Chapter Eleven - No Hope
A light rain falls over the kingdom. Raindrops anxiously lick the windows of the castle. The death of Sno has hit Charming hard. He spends most days in his room. Today is no different. In his bed he sits, in complete and utter isolation. Surrounded only by his thoughts and memories of Sno.
The kingdom too is devastated over Sno's death.
Loyal subjects of the kingdom have left flowers, candles, and toys, in honor of Sno outside the castle wall. It's a lasting testament to the kind of noble ruler Sno was.
Since Sno's death, Charming has been making less and less public appearances. He's been holding less balls and celebrations. He simply doesn't care anymore. He has no hope for himself. He doesn't hope for today or for tomorrow. His heart is shattered over the death of his love. The only time he finds any hope within himself, is when he looks into his daughter's eyes. Charella and his other children are the last pieces of Sno he has left. Although some days looking into Charella's beautiful blue eyes makes him cry.
After months of daily seclusion, Charming sends word with an advisor, for a meeting with Esther. Esther and her ever growing list of maidens, have become the sole caregivers since Sno's death. With Esther's guidance however, Charming has been raising Charella. Charella even sleeps in his bed chambers in her cradle, as opposed to the nursery.
It's a rainy cold afternoon when Esther enters the bedchamber. Charming who didn't bother dressing, is still in his night clothes. He sits up in his bed, his hair messed with dark circles under his eyes as if he hasn't slept in months.
"Yes Highness? How can I be of service to you today?" Esther asks bowing her head as she enters the chambers.
"Please sit, we need to have a chat." Charming says pointing toward Sno's cherished bed seat.
Esther bows her head and sits.
"Esther, you have been a great many things to this family, and you have been there for us all during hard times. Without you, this family, and this kingdom could not continue.
Esther stares at Charming.
"What I'm trying to say Esther, is, it's time you were rightfully recognized for it." Charming says standing.
Charming hesitates, he glances toward the window at the sky. "My eldest son Brody, he just celebrated his thirteenth birthday? Correct?" Charming asks clearly unsure of himself.
Esther bows her head in respect. "Highness, apologies, Brody is sixteen this month." she humbly corrects him.
Charming clears his throat, and offers no indication that he ever heard what she said.
"Well then, Brody is the new King. Effective immediately. Please arrange his ceremony and invite the surrounding kingdoms royalty to commemorate this event."
Esther stares at him blankly.
She stands from the bed seat and looks at him curiously and with worry. "Apologies Highness, but where does that leave you?" she asks confused.
Charming offers no reply. A stray tear has been building in his eye. It now overflows with tenacity and descends down his face, another tear quickly follows down his other cheek.
"Esther, please make preparations to crown Brody. That will be all. You may now return to your duties." Charming says boldly.
Charming lies back down on his bed, as if their encounter has taken every bit of energy in his body. His chest aches. He feels incomplete without his love.
Esther although confused, bows her head, "It will be done your Highness." she replies, and exits the bed chamber.