As I walked down the old beaten path that I had traveled so many times before I realized the truth of the matter at hand, I was never going to walk down this path again; I was never going to see my mom, dad, or even my little brother ever again. Sure they might miss me, I was sure my little tag-along brother was going to miss me, but it was either abandon my loving family and be known as the outcast of the village or have my family be tortured through a painfully slow death that the Knights of the ruthless village would make me watch. Normally my family would not be involved in this matter since I am eighteen now, but since I was 17 when I did the crime and I wasn’t married off then it’s my parent’s fault for not having watched me better. Why is it that adults judge me not by my intelligence but by what I do? Why is it adults don’t even try to understand me, I mean so what if I went to a party and got drunk! It’s none of their damn business! Yet for some odd reason if I was married they would say ‘oh-well he should have kept a better eye on her. It’s not her fault that she made poor choices.’ That’s mostly why I do not plan on getting married until I’m twenty. Then the elders of town could look at me and say, ‘wow she made her own decisions. She didn’t listen to anyone.’ I don’t care if they like that about me or not that’s my life and that’s how I’m going to live it.
So to pay for the village’s disappointment in me, I go on trudging on this path with my exceptionally long, bright blonde hair swaying underneath my hooded dress. Then a thought popped into my head. It was the only logical one in days. Mostly I asked myself what the point in living is if the person you loved wanted you dead. Sadly, though all my pathetic brain could answer was that there was no point in living. So to get that suicide thought out of my head, I looked up at the beautiful, cloudy night sky. As I looked at the clouds I noticed one in particular, it was in the shape of a heart, but I watched it as it slowly broke into two separate pieces. Was this all a dream? Would I wake up 17 years old and decide not to go to the dance? Had nothing really happened? Was it all just a terrible nightmare that in a few moments would be done so I could go back to my normal lifestyle? No. The evidence was there if I was caught. I wish I could just disappear like the sun does at night. Yet, isn’t that what running away is? Disappearing from the lives of those you want to be with and those you loathe?
“Zoey!” I heard someone enthusiastic yell my name from behind me. Without thinking I thought it was my brother coming to get me. When I left the house I was as quiet as a mouse, but with that boy’s ears. He once heard a lady scream in the dead of the night 5 blocks away. So it was obvious that that 10 year old boy would hear me sneaking out of the house during the midst of the night.
“Spencer, go home. Mom’s going to be worried enough about me being gone, but if you’re gone too you’ll send her into a heart attack.” I sighed turning around to face my enthusiastic brother only to be surprised by a horse running right into me making me fall flat on my butt with a thud and a splash of mud that, obviously did not like me disturbing its tranquility.
“Do I really sound that much like your brother that you even talk to me like him?” A majestic man atop of the steed scoffed at me. His long cloak draping the horse’s rump and then not noticing me on the ground he flipped his dark blonde hair out of his finely shaped face. Then he finally seemed to take in what his horse had done and I made out a slight smirk as he continued. “Are you okay?” he said chuckling as I sat there scowling at him, even though he probably could not see my facial expressions in the dark.
“What are you doing here? Don’t you have more important things to do at your fancy castle with your money and wife?” I snarled at him still glaring into the dark up at that snooty face of his. Ever since that night he has acted like he owned me. Not tonight. I have finally decided that it is not his choice what I do.
“Listen, I can’t help what I inherit from my dad. You and I both know that I didn’t want to marry that wench of a duchess” he said sadly as I sat on the cold muddy ground. I realized one thing as he was saying this. What I noticed was very naïve. Not only had my beautiful blonde, long hair become brunette from falling over, but my only dress I had brought had been muddied up to a point where the stream was no way of cleaning it. To top off that the dress was unusable. It had been my favorite blue hooded dress that concealed me nicely, but now it looked like a brown dress that had been worn millions of times out in the fields picking and cutting and planting various things for the duke.
Since I hadn’t paid attention at all to what this man had said, all I managed to get out was “huh?” He chuckled slowly at my blondness and leaned forward on his large steed offering his hand to help me up off the ground. I was about to take it then I remembered what had happened. I pulled my hand back to me as he reached forward. Then an evil idea popped into my head, because if this was the horse Fryer that had bucked him off before, then I was sure one little mistake would make him go flying again and that is what would make us more equal. So to ensure this sweet revenge, I reached back up and grabbed his hand and as he was pulling me up I put all my weight on him. Since he had never been very strong I pulled him onto the ground. He fell in the mud right next to me. A flame flickered in Fryer’s eyes and he bucked a few times before that crazy stallion went galloping back toward the village. All I could do was laugh hysterically, because now he was stuck out here and had to walk back home instead of riding a horse the 10 miles back.
“You know that wasn’t very nice.” He said suppressing a chuckle. Then he threw a handful of mud at me. Before I could dodge, it hit me in the shoulder. Then he started laughing and he couldn’t stop, so I interjected.
“So what you just did is any nicer?” I rolled my eyes at his low maturity level, and then continued. “Well if you want to be back home by sun up then you should probably get heading back.”
Slowly though his laugh ended at that thought and he managed to tell me what I didn’t want to hear. “I’m not going back home; at least not without you.” He glanced at me and I shook my head telling him that I wasn’t going even though I doubted he could see me.
