Where there's a Will there's a Hope

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Chapter 3

Hope sat on the river bank, dangling her pale legs in the cool water, her mind was in a turmoil and her heart ached in a way that she couldn't quite understand. Tears of frustration fell from her eyes and plopped delicately into the river, startling the fish that swam past. Hope tried not to think, she tried desperately to focus on nothing but the ripples of the water and yet her mind would not shut off, it kept repeating one thing, over and over, "Will likes the Princess because she's beautiful and what are you?" She rubbed her eyes with the palm of her hands until stars appeared in front of her eyes. "Boys are such idiots!" She huffed, she picked up a large, rough stone and threw it in to the water as hard as she could, watching it sink out of sight.

"They are indeed." A voice said, Hope twisted around to see the Princess in all her regalness standing on the hill path, tall heels on her feet and her tiara nestled safely in her hair that despite the windy day stayed in place as though it didn't dare fall. Hope scrambled to her feet and curtsied awkwardly "Your highness," She said, horribly aware of the dirt between her toes. The princess's eyes wandered from her tear stained cheeks and puffy eyes to her dirty feet and her lip curled.

"Your name?"

"Hope."

The princess scrunched up her delicate nose, "How..lovely. She turned and walked back up the path to where a body guard stood patiently. He grabbed her arm gently and led her away. Hope  scowled after her, it seemed as though everyone she believed in was disappointing her at the moment. She picked up another stone and threw it in to the water while burying a scream of frustration as it too sunk below the glimmering water. She began up the path, her arms hugged around herself and the dirt on her feet leaving muddy foot prints behind her. 

Will had sat at the kitchen table, staring at the large clock that stood in the dining room, as it rung out to signify yet another hour since Hope had stormed out Will bit his lip. Where was she? "Damn you Hope!" He growled angrily at the air. 

"Well hello to you too," Hope said coldly, closing the front door behind herself, "If you'll excuse me I just came to get my bag." She walked past him stiffly, her head lowered so she wouldn't have to meet his face in a desperate attempt for him not to see her tear filled eyes. She grabbed her pack and left swiftly. Will stared after her. What's she so mad about? "Girls!" He grumbled and stalked off to his room where he sat throwing a ball at the wall.  

When his mother came home from the market she knew something was wrong. She knocked gently at Will's door but he didn't reply, the only sound was the thumping of the ball against the brick wall. Rebecca opened the door.

"Hello Mr. Grumpy, what's wrong?"

"Nothing." He mumbled back, not looking at her.  Rebecca perched herself on the edge of his bed, smoothing her hand over the worn blankets. The sun filtered in through the window falling on a framed drawing that Hope had drawn for Will when they were five, it was of them both dressed as knights fighting off dragons together, there was no damsel in distress in this story but rather two strong knights, a boy and a girl, fighting together for each other. Rebecca smiled sadly, Hope had an amazing imagination but in this city....she sighed. WIll looked at her, concerned.

"The little girl who drew that picture for you isn't a friend that you can lose over one fight, Whatever the matter you two can work it out, I'm sure of it!" She shut the door behind herself and left to begin making dinner. After she left Will took the picture and shoved it under his bed before falling in to bed and staring up at the cracked ceiling. "Who needs her!" 

A week went past, Hope sat by herself under a large tree at lunch while Will sat with some friends. They avoided each other as best they could, when one family visited the other they would stay in their rooms. Their parents exchanged looks everytime this occured but said nothing, preferring to avoid arguments if they could achieve it and at the same time expecting it would blow over at any moment. The Ball was an ever persisting presence, the town buzzed with gossip and intrigue, who was going with who and what they would be wearing and who was going in disguise or not. While Hope stayed out of these discussions by keeping to herself  and Will threw all his mind in to school; he had stopped writing the letters to the princess as he felt it too much of a betrayal to Hope and he didn't even know why. The day of the ball loomed closer, only a week away.

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