This goes to you PrincessB1992! You're an amazing friend and deserve this! Don't forget to check out her story Bed of Roses, if you haven't already! It's an amazing story and you need to check it out!
A cool crisp breeze welcomed Niahirra as she stepped into the courtyard. The sun settled in the horizon; still high enough to spread light across the land. Only a few more hours until night fall, then the stars and moon would light up the sky. Niahirra’s eyes roamed the courtyard, admiring all the beautiful flowers that blossomed. There were many varieties of flowers including; daisies, tulips, and roses. They had every color of flower littering the grounds. The courtyard was her favorite place to be whatever mood she was in. As a child, she helped her mother plant all kinds of flowers, watered them and pulled out the weeds. They spent many mornings here, watching the flowers grow.
Niahirra walked by a stone bench, pausing to brush off some leaves before sitting down. Her eyes began to water as she remembered all the wonderful memories of her mother. Letting out a sigh, she scanned the area. Not a single soul in sight. Since her mother’s death, no one visited this place expect her. She continued to care for the flowers and planted new ones, replacing the ones that withered and died. Leaning back against the bench, Niahirra slowly smiled. She used to sit on her mother’s lap while she told tales on this bench, and every day she told a new tale. The servants prepared a meal and brought them a large blanket, so they could lay the blanket in the gardens to eat beside the growing flowers. Sometimes she even spent the night out here, gazing up at the stars until falling asleep. She would wake up with a blanket covering her and her mother sitting on the bench singing softly.
These past eight years, whenever she wanted to feel close to her mother, she would come here. Niahirra wiped the tears that escaped her eyes using the sleeve of her cloak. No words could describe how much she missed her. More than anything she wanted to ask for her advice. How would she go through with the marriage? What would her life be like once she’s living with her husband? Would she even live long enough to see where he lived? Shuddering at the images, she stood up and walked towards the back. Following the small trail to the end, she found her secret spot. No one knew but her, that there’s a large piece of stone that could be moved. The hole is large enough to crawl through which lead outside the palace wall.
She pushed hard as she could along the wall until she felt something move. Smiling, she pushed it free. After crawling through the hole, she found a single peach rose growing near the wall. She never planted any flowers here, and wondered how this flower got there. Curious, she snapped the stem, being careful of the thorns, and inhaled the sweet scent. Peach roses were her favorite flower. Carefully removing all the thorns, she placed it behind her ear and quickly returned the stone to its place before anyone could see. How no one knew of it, she couldn’t explain, and hoped no one ever found out.
Niahirra pulled the hood of her cloak up, not wanting anyone to recognize her. She kept her head bent low, avoiding all the stares. If anyone noticed her, there would be a big commotion. She just wanted to be treated like everyone else, not be spoiled by everyone. There’s more to life than riches and fame. When she spoke of this, they all laughed at her, expect her father. He was furious with her and scolded her for several hours.
She shook her head, clearing the horrible memories of her father, and walked into the small market. Walking into the crowded streets, she carefully kept her head low enough to hide her face. She never thought the market would be so large. There were food stands, some with fresh baked bread, fruits, cheeses, and meats. The smells made her mouth watered. She left her coins in her bedchambers, so she’d have to taste the delicious smelling food another time. Then there were clothing and materials, scarves, and hand crafted jewelry.
Niahirra soon felt exhausted, and decided to head back to the palace, before her father found her missing. She suddenly imagined Evrio finding her missing. He would panic and run through the palace shouting. She would get a long lecture from her father and Evrio. One thing she wanted to avoid. Pausing in the middle of the street, she glanced around, trying to figure out which way lead back to the palace. Nothing looked familiar. Scolding herself, she found an alley and headed down it, hoping it would be a back way to the palace.