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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“He’s coming! The Bridegroom is coming!” Philothea turned her head toward the shouting. In the midst of the crowd she felt singled out by the Bridegroom they could not yet see. A girl grabbed her arm, “He’s calling for you! He’s coming for you! Oh I wish he were coming for me!”
A wise woman stepped out of the chaos and said, “He will come for all of us. Come daughter, now he is calling you.” She led Philothea away from the frenzy and took her inside a home. She wiped off her face and straightened Philothea’s hair. Looking at her she said, “these clothes won’t do. Didn’t you prepare anything to wear?”
“No Madam – I did not know.”
“Did not know! Hah. I doubt that indeed.”
The old woman walked across the room and lifted the lid of an antique trunk. “This will have to do,” she said, and she pulled from the trunk a gown Philothea had seen before. The old woman held it in front of her. A pearl here, a diamond there – long and flowing with lace. But its brilliance seemed a little faded. Philothea looked disappointed. The woman understood.
“Don’t worry, dear, its shine will come back with use. Try it on.” It fit her.
“This was mine,” Philothea said. “This was the dress I was preparing for him.”
“Why did you stop?”
“I didn’t think about it anymore. I had another dress, a simpler one, I wore that instead, for my wedding.”
“Well,” the woman began fixing it up as Philothea wore it, facing herself in the mirror, “you can wear it now. This is the dress of your soul. See how beautiful you look – my what dignity! You look so handsome in it. Don’t worry that its been put away, you have time to finish it.”
“Isn’t he on his way?”
“Oh, he always takes his time. There’s no rush. You just stay with me and we’ll bring this dress back to life.”
IN THE WAITING ROOM
Where had this journey taken her? The girl began in the battlefield, full of sunshine and excitement, thinking herself so brave, only to learn much later that she was in no danger at all. The king than took her to the arena, a closed circle for and her teammates to do battle against the enemy. The greatest struggles there were to learn to work as a team and to keep in loving in the difficulty of personal battle. After the arena, the king took her back inside the walls. It was here she would wait for him, wait for him to fulfill his promise to marry her. The greatest struggle here was to be patient, to be at peace with the places he would take her and the lessons he would ask her to learn. It was here, in this dusty place, that she learned to love him better, to stop condemning herself. It was here that he revealed to her the attachment of a little beast on her ankle, and freed her. It was here that he explored the mountain top and valley with her, only to return her back to that dusty haystack.
What had he wanted from her? He wanted love. He wanted to teach her so that she could mature and grow into the woman he had made her to be. After all, when the story began she was a little girl. When the story would end, she would still be little and young, only to embark on the world he had for her.
Had he proposed? Were they to marry? She doubted and wondered as she waited. And as she waited, he brought his son, the prince, a man after his own heart, into her house. This was his plan. Not that she should marry and retire into the palace for prayer and sacrifice, but that she should wed and work and bear children. In this life, the palace was not to be hers, but after her death, she would be taken there to live with him forever.
It was in these days of the story that he formed her heart, he made her his. It was because of these days, because of the visions that should would weather the grief of poverty, of death, of loneliness. The visions would become quiet, the romance would transform into the simplicity of the every day, but the memory of these adventures would bring her back and remind her what it is to love, to bring forth life.