The prince and the princess were now sitting side by side under the big tree. As the sunrise approached, the mood of the prince slowly declined until the princess could no longer be silent about it.
“That’s it! I won’t talk to you until you tell me what the problem is!” The prince was jarred out of her reverie by the princess’ sudden outburst. The latter turned her back on the surprised prince and huffed. The prince looked down and smiled sadly.
“Ok then. I’ll tell you. But can you first give me a hug?”
The princess looked at her prince, her heart crushed by the latter’s sad voice. It was a soft hug, full of love and longing. upon letting go the princess stared deep into her lover's eyes.
“What’s wrong? It pains me to see you like this…”
The prince stared deep into her lover’s eyes and forced a smile.
“This... this might be the last time that we’d be seeing each other here.”
The princess felt like time stopped. She was speechless, shocked and saddened by the prince’s words.
She looked down, now fully understanding the reason behind her prince’s sadness.
“Our time is up?”
The prince could only nod sadly at her princess’ question.
Indeed, their time was up…
The princess suddenly hugged the prince tightly and started to cry.
“Can’t we beg for a little more time? Even just for another night? Even just…”
“Hush…" The Prince slowly shook her head and rubbed her princess' back. She tried to hush her now crying princess. "Hush my princess. Please stop crying. Do you want my last memory of our place to be a sad one?”
Upon hearing her prince's words, the princess closed her eyes for a moment, gathering all her strength. She then slowly let go of her prince and brushed all her tears away. She bit her lower lip and forced a smile before looking at her now sadly smiling prince.
“I promised to be strong for the both of us. So I will be strong. I want you to remember me smiling.”
The prince’s smile widened upon hearing her princess’ words. She reached out to her princess and kissed her forehead just as the sun rose and brightened their surroundings.
“Hmm… Can I stay then? Even for just a bit longer?”
The prince smiled a sad smile and nodded.
“I guess you can… Even for just a bit longer…”
Her princess smiled and snuggled close to her, enjoying the comfort of her prince's embrace.
I thought 19 years would be enough to satisfy me. I guess I was wrong. Because it still hurts now that I have to let you go…