Notes from The Story of Jasmine continue:
Jasmine stopped shivering after her body dried. The fabric of the dress she had donned was sweet-smelling and made her smile. It was surprisingly comfortable. But anything would be comfortable compared to all those monstrosities she endured for the sake of looking good for her father at court. He paraded her out at every opportunity. Any opportunity. And all she had to do was to smile sweetly and say the right things. It was the main thing that was expected of her.
The way she saw it, she was dutiful. Court-life was boring. Ermangarde made it so. Anything Ermangarde was saying or doing, especially her stories, made the little princess want to remain a child forever. Ermangarde nurtured her rebellious nature, which always translated as being haughty.
She so wanted to scream to them, “But if you only heard her stories, you’d understand and totally agree!” Ermangarde always forbade her to do such a thing. She even made the princess promise never to repeat what she says to a living soul! The knowledge of her stories were meant only for her and her alone. It was to be their secret.
Jasmine laughed to recall how Ermengarde gave her great ideas to delay the moment of their parting. She did everything Ermengarde suggested. She mused to herself, “I would never have thought I had a say when it came to suitors. That was genius. It gained us many more years than I would have thought possible.” But thinking back, sometimes the princess really liked some of her suitors, those who came to win her hand. She was excited to be seen by them. She liked hearing all the pretty things they had to say to her in front of everybody.
But Ermangarde always stood firm. And she always knew best. The princess took to heart Emangarde’s warnings against youthful entanglements and her rigid stance, that above all, she should never marry.
“Diminish contact,” was Ermangarde’s usual advice, “it will make things easier not to succumb to those courtship rituals.” As Ermangarde fed her compelling stories about The Order of the White Flower, the princess was urged to question everything about her life in court. It seemed like Ermangarde had made it much easier for her to sever ties.
Now, with Ermangarde gone, she had nothing to hang onto, except stories. First, there were the strange stones the Guardians told her on their ceaseless journey underground. The strange history Glynn Oakenshield told made her wonder all the more. But before all that, there were Ermangarde’s stories. Jasmine now needed to remember every secret tale her wise and loving companion told her.
© 2018 DARLENE