The fairy tale of the prince and princess who were separated.
A Promise for Someday
Once upon a time....
I had heard many stories that began exactly like that. Stories like Cinderella,
Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White had always captured my imagination, whisking
me off to faraway lands where princes would always come and rescue their damsels
in distress. But, there was one which would always remain close to
my heart. My favorite fairytale would always be "Die Legende für Mädchen." I don't know much German, but I've been told that it means, "The Legend of the Maiden." But, it would always be my favorite, because once upon a time, just like in the story, my prince had to leave me behind, too.
It happened when I was still in grade school. I had just gotten a new bicycle as a reward for my good grades for that year. It was a beautiful spring day, so I thought I'd ride over to a friend's house to show my new bike to her and celebrate the first days of our short break. I stopped at a candy shop along the way to buy some chocolate to share. But, just as I was getting on my bike to leave, a group of older, tough-looking boys walked their bicycles towards me.
"That's some good-looking chocolate you've got there. I think I'd like some of that, don't you guys?"
I clutched the chocolate to my chest and slowly backed up, biting my lip in fear. The boys kept coming towards me, menace in their eyes. Finally, I couldn't stand it any longer. I let out a scream, whirled my bike around, and began careening down the hill. The wind rushed by me, and I pedaled furiously as I reached the bottom of the hill. But, when I turned to look, the bullies were closing in fast.
"Come back here, you little twerp!"
Whipping around, I spotted a school's open gates ahead of me. Maybe I could get a teacher there to help me! I rode in through the gates, only to find....
There was nobody around. I felt a pit in my stomach as I realized that this school must be on spring break, too.
Frantically, I looked for a place to hide. I had almost given up when I saw a chapel nearby. "They wouldn't dare to hurt me here," I thought. But, just in case, I hid my bike in the bushes and crept inside, shutting the door behind me.
I breathed a sigh of relief as I slumped down against the door. I was still shaking from fear when all of a sudden, I heard a voice.
I let out a small yelp, startled by the small kitten at my feet. I watched it bound back towards the sanctuary, spooked likewise by my reaction. I sighed again, with my hand over my heart, glad that it wasn't a ghost.
After a few minutes, I had finally calmed down. Sitting next to the door was getting really boring, so I started to look around for the kitten. As I walked among the old pews, I noticed the magnificent stained glass window in the back of the chapel. Awestruck, I couldn't help but gaze in wonder at the images dancing as the light struck them, filtered by the trees framing the window.
Suddenly I heard a rustling to my right. I looked down, and at the end of the pew, a boy yawned and stretched as he sat up. The kitten jumped into his lap, nudging his arm. "Nn? What is it, Tama?" He suddenly paused mid-stroke when he spotted me.
"I'm sorry! These bullies were chasing me outside, so I thought
maybe I'd hide in here until they leave, but then I saw your kitty, and the
church, and the window,
and I didn't mean to wake you up, and... and...."
"Uhh.... Okay...." He looked confused for a moment, then added, "Never mind...."
An awkward silence followed, during which we both studied the marble floor of the chapel.
Finally, I broke the silence. "Um.... D'you want some chocolate?"
"Okay..." I gave one of the chocolate bars to him, and we both ate them without a word.
This time, he was the first to speak.
"Hey, did you know? This place is supposed to have magic powers!"
"Magic powers? What are you talking about?"
"You see that window? There's a story that goes with it. Some sort of fairy tale, I think."
Suddenly more interested in this church, I glanced up at the window's
prince on a white horse, the princess praying, and the angles playing their
kind of fairy tale? Do you know it?"
"Not really... My dad said it was Dee Legend foor Mad Shun or something like that. I think it was German."
"Maybe they'd have it over at the library..."
"I think I might have a copy at my house. Maybe I can bring it here tomorrow."
"Really? I can't wait! I love fairy tales."
We passed the rest of the day by, laughing and talking about our favorite stories, and playing with Tama the kitten. The sun was sinking low over the ocean when we finally had to part ways for the evening.
I called out to him as I wheeled my bike towards the gate, "Let's play here again tomorrow! Don't forget that book!"
By the time I got home, I had forgotten all about the bullies from this morning. Even as my parents scolded me for staying out so late and my brother Tsukushi teased me for getting in trouble, I kept smiling inwardly when I thought of the new adventures tomorrow might bring.
The next day, I awoke early to the sound of the twittering birds. Sakura petals blew by on the breeze as I opened my curtains and peeked out at the dawning sky. After wolfing down breakfast, I jumped on my bike and took off in the direction of the candy shop.
The door to the chapel creaked as I pulled it open. I stepped inside, eager to see that boy again, and to hear more about the story behind the chapel. Once again, sunlight poured through the stained glass window, the colors entrancing me as I made my way towards the rear.
The creaking of the door shook me out of my reverie in an instant. Looking
over my shoulder, I saw the silhouette of a boy and a cat framed by the doorway.
I ran over to him, shouting, Hi~!!
