Cut Off

The King of Maldonia opened the palace door for him and his wife. The royal couple had just come back from a gala and were both exhausted. But as soon as they opened the door, they couldn't believe at what they saw.

People were everywhere, gossiping or having punch or alcohol. The king and queen were both speechless. Finally, the king looked over at his son's dancing valet.

"Lawrence," The king spoke to him in a firm voice. Lawrence looked at him. "What's going on?"

"A party, Sire." He told him.

"Party? I never gave permission for a party. My wife and I specifically ordered there not to be one."

"Really? Your son said you guys were fine with it." The king sighed.

"Naveen. Of course."

"Should I stop dancing?" But the king's expression told him everything so he stopped. He turned serious. "Sorry, Your Majesty. So unprofessional of me." Mad, the king marched up to his grown son who was sitting on a sofa talking to a woman.

"Dad; Mom!" Said an excited Ralphie when he saw them. "You're home!" He then saw his father's expression and frowned. "Uh, oh. Naveen's in trouble again, isn't he?" But his dad was too angry to answer. He just marched passed him. The six-year old was confused. "Dad? Just to let you know it was his idea, not mine. I'm innocent here!"

"Just go to bed, Ralphie." His mom said to him. "It's way past your bedtime." Ralphie looked at his mother.

"But Naveen said..." The queen eyed him.

"Now, Ralphie!"

"Yes, Mama." The little boy went off for the stairs. The Queen followed her outraged husband.

"It's such the bee's knees that you have the money to pay for all of this, Naveen." The woman talking to Naveen told him.

"Well, you know me." Naveen began. "Always wanting to impress my ladies."

"Well, color me impressed! I always wanted to live in a palace."

"That's the beauty of being born to Royalty; everything you ever needed is handed to you."

"Wow; you're spoiled!" Naveen gave a sheepish grin.

"Guilty as charged. My parents and staff handle everything as Ralphie and I live the charmed life." He then saw his dad. "Oh, hi, Dad." He then panicked, remembering he wasn't supposed to have a party. "Dad?!"

"Mom, Dad," Naveen began as soon as the doors closed after everybody had gone home. "I know you guys are really mad at me right now and I'm sorry, but you two have to realize that you left your sons in this enormous palace bored out of their minds and wanting to live it up. How do you not expect a party? Huh, huh?" He saw that his parents weren't buying it and sighed.

"Son, what were you thinking?!" The Queen wanted to know. "We specifically said no parties and what do you do? Throw a party."

"In my defense, I wanted to be done with this before you came home. It was so fun that I just lost track was all."

"Sires, you can blame me and the other servants." Lawrence said to them. He came up to them. "I never should have believed your son when he said you guys gave permission for this party." The King held up his hand.

"No, Lawrence." He said to him. "My son is 20 years old. He is old enough to know better and must be dealt with for his actions. We held him back from this far too long."

"Very well." He then muttered under his breath. "About time." He then left.

"You can't keep disappointing us like this, son." The King told him. "You're the prince of Maldonia. You have to set a good example and not be an embarrassment."

"Ralphie's a prince too." Naveen argued.

"Ralphie's six." The Queen stated. "He has an excuse. You don't. You need to stop this childish behavior because you're not a child anymore and haven't been in years. You need to start acting your age."

"So what are you going to do with me?" The King and Queen looked at each other then back at their eldest son.

"Your mother and I will discuss it tonight." The King explained to him. "We'll tell you in the morning. Goodnight."

"Aren't you going to tuck me in?" His parents just looked at him. "Kidding; kidding! I have servants for that, along with reading me a bedtime story." With that, he went upstairs.

"So you got in trouble with Mom and Dad, huh?" Ralphie asked when he saw Naveen pass his room.

"Yeah, but it's no big deal." Naveen said to him."Mom and Dad are used to it. They're too busy ruling a kingdom that punishing their adult son is probably the last thing on their minds. They'll probably forget the whole thing by tomorrow morning."

"If you say so." He then changed the subject. "I find it funny that everybody in this whole palace including Mom and Dad agrees that I'm much more mature then you and it should be the other way around. I like it though."

"I bet you do. Goodnight, Ralphie."

"Goodnight, Naveen." Naveen walked to his room.

Naveen looked in his room and all around for one of the servants but didn't find any.

"Hello?" He called out. "Anybody going to help me get to bed?" He waited. "Hello? Anyone? Guess not." He walked into his room.

He just sat in bed for a few minutes, after doing his other stuff. He was confused. The servants usually help him brush his teeth and help him put on his pajamas, but there was no one this night. He had to do the 'unthinkable' and do it himself. "Hello? Anybody out there that is going to read me a bedtime story? It can be 'De Fragee Pluto' again." He sighed. "Again? Nobody? Well, could someone at least turn off the light?" He sighed and got out of bed. "Must I do everything myself?"

The next morning, Naveen sat at a long table for breakfast. He waited and waited. He was about to go when Ralphie came in with a plate of porridge.

"Mom and Dad said if you want food, you better cook it yourself." Ralphie said as he sat down.

