When we left off in Part 2 of The Girl with the Heart of Gold
“But you brought me here to meet your king,” said Carrena. “I must meet him.”
“No! You do not understand. The king wants to steal your heart of gold because he believes it will give him wealth beyond his greatest imaginings. You must run away.”
Suddenly the air was filled with the pure, sweet clarity of church bells ringing on a crisp winter’s morning. The knight was entranced. What was that sound? He had never heard it before.
He looked at Carrena and realized the sound was coming from her. “What are you doing?” he asked. “What is that noise?”
“I’m laughing,” she said. “Have you never heard laughter before?”
“No,” he replied.
“You can laugh too. Try it,” she encouraged him.
“We don’t have time for laughing. You must run. Now. Before the king finds you.” And he started pushing her towards the door of the turret room.
“I will not run away,” she told him. “Though I did not want to come here, I am here now and I will not run away just because you’re afraid.”
Just then, the sound of the king’s trumpeter blared up the stairs to the turret room. The king was coming. There was no way out.
“You must hide,” said the knight to Carrena, glancing wildly around the room looking for a safe hiding place.
“I will not run away and I will not hide,” said Carrena. “I will meet your king.”
The knight started to cry. He had never cried before and other than just moments before when he had witnessed the king crying at the sweet sound of Carrena’s voice singing, he had never seen anyone cry anywhere in the kingdom.
This was not good. He did not know what to do. He did not feel in control and now, giant tears were rolling down his cheeks. What was wrong with him?
Carrena, seeing the knight’s discomfort walked to his side and put her arms around his shoulders.
Surprised at her move, and her touch, the knight stood still. What was happening? He could feel his blood flowing warmly through his body. He could hear the pounding of his heart. What was happening?
To hide his discomfort, the knight shook off Carrena’s arms and stepped back. “How dare you touch me! What were you thinking? You do not touch a knight. You are not worthy.”
Not at all deterred by the knight’s response, Carrena smiled at him and reached out to take his hands.
He could not resist. Her touch was as gentle as a dove’s feather floating through the air to land lightly on the ground.
“You do not determine my worth,” she told him gently. “I do.”
Confused, with the sound of the king’s trumpet getting closer, the knight didn’t know what to say. And he didn’t want Carrena to let go of his hands. They felt so warm in her grasp.
“What was that thing you did when you put your arms around my shoulders?” he asked.
Carrena laughed lightly and the knight’s heart stirred again. “That was a hug,” she told him. “You were crying and I comforted you with a hug.” She looked into the knight’s eyes. “Have you never been hugged?”
“We do not touch one another in my kingdom,” the knight told her.
Carrena couldn’t imagine such a thing. To never touch one another. To never hug or comfort another.
“Thank you for allowing me to touch you now,” she said softly.
And then, with a final blast of trumpet notes announcing his arrival, the king entered the chamber.
To be continued…