A Fairy Tale Like No Other - Eleven

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Eleventh Chapter

The Royal Engagement Ring


            The next day, Kate and Diane went off for some girl time downtown, and it left the boys alone on a fine Saturday morning.

            As he had nothing to do, Nathan paid Troy a visit, and he was lounging on the couch. Troy on the other hand was cleaning the house, as he had found a Post-it stuck to his door first thing in the morning that contained Diane’s note explaining where she was and the list of chores he is to do before noon.

            That morning, he was assigned to do a thorough cleaning of the first floor, including the kitchen. Troy was in the midst of dusting all tables and cabinets.

            Nathan was getting amused as he watched troy do housekeeping.

            “Do you love her that much that you allowed yourself to be treated like a manservant of your lady love?” Nathan asked, raising one eyebrow as he teased Troy.

            “Nah, it was a bargain of ours,” Troy said matter-of-factly while dusting a tall cabinet of plates. “Before we became a couple, we made a promise that if she is to stop calling me your highness and all that nonsense, she’ll give me the commoner’s treatment.”

            “And in exchange?” Nathan pressed, seemingly intrigued by the information.

            “I get to give her the royal treatment,” Troy replied, still not looking as he was wiping the dust off the center table in the living room.

            “Oh. Interesting…” Nathan said, perplexed and at the same time fascinated by their story. “Does it bother you? I mean, is the commoner’s treatment really bad as it looks?”

            “No,” Troy replied brightly. “It’s surprisingly enjoyable.”

            “Wow, you must like her very much.”

            “More than anyone could comprehend.”

            Troy was dusting the drawer of a side table when he found a small box. He held it up. On it was the crest of the Royal Crown of Verdona.

            “What is it?” Nathan asked.

            “I don’t know…” Troy was wondering what could be inside such a small box.

            “Open it,” Nathan said, sounding thrilled by the mystery.

            Troy obliged, and when he did, he saw a small satin pillow on which a silver ring was nestled. On it was a blue stone shaped into an elegant water drop with two crystals on each side of it.

            “Oh my…” Nathan gasped, awed by the sheer beauty of it. “I wonder who left it?”

            “No one,” Troy answered, his face showing recognition of the thing. “It was given to me. I hid it here so that no one can find it.”

            “Huh? It was given to you?” Nathan asked incredulously. “To what purpose?”

            “For the future queen of Verdona,” Troy replied without turning his eyes away from the ring. “It is… for my future wife.”

            “Don’t tell me…” Nathan said as he recognized what it is. Troy nodded when he understood what Nathan was trying to say.

            “Yes, this is the royal engagement ring,” Troy said gravely. “It is a ring fashioned for the current prince of Verdona to be given to his chosen bride-to-be once he proposes to her.”

            “Wow! That’s great!” Nathan was cheering him, but his face contorted into that of confusion when he appraised Troy’s distant face. “Why do you look so remote?”

            “Do you know the story behind this?” He asked him. Nathan shook his head.

            “This ring is supposed to be given on the twenty first birthday of the prince, as he is already of mature age,” Try explained. “It has always been a tradition; however, it did not go the same way for me.

            “I always had this dorm since I was in high school. I was living the time of my young life when the news of my father falling down from a heart attack reached me.  I was sixteen then. The monarch was plunged into sudden pressure and panic that they came here one night, this ring in hand. They gave me this when I did not know yet of how to truly love a lady. I was immediately told that by the end of the year, I was to be king.

            “So terrified I was that night that I did not know what to decide. In the end, I hid it here in that particular drawer where there lies a small compartment behind. I felt so relieved after that.

            “The relief was not going to last. By the end the school year, I told a lie to the regent that came here that the ring was stolen. I thought that when I told the lie, it would be all over, but all students and professors were put on hold and are not to go home until they were thoroughly questioned.

            “I was a wretch that year. I woke and slept with a terrible guilt in my heart. But I endured it, so that I may be saved from being put into a position I was not yet ready to accept.

            “By that time, father was already well and strong,” Troy was putting his narrative to a close. “So great was his fury when he got wind of the predicament I was in that he sacked the regent and all the courtiers involved were stripped off their titles. By then, the affair of the royal engagement was forgotten, and the ring remained inside until I found it again.”

            Nathan was frozen for a moment as he absorbed Troy’s narrative.

            “If you hid the ring to save yourself, why did you took it out now?” Nathan asked, sounding and looking confused.

            “I took it out because of Diane,” Troy said simply.

            “Diane? She’s just a freshman just like you are,” Nathan pointed out.

            “I know,” Troy said with a hopeful smile. “But we have four years to know each other deeply. By then, I could honestly face what has been asked of me as the crowned prince and make her my bride and wife.”

            Nathan was staring at him like he was crazy.

            “Troy,” Nathan said heavily. “Anything can happen in four years.”

            Troy’s face turned suddenly brave and fearless. It made him look like a true prince.

            “I will take the risk,” Troy declared. “If it would take all of myself, I would give it all to make her see that I am the one and only prince to love and marry someone like her… a true princess…”

            Nathan smiled at Troy’s declaration. He clapped him on the back.

            “You are officially in love,” Nathan said quietly. “Good luck…”

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