Not a Fairy Tale III
Published Oct 22, 2015

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Don stood in front of the arch. He had never really paid attention to it before. Daisy made sure that the flowers were replenished once they began to wither. She was very possessive of the area. He knew it was a popular place to go but never understood why.
Roxanne: So now it is you standing at the gazebo!
Don met her at the top of the steps and walked her closer to the arch. There was something strange about him. He was no longer wearing his usual smile to greet her. He didn't talk. He just kept looking down.
Roxanne: What's wrong?
Don was silent.
Roxanne: Dontrez, what wrong? What happened?
Don could barely speak. Each time he tried to say something his throat would close. He finally took a deep breath filling his chest with air.
Don: I am leaving.
Roxanne sighed with relief.
Roxanne: That's it. When are you coming back?
Don: I'm not.
Roxanne: What?
Don: Daisy is sending me away to finish school. She said it was what uncle wanted. To go to his school when he was young.
Roxanne: But....but I thought.
Don: It's an academy prep. It will get me ready to join the military after I'm done.
Roxanne: No. No you can't go. What about us?
The tears fell down her eyes continuously. She tried to wipe her face but they were coming too fast.
Don held her close. He slowly rocked side to side trying to console her.
Don: I have to go. I don't have a choice.
Roxanne: I don't understand. Why do you have to go now?
Don reached in his pocket and presented a ring to Roxanne.
Don: This was my mother's ring. My father gave it to her. I want you to have it. It's our promise ring.
Roxanne: Don
Don: It's a promise that one day we will turn this into a wedding ring. That we will be true to each other even with us apart.
Don began to recite part of the traditional Manu wedding vows.
Don: On this day,I give you my heart,my promise. Wherever our journey leads us, we will live, learn, and love one another.
Roxanne: together forever.
He placed the ring on her finger. It was a perfect fit.

Don: I know I don't have a big title with my name. And I may not have the money of royalty. But I love you more than any money can buy. I love you Roxanne.
Roxanne: I love you.
Dontrez left on a boat to board a plane on a neighboring island. It was late in the night to avoid media attention. Daisy stayed at the estate while Vance and Roxanne said their goodbyes to Dontrez. Before he left her they promised to write each other every day until he came back. Roxanne wept for days after. It took some days before Roxanne was ready to go back to school. Even then she was only a shell of herself. She walked around in a zombie state. It had been almost a week and she had not heard from Don. Vance saw her wandering down the hall during class time and tried to get her attention. She didn't notice him at first.
Vance: Hey Roxanne.
Roxanne: Oh hey Don.
Vance: Have you heard from Don?
Roxanne: Not yet. I thought I would have received something from him by now. I guess he may be busy getting used to things.
Vance: Yeah. Well he did send my mother a letter a few days ago. Just saying how much fun he's having and everything.
Roxanne: Did he mention me?
Vance: No. Sorry. I thought he might have sent you something.
Vance: I know it must be hard since you and Don were so close.
Roxanne: It has been.
Vance: I know I may not be Don but if you do need someone to talk to....I'm here. I can always lend you a shoulder. I miss him too.
Roxanne: I might take you up on it.
Just as she passed him to get to her next class she stopped.
Roxanne: Vance?
Vance: Yeah.
Roxanne: Thank you.
Vance: Anytime.
Daisy walked in to her room and was startled when she saw Vance in the corner of the room.
Daisy: Goodness. I thought you were your father in a split moment. He stood the same way looking out the window. He was always watching you and Don playing outside.
Vance: I made up my mind mother.
Daisy: For what?
Vance: I know who I want to be my bride.
Daisy: Who?
Vance: Roxanne.
Daisy: Roxanne who. You mean....
Vance: Yes mother. I want her for my bride.
For following days Daisy and Vance set up a plan. Daisy was positive that her family would agree to the nuptial.
Daisy: Charles has been trying to be part of royalty for as long as we know. It won't be a problem to get him to say yes.
Vance: But Roxanne mom.
Daisy: Don't worry your little head my son. No one has ever turned down a Tapuou. And it won't begin today.
Roxanne walked along the shores of the island. It was her everyday routine lately. Mostly to get out of the house and away from her parents. Her other reason was just to hope that Don would come back soon. It had been more than 6months and she had not received one letter. And he never responded to any that she sent him. She walked aimlessly down the beach, sliding her feet along the sand.
Roxanne: Where are you Don?
One day her father called her down to the kitchen where he and her mother were sitting.
Charles: I have some fantastic news for you.
Roxanne leaped with delight. Was it a letter from Don? Roxanne quickly plopped on the stool across from him as he began to speak.
Charles: Princess Daisy has just announced the potential suitors for Prince Vance.
Roxanne: Okay.
Charles: And you are one of them.
Roxanne: Wh- Wait. What?
Charles: Isn't it wonderful. All our dreams are coming true. Just think, my daughter is up for royalty.
Roxanne: Wait a minute. Why me?
Charles: Why not you? They know us, they know you. You're already like family with the amount of time you and Don used to hang together. I was always worried you were going to end up with him. But this, this is better.
Roxanne covered her ears. If she just closed her ears this would not happen and it would be all a bad dream.
Roxanne: But I don't want to marry Vance. I don't even like him like that.
Charles: You don't have to like him now. Love will come eventually. That's why you have a long engagement first. Get to know him.
Roxanne: No Dad. I can't. I won't!
Charles stopped and glared at her.
Charles: ENOUGH! You don't have a say in this. The request came to me and your mother and we have already agreed. He will be coming by to visit in the next few weeks. As with all Manu custom, he will get to know you both and see which one he chooses as his perfect fit. Then the courtship will follow. I am done talking about this Roxanne. You will do as you are told. It is time you stop thinking about yourself and everyone else that affected. Don't mess this up for us.
In Tonga, Don was busy attending classes and training at the academy. He was determined to make his uncle proud and to follow in the Pago family footsteps. First the academy, then the military. Don was a model cadet. He moved quickly up in ranks and was regarded highly by his fellow officers and supervisors. He felt more at home in the academy than he did his last months in the palace.
He was on his way to the post office to deliver his daily letter to Roxanne. He was worried that he had not heard anything from her. The only way he knew how she was doing was from his letters from Vance.
He told Don how she was getting along and how happy she had been the last few months.
Although the students were not allowed to use social media for communication, they were allowed to use the internet and know what is going out outside of the institution. Don was sitting at one of the work tables when he heard one of his peers talk about Manuiu.
Cadet: Hey, Don. Looks like your cousin is getting married.
Don quickly typed to the site that the others were reading to see for himself. He scrolled down the page to the article about Prince Vance. His heart sunk to the pit of his stomach

