❄️ Crystal ❄️
“I deserve an answer to this right now. Come with me, Adam!” His father thundered when we remained speechless. The look on his face was fiery. Adam followed quietly and both of them left.
“I’ve warned you the first time but I can see you’re so stubborn” the queen said immediately they left. She walked around me, her eyes scanning me with hate.
“I see…you look better than the last time but if you continue forcing your way around him, I’ll make sure I deal with you and you’ll become worse than you have ever been” she paused and continued.
“I guess you don’t know how far this news is getting right now as we speak. There are rumors around which are very unpleasant about my son. About him kissing some random maid …a filthy maid like you! Tell me, where did you sneak out from? Why did you pop your head in this palace to tarnish my son’s image in the kingdom?
How could you even get that close to him? I warned you and I’ll serve this as a last warning… you’re a maid, and you should know your place. Avoid Adam as much as you can. If I ever happen to see you anywhere near him again, I’ll make sure you lose everything…even your head!” She spoke
Her words hit me very hard, almost throwing me off my feet. I tried so hard to control my tears which were looking for an opportunity to escape. She would make me lose my head? That means I’ll be dead right? Wasn’t it better if I just go get reunited with my parents? So that I could stop being a thorn in people’s flesh.
I blamed myself for being so stupid. As much as I blamed myself, I wished she could see right through me that I never intended to do that. I never planned on ruining him, I never even planned on getting close to him…it all happened unplanned.
“Did you get it? Now get out!” She yelled.
All I could do was just nod and hurried out, my tears falling blindly. Once I got to my room, I laid on bed and cried my heart out. That night, I vowed never to have anything to do with Adam again. I would avoid him as much as possible. I would never try to ruin his image.
After that incident, I avoided him as much as possible even when he tried to get me to talk to him. I wanted the space between us to be that of a master and servant, not friends since I don’t want a repeat of the last time because several times, I heard some maids talking about the scoundrel. You could feel the hint of jealousy and hate in their voice and I couldn’t help but pity them
Few days later, all the servants were summoned before the royal family as the queen demanded to know who had been sneaking into her room and stealing her jewelry behind her back.
“I can’t believe that there is a thief amongst us here in this palace. When was the last time it was heard about theft here? I wonder who’s responsible for this new development” the queen addressed as all the servants stood beside each other.
“Does anyone has an idea who it could be? Or I’ll make everyone of you pay!” She threatened and some murmuring was heard before Tricia stepped before her and bowed before speaking.
“Your majesty, I know who the culprit is” she said and everywhere suddenly grew silent.
“Speak now!” The queen commanded.
She said after a while and all eyes turned to me, everyone gasping in shock. I was beyond shocked. My legs quivered.
“Tricia? You’re joking? Right? It’s obviously not me. I would never do that!” I tried to defend myself but the queen hushed me and turned back to face Tricia.
“What made you believe she’s the one?”
“I saw her, my queen. There’s enough evidence but if you have any doubts and she still claims not to be guilty, then I suggest a search be carried out in every room in the servants quarters”
“Very well, then” the queen turned to me ” Are you going to deny or own up? Because if what she says turned out to be true after a search is conducted, you’ll have to face your fate. I’m giving you the last chance to own up and receive little or no punishment”
I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe Tricia was the one actually saying that. How could she? I thought…she was different. I thought she was better…but I was wrong all along. She turned out to be the greatest backstabber. But why? Did I offend her! Why humiliate me like this?
“Mum, don’t tell me you believe the lies she’s making up. I know Crystal. She can’t be a thief…” That was Adam who I never expected would be saying that. I felt so ashamed as I received numerous hateful glares from some maids.
“I…I think the search should be carried out since I have nothing to hide” I cut in nervously. I could see Tricia smile from the corner of my eyes. Our eyes met and she looked at me hatefully while I stared back hurtfully. The queen gave a little nod indicating that the search should begin.
After a long while, the guards returned with a little bag filled with jewelry. I was curious to know whose room it was found because obviously, it can’t be mine. I managed a small smile to conceal how nervous I was.
“Oh goodness! Those are my jewelry. Whose room were they found?!” The queen asked immediately.
“Miss Crystal’s, your majesty”
Everyone gasped. I felt so numb and speechless. What?! I blinked. Again. What’s going on? How…how… come I…
“How dare you! You dare sneak into my room? What guts!” The queen yelled at me. I trembled. Yes, I remembered. I remembered I did enter her room once when Anna asked me to go with her.
She never did tell me it was the queen’s room and when I realized it was, I hurriedly left as I had entered. But now I couldn’t say anything to defend myself because everything is pointing that I did it.
“Mum Miss Crystal never did that!” Anna who had been silent suddenly voiced out.
