Who even am I? I have had that question in my head for so long that it either absorbed my very essence or it was a question poking at the back of my thoughts. I believe that it was a question that plagued many but at this moment it was screaming at me for a completely different reason.
I felt a warmth on my skin as I felt my body drift from sleep to consciousness in pleasantness that I had not had before. My bones did not hurt and my head felt at peace as if my pounding headaches were never a thing in the first place.
Yet something felt wrong and opened up my eyes quickly to find myself in the wrong place. This is not my bed and what are these bars around me! Why does my head feel so heavy and why is everything just wrong? I closed my eyes to catch myself.
“Breathe,” I told myself for a minute.
I opened my eyes to look around and to my annoyance, I could not even move. I lifted my arms and feet and saw that they were smiling.
I guess that I am a baby?
Ah! This must be one of those dreams again! I suppose I'll see what I can do before I wake up!
I mean I might as well take advantage of this since from time to time my dreams are quite realistic.
I’m in a room that is at least half the size of my apartment. In the room, everything is more beautiful than I could have ever imagined anyone living in. Everything seemed wood carved and draped in dark red with golden accents. Everything looked like those antiques that I would see on those antiques shows that I would watch with my grandmother years ago but it was a brand new condition. I moved my body as much as I could to try to see more of the room until my eye caught a door.
It was white and had gold designs that went into a tree outline in the center.
As I looked at the designs the door opened up and I held my breath as someone walked in.
I felt as though I was a hidden thief that was about to be caught and I knew I had to be waking up soon. A woman came in wearing a maids outfit. She looked towards me and smiled.
I felt a sense of safeness and I stopped holding my breath. She came and looked at me and my eyes got caught up in her warm amber eyes.
“Good morning, little darling. I’m so happy to see that you finally have your eyes open so wide!”
The warmth of her voice made me relax as she picked me up.
The warmth and peace I felt were short-lived as the door opened suddenly and another maid ran in with her face overcome with horror. I felt the arms holding me tighten where I could feel the amber-eyed lady's heartbeat.
“Amanda! The king is coming! What are we going to do with her?” she said in a terrified voice that was barely over a whisper.
The women that I now knew as Amanda started to shake and grow white. But I felt as she took a deep breath and settled herself.
“We knew this was going to happen and all we can do is hope.”
She hurried me back into my baby prison and I tried to get myself to talk. To say something!
Like “Excuse me? Who is this king? Why are you scared? And what is going to happen?!?”
It was only a moment later when the door swung open once again and I saw a man walk in.
His eyes quickly traveled to me and he walked quickly towards me. The maids looked straight forward and were still as this man was looking at me for what felt like hours. As he stared at me, I stared right back.
I looked at his face that had wrinkles and lines that were deeply etched into him. His eyes looked tired as they looked half-open but I could tell they were a jewel-like emerald green. His gray hair was half tied back and it draped over his shoulders. This had to be the king they spoke about! There was no crown but he was dressed in fine clothing and the air around him commanded respect. I felt stunned as he lifted me up with gentleness and I started to feel fear overcome me.
I should be waking up by now! What is going on?
He finally spoke, “Now you are going to be a handful aren’t you?”
He looked at me with this funny look in his eye and I glared right back. How dare he say that I will be a handful! I am a wonderful lady!
He chuckled and looked towards the maids
“ Amanda and Cecilia, would you please tell me exactly who this child is?”
I felt anger! Excuse you, sir! How dare you come to ask who I am after you rudely came busting in and now you are touching me!
I looked over to Amanda and she bowed her head as she cleared her throat.
“ This is Eliza Leona and she is Prince David’s daughter and… and your granddaughter.”
He smirked as if he already knew most of that answer and only said “Eliza?”
Eliza? Daughter of a prince?!
Wow, I know I have a wild imagination but this dream really takes the cake!
He set me down and left the room. I felt my heartbeat rapidly and the moment he left I felt Amanda’s arms swoop me up.
She held me close as Cecilia collapsed to her knees. After a moment I saw her eyes start to water. She looked at Amanda in horror and spoke
“ What do you think is going to happen? What is going to happen to little Ella? What is going to happen to us? The prince is not even here! We hid a grandchild of the king from him!” I could see a panic rise in her face.
Amanda responded “ We will see what happens. We have no choice. Now let us be glad that Ella is safe for today.”
She sat down and rocked me in a room of deafening silence. I did not know what to think as I drifted to sleep.
This is a dream, right?
As I woke up I realized that I was still in this little baby body. But I should be awake by now! I woke up! I should actually be awake!
As I flailed around I hit my hand on one of the bars I felt a pain course through me.
Pain? But I do not feel pain in my dreams?
My body froze as a thought overcame not just my brain but my entire being.
Is this a dream…. Or is it a reality?
I searched my memory to remember the last thing I had remembered and I remembered laying down on my couch because I was having another one of my migraines. Now I am… here. I lay there looking up as I tried to calm the panic through my body.
I have to keep positive! No matter what I am going to make this work! It is just like one of those stories that my grandmother would read or that I would read late at night!
I have always lived my life reading stories as if they were the very source of my life. Staring at my phone screen until daybreak reading novels, webcomics, and anything that caught my eye. The hours would pass by the quickest when I would become like this and it was always my happiest time. It would help me forget about the dishes that would pile up and the bills that would cover my dining room table that I did not even bother to eat on. But I never thought I would go through something like this myself.
I started to remember Zoe-Zoe, my little terrier dog that would give me my happiness and as I dove deeper into my memories I found myself focused in my sadness where I started to cry. I knew that my roommate, Lily, would care for her but the fact that I could not hold her again made the sadness overwhelming
“What's going on Elle?”
I opened my eyes to Amanda picking me up and holding me tight.
After I stopped crying she looked me in the eyes and I felt warmth calm me.
“You are Eliza Leona Caperabello and I will stay by your side. Please little princess know that I love you and in these past three months of caring for you I have only found joy.”
She said this with such strength that I felt braver myself.
If I keep thinking about the past then I will only find sadness. I must work hard and be the princess Amanda needs me to be!
I looked into her eyes with confidence since I knew that I could not speak quite yet. She chuckled and we started our day together.
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