"Prince Vance has finalized his new bride to be. Sources say the prince plans to marry his childhood friend Roxanne Tupeau. She is the daughter of politician Charles Tupeau."

He couldn't believe what he was reading. He read it over and over again hoping the words would change.
He slammed on the desk startling everyone in the room.
Don: It's not true!
He ran all the way to his dorm room, slamming the door behind him. He was filled with more rage than ever he he did not know how to handle it. He began kicking the furniture and throwing his books while yelling at each thrust. It took a while before he settled on his bed and hid his tears under the pillow.
The days that followed the announcement from the Prince's future engagement, Roxanne's life seemed to turn for the worse. She was no longer just another teenage girl on the island. She was now in the spotlight. Although her father Charles loved the media attention, Roxanne hated the attention. She could no longer do things on her own and was constantly followed by photographers. She hid in her room most of the time. A letter from Don had finally arrived. But it was not the warm feeling she was hoping to get. Instead he was breaking up with her:
I can't give you what you want. So I want you to be happy.

The letter was short and in a short sentence he said everything. He was breaking up with her. She tore the letter and ran to her room crying.
In Manuiu, the Royal family will select possible brides or grooms. Once the family has determined who they will be, the bachelor/bachelorette will spend time with the suitors and choose the one to marry. After selecting his bride, the engagement lasts until his 21st birthday. Afterwards the bride and groom will wed and go on a month long honeymoon. Vance stood at the doorway of the Tupeau home. He fixed the side of his hair one last time before ringing the bell. It was customary for his guard to approach the home to make his announcement. But this time he wanted to personally see her. He peeked through the door window and saw her coming into view. As soon as the door opened lights began to flash from the photographers cameras. They were settled outside of the home waiting to get a glimpse of Roxanne.
Vance looked back at the crowd, smiled and waved. He turned back to Roxanne standing at the doorway still shielding her eyes.
Roxanne: Come in.
Charles and Inu Tupeau greeted the prince before leading the two to the living space to talk alone. Vance and Roxanne sat next to each other on the couch. They didn't speak. Roxanne didn't know what to say. She had lots of questions but knew that her parents were just around the corner.
Vance: I know you must be wondering why I picked you.
Roxanne: Well kind of. We never really talked.
Vance: You were Don's best friend and I was always too nervous to talk to you more than just a friend.
Roxanne: You mean....
Vance: I mean I liked you..for a long time.
He covered his face from embarrassment.
Vance: I can't believe I said that.
Roxanne: I didn't know.
Vance: I know. I never had the courage to really tell you how I felt. I know you and Don are close so I never wanted to say anything to ruin your friendship.
Roxanne: Friendship... yeah.
Vance spent the next few hours talking more about his secret crush on her.
Vance: I knew then that I liked you more than just my cousin's friend. And this past year when Don went away I saw how much you struggled.
Roxanne: Yes. I did. But I am slowly getting over him,...I mean things. I'm good now.
Vance: Well I don't expect you to want to marry me right now. But would you at least consider a possibility of us. If we can get to know each other?
Roxanne thought about Dontrez. It was just a few weeks ago that he sent his first and only letter to her to break up. She was still trying to get through that. And even if Don was away at school she was worried of how this would look if anyone found out her and Don used to date. Then she remembered her family. Her father was relying on her to make the right choice for the family. To make him proud.
Roxanne: Lets get to know each other first.
One year later______________________________________________
It's official. Prince Vance Pago has selected his bride to be. One year after selecting his two candidates, the prince has finally decided who would become his wife. Prince Vance proposed to childhood friend Roxanne Tupeau, daughter of Charles Tupeau. After the young couple made their engagement official they greeted the town on the balcony of the Pago Palace. What another great day in Manuiu.
That evening the couple celebrated their engagement with a intimate party at the Tupeau home. It was a small gathering of just their closest friends and family. Everyone except Don who was now away in the military.
Charles: To my daughter, you have brought me nothing but love and joy since the day you were born and I know you will do the same for soon to be husband. For Vance, I have seen you grow into a fine young man and I wish you both happiness on your future together. Hipahipa.

