‘Living in a world of ‘abnormalities’, being normal itself was considered odd. The world had managed to evolve in such a way, in terms of creativity, technology, fashion and so on, that to stand out, one had to look normal. Yet, normality was looked down upon. Maybe because of the belief that it could never show one’s true potential.’
She laid down her pen, shut her book and sighed as she looked out of her small window, noticing her people interact happily and all of them willingly using their ‘abnormalities’ to help around or just have fun. She smiled softly as she slouched over the sill, wishing that she could interact that freely, with her people. But if they knew the real her, they would scream and run away. And she didn’t want that. She let out another sigh.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door and the door opened. In alarmed desperation, she quickly changed her form, the form she had always presented herself in. The little form peeped in. “My Princess, Her Majesty is calling you down.” Her personal maid let out meekly to the new form that was present in the room.
Straight shiny blonde hair that reached her tailbone, her fringes neatly aligning along with her blue eyes and long lashes. Her rosy cheeks complimented her blood-red luscious lips. And the pretty hair and face went along with a slim body that towered to five four. A stereotypical beauty she had turned out to be. Or at least this is what everyone believed.
According to her people, the princess was just an innocent white rose with no ‘abnormality’, whatsoever. Only the princess herself and her birth parents knew the reality behind the lie.
The truth was that she had a unique ‘abnormality’ that gave her the power to change her appearance as she wished and adopt its qualities. Because of that, no one has ever seen the real her except for the people who let her into this world. And she was thankful for that.
Cause if people knew who lived behind those fake faces, they would throw her in the deepest depths of hell for the monster she truly was. How did she know this? Why? Her mother told her so.
When she first came into this world, she looked a little odd with the uniqueness in her hair and eyes. Still, the situation wasn’t that bad. But a little later in life, about four or five years of age, a kidnapping incident took place, which included a huge fire. It left her a huge scar, making it worse for her. Especially in terms that people would be more afraid of her as well as dulling the low self-esteem that she already had.
She sighed softly and nodded. “Please let Mother know that I will be coming.” She let out in a soft voice.
Even her voice wasn’t her own, let alone her appearance. Having a front made her feel safe and content, it was a shield that would never let anything judge the true her. She never felt that she was somebody else, only because she never had the chance to be herself. And for some reason, that was ok.
She just pretended to be normal, like how she was taught to. It was the best way to hide from the eyes of her people. If being a princess put her in the spotlight, then being a normal put her out of it.
This wasn’t the only time she ever used her ‘abnormality’. Many chances did come for her to change her appearance, just so no one realises it’s the princess among them. And every time she did, her personality automatically changed too, in attempts to syncing with the outer half. So, the need of worrying about her people finding her real identity was long gone. The princess didn’t know what to think of that. Whether it was a good thing or just sad.
Anyway, the only similarity that all her appearances ever had was that she had to pretend that she was a ‘normal’. Very rarely did she pretend to have an abnormality in her new appearances. Only because she needed no attention but wanted to fade into the crowd.
“Princess, should I send the servants to dress you up?” The maid asked her superior, breaking the thoughts she was originally in. In return, the princess shook her head with a smile. The maid bowed her head down in respect and shut the door behind her, leaving the princess to herself.
She took a deep breath and clicked her fingers, letting her large sweatshirt and shorts turn into an appropriate dress when she must be in when present in the assembly hall. A beautiful light pink gown adorned her body matched with satin slippers and a small diamond tiara on her head. Seems like her abnormality comes to use when she was lazy too.
As her appearance speaks, she elegantly walked to the hall, taking measured steps with her head held her high. And graced her mother’s presence with a gentle bow. “You called, My Queen?”
Just as noticed by everyone who has appeared in court at least once, they have never heard the princess call her birth parent by a loving title but a respectful one that everyone uses. That’s because she has never called her so. It was always respectful and slightly more distant than family, just as how their relationship was supposed to be. Nothing more than that.
The Queen smiled softly at first but then wiped it off, to give her command. “Princess Ameerah, today is a special day. There are suitors who have come to ask your hand for marriage. You are to choose one of them and spend time together for a week. Three days you will be living in separate rooms and the remaining days will be together in one room. Your decision will then be heard after a week.”
