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The girls and I were going out to breakfast this morning. My stomach growled. Thank god we always carpooled to work because I didn't feel like driving. I grabbed my purse and jotted out the door. The stairs seemed too difficult today so I took the elevator down. The gentle jostle of the elevator could easily put me to sleep again. Manny typed away on her computer in the lobby. She glanced up at me.
"Welcome back Autumn." I smiled at her.
"Hello Manny."
"How was your trip?"
"Amazing! Thank you." Manny seemed to be the perfect customer service person. She was always nice and polite. She remembered everything you told her and genuinely seemed to enjoy her job. I envied that type of personality.

Breakfast this morning we decided was going to be at IHOP.  Savannah had a craving for pancakes so we indulged.
"So when were you going to tell us about the press conference with Prince William?" Savannah asked. She shoveled a bite of food into her mouth.
"Honestly, I didn't think it had gone any farther than local news. Jenny told me about it last night at dinner." I ruffled my hair anxiously.
"So?" Michelle pushed. I sighed.
"The King and Queen asked me to go so I wouldn't be lonely in the castle."
"That, or they wanted arm candy for Prince William and you make a good accessory." I looked at Savannah.
"That is not the case!"
"Autumn," Vanessa put down her silverware. "Look at you two." She showed me a picture of Prince Hayes and I from the press conference. Like I hadn't already seen it. "I mean they are royalty, not dumb. I'm sure they knew what they were doing when they asked you to come." I rolled my eyes. I had been doing that a lot lately when it came to a topic involving Prince Hayes and I.
"You're being ridiculous." I assured her.
"Autumn, wake up!" Savannah said loudly.
"What Savannah is trying to say," Michelle took over. "you have to know that there is something between you two. The King and Queen are only trying to help." My eyes started to well up.
"If you think, I don't already know. You're wrong. I'm well aware how I feel and I'm aware Prince William possibly shares some of those feelings. What you guys fail to realize is, it's never going to work. Logically how could it? And honestly, I couldn't ask a Prince to ruin his family's name by dating someone unfit for a crown." I stood up. "The only one that's getting hurt here, is me." The table was silent as I walked away. Tears pushed themselves down my cheeks. I hated that I was crying, especially in public.

The car ride to work was quiet. It was so quiet you could almost hear our heart beats. Mine was racing.
"Listen Autumn, I'm sorry. We never meant to hurt you. I guess we didn't think about how this was all making you feel." I looked at Michelle. Her eyes were huge and puppy like. "You usually like someone and are too scared to tell them. We really liked him and could see you did too. We just wanted you happy. We never thought about the rest of it." I nodded. I know they meant well, that doesn't mean it hurt any less.
"I know. I'm sorry too. I'm just really sensitive. It's been a very different two weeks." Michelle smiled at me before she engulfed me in a hug. It felt nice.

At work I really didn't say much. Hannah kept glancing back at me. I just ignored her. I didn't have the energy for her today. After class everyone packed up and left, I stayed to catch up on what I missed. Hannah and them didn't bother, they were too good for that apparently. Pam was in her office. Ryan had a doctors appointment so he ran out of her before we were done.

I did a few run throughs of our news routine before I sat down. My shoulders just felt heavy and my heart seemed lost. Pam came out of her office.
"Autumn, are you okay?" I shrugged my shoulders.
"As to be expected." She nodded.
"How can I help?" I shook my head not wanting to look at her.
"Everyone around me is just talking about Hayes and it's killing me." I stopped. Pam sat down beside me and we looked into the mirror together.
"That must be hard." I nodded my head trying not to cry. "But Autumn, how do you feel?" I swallowed the lump in my throat.
"Sad, hurt, lost." She put her arm around me and pulled me into a hug.
"I meant about Prince William." I sighed.
"I miss him." My voice came out so small and soft it almost surprised me.
"That's to be expected dear. I'm sure he misses you too." I laid my head on her shoulder. Our reflections mirrored us. What a mirror doesn't show is the emotions in the reflected situation. I always thought that a camera was good at capturing the moment and emotions. "I know this hurts but I just have to say my piece." I closed my eyes and waited for the words to follow about Prince William. "I know he may be royalty and your worlds seem every far apart but please know he is just as human and you are. He feels things too, I'm sure some of the same things you feel. You have a right to feel hurt and sad dear, but please remember across the world that is a man who is feelings the same things you are. Especially for you." I left the tears roll.
"I know." I whispered. I wiped the tears with the back of my hand. "He's so wonderful Pam." I sit up. "He's smart and kind and very different for royalty, different for most people." A deep breath rushed out of my lips. "I just wish this could be easier. I couldn't say anything because he's already thought about abdicating the throne, if I said anything he'd probably give it up for me and I could never live with that. His cousin Edward would be next in line. Edwards nice but he is no where near the king that William  will be."
"And what if he didn't give up the throne but took you into his world." I shook my head.
"I am not good in his world. I have to say yes instead of yeah. Wear skirts instead jeans. Be the queen of a country." I shook my head again. "I could never do that."
"Well why not? You already know politics well. You're smart, strong minded. You make people laugh. You have a huge heart and a wonderful personality. When you let people in, the world can change for you." My eyes traveled from our reflection to the real Pam. "You could be a Queen, and a good one at that might I add." I weakly smiled.
"Thank you, but I don't exactly think that's on the table."
"You'd be surprise dear."

Pam gave me a ride home even though I insisted that I could walk home. We stopped at a local ice cream shop and she got my a cone. It made me feel a little better. She parked outside my apartment complex.
"Take a shower and let everything wash off you. Let the sad wash off you, let the hurt wash off. Just start all over. If you need too, you can even cry. Just know that when you step out it's a start over. A change. Then make some hot chocolate and watch a movie. Get some good rest and try again tomorrow, okay?" I nodded. I loved when Pam gave me motherly advice. It was nice. She patted my knee and I got out. Before I closed the door I leaned my head in for a second.
"Thank you."
"Any time dear." I actually smiled and closed the door. I was feeling okay for once.

When I got inside I did just as Pam said. I took a very long shower and washed myself clean. I cried too but that was part of the process. After I made hot chocolate and watched a movie. I had my big, puffy comforter on the couch with me. I built myself a little fort and sank down in it. I watched Pretty in Pink since when Prince Hayes and I watched it I fell asleep. This time I left myself feel the movie. I fell asleep on the couch after the movie was over. I didn't want to go to my bed. I needed to wash my sheets and rid them of the sadness too.

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