The weather was hot. The sun was in the middle of the sky. Bakani didn’t even dream about getting married because she was just a maid, but now she is marrying to a powerful king who knew nothing about her. He didn’t even know her real name. While she was thinking in her deep thought, the guard in front of her pulled the camel. It stopped making other camels stop, too. Bakani looked in front of them, there was a big gate with lots of guards standing there watching out for the city.
The guards stopped them before they went into the city because that was the rule. Whoever went into the city must be checked thoroughly. But because it was the king’s fiancée, they let them pass without checking them. There were nothing to check anyways. One guard wrote a letter in rag and rolled it up. He attached it to an eagle’s leg. The eagle flew away and headed toward the castle. The letter was to inform the king that his bride had arrived.
She was so close to the castle, but it was a rule that the bride couldn’t go on to the castle on her own. They stayed at an inn that night and the next day, the king would come and pick her up in his carriage. That night, the king sent the women from the castle to the inn and took care of her. They prepared her a bath with herbal and roses petals in the water. She went in and soaked herself in the relaxing bath that she had never taken before. For a moment, she forgot all her problems. She forgot about the marriage. She took a deep breath and enjoy the bath.
While she was soaking herself in the round bathtub, she thought about the princess. She wondered if her princess was safe. Amatak had never been outside of the castle before, it worried her that she might not survive in the wilderness. Her thoughts continued to torture her as it gave her the wildest imaginations.
“Please be safe… I hope you are happy with your choice.” She murmured to herself.
After she was done with her bath, she got out of the tub and wrapped a silky robe over her body. Her wet curly hair drifted down her back and reached her waist. She heard a ruckus outside of the inn. Curiously, she walked to the window and opened it. There, from the second floor, she found many soldiers running around down the street as if they were looking for a somebody. She wondered what happened. She was so curious that she went out of the bathroom and asked one of the bodyguards who stood outside of her door.
“It seemed like someone is in trouble.” The guard told her. She wasn’t satisfied with this answer, so she went and asked one of the ladies from the castle.
“A foreigner broke into our city two days ago and lurked around without the king’s permission, so now he is wanted by the king.” One of the women spoke.
“Ah, I see.” Bakani said. She bowed her head and walked away from them. They wondered by she was so respectful as a princess. Bakani thought about that foreigner. She hoped that he was okay even though she had no idea who he is.
Finally, the next day, a beautiful carriage arrived at the inn. Bakani was dressed in a new wedding dress. They dolled her up beautifully before she could meet the king. After she was done, her heart was pounding against her chest. She was about to meet the man that held her life. She expected to see the king, but the carriage was empty. This made the people around her started talking among themselves.
“The king doesn’t really care about her, that’s why he didn’t personally come pick her up.” They whispered. Bakani could hear them clearly. It hurt her pride, but she didn’t let it show. She took it with her chin lift up high and picked up her skirt. She got into the horse carriage, and off they went on their journey again.
Finally, they got to the castle, she looked through the window with the thin materials and saw many people there. The castle was built on top of a hill, and it had a grand staircase up to the big gate of the castle. There were women wearing the same outfit in blues standing on either side of the stair from the bottom of the gate, and at the bottom of the stair, the town people were standing there like they were waiting for her. Bakani was so surprised to see all these people were coming to see Princess Amatak. She felt guilty and nervous. What if people knew that she wasn’t the real one?
When the carriage stopped in front of the first stair, the guards lined up, so that no one could touch her. When she stepped on the first step of the stair, two women from either side of the stair walked toward her. They both held onto her arms and helped her walked up the the long stair. Every step she took, two women would line up behind her and walk up the stair with her until they reached the gate at the top. The two guards opened the big gate for them, and she walked into the castle just to find more people. This area was filled with richer folks and lords. They all bowed their head when they saw her.
They went into a really big hall, which seemed to be the throne room. She walked gently even though her heart felt like she was about to explode. From far away, she could see the man who was standing in front of the throne. He was wearing bright white silky clothes with a golden belt and a red cloak that ran down to the floor. He had a white ghutra which his golden leafy crown was on top of to secure it. He had a golden staff on his left hand and a small golden rope on his right hand. She knew it right away that he was the king. As she got closer to him, she was thinking of dashing out of there, dead or alive. She wouldn’t care anymore.