Ameerah’s new blue eyes blew wide open. Marriage? She was too young for it. She was only sixteen. It wasn’t exactly against the law as she just reached of age. But she wasn’t ready for marriage. Yet. If only she could voice her opinion but to go against the queen wasn’t something she had it in her.
She held in her sigh as she gave a sharp nod and an elegant bow in respect to her queen and turned to her suitors. A huge crowd was present, a mix of males and females, hoping to be picked. No law that said only opposite genders could wed.
Seems like most of them were nobility, but the others who came seemed like they had a shot. Her eyes scanned across until they reached a man of a similar age who seemed least interested in this madness. Ameerah was stunned that he was here, not knowing that he is a part of nobility too.
Even as she had many faces, there was only one appearance that got her a lover. Being as faithful as possible, she never found another.
The appearance belonged to a normal peasant girl who loved to be with nature and that was where they met, by the river. Falling in love, the courting began and lasted for a half year for now. But neither of them knew what the other was.
Ameerah picked him and as the groans echoed the room, she knew that he too shared the voice with others despite the weak attempts of congratulations given to him. And everyone but the chosen left the courtroom. She smiled softly at him which he did not return.
The queen congratulated them and urged them to spend some time together, so that they get to know each other, forcing them to go to the garden.
“Hello, my name is Ameerah.” The princess let out shyly. This was weird. She was looking at her lover’s face from a different pair of eyes and he wouldn’t be able to recognise her. Ever. “Raven…” He let out, refusing to look at his new fiancée. Both knew that they didn’t want to be here.
A long pause.
“Princess, may I ask a question? Why did you pick me when you had a sea of suitors to pick from?” Raven asked straightforwardly. “Ummm, you just reminded me of someone, that’s all.” Her shy and humble personality was on the surface, as her role of a princess.
It was awkward between the two. For a while, they had nothing to say to each other and were forced to be in this situation. Both looked around except at each other, one in deep thought, the other just looked at the flowers. Suddenly he stopped with a sigh and turned to the princess, in hidden anger as he was unable to take this silence and gripped her arm, hurting her.
“Princess, I would like to make one thing very clear. I have no interest in this marriage and I won’t ever fall in love with you. I have a lover back home and I intend to go back to her. However, since you insist on my being here and I know you are hiding something, I promise you I will find your secret and then leave.” And then pushed her before turning and leaving to see his new accommodation for the time being.
Ameerah had frozen up in shock of seeing his behaviour. He had never shown this side of him; in whichever face she had ever appeared in front of him. And her eyes began to tear up as a crack appeared on her façade. It really hurt her that he would threaten her in such a way, even if he didn’t know the truth.
She realised she was breathing deep as her hand clutched where her heart is. She sniffled and wiped her tears, trying to calm her body down. She needed to be strong. No one should see through her. She had steeled herself in such a way. She couldn’t crack now.
She sighed and went back to her room, to spend time with herself like she usually does. She knew that her mother would want her to spend more time with her fiancé. And so, she asked the maids to inform Raven that they would be spending supper time together in the gazebo by the waterside and they would do nothing but just talk. Start off as friends.
Patiently waiting for the response, she went back to writing in her diary. After an hour and a half, she received a response by a knock at the door. Giving her permission, the door opened and in came Raven. “You didn’t have to send messages like that. Could have just told it to me yourself.” He mumbled, looking elsewhere as his hands remain occupied in his pockets.
Ameerah let out a soft giggle. “I know. But I thought you were still angry at me and knowing the queen, she would have forced us into this… So, will you please accept my invitation?” She asked as she shut her diary and turned to face him. “Let’s just talk as friends. I promise not to do anything and will release you by the end of the week… I don’t want to get married either.” She let out softly as her eyes searched the floor while fidgeting a little.
Raven sighed and nodded. “Yes, I will be there.” Ameerah perked up and gave a radiant smile that was expected from a princess. “Thank you. I promise you won’t regret it.” And he left her, to get ready for their meet up for supper.
Ameerah clicked her fingers and her dress went back to her normal attire of sweatshirt and shorts. Her hair still stuck to blonde as she tied it up into a messy updo. She asked the maids to settle her warm herbal bath that her true ugly self-needed to rest in so it could get rid of every filthy curse and jinx it carried.
