CHAPTER 1: Start
"In another life I would be your girl. We'd keep all of our promises, be us against the world..."
The knight hissed as his head was being pulled back by the soldier behind him. His hair was tangled between the soldier's metal covered fingers. The soldier had his arm wrapped around the knights neck, as another soldier held the knight's hands behind his back. The knight swayed within their grasp, but to no avail. Their grip was firm, and he had to be careful because one wrong move could be fatal, for a blade was pointed at his throat.
"How dare thee doth this to her," the man holding the sword shouted, his voice booming through the castle's corridor.
He swung the blade in the direction of the princess, whose arms were held tightly by two other knights.
"Maybe I shalt killeth the unborn bastard and then doth hence with thee," the man pointed the blade to the princess's bulging, round belly.
The man walked closer to the struggling princess. He grabbed hold of her chin, forcing her to look at him. His gaze was cold.
"Thy as filthy as a whore," he whispered to her.
"Do ye dare lay a sword to her-" the knight shouted.
The man faced the knight with bulging, bloodshot eyes. "Her Grace is mine!"
The man cocked back his wielding arm, and swung in the direction of the princess's stomach.
The struggling, screaming princess and knight, the man (his sword frozen in midair), and the soldiers turned their gaze to the King, whose presence was long forgotten. He stepped forward with a nobleman by his side.
"Your Majesty and father-my Lord."
"Release my daughter at once," the king said.
They freed her and she scowled at them. She began to run to the knight, but her arm was caught by the man. She glared at him, but fixed her face into a neutral expression once she saw the stare from her father.
"Your Majesty?" the man looked at the King. "Mine betroth hath conceived with that man..."
"This kingdom wilt not be disgraced by Her Grace's motley-minded acts. The land wilt knoweth the issue as yours and knoweth thee as Her Grace's husband," The King's voice was stern. "Immediately."
The man and the nobleman smirked.
Instantly the knight and the princess stared at each other. A rush of longing and sorrow ran through their bodies. His mouth was open, as if he wanted to say something, and her's was formed into a frown. He watched painfully as tears welled up in her eyes, and he knew that he wouldn't be able to save her; whatever happened next, he could do nothing about.
Her eyes fluttered open, but soon closed again. She lifted her arm and shaded her eyes with her hand from the bright sun. It was a clear sky. Boxes and stuffed plastic bags fell over her as she sat up. Her nose crinkled from an unfamiliar scent. Then she realized she was leaning against something cold and hard. She turned around to a big, black dumpster covered in grime.
She stared at the dirty object with awe until the sound of loud horns and engines released her from her trance. She turned her head in the direction of the noise, only to be startled by the speeding cars on the road not so far away.
"Miss? Miss..." she heard a raspy, masculine voice say.
She turned her head in the direction of the voice. An older man wearing dingy, dirty clothes approached her. He looked her up and down with a perplexed look upon his face. She stood up to back away, but she was cornered by the dumpster. He was a yard away from her.
"What happened to your clothes?" he asked.
She glared at him confused before looking down, discovering that she barely had anything on, and whatever she wore before was unrecognizable. Her entire ensemble was shredded. No sleeves-barely a cloth covering her breast, torn bloomers, hair wild, and barefoot. The only thing intact was the half heart shaped, cobalt stone hanging from around her neck.
"How did you get in this dump, Miss?"
She looked around. She thought about it, but didn't know how to answer because she didn't know the answer. A head shake was her response.
"Well...where ya come from?"
She was silent.
She placed her hands on each side of her head and squeezed her eyes shut. She searched her mind for answers, but couldn't find any-she couldn't find anything. She opened her eyes and looked at the man with sad eyes. She slumped back into the trash. He came closer.
"I don't..." she said.
She looked at him again. She reminded him of a lost puppy.
"Well, do you have a name?"
She lit up. "Cagalli," she said, a bit surprised.
