Many centuries ago, a young knight was passing through a neighboring kingdom when he ran into a former acquaintance, someone with whom he had shared many fond memories in the past. In their excitement the two chatted for hours, beginning the familiar process of rekindling a friendship, pushing away cobwebs and dusting off old memories. The knight and the princess laughed and smiled often, and the knight found himself drawn toward her, much as he had been those many years before.
The royal ball was quickly approaching, and the knight was in need of a partner, a date. After a short while, he concluded that he should ask the princess to accompany him; after all, no other suitors had asked her yet, and the two certainly shared a friendship bursting with potential. “Of course she’ll say yes!” he thought to himself, “It’ll be a ‘happily ever after’, just like the movies that will be invented 800 years from now!” Coincidentally, the knight and the princess ran into each other in the town square that following morning, and the knight cut straight to the chase, asking her, “‘Will you go to the ball with me?'” However, his confidence proved to have mislead him, as her eyes did not light up at the sound of his words. The princess explained nonchalantly that, in her kingdom, it was widely known that another suitor, a prince from a nearby village, was preparing to ask her to the ball in the near future. Expressing that she did not intend to cause unrest, she turned down the knight’s proposal — courteously — and awaited the offer from the prince. Confused and upset, the knight left, heading straight back to his castle.
As the feast that night the knight did not eat, struggling to wrap his mind around what had happened. Was he the victim of bad timing and misfortune, or had he been rejected in the most delicate, yet ruthless of ways? He pondered his dilemma, and returned to his room for the night.
Alternate ending one: On the night of the ball, the knight remained in his room, locked away from the townspeople and from the reality of his rejection. He never meant to create tension in their budding friendship, and fearing he had done so, he resolved to cut his losses and move on, leaving the princess behind. He told himself that he was happy for the prince, pushing away the pent-up rage deep inside himself.
Alternate ending two: The next morning, the knight sought out one of the princess’s friends, a maid in the castle. Knowing the ball was just around the corner, and still wanting to attend, he decided to ask her to accompany him. Certain that she had already heard from the princess about his rejection, he feared that he would come off as desperate, yet went on to ask her — as a friend, of course.
Which ending do you like better?