Taking a long relaxing body as she soaked in her original form, a form that she never saw as she always bathed blindfolded. She came out with her form changed back to what everyone knew as Princess Ameerah and had the maids dress her up. She finally ended up in a beautiful lavender gown with a warm shawl perched at the shoulders. Her hair up in a neat updo and small heels adorned her feet. Her tiara and earring had to compliment her royal stature. She was finally ready.
The time for supper was coming and she made her way to the designated area, with the maids escorting her there. Raven was already waiting there, his back turned as he looked at the rippling water scene. When he felt her presence, he turned.
“Umm, you look nice.” He let out unwillingly. It was only then the maids were ready to leave the new couple alone. Ameerah bowed. “Thank you.” Being forced to be a gentleman as his nobility had taught him to be, he pulled the lady’s chair and let her sit before he took a seat himself.
Food arrived, and they slowly made small talk before the conversation is full blown. Ameerah was getting out of her shy phase while Raven was getting a bit comfortable as he forgot a bit of the grudge he had.
“So, Raven? You mentioned having a lover. May I see her picture please?” She asked as she sipped on the drink she had in hand. Raven paused for a moment and then nodded. He pulled out a rich brown leather wallet from his pocket and open it, offering to the princess.
Ameerah took it in her hands and sees an old photo of her fiancé and his lover. A beautiful girl with curly brunette hair and chocolate brown eyes. A skin tone to the slightly darker side and a healthy body with a slightly shorter height dressed in animal skin painted in bright colours. A figure fitting to be a tribal peasant. And her name was Jinah, another face of Ameerah.
The princess smiled softly as she gradually brought her thumb over the photo. That photo was taken the time they started dating. Those were happier times. Where she used to sneak out to join tribal celebrations. It was then when they first met.
“Why are you smiling like that?” Raven asked in confusion. “Nothing. It’s just that you both do make a wonderful couple.” Ameerah covered up. Raven smiled in return. “I know. I love her so much. But because of our social standings, we aren’t allowed to be together. I really hope to be with her.” The princess knew why Raven was letting his story out. Only to get some sympathy from her and in hopes to get her blessing for their union. After all, the princess had some sort of authority too.
“I hope so too.” She let out softly. Truth be told, Jinah really loved Raven. That meant Ameerah had to love him too. Even though her personalities could be split, her love could not. That was the reason she chose him today. Hoping that she would be able to make him fall in love with her.
Forgetting this topic, they continued to dine and chat, feeling much comfortable in each other’s presence and her guard was falling off slowly.
After supper, Raven asked if they could walk back to the castle, spend some more time together and offered his hand to which Ameerah graciously accepted. She takes his hand and they go for a walk as the maids clear the gazebo.
The entire time they walked, their fingers were intertwined and Ameerah felt nice, knowing the Jinah in her was happy too. But as time passed, she began to feel uneasy. Not understanding why, she kept quiet and continued to keep up with their conversation. But then realisation hit her.
There were cracks on her façade, and they were breaking away in a slow build up. That meant her true face was coming to light. She tried to activate her abnormality, but it wasn’t working any more. In fact, it was glitching. So that could mean only one thing. Either Raven had the abnormality to erase other abnormalities or is wearing an amulet that could imitate that abnormality of erasure.
She pulled her hand away as she collapsed and hasty about her situation, she quickly covered her hair and face with her shawl.
Raven frowned, even though he had some sort of clue of what was happening. “What happened, Princess?” Ameerah turned away, not letting him get a glimpse of her. The cracks were forming faster, and the pieces began to fall as she felt the change overcome her body.
So, Raven took her hand and pulled her towards him, grasped her by the chin and pulled it up to see her face. Their eyes met. A gasp left his lips as he left her.
The stereotypical face that everyone knew was long gone and a completely different girl stood in her place, in her original form. Long shiny hair of two different colours separated from the middle and eyes paired with heterochromia staring at the ground. The two colours being soft silver and blazing red. Half her face seemed to have a third-degree burn that was scarred, and her body had suddenly become taller and curvier in the right places.
She wasn’t the definition of ugly. She was, in fact, a beauty that was mysterious and alluring at the same time. Seemed like a rich red wine that was aged beautifully well.
Just as their eyes met again, Raven saw all the faces she had ever adopted flash in her eyes. And out of all those faces he had seen before, there was one he surely recognised.