Epilogue

Eliza laughed. She was achieving what she once dreamed with ease. She was rich now. She was a successful writer. But such irony! She wasn't happy.

There was still Gavin.

But on this day, she thought. I'm going to his house and tell him I still love him. I was the one who ran away, now I will be the one to return.

She laughed again. She couldn't wait to see their expressions. It was Eliza! Once their maid, now an accomplished writer.

She was near their manor. She told the driver to stop the coach.. She was frightened. What if nothing would change? What if Gavin was already married with another lady? What if he didn't care?

She decided to walk first before going there. She got out of the carriage. She strolled the streets and marveled at the scenery of the forest. She made a mental note to write about it.

Ahead her, there was someone. She passed by him then stopped. They both stared at each other.

At that moment, tears sprang from her eyes when she realized who it was.

It was Gavin.

They embraced each other. They whispered words of love. They no longer cared what others thought. They were back in each others arms and that was all that mattered in that perfect moment.

No one really expected the marriage of their prince in a month. I had come to realize that our romance was in a low profile, even to ourselves. But that never really mattered. We had caused a spectacle during the ball, and the Kyrrians were more than happy to push that out of their minds to make way for a more important event. Char was going to get married, and they were getting a new princess.

Mum Olga, Hattie, and Olive tried to go under my good graces but I would see none of them. I still hated them for treating me the way they did. I didn't make it public though. I would not sink down to their level. They weren't invited to our wedding but they were free to celebrate in the streets. Father was invited but he didn't receive the invitation in time. He was too busy traveling that the mail had trouble finding him.

Areida and I reconciled. She was still the same and our friendship grew stronger with our reunion. We promised to meet with each other as often as possible. Vanessa arrived to our wedding with the Prince Orono holding her hand. They looked like the perfect couple, and by the next year, they were married. Larissa and Cedric never got anything straight. They hinted something but it wasn't obvious. One might have to wait to find out what would happen to them. Elspeth was present, much to my delight. It never occurred to her that I had any acquaintances with royalty. She was pleasantly surprised that I was now the new princess. She gave me a book: Eliza. I knew what would happen but I would read the book again. She was with a young man, whom I concluded was Lionel. It was confirmed when she introduced me. Mandy arrived just in time. She embraced me warmly and spilled tears on my back. She was so happy for me that I had trouble finding a way to repay her happiness. She had done so much to me. She was tired with Gretchen.

"She is an avid student, like a puppy trying to know the ways. But her talent is…" she wavered off. She would still be my fairy godmother and she promised to be the cook of the palace.

All my friends—Areida, Larissa, Vanessa, Elspeth and Cedric—were told of my curse. Char knew of course, and so did King Jerrold, Queen Daria, and Princess Cecilia. I had caused them much trouble and it fit them to know. They were the ones I trusted. My curse would not be made public. It was too controversial, too unbelievable. And the existence of fairies would be exposed.

Every kind of friendly being was invited. Slannen was there to give me a new pottery piece by Agulen. It was an elf child embracing a tree. zhatapH and zhulpH were there. Uaaxee was present and she took care of Apple, who kept on running around curiously.

Lucinda was present and gave us a gift.

"No, need," Char and I chimed. But she gave us not a spell, but a fairy trifle. It was a box that grew to accommodate the contents. We thanked her, for it was a true necessity. She glowed with pleasure and almost looked the masked beautiful Lucinda.

Me being princess never crossed my mind. I didn't love Char because he was a prince and that he could give me everything I wished. I loved him because he was him, yet unfortunately, some people thought otherwise. I didn't mind this. What mattered was that I knew I married him for the true reasons.

Hattie was a parasite. She used her connection to us to her full advantage, although it was spread that she had been a conniver who maltreated people. She was never married. It was expected. Who would want to marry someone like Hattie?

Olive was married, much to my surprise. Her empty attentiveness snared the heart of a garrulous widower. He kept on talking and talking and she just stared. He promised to give her twenty KJs every day and a white cake per meal.

Mum Olga and Father loved in a distance, much to my disgust. She was still my stepmother but she was not welcomed.

Father was still his conniving self. He kept on getting into trouble so Char and I had to intervene. If we didn't, he would lose his occupation and eventually, get into prison because of his shrewdness.

Mandy fulfilled her promised. She cooked spectacular meals everyday for us. Once, my father-in-law, King Jerrold, commented that the other good thing of having me as a daughter-in-law was that Mandy came with me. He ate Mandy's delicacies with gusto. She was also the secret performer of good deeds. She still gave me Tonic but this I could now refuse. Nancy was there too. She was the head maid and made sure that the stair rails were properly polished for their sliding monarchs.

I was not the ordinary princess. I was Court Linguist and Cook's Helper. I also followed Char whenever he traveled. I couldn't see why he could travel and have adventures, while I couldn't. I learned the culture and language along the way.

