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"I cannot feel, but I feel you Sarafina." "I will shift the heavens for you, my love" ~ Cursed to have an ice cold heart, Prince Jamal of Zedora has to live without feelings – not being able to know the difference between sadness and happiness nor love and hatred, that was his life, until he met her. Sarafina Belaird, A young fair maiden whose whole life has been a roller coaster of hardship all thanks to her step family.. She crosses paths with the prince leading to her being held in the palace. What can be more frightening than setting her eyes on the prince? That is until she finds out she is the sheba – the said cure to the prince's curse and adding another disaster, she falls in love with him.
The morning sun shone directly into my eyes as I blinked them open. I looked around remembering that my step mum didn't allow me to sleep at home yesterday night because I didn't finish selling the knitted scarfs she asked me to make.
I had to sleep in one of the open stalls that were in front of our house. I slapped a palm on my thigh as a housefly tried to feed on me, I stood up grabbed the sack of scarves and made my way into the house.
My name is Sarafina Belaird. My mum died when I was three. I didn't really know her cause I was very little, so I couldn't grieve her. Dad remarried when I clocked six. Kayla was a good woman or so I thought.
She was very nice to me when she was courting Dad, she bought me things, and she even made scarves for me. She taught me how to make them too.
She had three daughters. Raina, Zella and Cirona. Raina and Cirona were twins, they were my agemates. While Zell was the youngest. The twins never liked me but Zella was my best friend even though she was three years younger than me.
She was the only one that understood me.
Kayla changed when she finally married my Dad, she became very cruel towards me. She made me do all the house chores leaving her daughters out of it.
Anytime Zella tried to help, she would beat me up and warn me never to indulge her daughter in filthy tasks.
Dad was rarely at home, he was one of the King's official envoys. So he was always travelling to different cities on behalf of Zedora.
Anyways, enough about me.
As I got to the door, I tapped it but there was no answer. I tapped it again.
"Who is that!" Kayla asked from inside.
"I'm the one ma" I replied.
She flung the door open.
"you! Have you finished selling the scarves?"
"No ma, but I will take it to my spot as soon as I take my bath"
She eyed me warily and dropped another set of scarfs on me. "sell that one too and don't come back until everything is finished"
"But Mother, Fina can't go to the Market today, the prince has arrived from his journey and is going to be outside and she might get killed," Zella said from behind Kayla.
Truly, the prince had just arrived from the civilized province where he went to study more. Though I had never been outside Zedora before but I had heard stories of the people of the civilized province.
People say they think like gods and have answers and solutions to every problem.
I wish to go there one day.
I don't think it is a dream that can ever come true.
"Why don't you shut up and mind your business" Raina snapped.
"Stupid girl, was I talking to you," her mother said.
Cirona looked at me and snorted.
"It would be better if you get killed, but you are still useful to us"
I sighed while Zella pulled me inside.
"Come on Fina, let's go inside"
Kayla hissed and walked away.
I sighed again.
This was my life.
"You know I still don't know why there is a special day for you to roam around the streets of Zedora, not like you can feel the sun or something," Jafar my cousin said to me as I prepared to leave.
I don't know why Dad entertained his stupid family in the palace, even a blind person will see that he and his father was coveting the throne.
But Father still believed there is always good in people, even after
Jafar's Father, Maximus tried to kill him in his sleep.
That I am cursed does not mean I can't feel the sun, but I wasn't about to explain that to the moron standing before me.
"What should I feel when you say those things?"
He glared at me and stormed out.
I grabbed my royal scarf which I use to cover my face so that only my eyes will be seen and my way to the carriage waiting for me outside.
After freshening up, I grabbed the sack of scarves and made my way out of the room, silently praying to goddess Ashra to bless my sales for the day.
"Are you going already? " Zella asked as I got to the living room.
"Yes, I have to go early, so that I can finish selling it before the prince comes out.
"Won't you eat something? "
I smiled and patted her. "I will eat when I get back"
"And what are you still doing here? " Kayla yelled from behind me.