"But I don't know how to cook." Naveen stated. "And since when can you cook?"

"Mom taught me. She might teach you too if you ask."

"Surprised she had the time. I'm going to ask them what's up. Be right back, kiddo."

"Good luck! They're still mad at you from last night."

Naveen found his mother in the kitchen, as well as his father.

"Mom?" He said. "I have to talk to you." His parents turned to him,

"We do too, son." His father began. "What you did last night was unacceptable. We decided it was the last straw." Naveen looked confused.

"Last straw? Last straw for what?"

"We decided that we coddled you far too long. You are no longer allowed to spend our money and are responsible to make your own from now on." Naveen couldn't believe it.

"What do you mean?" He asked. "I'm not being cut off, am I? Because you wouldn't do that to your son, right?"

"That's exactly what it means." Again, Naveen couldn't believe it.

"But I'm your family. How can you even think this?" He looked at his mom. "Mom, your husband is crazy."

"No, my husband is right, Naveen." His mother told him. "You need to learn independence and take care of yourself on your own."

"But...but I can't."

"You will and you must." Naveen got angry at this.

"Fine! I'm grown now. I can do things on my own!"

"Your mother and I would like to see you do it." The King stated.

"You weren't around a lot anyways so I don't need you guys. I'll show you that I can get by on my own. You'll see!" With that, he stormed off.

"I can't do this, Lawrence." Naveen told him later that day. The valet had the newspaper with him."I don't even know where to start on my road to independence. The world is a big place. I need money and lots of it."

"Well, you know how I make money?" Lawrence asked. Naveen looked at him, all excited.

"No, how?"

"By doing my job here at the palace. You can too. You need to work though." Naveen groaned.

"Work? I rather not."

"Well, I don't know how else you can get a job."

"Hmmm, but there has to be another way. Now let me think."

"As least your brain is working, Sire." Naveen held up his hand.

"Shhh, quiet, Lawrence, let me think. Now, let's see..."

"While you do that, I'll read the day's paper." He held up the newspaper to read it. Naveen sighed.

"I can't do it. Even thinking's too hard. Lawrence, can you think for me?" Lawrence didn't respond. "Lawrence?" Naveen then eyed an article on the back of the newspaper. "Wait a minute." He grabbed it from Lawrence to look at it.

"Hey, I was reading your Highness. On your road to independence, can you also learn about manners?" Naveen, however, was half listening.

"Yeah, yeah, sure. Whatever, Lawrence." Naveen read the whole article. He smiled from ear to ear. This confused Lawrence.

"What? What are you smiling at?" Naveen showed him the article.

"This, Lawrence. This Charlotte girl is going to solve all of our problems!"

"How and our problems?"

"Read it. You want me to be independent? You have to read it yourself, Lawrence. You know I won't do it for you." Lawrence read it. He was still confused. "I'm sorry, your Highness, I still don't get it."

"Charlotte's rich, right? That means if I marry her, I can just mooch off her."

"Uh, I don't think that'll be wise."

"My mind's made up, Lawrence. I'm going to marry that girl whatever it takes."

"But that's not true love. That's taking advantage of her. That's not right. Come to think of it, I beleve your parents suggested that you marry her.

"Really? They didn't say anything to me about it."

"They probably forgot."

"I'm not surprised."

"She's all the way in New Orleans, Louisiana."

"Then that's where we'll go and you're coming with me!" Lawrence was shocked.

"I am?"

"Of course you are! I need someone to carry my bags and you are my personal valet."

"But, but..." He then became serious. "Now you listen here, your parents specifically said..."

"Oh, please, Lawrence? It would mean so much to me. Plus, you work too hard. You need a vacation."

"I suppose you're right, but..."

"Then New Orleans will be perfect for you; it'll be perfect for the both of us! It's a party town and you know how much I love parties."

"You do, but..."

"No more buts, Lawrence! New Orleans is calling our names. You know, they say dreams do come true there." Lawrence thought about this and was sold. He did need a vacation after all.

"Okay your Highness, we'll go to New Orleans."

"Perfect! We'll leave on the next ferry or riverboat out." He then made a cheering sound. "New Orleans, here we come! Thank you for this, Lawrence. You won't regret this, I promise."

"Why do I get the feeling that's not the case?"

Lawrence and Naveen then were on a riverboat approaching New Orleans. Lawrence was carrying Naveen's suitcases, as well as his own.

"Isn't this great, Lawrence?" Naveen asked him. "New Orleans is straight ahead." He smelled the air. "Aw, can't you just smell the Louisiana air?"

"I bet that the air smells pretty much the same any where you go, Sire."

"You may have a point there. But pretty soon, we'll be on even more American soil. I can't wait for all of my adoring fans and other stuff of course. Charlotte won't know how lucky she'll be, marrying a prince from a other country."

"I'm sure it's every woman's dream to marry a prince, your Highness."

"You bet it will be. Charlotte La Bouff, you're going to not regret marrying this handsome man. Mom, Dad, Ralphie, I'm going to make all of you guys proud. I swear it!"