He kept looking at me with a question mark on his face before I finally answered him the truth “Scott, I’m not going back with you or anyone else for that matter.”
“Then I guess I’m going with you.” He sighed, obviously missing his plush castle already, and then he started in at me again trying to persuade my own opinion. “You know Zoey, I could get you out of those charges.” He looked up at me and for a minute I felt bad for what I was about to tell him, because I now knew for a fact that he was the one who had gotten me into all this trouble, it wasn’t that I was blaming it all on him, but he had made sense telling me that if I truly loved him, we would do what came for the honeymoon beforehand. All I did was say yes a couple months ago and now I was screwed over for the rest of my life. He didn’t know the whole truth though; Scott didn’t know that he himself would soon be a father.
“Scott, you can’t get me out of this.” I sighed prolonging the truth, of ending his own personal dreams that he had told me, about traveling the world without a care.
“You don’t get it! They have nothing on you! They just have a few rumors that you came out of the castle late after the party that night, but that’s never enough to lock someone up. Especially if it’s against my word.” He looked powerful now and it managed to send a chill down my spine.
“Scott, they do have proof.” I glared at him in the darkness hoping he would see the fire in my bright blue eyes and catch on to my little hints.
“How can they have proof? The only way they have proof is if you’re…” He trailed off when he realized what I had meant the whole time.
“Pregnant? Yes Scott, I am pregnant and you know what our village says of un-married pregnancies. They must be punished by death. It is that way now and it always will be. Even your word can’t go against that. Anyways I supposedly have relatives’ three towns to the south. So I’m hoping that their village is kind and takes me in if not I guess our village gets what it wants. Me dead.” I sighed, and leaned down on my already ruined dress. It had been so beautiful moments ago, almost the color of the sea.
“How did you even find out about the family in the south?” Scott asked, slowly relaxing next to me
“I found an old letter in my father’s chest it was 30 years old, but hopefully that family is still there.” I looked at him for emotion, but saw none. As the sun was rising I had finally cleared my mind until Scott started talking again.
“We should get into these woods if we don’t want to be noticed by my father’s knights.” He said efficiently getting up and reaching down only to pick me up unexpectedly. I was too tired to complain so I just relaxed into his soft grip. He carried me about twenty feet before I fell asleep
“Are you awake yet?” A guy’s voice asked. Who was that? Who was I with? Then I remembered it was Scott’s voice. His beautiful, majestic voice. Urg! I need to quit thinking things like that. I don’t love that man anymore. In fact, he’s just a plague who happens to have surfaced in my life.
“No,” I said looking up at the darkening sky, “I’m not awake, in fact I’m not even alive, I’m dead to you and anyone else back in the village” I had quit calling it my village since I had been banned.
He ignored my statement and continued to bug me like the house fly that flies around your head till you kill it (not that I would be able to kill Scott.) “You know Zoey,” he said, grinning down at me. “They have search parties out for you and me because they figure that you kidnapped me,” he grinned even bigger before he said “Yet they have it wrong, I figure I kidnapped you because I got the better end of the deal.” He leaned down and kissed my lips, making me realize that I was in fact awake and that he was sexually harassing me right now. So I did what I was put here to do (which was to slap him.) Hitting that little prick made the slap seem like it was in slow motion when I heard the sharp sound of skin hitting skin I realized I had actually slapped him which made my eyes smile in delight because my face was still creased with a scowl from before. Finally it registered what I had done to him, so then he rubbed his cheek. After he realized that I did this from his unexpected kiss he glared at me in a loving manner. “You know that wasn’t very nice” He was still glaring at me but the love in his eyes was tuning to sorrow. “What’s wrong? Did I say something?”
I glared back at him, and then I touched my lips. As I touched my lips, I realized that I had a frog in my throat and currently could not even get a yip out. So acting the fool I was, I sat there and stared into his eyes before finally I opened my mouth and tried to speak “you’re too cheesy.” Was all I managed to get out. Was I still in love with him? Is that why I couldn’t tell him that his mouth is his, and my mouth is mine, and to stay the hell out of my mouth? No, it was more then that. For once in my life the truth was given to me. That truth was that he was the father of my child. That is why I couldn’t tell him to go home before. That is why I couldn’t cuss him out. That is why I still needed him around.
I knew all to well what it was like to have a dad who didn’t care what happened to me. For that reason, I got up and started in the direction south. Other then having an ex-fling with me nothing else could go wrong could it? Chances were the family to the south would look at me as though I was insane, but they’re family they have a right to do that.
As I looked back at where Scott was, he smiled at me pathetically and followed like a lost puppy behind me. All I could tell him was the truth. “Scott, you do know you’re going to have to change clothes, right?” I said as I looked into his puppy dog eyes. He nodded apologetically. “Not only that, but your hair…” I looked at his hair. He felt of his shoulder length, thick, blonde hair one last time before he pulled out his hunting knife and cut it up to his ears.
“Is that any better Zoey?” he said smiling with his lips, but I could still see the sorrow through his eyes. This was not the life he had known. This new life would be harder and more treacherous, and if that included my death, so be it. I had decided that this child’s life was more important, and I had to survive until it was born and in a safe place. Until then, the only direction I had was south. Before I started this new adventure however the least I could do was nod my head to let Scott know his hair cut was acceptable.
© Copyright 2017 Sarah Howard. All rights reserved.
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