I didn’t even bother going to the Verilian airfield. I knew her plane was long gone by the time I read her note; it was a lost cause. I expected as much. What I didn’t expect was how large and empty my bed would feel sleeping in it without her. It’s completely stupid, I used to like sleeping alone, in fact, I enjoyed it. I never let women sleep in my own bed because in my experience, if you let a woman stay the night and sleep beside you, they start to get ideas, ideas they shouldn’t have-especially about me. Ideas that typically include cuddling, morning after talks, breakfast, and “when can I see you again?” Spoiler The answer is always never.
But for some reason, sleeping alone doesn’t feel good. I used to spread out, take up as much space as I could, reveling in the fact that this bed is completely mine. No sharing with a naked woman who snores, or desperate hookup looking to snatch a royal title. No, it’s all me, and I used to like that.
Emphasis on used to.
Now, I just feel lonely.
I feel like 2is missing. I miss Annie’s subtle snoring, and her night twitches. I miss wrapping my arms around her body and pulling her close to me. I miss being able to possessively put my hand on her luscious ass and squeeze, eliciting a little surprised gasp from her followed by a playful glare. I miss waking up beside her to see her smiling face covered in her long, messy, blonde hair. She used to look like the girl from The Ring when she woke up, her hair was always everywhere, but it was cute. I find myself laying on the left side of the bed because she always used to take the right. It’s stupid and irrational, but the right side just doesn’t feel like it belongs to me anymore. It’s hers.
I even miss falling asleep beside her. I miss hearing about her day as she sits beside me with her phone in her hands, looking through emails about her charities, or fielding responses from news agencies about interviews. I miss the nearly nightly phone call she’d have with her family, even though it almost always came in at an inopportune time.
I even miss--
"Daniel? Are you there, honey?” My mother shakes me out of my pathetic reminiscing about the events of a few days ago and I physically shake the useless thoughts out of my head before meeting her concerned eyes. “I’m sorry, but I need to know what happened. Where’s Annie?”
The mention of her name causes tightness in my chest for some reason. I must be catching a cold on top of everything else. Great. Now I have the issue of my own health on top of a royal scandal to deal with. I sigh. “We had a bit of an altercation and she left.”
My mother’s caring and pitying look drops like a stone faster than I’ve ever seen it. “An altercation? Please tell me that you didn’t royally screw this up.”
I frown. “I didn’t--”
“You did, didn’t you?" She interrupts me. “Tell me, Danny, how did you manage to lose one of the brightest and sweetest women? What did you do? What happened? She was so in love with you. You had everything at your fingertips, the crown, the approval of the public, Annie, and now you’ve gone and- pardon my language- fucked it all up.”
"That was the problem! She fell in love with me! I specifically told her not to do that and she deliberately disobeyed me! I warned her and she didn't listen! She told me she loved me, I said I didn't feel the same so she left. How is that my fault?" I immediately slam my mouth shut.
My mother just sighs and shakes her head. She gets up from her seat in the parlor and walks over to the tea cart by the gilded window. This is my mother's favorite room in the palace. She loves looking out into the garden and watching the sun rise early in the morning while she has her tea. The Queen enjoys her tea more than anyone else in the nation. She has it imported from all over the world, usually a different type a day. She's ever the experimentalist.
"Oh, Daniel." She shakes her head and pours herself a steaming hot cup of her newest flavor. I believe it's something from India. "My son. How are you so completely clueless? Sometimes I question whose more to blame Me or your father?" She smiles sadly and lifts the cup up to her lips before going to add a lump of sugar. My mother's always had a bit of a sweet tooth. My father used to tell me stories of how he used to get the palace chefs bake her the most delicious sweets and treats when he was courting her. It always shocked me how much he did to earn the favor of a specific woman when he had so many vying for the hand of the next King. Now that I'm without Annie...
I think I might understand a little.
I don't love her, I can't, but I miss her and I want her back. She's become my best friend, and I miss her more than I thought I would. I went through a phase last night, where I sat awake in bed, thinking that I don't need her. I don't need Annie specifically. I can just find someone else. Of course, this line of thinking didn't last very long, because after I feel asleep, fully content with finding another woman, I went to reach for Annie. When she wasn't there, I knew. No one else can sleep there. I need her back. I want my wife back.