PRINCE Arstol stood conquered in the parchment chamber, as he hesitated about opening up to his lady on the matter of his infidelity.
Arstol knew there was no way around the very way.
He knew there was no shortcut or alternative to the way out… if he was truly remorseful and more responsible as he claimed.
Yet the young prince thought to take it one step at a time, and start by being generously kind to Ereon.
Arstol thought to shower his princess with all affections and care; and to give her many things that make for happiness.
He thought to spoil Ereon with lovely things first; then he’d pick up courage to break the news to her later.
Indeed, Arstol cared so much for himself. He feared to see his wronged wife take it all out on him.
Thus, the Prince of Highland stepped out of the parchment chamber now, and he headed out to find Ereon.
For the young noble had decided to start with his gracious acts of chivalry today.
So Arstol walked down to the south-side of the beautiful Garden of Honour, where he was told Princess Ereon was.
The North prince was still at a distance when he sighted Ereon talking with a young lady.
But the two ladies were backing the approaching prince.
Arstol squinted his eyes to peer at the stranger well… with every step he took nearer the talking two.
And with every step closer to them, the prince’s speculation was confirmed even more.
‘Ah, my sin has come to find me!’ he gasped aloud now; and there he froze in his steps.
For just then, Arstol was absolutely sure that it was his mistress.
Right about then, the prince desperately hoped that he would disappear and cease to be. But that wouldn’t happen; for he’d got to face everything.
At that moment, the talking party heard the laden sigh behind them, and the heirsens turned back to see the person approaching.
Arstol cringed in shame and turned about immediately. That moment he regretted he hadn’t told his solemate himself.
Ah, I have lost it now! Now that Ereon is hearing it from the lady! Ah, I have so lost it with my Ereon!
But then Arstol heard his solemate speak up. ‘My prince, you want to see me?’
The prince turned back to say no, so he could back away immediately.
But just as he turned to the standing party, the strange lady curtseyed reverently.
‘Your Royal Highness,’ she said.
OUT & FREE 1ST NOV!
Arstol was forced to look in the lady’s face as she genuflected. And the prince was shocked to see that it wasn’t his mistress at all.
Right then, a cold, relieving breeze poured on Arstol’s tense skin. And he let out a hefty sigh.
He turned to his princess. ‘Yes, I want to see you!’ he declared boldly.
Ereon patted the other lady in the back and excused her. ‘I’ll come check on your son after now,’ she said. ‘Don’t worry; he’ll be fine.’
Then the North princess handed the lady a basket a fruits.
‘Give this to him for me. Tell him to make the Princess proud by conquering everything!’
The lady showed her appreciation. She took the basket, curtseyed and took leave of the nobles.
Now Arstol wasn’t ready to take the risk anymore. He decided he wouldn’t live in the fear of his secret being exposed by another.
With the lady gone, the North prince was now ready to tell Ereon everything he’d been hiding.
Arstol and Ereon settled down in the garden, sitting on a large boulder.
Then the North prince told his solemate that he’d been unfaithful to her. His eyes were wet when he was telling her.
But then Ereon stopped his prince before he could tell the story. She decided to spare both him and her the agony.
A tear streamed down the princess’ eyes. She made to talk but words weren’t coming.
Arstol took over and spoke.
‘I am sorry, Ereon! I am so sorry that I lack adequate words! Please forgive me, and I won’t break your heart ever again!’
Ereon wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. She spoke at last.
‘You really hurt me, you know! You really hurt me, Arstol!
‘But then I had to be strong for us. I found out long ago and I forgave you. It was when everything was happening.
‘I wanted to face you about it when you cracked in your groins, you know.
‘But then you kept patching up the increasing cracks; so I wasn’t sure you’d be sorry and come back to me.’
Arstol cringed at the words. He moaned, ‘I’m sorry, Ereon. I am really so sorry!’
Ereon let out a quiet breath. ‘I am also sorry,’ she said. ‘I shouldn’t have borne this alone.
‘I shouldn’t have assumed you wouldn’t listen. Honestly, I should have faced you about it. For your own sake; and even for our sake, too.
‘I am so sorry, Arstol!’ breathed the damsel.
‘No, Ereon,’ objected the prince. ‘I’m the one who did wrong; I’m the one who hurt you.
‘I didn’t leave you the opportunity to open up to me, did I? I’m the bad one here, Ereon. I am really so sorry!’
Indeed, the solemate pair now bared themselves to each other.
And from that moment, a beautiful love and trust were kindled in their togetherness.
Like the purest of all flames and fire.
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© July 2021 Kayode & Tola Olla