The curse was completely gone and I delighted in making decisions. I especially liked refusing orders. I felt like a real person, not a puppet with strings. Although many grew exasperated with my free will. They couldn't make me do anything I didn't like, unless it was really urgent.

Aside from the joys of being with Char, there were also hardships and triumphs.

My greatest joy was when my first child was born. I named him Owen. zhatapH was present during his birth. She saw many things but told me that he would be like his father. When Char first saw him, I felt the bond between them and I knew that the gnome's words were true. It was enough for me. Owen would be great like his father. He would be valiant and brave. I only prayed that he wouldn't fall in love with a girl with the curse of obedience.

"He will be known far and wide. He will make his parents proud," zhatapH added.

Mandy was there too, and took care of him while I was recuperating. Lucinda was not present, much to my relief, I supposed.

My second child was a girl. Mandy adored her the moment she saw her.

"She looks like you when you were born!" she cried when she first beheld her.

Char named her Catleya. He was the one who named her because I was the one who named Owen. He told me it was her name because she was a pretty as the flower. This time, Lucinda was present.

She was dabbing her eyes dramatically and looked at Catleya.

"Such a beautiful child," she cried. "I'm so sorry I wasn't there in Owen's birth. I'll make it up to you. I will give her a gift. And Owen too."

"There's no need," Char supplied the answer for me. I was suddenly pale. Now I felt what my mother had felt when Lucinda was present at my birth.

With a wave of her wand, a ring appeared. She slipped it on Catleya's finger. "She'll find it's use in the proper time." She smiled. She conjured another one. She knelt down and took Owen's hand, who was looking at her openly. She slipped in on his finger too. "You're going to keep this, alright?" My son nodded. He scrutinized the ring even more.

zhatapH arrived a few days later with a prediction. "She's like you," she said. Somehow, I wasn't relieved. I was stubborn, rebellious, and defiant. I hated to think that I would soon deal with a girl almost similar to me.

Char was not at ease. "What do you mean like her?" he asked.

The gnome smiled. "Oh, she will be like her. Almost the same actually."

Char grinned at me. "I just hope she would be easier to deal with unlike you."

Owen was tugging at my skirt. He was already three years old, and exceptionally intelligent. He could already read. "Mama, how come Papa said that?"

I didn't get to answer. Char was the one who did. "Let's just say, son, that your mother was a woman to be reckoned with." Owen stared at him. I guessed he didn't know what reckoned meant.

I smiled at the father and son, the two men in my life. Then I glanced at Catleya. She was sleeping peacefully in my arms. Deep inside, I knew that she someone to be reckoned with.

Our lives were not perfect. They had challenges and obstacles. But we surpassed this. My contrariness kept Char laughing and his goodness kept me in love. We lived happily ever but I was yet to find out if this was the phrase for the life of my two children.

~*~*~*~*~*~~*~*~

I think I'm gonna cry!!! This epilogue means the end guys… :-( :-( :-( :-( :-(

But hey, it was fun while it lasted!! Look at the bright side! You can always read it again!! ÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜ

It was fun writing What If…more fun that I had ever had. Yeah, I know we endured typographical errors, grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and long long months of waiting, but it was worth it. To me. And maybe to you. Hopefully.

I will really miss writing in Ella's point of view. It was fun flipping through the pages of the real book trying to find more clues to the world of Kyrria. And I will certainly miss the new characters I made up. ÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜ I will also miss tweaking the story.

This epilogue is also a short of preamble to Catleya. That's why I didn't update it because it is a "SEQUEL." I promise that my Ella stories would be interconnected! ÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜ

I wish I could keep on dragging the plot so I can write What If, but the end is the end and we can't help it.

Books have endings written but still live on in our imaginings.

I really thank all the reviewers for putting up with my excuses and late updates! Heehee And I can't believe that you all read this from the beginning to the end. It 's been a pleasure reading your reviews and I didn't get a lot of flames while writing this. ÜÜÜÜÜÜÜ I have to admit that if I didn't get reviews and if no one kept reviewing even though I "died" I would have stopped writing this!! Thanks so much!!

Catleya is connected with this story. I'm writing it next. I feel bad leaving it alone when it so much potential. Heehee if you want to look at it, fine. ÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜ

I would be glad if you did.

After What If:

I've been writing stories now but I'm planning to finish it before posting it on ff.net. ÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÜ

I will also try to turn my attention to the neglected fics that are lying around. Because of What If, they were almost forgotten, but the ideas for it are still in my brain. Hehe

What If is ending. Well, at least it's not the never-ending story!

After all, what would happen if I kept on writing until kingdom come? Yeah, we'd all be bored with Ella's contrariness, Char's confusedness, everyone's sheer misfortune, and orders that we all hate. And I don't want that to happen. Yup! It's for the better!

I love you all for reading this fic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's time to put it back to the shelf, even though I wouldn't want that.

Claidi