This story is by Tammy Ramsey and was part of our 2017 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the Spring Writing Contest stories here.
Life has never come easy to me. Ever since I was a little boy, I was always teased about my height, weight, freckles, eye color, red hair and whatever else you could think of…. because I heard it so much, I guess you could say that I was a very unusual looking boy. To me, I seemed normal. I was born into a blood line of Guanches and also the Mediterranean race and I did not resemble the height, the broad shoulders or charm from my father’s family. I was the misfit to my family and due to that being the case, I adapted to being alone and finding ways to entertain myself and life was good for me until at the age of 15 my mother passed away and the only home I knew, my father took me from and shipped me from Canary Islands and I moved to the United Kingdom where his older sister, Frances, lived. My father stated that I needed a woman to look after me, he stated I was always his tender-footed child and that he did not have that nurturing side that my mother had and my Aunt Frances had more money to take care of me. It was at that time, that I left home to live with a woman, I have only seen on pictures and now she was going to be my new “mother”, my care-giver, the person I was supposed to trust, but only to find that love was not her first priority for me but that she needed me only as a worker, a labor to take care of her barn.
My Aunt Frances was on her fourth husband and from the former three husbands, she acquired a vast amount of wealth. When I arrived to her 8.6 acres 7 bedroom detached house in Chichester, West Sussex, for the first time my eyes saw things that I have never seen before. It was a three story home with elegant ceilings and big windows. I thought to myself, thank you dad. Well, that is what I said for the first week. I remember my mom stating once, that Aunt Frances heart was hardened because the first husband she married, she loved and she was her happiest with him. My aunt and uncle they did not have much but my uncle had a big dream. My Aunt Frances’s husband dream became a reality and he started making money and he left her for another woman. My mother stated that Aunt France’s was devastated and she came to the Canary Islands to live with her brother, my dad, before I was born because she needed to get away. My mother stated Aunt Frances made a vow that day to never love for love, but for money and with that vow she grew bitter and angry. Aunt Frances had two boys. One from her second husband and one from her third husband. I never meet them until I arrived to their home that day, and when I reached to shake their hands they turned away from me as if I was a pillar holding a wall from collapsing. One thing that they did not know, is that how they treated me at that moment did not bother me because I was used to be ignored.
Aunt Frances loved to entertain on the weekends and I remember on Thursday, I believe.. or was it Friday..that she came to me and asked me if it would be okay if I slept out in the guest room in the barn because she would have a gathering and usually some of her guest would stay the night. I politely stated, yes and that was the last time Aunt Frances ever asked me anything. After that, “if” she talked to me it was a statement or a command. When I tried to move back into the house on that following Sunday, she stated that she thought it would be best if I stayed in the guest room in the barn since I would be helping take care of the farm. My mother always taught me not to talk back or seem ungrateful when someone is helping you. So I kindly smiled and took my things back to the barn. I did not understand why she did not want me in her home and is was not like she would see me anyways because her house was huge. However, Aunt Frances was helping my father by allowing me to stay with her and the best I could do is comply with her wishes. The barn was not that bad, I had my own space and the barn was a two level steel barn and it had a shower room, and toilet for the pool users. In addition, there was also an outside kitchen that they kept well-stocked. I would get up early in the morning and take care of all the animals before going to school. The kids at school would make jokes about my smell and they would tell my two cousins that your ‘new brother’ smells like a goat and you all need to bathe him. My cousins would say to the crowd of kids laughing that he is not our brother, it is just their mother’s new charity case. That day another unusual boy came to me after the crowd left and said to me, I am glad you are here because they do not pick with me anymore, we both chuckled and he introduced himself, he stated his name was Nathan. He wore glasses, and he had a soft voice. We walked away together and I knew then that we would be friends for a lifetime. But, when I was in the barn, I was alone. I had the animals to keep me company. I ate bye myself and I only went to the main house if I was called. Every once in a way, Nathan would come over and we would hang out at the barn. We always talked about what the both of us wanted to be once we graduated high school. My only goal was just to be free from these living conditions in the barn. I wanted to feel wanted, I wanted to feel accepted. Every time I would feel these emotions, I remember that my mother would tell me to look up to the sky and see the stars and that would help me to remember that I am never alone. I would tell Nathan, I wanted someone to love me like my mother loved me, someone who always encouraged me and gave me strength to go on. We did not talk often about our dreams because I told him that my dad used to always say that men do not talk, they do. One Monday, right after school all the kids were going to the Warwick Castle for a school dance on the upcoming Saturday and Princess Elizabeth would make her appearance. It is such a big event when royalty makes an appearance at any event, not only was she going to make an appearance, she was going to dance with the first twenty guys. It was a must that Nathan and I were going to go and that Monday, day when I went over to the house and inform Aunt Frances that the dance was going to be at the Warwick Castle and that Nathan and I were planning on attending. Her sons chuckled and made a “no-no” head turn. She asked me, if I was asking her or telling her and forbid me from going because I was being disrespectful and when I tried to say I was not being disrespectful she would cut me off and say to me, is this how you are going to repay your mother’s death by being disrespectful to me. Once I informed, Nathan, he stated we have to go because it our chance to see royalty. So, we had to think of ways to go. I colored my hair and I used Nathan glasses in order to disguise myself. We went shopping so that we could have different clothes than what we would normally wear. When I walked into the grounds of Warwick Castle, I was in awe staring around and then all of sudden, people starting pushing because the princess was coming through and little did I know that during that push, the crowd was pushing me closer to being able to dance with the Princess Elizabeth. When the Princess Elizabeth touched my hand we connected and we locked eyes and we captured the attention of everyone. During that time, I could see that Aunt Frances was looking at me and started to walk to the floor and I pulled away and ran. I walked home and that night, I asked the stars to bring her back to me. Weeks past and I did not see have any home of seeing her again. I am a commoner and she is a Princess, but in my head I could feel our connection. I went to school the next day and it was the normal tensing as usual. But, it was different. I felt different, I wanted more for the first time in my life besides taking care of barn animals and sleeping in a barn. I wanted more, I wanted to get out of this situation. The next day, went to school and some kids knocked my lunch tray out of my hands and when I reach down to get it. I stood up and a girl was holding my drink, she stated, they can be rude. When I looked at her, I told her that she looked familiar, I asked her if she just moved to this area. She said no very fast and ran away. I told Nathan, about it and I said to him, I think that was Princess Elizabeth. He was like no way, why would she attend this school. I told him, I know what I felt. The next day, I was so happy that when they knocked the tray out of my hand, I said thank you with a smile and picked it up and they just said that I was weird. I looked for her and did not find her. The next day, there was an announcement over the loud speaker that Princess Elizabeth would be at the school to say hi to everyone, and that next day we locked eyes and from that moment, she saw the potential that I had just like mom did and she has been my best friend ever since.