I stopped by a wall and panted. Breath in, out, in, out. I looked behind me if he was still following, nope, nobody. I tried to make my breathing go into normal pace, afraid that someone might see me. In, I breathed slowly. Out, I exhaled. I placed my hand on my heart and felt that it was still beating as fast. But my breathing was being controlled. I missed the days where I used to do this. Running and feeling as if your heart will just burst. I stood up straight and looked behind me again, weary that he might just show up.
Satisfied to know that he wasn’t following me anymore, I walked to the kitchen with my chin up high. Being lady-like so isn’t me but hey, I’m getting paid for this. I guess I can say it was lucky of me to have bumped into the prince. Prince Darren, I mean. Its better compensating as a maid than pay for the price of what I’ve gotten myself into. After all, I don’t even have a single penny on me. Although, I still miss the streets of Amethyst. The thrill, the adrenaline. I’m gonna miss that. Wait, gonna? Who said I was retiring from my old hobby? I smirked at the thought. Its been like what, a month or so now? I think I can still do it. I know I can still do it.
I felt an arm go around my waist and by instinct, I screamed. But a hand suddenly covered my mouth, preventing me from shouting. “Found you,” he whispered. For a skinny prince, he was strong. Or maybe I just didn’t see his muscles. Nevertheless, he got me by surprise. I shouldn’t have gone wherever my mind took me. I looked at him, giving him bored eyes. He was shocked at my expression.
This is it.
I kicked him from behind and succeeded. He groaned and released me. “Idiot,” I whispered, a smirk placed on my lips.
I ran until I reached somewhere where he can’t see me. “STOP!” he screamed at the top of his lungs. Shoot. “Someone! Lucille!” he yelled at the old blonde who just happened to pass by. Yeah, he just got lucky that the maid he called on was the head.
“Master Darren?” she said in a sweet voice.
“Stop Erin over there! Get her for me, please,” he said in a polite voice.
“Erin, dear. Please come here, master Darren is calling for your presence,” she said kindly. He smirked behind her back, mouthing the words, “I win.” Yeah, he just really got lucky she was the head maid.
I turned and looked at her with as much kindness as I could show. “Ms. Lucille, I’m afraid I cannot do that. Lizzy called me earlier to help her with the ironing. And you know how she is to the heat of the iron. She really is as fragile as glass. Somehow, I get scared of what might happen to her,” I said with a face trying to get her sympathy. “As a friend, I cannot leave her, she might burn herself,” I added.
Lucille, with her spectacles on the bridge of her nose, looked at me with understanding in her eyes. Hah.
“I see. You may go,” she said with a smile. “As for you,” she says now looking at prince Darren. “If it is something that is bothering you so much, I may be able to assist you,” she offered.
Prince Darren looked hesitant at first but then gave her a flashing smile. “Ah. Nevermind. Its okay. It’s nothing major.” he admitted. He made a face at me, trying to look sinister.
“You sure about that?” she asks, now raising her brows. It was my turn to smirk. I ran quickly to the kitchen, making sure that Lucille doesn’t change her mind.
Idiot. Think he can beat me? I’m not letting that happen. As for Lizzy, Lucille should’ve known better! Lizzy is the exact opposite of how I described her. She’s practically fearless. I still strided to the kitchen.
I came to a halt by the kitchen door. I opened it and smelled the food being cooked for supper. I smelled baked potato and followed its scent. I drooled at how delicious it looked.
I almost take a bite when suddenly someone flicks my forehead. “What do you think you’re doing?” the chef says in an alarmed tone. His name is actually Manny. Well, he isn’t like one of those big chefs, he’s actually in good shape. Which is good. If I said we aren’t close, I’d be lying. He’s one of the friendliest people I’ve met here. “Aw! Just a bit. I’ll make sure it doesn’t look obvious,” I pleaded.
“No,” he answered with a serious tone, his face turning into a frown.
“But it looks so good! I want some food in my stomach!” I begged. “Speaking of food,” he says, “Could you please go out into the market. I need some more apples for making the apple pie.”
I stared at him with disbelief. The market! Outside the walls of this castle, out in the open, a place bustling with people. Haggling, selling, loitering, of course I’ll go!
“You can count on me!” I chirped. Going outside! Finally feeling the breeze outside the castle! Its not that I don’t get out of the castle as much, I just really miss feeling the thrill out there.
“No stealing, I’m giving you money. Wait here,” he commanded. He knew me too well. I told him my history, just so I can feel more comfortable in the castle. He told me his too. Who knew a chef would come from a farm out in the province?
“Here, 10 amis. Remember, one apple is one amis. So get me 10 please. Hurry on your way back,” he ordered. “And don’t run into trouble. Please. The last thing this castle would need is trouble,” he grinned. I chuckled at him and took the money from him. “I’m off.”
I grabbed a a green robe to hide my maid uniform. I pulled up the hood and walked my way to the market. I opened the iron gate and was now outside the gates of the castle. The sun was still up. I felt a cool breeze nip at my skin. I walked down the cobbled pavement to the market. Kids were running around, playing tag, flying kites. I smile at the sight of them. I missed the days where there was no worry at all. It was nostalgic.
I came to a halt when I saw the sign that said, ‘Market.’ I used to come here to steal things discreetly, but now, I’m actually here to buy things. I remember, the adrenaline that kept me up and alive with speed. My heart, beating so fast it felt like it would just burst out. And Seth. Seth was always by my side, there to help. He was the guy who offered the idea. The idea to steal and run. It was so exciting, and scary at the same time. The adrenaline rushing through my veins. I remember the time when I used to even steal some Amis, just to buy food. It isn’t easy at all, having no money in your pocket.
“Miss, is anything wrong?” said a voice that disrupted me from my thoughts.
“Oh. No. Its alright..I-- ” I didn’t finish my sentence when I realized the one in front of me was Seth, my childhood friend. Horror struck me. I cant reveal that I’m now a maid working in the castle! He’d think I was crazy!
“E-Excuse me,” I said with as much politeness in my voice. I quickly went in the market, hoping he didn’t realize it was me.
But I was wrong.
“E-Erin?! Erin! Erin!” he yelled behind me.
I still ran. Stupid, stupid, stupid! I should have thought of the possibility of running into him. I passed by a crate of oranges and saw some goats tied to a post. “Pears! Fresh picked! Get them now before they rot! Only 2 amis each!” announced a big man who had a black beard. I heard the loud clucks being made as I passed a few of the cages that had chickens in them.
I have to find a hiding place. A hiding place.
“Erin! Wait! C’mere!”
I heard his loud footsteps behind me. Though I didn’t stop running. I still looked where I could hide or some place where he cant reach me. The bathroom? Wow, nice thinking Erin. As if there’s a bathroom nearby.
Horses were suddenly running by, carrying heavy belongings or things to sell for the market. They were in the way. There were a lot of them which made me stop and wait. Though I couldn’t wait any longer because I still heard Seth running through the crowd, trying to get to me. I had to think fast, where should I go?
Before I could go to the way the horses came by, I felt someone caught my wrist. I turned around and saw piercing grey eyes. I saw sweat run down his face. He looked angry but relieved at the same time. He smirked at how fast he got.