She thought for a minute, and she was sure. The one thing she did know was that her name is Cagalli.
It was late morning and Orb's Rising Sun Café had slowed down from its early morning rush. By this time students were occupied with class and businessmen were busy at work. Not small, but not too large either; fall colors painted the place. A large counter took up a good portion of the coffee shop, with plenty of desserts scattered on top, and a few stools around it. A barista/drink station, register, and kitchen was behind said counter. The area was bright due to the large window that took up the front of the shop; booths were lined up along it.
Miriallia was wiping the countertop meticulously when she heard the bell chime. She looked up to see two young men walk in. She smirked.
"Hey, Cagalli, looks like your favorite customer is here," she said to the young woman behind her.
Cagalli stopped refilling the coffee machine to turn around. She saw the two young men making their way to one of the booths. Cagalli's cheeks flushed upon seeing the blue haired young man. He and his companion had started coming there for a couple of months now, however, Miriallia once told Cagalli that the blonde guy-Dearka-had been there plenty times before. He was her ex-boyfriend.
Cagalli watched as Dearka made his way to the counter and took a seat right in front of Miriallia. She heard Miriallia huff. He said something incoherent. Miriallia faced Cagalli.
"Hey, could you go give Dearka's friend a coffee, black and...well you know how he likes it," she winked.
Cagalli's face became redder than before. She prepared the drink and then made her way over to the young man. Miriallia watched as she walked over there, with a smile on her face, but it soon turned into a frown once her attention went back to Dearka. Dearka responded with a wide grin.
"His name is Athrun, ya know," he said.
Miriallia folded her arms.
"I forgot," she said. "Cagalli knew who I was referring to, so it doesn't matter. Does she even know his name?"
"What are you doing here anyway?" she asked as she placed a napkin and a banana muffin in front of him.
"We came here to grab a bite while we study. Athrun's done for today, and I don't have another class until 5 o'clock."
He took a hefty bite of the muffin.
"Plus, I wanted to know if you were making any progress with Cagalli."
Miriallia shook her head. Dearka noticed a hint of sadness in her eyes upon him saying that. He reached out for her hand, but she pulled away. She looked at Cagalli, who was casually conversing with Athrun, and then turned to face the windows.
"So...how's Athrun been doing?"
"Hmm? Wait, Miriallia-"
"Is he still seeing the psychiatrist?"
Dearka nodded. "I think you should have Cagalli see one again," he said. "I mean, he's the one who suggested pushing them closer to see if we could uncover something-"
"I tried getting professional help for her in the beginning, but I can't afford it."
"Yeah, and that was in June, when you first met her. It's March now."
"Cagalli and I have work. Besides, maybe it's just a coincidence."
"A coincidence? Miriallia, it's all too similar-"
"What are you trying to say?" Miriallia raised her voice. "Didn't the psychiatrist say not to force anything?"
They were silent.
She sighed. "I won't give up on her, but maybe it was meant for her to start over."
The sun was setting and the café was almost empty. Cagalli stood behind the counter, drying off a few glass cups. Every now and again she would sneak a glance to where Athrun was sitting, and she noticed that he had left one of his notebooks. Once Cagalli was finished she made her way over to it. She picked it up and stared at it. She wondered if he would return before closing, or if she would have to hold onto it for him.
"Oh, it's still here," a relieved voice said.
Cagalli turned around to see Athrun standing by the door. She didn't even hear him come in. As he walked over to her, she felt her heart race. She handed the book to him and as he took it he smiled a little. Suddenly the room became hotter.
"Thanks," he said.
She responded with a nod. He made his way out. As Cagalli made her way back to the counter she noticed a man watching her from across the street. Then she realized it was the man she saw before, the man she always sees. It seemed as though he was always there, always somewhere close by and it frightened her. She lowered her gaze and quickly made her way into the kitchen.
"In another life, I would make you stay, so I don't have to say you were the one that got away..."