As he stood there by his writing desk, he looked over to her. There was something too familiar about the look in her eye as she was dressed by her lady’s maids.
She looked back at him as she thought the same. Why hadn’t she yet seen how much like her own his eyes were?
He had worry in his heart, and grave fear. For he must prepare his men for battle. Is a king allowed to fear? Is a king allowed to worry? Well not according to his advisors.
As he looked to his queen, she prepared for what was expected of her. She must provide the people an image of heavenliness; of everything fantasy and ethereal. She was dressed in a white lace dress, and a white sun hat with her dark flowing hair set in loose curls. A large flower, peach in hue was tucked behind her ear. A tan sash of royal silk was draped across her. She wished for this since she was a girl. But never did she anticipate that the duty to her king would require the abandonment of her truest desires. She realized that in order to provide her subjects with fantasy she must first lose it for herself.
She was to be the image of sovereignty, the only thing closer to God himself was her King.
She was to greet the royal guard side-saddle on horseback whilst surrounded by her lady’s maids. She was then to take tea with the ladies of nobility in the rose gardens. Photographers would be everywhere, thus she must always wear a smile, no matter how exhausted her face may become.
Slowly she became the picture of a queen, as she synergistically lost herself and all that made her unique.
The king was to meet in secret with his advisors, and plan and strategize the battle that was to commence the following day.
He must clench his fist in conviction, he must furrow his brow in contemplation, he must tense his face and display a strong jaw, he must be temperamental. His advisors would shout and argue amongst each other in dangerous cling to their own political agendas. However he must be the ruler that calms a stormy sea and commands an army and defeat another kingdom.
He was to address his subjects later that afternoon, and instruct them to remain calm and to accept his immobile strength. Since he was a boy he wanted to be king. He did not then realize that in order to be this close to God, and this powerful, that he must wear bravery and masculinity as a facade. There are paparazzi and journalists with flocks of photographers at every corner; every window. He is watched constantly.
He took a private lunch alone. His queen did the same before her tea.
He grew weary of the stone-like man he must appear to be. He wished only to feel free to smile, to feel free to cry, to feel free to fear. What made him wonderful as a man was his capability to empathize with his people, he truly cared for the greater good. As his eyes began to burn, he felt the inevitable tears. He snapped his fingers for the guard to close the curtains. In a panic he ran to his bathroom.
The queen at her private lunch was relieved to not be smiling. She had walked over to her maid and asked her to close the curtains, giving the excuse that her skin had seen enough sun. She sat and slouched her posture and felt the weight of her heart. She grew to hate the crown to which she swore a lifetime allegiance. She grew to resent her own beauty, and her own smile. When she was girl she was always told that she beautiful enough to be queen one day. As the daughter of a duke she knew that it was a possibility. But she wanted desperately to grow old with the farm boy whose servitude was to her family. He was a strong young man with a wholesome heart and kind eyes. His hands were rough from labor, but he spoke only of the beauty in the flowers around him; he never feared to smile or cry. Her union with the king was arranged and required.
In reminiscence of the kind farm boy with a beautiful smile, and the glee and freedom that she felt when with him, she began to cry. As she felt her face fall and her rouge begin to drip and mix with her running mascara, she quickly ran to her bathroom. She slammed the door as her lady’s maids promptly began knocking. She shouted for them to give her but a moment. She hadn’t shouted in her whole life. What made her great as a young girl was her inner and outer strength. She had conviction, rebellion, and passion, all with the heart that beat only to protect and love her family and friends. She never thought of herself as one who must rely on her own beauty.
As she looked into the mirror she saw the face and eyes of her king. It was identical to her own. How could that be?
As the king in his bathroom cried and looked into his mirror, he saw the face of his queen. It was identical to his own. Surely this could not be possible.
As he reached his hand toward the mirror, the reflection showed his queen doing the same.
Closer and closer they leaned into inspect their reflections. The strength in her anger, the vulnerability in his tears, they were the same face. They were the same person.
Suddenly loud and intrusive bells began to ring. The king then cowered and covered his ears and tightly closed his eyes. The queen hearing the same loudness staggered back and covered her ears, and too fastened her eyes shut.
The bells rang again and again as I began to wake. With my eyes still closed I realized I was in bed, and reached over to turn off my alarm. I opened my eyes, and saw the makings of my bedroom. I sat up and rubbed eyes as I accepted the reality of a new day.
I am preparing to come out of the closet to my parents today. And I have no idea how they will take it.
There are expectations that my dad has of me, for the man he believes I should be. On the other hand there’s another side of me that I want to explore, and I am afraid.
Could there be two sides to who I am? Two extremes at odds with one another?
The dream I just woke up from, the face of the king and the queen.
That was my face.