It is hard to enjoy anything when you fear for your life and the life of your family. It is even harder when you lose your trust in someone you deeply trusted.
Add to that the need to hide your true thoughts and feelings almost every second of the day, and you have a recipe for a terrible week. The time Princess Atamar spent with the other palace youth and Prince Crenip might have been able to compensate except for one thing.
Atamar couldn't stop thinking about the letter she had written. She wondered how her parents would respond. She wondered if the letter had reached them. She wondered if they would return.
She wondered if she would get a letter back. Because she was thinking so much about what she had written, she was eagerly waiting for her parents' weekly letter. However, letter day came and went, and not only did her parents not respond to her letter, but they didn't write at all.
Atamar was worried, but then she remembered that her parents had crossed into Signs. She decided that it wasn't surprising for the letter to take an extra day to reach her. When it still hadn't come the next day, it was hard for Atamar not to worry.
At the end of Prince Crenip's first week at the palace, there was still no letter! Princess Atamar was beside herself with worry. She couldn't imagine any good reason for the letter to be four days late.
Every time Atamar saw Uncle Ulap, she asked about the missing letters. Each time he said, "They haven't arrived yet," Atamar's fear increased.
Why were the letters delayed?
What had happened to her family?
It was a terrible time. Her friends tried to comfort her, but Atamar continued to worry. It was hard to sleep at night. It was hard to pay attention in class.
It was hard to pretend interest in the princes. The adults could see the change, and they began peppering their children with questions. "What is wrong with the Princess?"
Isoje & Eticia's parents were especially worried. They could see that the Princess was going to make herself sick with worrying. They went to Uncle Ulap and shared their concerns.
He explained why the Princess was so worried and pointed out that he couldn't make the letter arrive any faster, but their words did add to his own worries. He didn't want the princess to lose her good health.
The next day, Uncle Ulap had good news to give Atamar. "Atamar, I received a letter from your parents. In it, they asked me to give their apologies for not writing to you. They said that with everything going on, they only had time to write a quick letter to me to give me some needed instructions, but they did ask me to give you their love."
Atamar smiled in relief to hear that her parents had sent news. She asked to see the letter but Uncle Ulap said he couldn't show it to her.
Atamar was so relieved to hear that her parents had finally written that she didn't care that they hadn't written a letter to her...until later.
The next day, she thought about how odd it was that her parents wouldn't take time to write to her personally. How much longer would it take to write that same message in a letter just to her.
And why hadn't Belac written? She felt rather hurt that he had broken his promise to write every week. His silence hurt, as did her parents' failure to write to her. She was also hurt that Uncle Ulap wouldn't let her see the letter.
However, at least they were all right.
Atamar was once again able to concentrate on her studies and her many princely suitors. Atamar especially tried to focus on Prince Crenip.
Was he all that he seemed?
Was he the right one for her?
She definitely enjoyed being around him. He didn't oppress her with his presence. While the others clamored around her, he was rarely at her side. He didn't miss the times that were reserved for him, but he rarely spent time around her outside of that.
Instead, she saw him laughing and talking with her friends. She didn't have to wonder what they thought of him. They talked about Crenip constantly.
The night Prince Crenip arrived all the palace youth were in the maze to report their opinions of him. Each of them had something positive to say, although the girls also said that he wasn't nearly as good-looking as Relos and Fretpec.
The boys rolled their eyes at those comments which made Atamar smile. Atamar was surprised that everyone seemed to have gotten to know Prince Crenip so quickly.
However, she was glad that Belac's opinion was shared by the others. Maybe he was the right prince for her...
YOU ARE READING
Princess Atamar has always grown up being the best. Of course, it wasn't of her choosing. Every teen in the kingdom, including her closest friends were forced to make sure Atamar always won their games, had higher grades, and was better at everythin...