Monday, November 13, before going to the airport to fly back to New York
And so I took Harry's hand and we ran off into the gardens.
And they were so beautiful.
I swear, the nature will never cease to amaze me. The world can seem so dark in your eyes, so evil and you can be totally broken, but the nature will still stand strong, in all its magnificent creations, blossoming and taking your breathes away even and maybe especially when you'll think you are all out of breath. Sometimes you might be feeling like there is no hope, that the beauty is gone from your life and that all you will ever get is just … endless dusk.
And then you open up your eyes and you are faced with nature and you realize the world is still out there, just waiting for you to wake up from your haze and accept life back into your veins again.
And you feel silly for denying its existence for so long, stubbornly staying in the darkness of your soul, drenched in pain and with a broken heart.
Walking around with your eyes open and embracing the life might not get rid of your heart break, but at least it will make it more bearable.
And right now, I will take anything I can get.
"This is so beautiful," I whispered.
"It certainly is," nodded Harry looking around. Then he pointed at something. "Hey, look!"
I looked into the direction of his pointing finger (princes are not supposed to do that, are they? It is totally impolite!).
"No way," I shook my head, knowing what he suggested.
"Why not? You already sneaked from the table, what can be worse than that?" he grinned.
And he handed me the rocket for badminton.
"My coordination is terrible," I insisted.
"Even better," he winked at me.
I looked at Lars but he just shrugged.
Aren't bodyguards supposed to be on your side?
"I am sure, Princess," he said, "that with practice your coordination will get better."
"Don't you New Yorkers have PE in school or something? This will totally do good for you in PE class, you know?"
"Shut up," I said, "five minutes and then we go back to the table."
"Sure thing, Genovia."
And so we played badminton right there, in royal gardens, in the moonlight while we were supposed to at the formal dinner, so very important for the countries whose royals we were. And I was tripping in the long dress and it was a marvel that I didn't break my ankle in the high heel Gucci I had on. But you know what? Despite this – or maybe because of this – it was fun.
"I totally got this!" screamed Harry and staggered backwards to hit the shuttlecock but lost balance and fell into one of the fountains behind them. And that was the final straw. I started laughing.
I laughed like I hadn't laughed in months - since Michael left.
"What's so funny?" asked Harry when he climbed out of the fountain, completely soaked.
"Nothing," I said, laughing even more at the sight of him, "it's just ... it feels good to laugh, that's all."
He just smiled.
And I would probably continue laughing if a flash of a camera didn't suddenly appear.
I blinked and looked into the direction it came from.
And right there, behind the fence that was separating the palace grounds form the outside, was a group of reporters, all pressing their cameras through the railings, trying to get a perfect shot of, well, Harry and me.
You know, just a typical day for a royal. Being followed around by a herd of paparazzi.
"I think we better get inside," said Lars.
To say that Grandmere and Dad weren't happy with me would be an understatement of the year.
Or better yet, century.
I thought Grandmere would have a coronary, I really did. I have never seen her so upset before. I mean, her carefully planned dinner came to an abrupt end when Harry and I returned inside. Harry was quickly shoveled into a limo and our royal guests sped away to the airport to go back home. Grandmere of course went on and on about how I embarrassed her until Dad finally stopped her.
She just rolled her eyes and went to get another Sidecar.
Dad just sighed as we were left alone in the dining room.
"I am sorry, I didn't know reporters would be out there," I said.
"Well, you should have seen it coming since this dinner was a pretty big thing for both countries," he pointed out, "after they get interviews, reporters don't usually just leave, you know."
"I know I should have known better, it's just that …" I said but then just shrugged. "I don't know."
"Well, you certainly seem happier than I've seen you lately," he smiled at me. "But that still doesn't make it ok. You should have been smarter. And to teach you a lesson, I am confiscating your phone for a while. And you can only use the internet for school purposes, do you understand?"
Honestly? I didn't care what punishment I got.
Because no punishment could take away what I got out of the dinner – hope.
Well, not exactly hope, because it was more than hope. Now I knew I could somehow move on and start over.
I got that brick I was so desperately reaching for ever since September.
A brick that could put me back together.
