The next morning the princess was awoken by a hand on her shoulder. She opened her eyes and found herself on the streets, leaning against a light post. Sitting up a horrible headache rocked her mind. She glanced to her right and startled considerably. The man from the pub sat next to her, looking as awful as she felt.
“What happened?” She looked up at the now bright and sunny sky.
“You asked me to marry you and I said yes.” He said.
The princess shook off her hangover and looked at the man, confused. “We were drinking,”
He nodded. “We were both drunk. I don’t regret what I said, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to black mail you into going through with it.”
“What are you saying?” She asked.
He shrugged. “I’d like to know you better. Have dinner with me?” The princess’s breath caught in her throat. Truth was, she remembered the night before. Truth was, she did like him. Truth was, they were from different worlds.
The princess laughed, hiding her smile behind her hand just as her mother did at the countless parties she hosted. “Me? Go on a date with a commoner? A bar tender no less? You must have hit your head while drunk. I can’t believe, even intoxicated, I would propose to someone like you.”
“I understand.” He said as she stood and turned away. Walking back to her inn she consoled her worried maid and bade her pack quickly for departure so as to leave the town in haste.
She felt as foolish as a person could feel. She had come this far and now she was just going to run away? Perhaps love, the love she’d so desperately been searching for all this time, had offered itself to her and she’d been too heartless to take it up on the offer. How would it look, a princess running into the arms of a bar owner? She tried to convince herself it would be shameful.
That’s it. Now she understood why everyone insisted she never try. To find a decent man she could stand was all someone like her could hope for. The princess looked out the window of her carriage as it drove out of town into the countryside, the feelings of emptiness and loneliness coming to her stronger than ever. The face of the bar owner mocked the corners of her mind. It was too unbearable.
With little care to momentum the princesses threw open the carriage door without warning, taking a tumbling leap out onto the grass. Shouts from her company fell into the distance as she ran the way she’d fled desperately from. Back up the road, back to the town, back to the bar. Bursting through the door of the small, dear little tavern she found him behind the counter polishing glasses. He looked up, curious, as the princess stormed up to him. “Sir,” she said, standing at the counter looking very decided. “I accept your invitation for dinner.”
“Great,” he said in return, a small smile of amusement playing at his lips. “Where would you like to go?” After little deliberation the couple revisited their first meeting; the same time, the same table, but with slightly less alcohol so as to avoid misunderstanding.
The bar owner and princes began seeing each other on a regular basis and a few months later became engaged. They married in the bar they first met at and together moved to the princess’s home country where they ruled happily together for many years, rearing five children in the process. The princess never felt her heart ache of loneliness again, and though the couple still drank never again did they near the level of intoxication which had first brought them together.