The story of A Girl and Her King, joins the young protagonist as she grows in her commitment towards her good king. She is young and he is old. He teaches, her watches over her, protects her. He has taken her to the battlefield, the arena, and now asks her to find her place inside the calm environment of her old home, where challenges abound to test her dedication to him in even in the smallest matters. She does not yet know what form their love will take, if he will one day bring her to live with him in the palace, or request she stay in that quiet home forever. But willing to wait, she receives the lessons he has in store for her.
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Another Day Journey
“Let me take you somewhere” the king said one morning.
“Where are we going?”
“You always ask, let me surprise you.” Philothea began guessing places and continued to guess although he revealed nothing. “That must be it. We’re going to…” she continued. After a few delightful surprises on the journey, she allowed him to lead her and stopped guessing. No one ever had such an affect on her. Now that Philothea guessed less, she found herself enjoying their day trips more. As they walked she looked to the mountain and thought, “we were there. It was not so long ago.” Different places every day.
The king drew Philothea near him and looked into her eyes. “I have so many things to show you.” He was so excited to share his heart with her now that she allowed him. He could catch Philothea swooning for him at moments. He caught her eyes as she stared at him. The king would wink or smile or make a face to make her laugh. It was hard to stay sad when they were together.
The king said to Philothea, “you see, you see what life is like with me? Aren’t you sorry you ever lived without me?” She looked at the countryside and the hills and that mountain. She saw the palace in the distance and he held her hand as they walked quickly.
She was glad to be with him.
THE OLD GUARD
It was nighttime and dark early on in the evening. The king was at the palace and Philothea sat in a chair outside her home. The guard was with her, as was the watchman. They laughed together and told stories like old war comrades. The watchman and the girl became silent as the guard spoke. His stories were incredible, unearthly. He served the king for countless years, served both men and women of the court, visited sick and traveled across the world to exchange messages between servants. His encounters with the creatures were unspeakable. The watchman was fascinated. Philothea only shuttered. She looked at the watchman and thought “I wonder if there are any in his home.” She hoped there were not and continued listening. Like little children they asked the guard to tell them stories about the times he guarded them. He declined. He was too old for it, he told them.
“It seems like a secret,” Philothea said.
“No, no, it’s not,” the guard protested, but gave no explanation. The watchman and the girl continued to talk as the guard went inside. The two outside heard a noise inside. Philothea did not look. She stared on ahead. There were nights when she heard those noises, nights when she felt the air move over her as he rushed to fight off some beast. He was a hero, yet so quiet.
While the watchman was still there, and the guard had returned, she stood up to go inside for the night. Philothea placed her hand on the guard’s hand and said, “thank you, David.” He bowed his head, smiled, and took his place beside the watchman to guard her. It was a heavy night.