All others raised their glasses to the father's speech.
Roxanne sat outside her home. She needed to take a break from all the festivities that were going on inside the house. The rooms were getting stuffy and it was hard for her to breath.
Roxanne: What am I doing?
She heard the footsteps behind her and quickly wiped her eyes before the sound became louder.
Vance: I've been looking for you. Are you okay?
Roxanne: I'm fine. Just needed some fresh air, that's all.
Vance: You're trembling. Are you cold?
Roxanne: A little. I just needed to get some alone time. The parties can be too much for me.
Vance: I understand. So you ready to come in.
Roxanne: I'll be there in a minute
Vance walked back to the house. He waved just before entering and she smiled back at him. Once the door was shut she slumped down on the bench again. She thought by saying yes to Vance that she would be happy. They had spent the last year getting to know each other and she felt comfortable around him. He was safe and secure. He was right....right? "Okay as your mother's head of PR I am here to make the people of Manuiu fall in love with you. Fall in love with this marriage. So I want you to look deep into each other's eyes. Give me a little more emotion Roxanne. I need to feel the love"
" Okay now the money shot. One long passionate kiss. Great. That's it, and cut!"
Thank you both. It was wonderful.
There would be another year before their wedding day. Princess Daisy chose her husband's birthday, just two months after Vance's 21st birthday. In the meantime the couple were to do what all royals have done before them. Make appearances, arrive to events, and schmooze with the who's who of celebrities, locals, and dignitaries. Roxanne was constantly in the media, accompanying Vance on his many events. There was barely time the two of them were alone without photographers or the media being present. The entire land was enamored with the new "it couple". As the future princess of Manuiu she also had her own duties. Princess Daisy was training her in the ways of royalty. She also went with her soon to be mother in law's philanthropies. Her favorite was the opening of the new Pago elementary school. With the baby boom that had occurred over the last years, Daisy had another elementary school built on behalf of the royal family. The cameras flashed as the couple left the school opening ceremony. Roxanne stopped walking as the flashes were blinding her view. Vance raised is hand to the crowd and slowly the cameras stopped. He grabbed her hand and led her to the car that was waiting. Every week there seemed to be something she had to attend, something she had to promote, someone she had to have dinner with. The closer to the wedding, the more bored she was getting. This was not what she thought her life would be like.
As the attendants began to arrive, she put on her usual welcoming smile. She took a deep breath, straightened her stance, and fixed her hair. She remembered the lessons Daisy taught her about greeting guests.
Every so often she would escape for a few moments of peace. It was all too overwhelming for her and she didn't know how long she could deal with it. She missed being average Roxanne. When no one cared what she wore or how much she ate. She squealed when Vance grabbed her from behind.
Roxanne: You scared me.
Vance: Sorry. I couldn't help it. I saw you hiding.
Roxanne: I just needed some me time. Maybe we can get away for a weekend just-
Vance leaned in and kissed her on the cheek.
Vance: Six more months.
He walked to the other side of the lawn before she could finish her sentence
It's time to celebrate Manuiu. King Kuaena is turning 70. The family will be celebrating as always with the biggest and best. So get find your finest gowns, suits, and bring dancing shoes.
Meanwhile, it looks like Prince Vance will not be the only Pago leaving the bachelor life. Cousin, Dontrez Pago has been sited with a number of women over the past years. Since leaving the Tonga military a few months ago, he has been with steady girlfriend Ann Lana. Are more wedding bells in store for the royal family?
The family decided to celebrate King Kuaena with a grand ball for all of Manuiu. But with $5000 per plate, it was only the well to do that could attend. As the night fell the party was soon beginning. Fans and the media stood outside waiting to take pictures of all the big namers that attended. Each time someone walked out of their vehicle the cameras flashed.
Their limo slowed to the curve just inches from the red carpet. The driver opened the door for Vance who gave a small wave to the people standing outside the ball. He turned towards the car door and held his hand out to Roxanne. The crowd cheered and called her name as she walked arm in arm with Vance. Once at the doorway she turned to the crowd and smiled.
It was a lavish party. Guests from all over the island were in attendance. Princess Daisy wanted to make sure her father's birthday would be the talk of all Manuiu.
She found herself switching her attention to Vance and Roxanne. Roxanne was an excellent student to the Princess and did just as she was taught. The Princess was growing satisfied with her selection for her son.
Even King Kuaena was pleased with his soon granddaughter. Throughout the evening he too would dance with the young beauty.
Kuaena: You remind me of a woman I knew when I was a boy. We were both young and in love.
Roxanne: And what happened to her?
Kuaena: I was not allowed to marry her. It was tradition and she was not of the same status. So I married Daisy's mother. She went on to marry and have a family of her own.
Roxanne: Do you ever think of her?
Kuaena: I never stopped. When you have that kind of love, there is nothing else like it.
The music stopped.
Roxanne: Thank you for the dance.
Kuaena: No. Thank you dear.
Wedding celebration.