So, did you bring the book?
No, I forgot.
I pouted for a few seconds and said, Well I guess youll just have to bring it tomorrow.
Again, we spent the rest of the day laughing and playing, and we agreed to meet the next day once again at the church.
The rest of the week passed by in a blur. Every day, we met at the church to play, and every day we became closer and closer friends. We had even taken to calling each other prince and princess like the pictures in the stained glass. But, every day, the boy also forgot to bring the book.
Finally, though, on the last day of spring break, he remembered to bring the book with him. But I was so eager to hear the story of the prince and the princess that I didnt pay attention to the troubled look on his face.
Turning to the first page, he began to read.
Die Legende für Mädchen
a time, a prince was journeying alone.
During his travels, there was a time when he lost his way in a distant land.......
At a church in the middle of the woods, the prince met a beautiful princess.
a beautiful princess"
The prince fell in love with her at first sight.
The two met every day at the church in the forest, and before long their love deepened.......
However, the king of this country heard about their meetings, and he was outraged.
Who is this that thinks to deceive our princess? Arrest him at once!"
The king arrested the prince, and he told him this.
"Traveling prince, you say that you love the princess, but who is to say that are you not lying?"
"The princess is my heart's delight. If you have her love, you can turn this trial into happiness"
"Therefore, journey to the distant lands beyond the horizon
If you should return safely, then will I believe your words."
And so with
this, the king sent the prince on a quest to faraway lands........
On the day the prince was to depart, the prince told the dejected princess this.
"I must go. But, somehow, please don't be sad.
My heart is yours. No matter if it is from the ends of the earth, I will return to you"
From that day forth, the princess prayed for the prince's safety at the church in the forest every day.
Always, believing in the day her prince would return to her side........
Look at that stained glass window. Its just like the book, with the prince and the princess. This has to be the church from the story.
Suddenly, the bells of the chapel began ringing, as though they were calling to someone.
I have to go now .
Can we play again tomorrow?
He shook his head in response.
What about the day after that?
He looked away with a forlorn expression.
I cant come back here for a long time.
My family is moving away from here. My dad got a job assignment somewhere far away.
How far away?
Tears welled up in my eyes. My prince was journeying to a distant land .
.I have to go now. But, your prince will return someday. I promise.
And so, now I wait for the day when my prince will come back to me, and I pray for his safety .
The alarm clock startles me out of my slumber.
What a weird dream .
I have long since forgotten where that chapel was where I met that boy. Ive even forgotten his name and his face. All I can remember is the promise he made to me that day.
An all-too-familiar (and somewhat unwelcome) face pops in the door, derailing my train of thought.
Hey, Sis! Wakey-wakey!! Rise and shine!! Dont want to be late on your first day, you know!
Aagh, go away Tsukushi! Cant a person get some rest on their summer vacation ? Wait a minute . School? I bolt upright in bed.
Today is my first day of high school at Habataki Private Academy. The academy has almost an elitist air to it, with most of its graduates going on to successful college careers, and even a few celebrities attending classes here. I feel lucky to have passed their tough entrance exams, but Im also kind of nervous about what kind of friends Ill make here. That is, IF I make friends here.
After a mad dash to my new school, I find out that Im not so late after all. Sightseeing around the campus doesnt sound like a bad idea, so I take advantage of my spare time. The school has just about everything. Theres the usual baseball and soccer fields, tennis courts, a garden in the central courtyard, a chapel . And, of course, theres a legend about that chapel .
Curious, I thought Id go and have a look at this legendary chapel before the entrance ceremony. But, when I tried to open the door, it was shut tightly. I tried opening it again, throwing my weight fully behind the force, but my hand slipped, and .
When I opened my eyes, a handsome boy offered me his hand. I couldnt help but stare at him, flabbergasted.
................... I was dumbstruck, both by his good looks and by how stupid I looked in front of him just now.
What's wrong? ......Take my hand.
......O, Okay. Hesitantly, I grasped his right hand as he
pulled me to my feet. You idiot, I thought to myself. Say
Um, I'm sorry, senpai. I was confused, so I.......
I'm a first-year, too.
Oh, really? Nice to meet you! I'm .
......? His lack of response puzzles me.
......Shouldn't we hurry? The entrance ceremonys going to start.
Ah, that's right!! ......Huh? But.......
I'm...... going to the entrance ceremony from here.
......? I guess this guy doesnt like to talk much.
It'd be best if we get there quickly.
Ah, yeah. Well then, err.......
And so, with hope and anxiety, my years at Habataki Private Academy began .
Authors note: Many thanks to LadyKiwa for her assistance
in our translation of Die Legende für Mädchen. Oh
. Translation of Die Legende für
Mädchen is by me (Mari-chan) and LadyKiwa. Bhwee! Happy 10th Anniversay, Tokimemo! I finally got the VERY last ending (I wasnt even sure if it existed) on the PSX version! Yay for Nozomi with long hair!