”Why? Why? Why? ” Natalia exclaimed while brushing her hair.

”Princess Natalia…..please don be rough with your hair. ” Bibi softly chided as she gently pried the hair brush from Natalias fingers. ”You
e pulling off strands of your hair instead of brushing them. ”

As Natalia pouted and stared at herself in the mirror, Bibi lovingly brushed Natalias hair. Long, constant strokes until Natalias hair shone by the light from the night lamp. Natalias black hair fell silkily down her back like a waterfall of black ink.

Bibi was a plump woman of sixty years in age. She had worked in the palace as a kitchen helper since she was a teenager. Bibi came from a nearby village where the women have long served as maids in the palace, one generation to the next. Bibis mother used to be in charge of the kitchen until she retired ten years ago. Because of her familys trustworthiness, Queen Mary had alleviated Bibi from working in the kitchen to serve as Natalias personal maid since Natalia was two years old.

”I just want to know why I have to meet that….that….that Patrick again! ” Natalia spatted out Patricks name in disgust.

”He made a fool out of me eight years ago. I am not going to give him another opportunity to do that again! Im not that gullible! ”

”Princess Natalia…. ” Bibi said sighing softly. ”Perhaps you might want to ask him why he did what he did four years ago? One should not assume yes? ”

”I want to know why he has a say in this and I don . Is it because Im a girl? In this current era, we women have as much right to think and have an opinion. We have as much right as men to choose our life partner. ” Natalia stood up and walked out to the balcony.

”And why must I get married? ” Natalia shouted to the crescent moon peeking out from the passing clouds in the sky.

”Bibi, I have a Masters Degree in Business Management. Im not some idiot pretty princess with no brains. I worked like any normal person did after my graduation. I loved London and would not have returned to Yuanda if papa had not insisted. ” Natalia said as she returned to sit down at her dresser.

Bibi picked up the brush and began to brush Natalias hair again.

”Princess Natalia, Queen Mary and King Stephen did what they thought was best for you. Yuanda is a small country. Everyone knows what everyone else is doing. With you nearing thirty and no sign of settling down, they are worried. ”

”Why should they worry? Theres Mikhail who is already married. And with two sons at that! ”

”Because, dear heart, papa and I want to be around to play with your children. ” Queen Mary said softly as she entered Natalias room. Natalia rolled her eyes as her mother walked in.

Bibi curtsied at Queen Mary before continuing to brush Natalias hair.

”And before you go getting angry again, hear me out. We want to make sure that your partner will be one that will honour and love you. ” Queen Mary explained as she sat down on Natalias bed.

”We chose Patrick because we know King Evan and Queen Rishi well. And both of you got on famously when you were children. All of us just knew that both of you would be a good match for each other. ” Queen Mary continued calmly.

”Aargh!! Mama! How on earth do you and papa know whether Patrick will honour and love me when you accepted a betrothal with King Evan? We were both small children. Did you think an angelic child of six would turn out to be an angelic man? ”

”Princess Natalia is angry ” nodded Bibi to Queen Mary. ”She shouted at the moon. ”

Queen Mary nodded at Bibis explanation and smiled.

”Nat, Yuanda and Grisling are two small principalities that border each other. Both countries have been friendly with each other for many, many generations. Both Kings felt it was the right thing to do, to unite both countries with the marriage of our children. ”

Queen Mary looked at Natalias eyes through her dresser mirror.

”We are happy that Mikhail has found his love and have two adorable sons. Now we want you to be happy in married life as well. ” Queen Mary smiled hopefully at Natalia.

”Bibi, please stop brushing my hair. Go sit with mama. ” Natalia took the brush from Bibi and pointed her finger to her bed.

As Bibi went to stand

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