Chapter 25

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His heart stopped for a moment.

No? What does she mean no?

Benji's mind raced, he still couldn't figure out if that answer overflowed his body with joy or sadness. I mean, didn't he want her to say no anyway? But the feeling of denial seemed to hit Benji like a truck. It definitely didn't feel good in the slightest.

"W-What? What do you mean no?" Dumbfoundedness was plastered on his face, and Benji was tempted to just run out of there and avoid all confrontation altogether.

"Really? Benji, we haven't even kissed once. Sure, we've hung out and went on 'dates', but was there really any romantic connection between us? I love you, but I don't think you feel the same. I really want to stay friends with you. I want to hang out like we've done while I'm here. But I don't think we'd work like that. I can tell something is holding you back. And I want a relationship where I can actually share romantic feelings with someone. No offense." She took Benji's hands and looked into his eyes, trying to see into his thoughts. 

"No, I-I get it. And you're right, you don't deserve that at all." Her face lit up with surprise, Fiona didn't expect him to agree. Benji exhaled again, dropping her hands and walking over to sit on the railing, facing away from the palace. Fiona then followed, sitting a few feet away. "What am I going to do?" Fiona thought for a moment, actually thinking about proper words to say.

"I mean, you always seemed held back by something or someone. You could always fall back on them." 

"I really can't."

"Why not? You're the prince, about to be king, you could probably do anything." 

"My father wouldn't allow it in the slightest. He's really been strict about who I could marry. Mostly so there will be an heir to the throne, but still." Benji decided to leave it at that, he didn't feel emotionally ready to open up about his backstory at all. 

"But it shouldn't matter, as long as you're marrying a girl there'll be an heir, right?" Her eyes looked over to the prince, who didn't say anything right away. Hesitating, Benji just felt he should get it over with.

"Fiona, if I tell you something, can you promise not to get upset? Or that you'll at least listen to me?" 

"Yes...?" Fiona couldn't deny the fact she was endlessly skeptical. I mean, what was Benji going to say? Did he commit treason, or-

"I'm gay." Fiona was quiet. But even though she felt betrayed and mislead, she understood how big it was for Benji to say something like that. So she awkwardly scootched over to the other boy on the railing, putting her arm around his back as the two were shoulder to shoulder.

"Thank you for telling me." Was all she could say as the redhaired girl rested her head on the prince's shoulder. "So-"

"Why am I doing this then? Trying to marry another girl?" Benji paused. "My father practically forced it on me. All I could do was go along with it." He said, his voice getting quieter. 

"What if I said yes?" Their voices were the size of the tip of a pin. Someone standing outside their conversation probably couldn't have heard it.

"I don't know." 


The Gardener ~ Benjey ~Where stories live. Discover now