She was held by him and at each moment she could run to him, could talk to him, think of him, love him at any moment and there was nothing to stop her. She continued to make mistakes, unintentional, but still, she sometimes lacked that crown: prudence. What a gift! She had a little, had often held the crown in her hands, felt the shape of the jewels that adorned it. Imprudence is unaware of itself, she reasoned, because it does not care to look, it does not realize it has gathered some dirt at the bottom. It never knows until it has been cleaned. Then it can recognize itself.
But all mistakes or no mistakes, he loved her—loved to take care of her. So perhaps he became so devoted to her because she made and would forever make mistakes. Love loves to take care of the beloved. He loved to care for her.
She could remember the past, rushing into a crowded market dazzled by all the fine things. These things were foreign to his Kingdom and she loved them because they were new, different. She became so dazzled by them that she wanted to own them, wanted to run out into the crowd often. Nay, even wanted to be one within the crowd. She wore a light blue dress that almost seemed to sparkle or shine amid the darkly clad figures. She did not fit in. She wore a light colored veil of lace over her hair. Their heads were uncovered. She wanted to uncover hers. Her king watched as she amused herself amid these things. He watched. He did not fit in either. Set apart, but no one even seemed to notice him in the rush. There were some that noticed her though: two young men. They spun her around, gave her a kiss, and disappeared. It had happened so fast; when she realized they were gone, her hand touched her hair and she realized her veil had fallen. It had only slipped off. The crowd was so thick that it was difficult to reach down and find it. But she did. It had fallen in the dirt.
The king, seeing all this happen to the girl he loved, could no longer stand the sight. He pushed through the crowd, grasped her hand and led her out with his arm around her waist. She held her veil in her other hand, looking back.
There was dirt on it.
“Put it on,” he said.
“But it’s dirty.”
“It doesn’t matter.” He took it in his hand, reached around her and placed it back on her head. It stayed where he placed it. “Just please wear it.”
It would be years before she would apologize for allowing it to fall.
But when she did, he took the veil in his hands, and placing his hands over hers they cleaned it and washed away the stains. Some stains required scrubbing, but he never took his hands off hers. She no longer had to look at the stains and regret. The veil was pure.
She still knew what it tasted like.
She could look into his eyes and feel his hand on her heart. Then she knew what victory was. He chose to treat her like a queen.