“Oh shut up, Anna. Now hurry up to your room at once!” The queen commanded angrily. I could see every trace of fury in her face as she didn’t even want to hear her beloved daughter speak. Anna looked hurt as she quietly left, her shoulders hung low.
“Guards, take her to the dungeon!” She said when she turned to me.
“That is to discourage the rest of you with like minds because even worse punishment could be melted out to you”
I couldn’t say anything because I was helpless. I was too ashamed to speak.
I was locked in the dungeon like the queen commanded. It was a little dark, except for the little opening in the roof. It was dusty and scary too. I sat on the floor, hugging my legs to my chest as tears rolled down my eyes.
I could see different creatures like rats and cockroaches peeking at me, as if surprised to have a visitor amongst them. It was really horrible. That didn’t bother me much anyway, I was hit by the force of Tricia’s betrayal.
“Mum, I just spoke with Tricia on the phone and she has filled me with all the updates. But I thought people found guilty of stealing are immediately beheaded. I wonder why Crystal was locked in the dungeon instead of being killed. Or do you think the queen had started to like her?”
That’s Mirabelle, Crystal’s cousin like we’re all made to believe. She was getting worried about her plans not working perfectly like she planned. She needed to get Crystal out of her way this time. She couldn’t risk Crystal stealing her spotlight.
Linda, her mother let out an evil laughter. They shared a strong resemblance. Mirabelle took after her.
“Be calm, my dear. Our plans are too perfect to end up failing. Crystal’s life is just at our fingertips. I wonder why we didn’t kill her when she was still here with us, but don’t worry we still have a perfect chance. The prince is already yours. Who would resist such a beautiful lady like you? Aren’t you just perfect?”
“But mum, Crystal is prettier. I’m afraid she has already stolen the Prince’s heart. You need to see the way he stared at her. The more she stays in that place, the more chances she would have to find favor in the royal family’s eyes. I want her out immediately mum. I even thought she would be killed but they end up sending her to the dungeon which means she’ll be free again. The worst thing is if they find out she’s the late Mr. Morrison’s daughter who they believed is dead”
“Oh shut up Mira! Who says Crystal is prettier than my own daughter? Of course, you are. And there’s no way they would find out. Crystal wouldn’t dare say anything about being the Morrison’s daughter” Linda assured.
“What about Mrs Courtney and her husband? They’ve already found out” Mirabelle asked and her mother laughed softly.
“They wouldn’t be a threat anymore. I’ve them under control now. I’ve already arranged for their deaths because Courtney has been avoiding me since that day and I’m afraid she would reveal our secret so I already assigned some assassins to give them cold deaths which they wouldn’t be expecting”
Both mother and daughter laughed and did high-five.
“You’re the best mum!”
I woke up the next morning, feeling so weak. I remember I’m still in the dungeon. I wondered how I was able to fall asleep yesterday in this unpleasant place. The floor was dirty and cold too but I had managed. They brought me food from time to time yesterday but I chose to starve. I was alone! My eyes were dried and swollen for too much crying. They hurt.
Footsteps came nearer and stopped right before the door and it opened to reveal the shadow of a person. I raised my head to see Adam standing before me.
“I’m sorry, Crystal. I really couldn’t help you but I’ll give it a try again. Anna was really worried about you, she cried herself to sleep last night” he said coldly and my heart melts.
“Princess! Where’s she?” I strained my eyes.
I heard some sobs right outside the doorway and slowly, Anna walked in and stood before me, sobbing. I couldn’t control my own tears which found their way out as I pulled the little child into an embrace. She cried in my arms and I was moved to pity. I pitied her and myself.
“Miss Crystal, are you hurt?” She asked worriedly after we pulled away from the embrace. I smiled sadly and cleaned her wet face.
“I’m fine, princess. Don’t worry about me, and please don’t cry again, alright?” She nodded affirmatively.
“Promise. Miss Crystal” she smiled brightly and brought out something from behind her.
“I brought you a rose” she handed it to me.
“Wow! Thanks princess. I love you like roses” I returned her smile genuinely as I kissed the rose.
“Me too” she giggled happily. I was happy to see my little friend again.
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“Hmm…I guess it’s time to go. We’ll see you by evening, Crystal. I’ll see if you’ll be out by then. And please stuff something into that little stomach of yours, okay?” Adam said after some food was brought before me.
Anna let out a soft laughter and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. Little stomach? How dare he call me that? I looked at him and scoffed. He winked. I blushed. I felt stupid again.
I ate the food slowly after they left. I felt a little better than before with their short visit. At least I wasn’t hated by everyone. As the dungeon was silent, many thoughts wandered my mind.