a child. Never had I felt so alone.
Suddenly, something warm held my hands. I looked up and saw that it was Gabriel.
“Gabriel!”
“Does this feel better?” he asked.
“Why are you here? Where is Sachi?”
He took a deep breath. “I left her.”
I was enraged. “How could you leave my cousin like that!”
He looked defiant. “I came back because all the lights in the city went out.”
I froze. He came back for me.
“You shouldn’t have! What about Sachi?”
“She assured me she’ll be alright.”
“But I told you that I’ll be fine too! How come you believed her and not me?”
“Because I know you are not! You were practically screaming when I arrived! How could that be okay?”
I was taken aback. “I told you I’m fine!”
Suddenly, Gabriel took me in his arms and hugged me tight. “Please do not act like you are brave when you’re really afraid, Miss Erika.”
Tears started leaking out from my eyes. And then I felt safe again, right beside him.
_____________________________________________________
Gabriel completed my life since then. We were not officially a couple, but he was always there beside me. And ever since that night, I realized that I really do love him. Not as a brother, but as something else. That was the only time that he showed true emotion and voiced his feelings out loud, and I never knew what he feels for me in return. I wasn’t sure. I figured that he might want to avoid relationships so I never told him what I really felt. His main objective in taking care of me was mainly to finish his studies and to someday rise from poverty. I do not want him to be sidetracked in his goals. But perhaps, it is also because I fear his rejection. I contented myself with staying by his side. I was a coward. I wanted it to last forever. But never have I thought that the day when he would leave me would eventually come.
“I’m leaving for England, Miss Allard.”
I looked up from my math worksheet, surprised.
“Leaving?”
He looked away. “I received a scholarship offer from a prestigious university there. I’m going to take up Law.”
I stared at him.
“Miss Allard doesn’t need me anymore.”
I stood up. “What?”
“Mister Allard does not wish me to serve you anymore. He said that I’m getting too close to you for comfort.”
I felt as if my world crashed down at my feet. “He can’t do that.”
He shook his head. “He already did. I’m leaving tomorrow.”
“No…” I slumped to my seat, tears rolling down my cheeks.
“Erika.”
I looked at Gabriel, surprised. He never called me Erika before. It was always Miss Allard, Miss, or Miss Erika. But never Erika.
“Please do promise me one thing, as I promise another to you.”
I waited for him to continue.
“Please do not get married until after ten years after my departure.”
I stared at him again in surprise.
“Because I promise to return then, and by that time I would’ve crushed the Allard Group of Companies. I’ll take you from your father, and together we shall be happy.”
Fresh tears started to fall down my cheeks. They were not tears of sorrow, as I have shed before, but tears of joy.
“I’ll wait.”
_____________________________________________________
End of Part One.


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