Roland stared across the lawn at the lake where he could just make out a white gazebo tangled in vines and flowers. A group of people stood around it, and he watched as two figures slowly made their way toward the crowd. Even though he couldn’t see their faces, Roland knew one of the figures was crying under her veil. Today was Princess Katherine’s wedding day. Roland’s hands shook, and he bawled them into fists at the thought of the monster she was marrying, knowing that Princess Katherine would rather die than marry that man.
Roland’s mind traveled back to a few days ago, when the marriage proposal was made. He heard Katherine crying in her room, and it broke his heart. As a Jester he was used at making people laugh, but even on this occasion he couldn’t think of a single joke that would lighten the mood. He knocked. Within seconds Katherine had opened the door and pulled him inside where she began to smother him with kisses.
“Oh Roland!” she cried. “What am I to do? I don’t love him!”
“Then don’t marry him,” Roland replied.
“But I have to. My father said so.” Roland sat in silence, and Katherine walked over to the window. She gazed over by the lake where in a few days she was going to be married to a man she barely even knew. “I wish I could marry you,” she whispered.
“Then we’ll run away,” Roland suggested. “We’ll run away together and we’ll elope.” Katherine let out a harsh laugh that made Roland blush in shame at even mentioning this plan.
“Don’t be silly, Roland.” Katherine turned toward him. “I love you, you know that, but we can’t just run away. My father will have plenty of people out looking for us when he realizes we left, and when they find us they will kill you. I couldn’t live without you, so instead I must go through with this marriage. Then you can come live with us and protect me and cheer me up when I need it.”
The sound of trumpets brought Roland back to present day. The thought of being with Katherine while she was married to another man hurt Roland. He knew he couldn’t take the pain it would cause him seeing them together. With one last look toward the lake, Roland turned and walked through the castle gates never to be seen again.