"I'm going already," I said and quickly grabbed the bag and scurried out of the house.
I wiped away the sweat forming on my head as I sat at my usual spot in the market.
I had not really made enough sales because the market was very scanty.
On a normal market day, there would have been so much rustling and bustling. But I tell you the fear of prince Jamal in the province of Zedora is the beginning of wisdom for a commoner like me.
"How much for your scarf," a lady asked.
"Five hundred dirham, ma" she picked up a blue one and eyed it warily.
"This is what you want to sell for five hundred dirhams, I don't think you have any shame, even the quality burqa my son bought from Pecan province is still cheaper than this"
I sighed. This is what I face every day.
You won't be surprised to find out that the lady in question might not have a son or even own a burqa, but just so you sell cheaper for them, they make up lies.
"How much will you take it? " I asked her.
I nodded and wrapped the scarf in a neat cellophane bag.
She took it from my hand and placed some rough notes on my hand.
I smiled and pressed my palms together as a way of saying thank you.
It was called the sign of peace in Zedora. As I put the money into my waist purse, I noticed the market women whispering between themselves, and many of them began to pack their goods. Some even left their goods and started running.
Nobody had to tell me that the amir(prince) was on his way.
I looked down at my not sold scarves. If I don't finish selling these scarves, I would have to sleep outside again.
But I have to save my head first.
So saying, I grabbed my sack and started running.
As I was running, I noticed an old mother at the side of the road, she was probably having difficulties walking because her steps were slow and uncalculated. She needed help.
Because if the prince saw her, he was going to kill her, not minding her age or agility.
I slowed down and walked to her.
"Need any help, Nana(grandma)?" I asked.
She looked at me and smiled. "You have to run, if the amir sees you, he will have your head" with one hand supporting her and the other slinging my bag over my shoulders, I led her on.
"Same goes for you, he is going to have your head too, so let's get you somewhere safe, I can take care of myself"
She smiled and squeezed my hand. "You have a good heart, daughter"
I sighed, father always said it, but where has the good heart gotten me?
As soon as I found somewhere safe enough for Nana to hide, which was a tiny empty horse stead that could only contain one person. I bade her farewell and left, hoping I was as far away from the amir as I could go.
I was already two streets away from home when I heard the distant sound of a carriage coming my way.
I shivered in fear as I looked around, looking for a place to hide.
I gripped my bag tightly and started running, not stopping until I bumped into someone.
My head snapped up to see who I had bumped into. But as soon as I looked up, I began to wish I hadn't, because I realised I was standing in front of no other person than Prince Jamal himself!!
Though I had never seen him before, but his royal chain and bracelets were what made me recognise him.
I quickly went on my knees, pressing my palms together.
"I'm so sorry, your highness, I didn't mean to look at you... " I stuttered in tears.
I kept pleading, but all my pleas fell on deaf ears.
"Seize her!! " he commanded.
His voice was deep and surprisingly smooth. I closed my eyes.
I heard feet rustling from different places. I was dragged roughly from the floor by two guards.
"Please amir" I begged again as I was bundled onto a horse.
"Shut up! " one of the guards yelled at me.
I gulped in fear, there was no hope for me.
I was going to be killed.
I was bundled unto a horse while the prince carriage rode in the front.
A guard rode with me. Tears streamed down my face as I thought of my family. Is this how I'm going to die? Well if this is my fate then I accept it.
We entered the palace few minutes later and even in my distressed state, I couldn't help but admire the glittering view of the royal villa.
I wish I was born a royalty then I won't have to die for seeing the prince's face. "Are you going to get down or keep drooling" a guard said snapping me out of my reverie.
I got down and as I looked forward I could make out the prince moving into the palace tapping on something that he was holding.
I was led into the prisoners yard and into an empty cage, where I was locked up. I sighed and slid down the cage awaiting my cruel fate.
The heat of the harsh sun kept burning my back as I lay curled up in a side of the cage.
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