The Tupeau and Pago family spent the last month of engagement preparing for the wedding. It was considered the wedding of the century and the entire island was excited. It was twenty-five years since the last royal wedding occurred and this one was going to be just as grand.
Family and friends were flying in from all over to celebrate the Prince and his bride to be. The plane landed and he looked outside the window. It had been years since he came home. He was nervous and his heart pounded more as the plane drew closer to the gate. Like his parents did just before their wedding celebration, the Prince stood on the balcony to greet the people waiting outside his mother's home. The people waved to the couple as they stood holding hands and smiling at the crowd below. Vance: I have waited so long for this moment Roxanne. It won't be long until we are husband and wife. I promise to keep you happy and treat you more than a princess but a queen. The Pagos planned a morning brunch to welcome family and friends that had arrived to begin the wedding celebration. A small cake was placed at the center of every table. Vance leaned over one of the tables. He took his finger over the small cake to sample. Don: Look at you. Always getting into something.
Vance turned at the familiar voice.
Vance: Don! I didn't think you were coming.
Don: Of course I was coming. And where is the bride to be?
Vance called to Roxanne who was talking to other guests. She turned around to him and waved. She had not noticed who he was talking to just yet. As she walked closer, the man's features became clearer. It was Don standing next to Vance. She stopped. She covered her mouth to hide her expression. After all these years he was just feet away from her. She withdrew her hand and brought a smile to her face. She tried to slow her steps to them. She hoped she wouldn't look to anxious.
Roxanne: Hello Don.
Don: Hello Rox. It has been a long time.
Roxanne: Yes it has. Have you come for the wedding?
Don: I wouldn't miss it.
Don: Congratulations
Roxanne: Thank you.
Vance face tightened as he watched his bride hug his cousin. As Don wrapped his arms around her, a natural feeling came over him. He remembered the feeling from years ago when he was with Roxanne.
Vance cleared his throat. The sound brought them both back to reality.
Don: It is so good seeing you again.
Roxanne: It is. How long are you staying?
Don: I don't know. I just came for the wedding.
Roxanne: Where will you stay?
Don: Here I hope. Unless Daisy has already given away my room.
Daisy: Oh that is nonsense. You are always welcome here to visit.
Don: Auntie!
He reached his arms out to hug her.
Daisy: Please dear I don't want to ruin my dress.
Don: Same Auntie.
Daisy: So how long are you here?
Don: Are you trying to get rid of me so soon?
Daisy: Not at all Don. I just want to make sure I have enough time to spend with my favorite nephew.
Don: I am your only nephew.
Daisy: Come. I want you to meet some people.
Daisy grabbed his hand and led him around.
Vance: Are you okay?
Roxanne: I'm fine...just fine.
Vance: For a minute there you looked like you saw a ghost.
Roxanne: Everything is alright. I just have a lot on my mind. Yeah. A LOT on my mind.
Vance led Roxanne to the opposite side away from Don.
For the rest of the party Vance stayed close to Roxanne. And when Don seemed to be getting closer someone else introduce themselves to him. He tried to keep a happy face for the bride and groom but inside he was not.

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