“So Princess Eleanor has the gift of foresight?” asked Alice in disbelief. “Is there any reputable evidence?” Alex shrugged his shoulders slightly.
“Yeah, a couple,” said Alex, “It was regarding some aristocrats who were in disagreement over the Royal family. I am not completely sure how it works, or even if it is true.”
“The princess is making an appearance tonight, right?”
Alex suddenly looked at Aaron, then he patted his younger brother on the shoulder.
“Keep your spirits up,” he said. Aaron and Alice looked at him with curious eyes, but Alex just grinned. Something was going on in his mind.
At that time, the carriage gradually slowed down and eventually came to a halt. Alice pulled the curtain back and stared outside for a second. Other carriages were lined up ahead, waiting to enter the palace. People got out of their respective carriage and made their way into the palace, but they were so slow that the line extended to quite a distance.
“Should we just get out and walk?” asked Alice, thinking they would probably reach the palace quicker than waiting in the carriage for the others to clear the line. The two brothers stared at her, dumbfounded. Alice raised her palms in surrender. “Just an idea,” she said, “We could just wait, if you want.”
Alex burst out laughing. “Alice, if we get out and walk alongside all these carraiges to the palace on our foot, people will ogle at us thinking that maybe our carriage broke down or we are just plain mad. It will be the topic of the party.”
“Why are you laughing?” Alice muttered, “It wasn’t a joke. It was just an idea.”
Alex shook his head, chuckling. “I think it would shock a lot of people. I like it!”
“Alex?” said Aaron in confusion, “Don’t encourage her!”
“Great!” said Alex, “We will get off here and walk.” Alex opened the door and stepped outside and offered a hand to his sister.
Alice grinned. Alex, although the one who was more strict and nagging, always listened to Alice’s ridiculous stories with patience. She took his hand and stepped out of the carriage.
The maids and the servant in the carriage behind them would have a very confusing moment of shock seeing them walk. Aaron, however, groaned in his seat. But when Alex started to close the door to the carriage, he stepped out and straightened his clothes.
“Must we?” he grumbled, “We will be the heart-attack of the Rice family!”
Alice thought about her maid Amy nagging her for a lifetime over this blunder. It almost made her flinch.
“Just take it as a minor inconvenience that you have to live with,” said Alex, boldly, “Besides the weather is great today! And when will you have a chance for an adventure after this?”
Aex held out his arm for Alice to take. She took it and walked by his side. Aaron offered his arm as well. She took it as well, laughing. She looked like an aristocratic lady with two bodyguards. She relayed this to the brothers. Even Aaron smiled.
The three of them walked side by side through the path to the palace when one of the carriage doors flew open and a voice shouted, “What do you think you are doing?!”
Chelsea Warwick, their mother, draped in a beautiful gown with her hair braided and twisted elaborately over her head under the feather-hat looked like a fairy queen. But right now, her expression was much too filled with humane shock. To her side, the scholarly demeanor of their father, Jeremiah was visible with his eyebrows raised, inquisitively.
“The weather was nice,” said Alex, in one of his rare good moods. He wasn’t one to condone deviation from social etiquette usually. “So, instead of being stuffed up in the carriage, we decided to walk to the palace instead.”
Their mother looked shocked, maybe because Alex was the one giving an outrageous reason for their behavior, he was supposed to be the sensible one, and most times, he was. Their father’s eyebrows rose higher and he burst out laughing.
“Well, what a good idea!” he said, happily. “Chelsea, my love, would you do me the honor of joining me for a walk to the palace?”
“What?!” exclaimed their mother, “Darling, are you drunk? Or mad? You are supposed to be telling them firmly to return to their carriage!” She turned to her children. “If we walk to the palace your attire will get untidy. Oh, Alice, your hair will be messed up.”
Their father quickly added, “But love, the children look happy. The party is about enjoying ourselves, isn’t it? Let’s just do what makes us happy.”
Her mother couldn’t look any more shocked even if she tried. Jeremiah stepped out of the carriage and offered his hand to her with a smile. She couldn’t very well refuse that. She took his hand, her cheeks had a reddish blush that wasn’t just due to the sunset. Her dress flared behind her as she took his hand and stepped down from the carriage. Jeremiah took her hand in one of his, and wrapped his other around her waist to help her down. Chelsea blushed a bit more and elbowed him lightly on the ribs when her feet were back on the ground. Jeremiah grinned.
Alice looked at her parents, looking like two young people in love. One grinning, the other blushing. She wondered how they kept their love for each other alive even after all these years. A memory tried to surface in her mind, unbidden but she brushed it off. What’s gone is gone, thought Alice, Just live the life you have and be content Kim Eu—Alice. I am Alice.
“Shall we go then?” asked their father.