Sorry Lynn this chapter is not exactly what you were expecting. I decided that it would be best to take a much different route. Although, your comment did get me to thinking that yours might have been the better path, but I guess I am just stuck on the road less traveled by..
She took a different then usual way back to her room. She was almost positive that Henry would follow her, and try his best to comfort her. She did not want to see him or either of her parents right now. From the looks on their faces, she knew that all of them had known long before she was told and she resented them for that.
Once she arrived at her room, she began to pack her things. Her father, she corrected her thoughts, the King had offered her the opportunity to stay in the palace, but she was not going to allow herself to be a guest in her own home. She packed all of her clothes, books, and other things that she either wanted to keep or knew would fetch a good price. Tomorrow, she would leave the palace.
Her plan was simple. She would sell whatever she could and then she would use that money to find herself a place. She was a gifted cook and excellent seamstress she was sure she would be able to find a job. A smile graced her face. She would finally be able to know what it was like to be a real person and to be able to tell if people really liked her or if they liked her title. In a way, she was almost glad that this had happened.
Suddenly there was a knock on her door. She called out, “Come in Henry.” Sure enough, Henry came walking in the door. “I knew you would be here sooner or later.”
Henry took a moment to observe the scene. “Might I ask what you are doing? To me, it looks like you are packing, but I do not believe that you are actually leaving. Surely you know that you are welcome here.”
“Just because I am welcome does not mean that I wish to stay. I know that this might not make sense to you, but this is really for the best. It will give me a chance to live a normal life, and for once I will be able to know if people like me for who I am not what I am. Sure there will be a few people who will treat me different because of who I use to be.”
“Danielle, I can not let you go. If you left, I do not know what I would do. The castle would not be the same without you. I would have to bare father all on my own. I am sure you do not wish this on me.”
Danielle smiled slightly. She then gave him a hug. “You shall be fine. Just pretend that I have gone off to finishing school again. You have always been so much stronger than me and I am positive that you will be able to make it through this.” Danielle thought for a moment of a way that she might be able to please him. “I shall not leave a forwarding address because I do not want to constantly be bothered by palace matters. Instead, I will give an address to Jacqueline and she will make sure that all of my letters to you make it to you.”
Henry took a good hard look at Danielle. She was much stronger than anyone had ever thought. The old Danielle would have cried for a few days and then stayed at the palace. This Danielle was much stronger. She did what she knew was right even if she did want to stay here. Henry felt that it was his turn to hug her. “Even if I do not support your decision to leave I am proud of you. It takes a great amount of courage to do what you are doing. No matter what happens to you I shall always be here for you. Remember that.”
The hug went on for a good ten minutes. The rest of the night Henry helped her organize her belongs while they talked. She was going to sell almost all of her dresses except for the one she wore when she worked outdoors. She also planned to sell most of her jewelry and other belongings. The few things that she planed to keep were some books, letters, and other mementos.
When the sun rose from its slumber, Danielle headed out to town and sold the belongings. She was able to fetch a good price and ended up with quiet a large sum. Little did she know that her brother was following her ever step and was buying back ever item she sold. He was determined that some day soon she would want them again.
Once they were back at the palace, she made her plans to known to her ‘parents’. She was going to leave that afternoon and refused to accept any help from them. Their initial reaction was not a good one. Francis forbid her to leave while Marie just cried and begged her not to go. Nevertheless, she stood firm. She pointed out to them that they no longer had any control over her life and that she was finally going to do as she pleased.
Henry stood by her and promised her that he always would. He knew that as much as he wanted Danielle to stay things would be better if she did not. It would let her live on her own and let him try to cure the crush that he dared not to mention to her.
Danielle was able to follow her plan and was gone by two in the afternoon.
With the money she had collected through out the day, she was able to purchase a horse. It was not a white stallion like she was use to at the place, but it was a sturdy creature that would serve her purpose well. Her first stop was Jacqueline’s home. She would not allow herself to leave without at least saying goodbye to her dear friend.
After that, she rode until it was nightfall. It was only then that Danielle aloud herself to cry. She had put up a strong front before, but now that she was given time to think all she wanted to do was cry. Everything she knew and loved was quickly growing in distance and yet she road on, and would continue to ride one.
At nightfall, she found herself in a small town that she did not know the name of. She found an inn to rest and eat at. She would be off again first thing in the morning. Her destination she was unsure of. All she knew was that she planned to stop for good when she was far enough away that few people would recognize her as well as a place that looked inviting.
The next day she arose early and rode again until nightfall. While ridding, she was given a lot of time to think. With each passing moment, she began to miss her home more and more. She began to wonder if she had done the right thing by leaving. Her head told her that she had but her heart longed to be among those things that were familiar.
On the third day she rode again, she decided that whatever city or town she was near at lunchtime would become her new home. The city was of a reasonable size. It was not so small that each person was related to each other because of inbreeding, but it was not large either. No one seemed to give her a second look, and for that she was grateful.
Quickly, she walked into the marketplace and started to inquire if anyone need a new cook or seamstress. Many people were willing to hire, but not someone whose background was a mystery to them. Danielle refused to tell them where she came from. She did not want the Royal Guard here to try to drag her back home. However, it also was not in Danielle’s nature to lie. As a result, she told them nothing.
She decided a change in plans was in order. She went to a small inn and had lunch as she thought over her options. Living alone was not going to be as easy as she had once thought, but she was still determined to do so. She decided that she could go into her own little business. No one knew fashion better then her and she could turn a nice little profit out of it.
After lunch, she began her searched for a house/shop to buy. It took her almost all day but she found the shop that was just the right size she needed. It took her a week to buy everything she needed to get started. She had to furnish her small second floor apartment, and buy some supplies to start making some dresses. She placed a sign in her window offering to make or fix a dress for any dame in town.
Being the smart girl that she was, she knew that there would not be an immediate rush of people. No one ever trusts the new person in town. Nevertheless, she started to make dress hoping that someone would admire her work in her window. For a month, people walked by her window with out giving her a second glance. Shortly, she would run out of money from all the things she sold, and would not be able to make it home again.
In her letters to Henry, she was always very selective in what she wrote to him. She did not want to give him any ideas as to where she was, but she also wanted him to think that she was doing well. His opinion of her meant more to her then before.
[ Edited by Kristen on 2002/6/10 9:58:21 ]