And yeah, in the morning my face was once again on the cover of pretty much every newspaper I saw ("Last night two royal families attended a dinner organized to improve the relationship … however, the diplomacy was over-shone when the youngest members of the families sneaked out of the palace to play midnight badminton in the magnificent Genovian Royal Gardens … seen pictured is young Harry, crashing into one of the beautifully sculptured fountains and young princess Amelia, smiling as she sees her friend taking a bath. What could this getaway mean? Our experts on everything royalty related suggest that this could be a new royal romance springing! It certainly has a potential to become the most popular royal romance, even surpassing William and Kate's! Both young royals are reportedly single – Harry has broken up with his girlfriend of four months, German model Nastassja Böhler while Amelia's love life has taken a wild turn this September after she split up with her longtime steady boyfriend of nearly two years, Michael Moscovitz, when he reportedly left for Japan to attend University in Tsukuba. The Princess was later seen numerous times in the company of her classmate, a son of respected Broadway producer, John Paul Abernethy-Reynolds IV. Though undisclosed sources said the two of them were indeed a couple, no official confirmation has ever been given. Last night rendezvous with Harry, though, raises more questions than it gives answers. This is certainly unusual for a Princess who was, until this September, known for keeping a low profile, not sharing many details of her personal life with the media. Has this changed and is the world about to see a new all-royal romance? We shall see in the upcoming weeks …").
And I KNOW Grandmere liked what reports were saying. Not the 'magnificent gardens' or 'beautifully sculptured fountains' – no, what she liked was that the whole world thought I was indeed dating someone royal.
Because, you know, in her mind, only someone royal is good enough for, well, me.
Rene was of course thrilled to see my wild side, he kept saying that he was proud of me and that he couldn't wait for Christmas when I would come over again. He said he had everything planned out already.
Sebastiano just handed me a suitcase full of clothes he had made for me.
"They will fit you per," he said, "and when you get to New York, go see Paolo, I will tell him how to do yo ha, ok?"
Yeah, right, all I need is a new haircut.
Sebastiano will have to find himself another muse.
Just before I went into a car that is taking us to the airport, René leant closer to me to whisper me something.
"And things will work out ok, you'll see. Between Michael and you."
And I smiled to him. Yes, my heart was breaking, like it always does when somebody says his name, but this time, I could also smile.
"I know," I said.
Monday, November 13, before take off
I stare at the last email he has sent me.
And I think of the reply I will send him.
Because I want to still talk to him. Not because it would be the only thing left of what were some of the greatest moments of my life.
Because even though we are broken up and he is in Japan, I still want him to be part of my life.
I don't want to be bitter anymore.
I want to move on.
And to move on, I have to make peace with the past.
I cannot do that if I cut him out of my life. I have to learn to live and be happy knowing that he is out there. Ignoring him and denying his existence wouldn't do me any good. Because I know we are bound to meet again one day. I mean, I have known the guy pretty much my whole life, we have more than just our hometown in common.
If not sooner, I will probably see him at my graduation. I know he will be there for Lilly.
So, yeah, I can't just go down the road of ignorance, I have to move on despite his lingering presence.
And it will hurt and it will ache but I guess sometimes life just does that to you. It hurts you.
But as long as you feel the pain, you are alive.
And as long as you are alive, there is hope that one day you will be ok.
Monday, November 13, somewhere above Atlantic Ocean
And now, as I am flying back to New York, I am realizing something else. It might be because oxygen is so thin at this altitude, but I don't think this is it.
Maybe I was wrong.
Maybe I am supposed to spend time with these people. Other royals, I mean. I used to think that they were totally into their role and could only pulled me in with them.
But now I wonder if maybe they too are just like me. Some of them, at least.
They have been in this for way longer than me. Maybe I can actually learn something from them.
Like, for example, that despite the tiara I can still be me. Whoever I actually am, because, honestly, I am not too sure about who I am right now.
But maybe I can be more than a princess. And maybe I can even be more than a heartbroken girl.
Maybe I can do everything.
Maybe I could even model for Sebastiano.
Maybe I should do everything to find who I really am.
Maybe I should really just let go and … live. And stop caring about what everyone thinks or expects of me. I mean, Michael expected me to be mature about his departure – and look what happened. And Grandmere expected me to behave yesterday – and look what I did.
And I still feel so bad for disappointing them.
But I guess you can never fully satisfy everyone's expectations.
So I will just live, despite a broken heart. Maybe I indeed will bump into the happiness somewhere, somehow.
And so I turn on my phone and start writing a response to Michael's email. And for the first time in months I don't feel like crawling into my bed, crying.
Don't get me wrong - I love Michael. I love him so much.
It might never go away.
Or maybe it will, who knows.
Or maybe one day I will be ready to make a place in my heart for someone else.
And this is what I will hold on to.
And so I look around and I see the sun and I feel the happiness. Not the same one I used to feel but happiness nevertheless. It is a tiny ray of light, barely there, but it is there and I feel it. And it is so beautiful.
And I know I will be alright.