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9 HIM AND ME

Auspicious Date

The Prince was twenty years of age when we were married. Therefore he looked more mature than I was, he was well-knowledge than I was and he was better at reading person than I was.

When the auspicious date to 'share room' was decided, the Prince was supposed to come to my room and the event will be heard rather than witnessed from the court ladies and eunuchs from outside.

The court lady dressed me in bedclothes and left me alone in the room after that.

Later, Eunuch Han came and told Court Lady Kim that the Prince was feeling unwell so he will not come that night.

Thus the Royal Astronomer had to determine another date for the event.

The next day I lied down near the tree while reading a book I borrowed from Court Lady Song, a romantic love story.

I wanted to learn about love and affection, then she excitedly showed me her collection of love stories. I picked the thickest one as I had so many things to learn.

I was consumed in my reading that I didn't notice the Crown Prince was lying beside me and tapped my book.

"What are you reading?" He asked, while he read the pages I was on.

I was startled and sat bolted and threw the book behind my back.

"Your Highness," I said, flabbergasted.

"What's with the reaction? Are you reading something indecent?" He squinted his eyes suspiciously at me.

"No... I'm not," I stuttered and he grew more suspicious that he tried to take away the book. I tried to stretch my hands further but he has longer hands than mine that he reached the book easily. I struggled to get it back and this time he stood up and stretched his hand up, he was taller than me. So I jumped but I landed on a wrong foot and stumbled toward him, I tried to hold on to him but made us both fell to the ground.

I was on top of him and his face inches away from mine. I could see his shining dark brown eyes – those eyes were staring into mine. I heard heartbeats pounded, gotten faster as seconds passed.

Maybe I was heavy that he looked uncomfortable then I realised our awkward position thus I hurriedly took my book in his hand and put it between the layers of my clothes.

He cleared his throat and sat  against the tree. He tapped the ground beside him, gestured me to sit.

"Did you wait for me last night?" He asked.

"Are you feeling well now?" I asked back.

"I was trying to give you time," he said.

"Huh?"

"I would rather we do that because we wanted to not because we were forced to," he said. "I prefer mutual consent after all," he added.

I didn't really understand what he meant and took mental note that I should read all Court Lady Song's collections to grasp this kind of conversation faster.

"But I couldn't give the same excuses more than three times though, so I hope we find a way opening up and accepting each other because like it or not, we can't go back," he said with a serious face.

"Therefore, I'm asking you these," he said while he looked directly into my eyes, a sign for an honest answer, "Do you regret marrying me?"

Question one, "No."

"Do you dislike me? Both as a person and as the Crown Prince."

Question two, "No."

"Will you stay with me until the end of the road?"

Question three, because I'm his wife, "Yes."

"Then that's good, anything else can come later," he smiled and patted my head softly. "I'm satisfied for now," he added.

When I came back to the residence later, I told Court Lady Song about everything then she was suddenly excited and kept asking 'Really?' and said 'So romantic' that I had to stop my story because she took her book and jotted down my story and said it was for safekeeping.

Then she said, "His Highness wanted you to open your heart and accept him."

"I had already accepted him, I'm married to him," I said.

"Accept him for he is, not because you are compelled to do so because you're husband and wife, accept him as a man and a person you would give all your affection to," she explained.

"All my affection?" I asked. She nodded.

"How do I know when the feelings come?"

"Those feelings come naturally." She answered.

"As of?"

She rubbed her chin and pretended like a scholar reciting a poem, "Your heart beats fast when he's around, your face feel hot when he looks at you or everything feels nice just by being with him."

I recalled moments from that evening then my face blushed unexpectedly.

Court Lady Song hid her smile and said, "Those feelings are already here." Then she excused herself to prepare me the evening meal.
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