“I heard you are considering me as your future bride.”
Prince Kerry was cleaning his boots when a statuesque figure suddenly appeared from behind. He did not hear her arrive.
Who was she? He was not even sure if the name in his mind was connected to the feminine voice.
“I am sorry. Have we met before?” He was still in the dark.
“Lady Jean, Your Highness.” She bowed slightly. There was something different about her.
“Where did you hear about that?” he inquired, trying not to look her in the eye.
“People talk,” she replied, leaving him guessing.
“Why are you here?” Kerry did not know what to expect. Her opening statement warned him that something was amiss.
“I am informing you, Your Highness, that I will ask for an audience with the king. I will accept your offer and ask for his blessing. My family has arranged a banquet to announce our marriage.”
Prince Kerry stared blankly at her: the revelation was too mind blowing to absorb.
“Wait a minute! I have to think about this.”
His mother passed by with an entourage of palace workers. She discovered a new form of therapy: gardening.
“I better tell your mother, Your Highness, about the good news.”
“No!” he yelled. He was deep in the hole he himself had dug. “Don’t bring up the subject.”
“Is there a problem there? I heard shouting.”
If his mother escaped the announcement, the authoritative voice was steps away from joining them.
“Just the person I am looking for,” Lady Jean beamed. “We can talk things this minute.”
“Please,” Prince Kerry feared losing his bachelor status. “Nothing about the marriage. Not yet.”
They both bowed when the king arrived.
“I see you two are talking,” he laughed genuinely. “Is there something I need to know?”
Prince Kerry was too nervous to smile. A word from Lady Jean could open the discussion about marriage.
“Grandpa, can I talk to you in private?”
“Certainly,” the king held his grandson’s right hand and ushered him near a tree.
“I am not ready to get married,” the prince whispered.
When King Gregory heard the words, he motioned Lady Jean that she was excused. Her departure was a welcomed development to the prince but it also left in his mind a nagging suspicion.
“Now, have you learned your lesson?”
It dawned on Prince Kerry that he was given a dose of his own medicine.
“You have much more to learn, young man.”