There are many days in a year—all sorts of days that turn to weeks and then to months. Each time the sun rises and sets; it marks the same routine for all sorts of people. The reality is that each day comes only once a year. Some of those days are so dear to some, that they throw away their daily routine just for the sake of those few short hours.
Such a day was approaching for Zelda as she peered intently around the market place and closely observed each of the shops set up under canopies. The dress she wore was much blander than the ones she wore back at the castle for the sake of blending in. After all, she did not want to draw attention to herself—today was much too busy. Even though it was a single errand, it proved to be an enormous one, and she couldn’t afford to stall any longer. Zelda pulled the cloak she wore further over her shoulders and approached several stands, one of them consisting of hats.
The hats hung lifelessly on the hat stand, stacked on top of one another, showing off their fanciest side. She peered closely at them—seeing some with feathers, and seeing some that were plain. There were colorful ones and dull ones, but none of them really truly caught her eye. Suddenly she heard the voice of the merchant call out to her.
“Madam, the ladies’ hats are on this side…”
“Oh, it’s all right,” Zelda smiled, turning toward the shop-keeper, “I still like seeing every lovely hat of your making… but I’ll be off, now.”
Shortly afterward, Zelda traipsed away moving to the next stand and observing what it had to offer her. However her money pouch still remained full… nothing could catch her eye. The morning drew off into the early afternoon, and Zelda stopped with embarrassment when were stomach let out a loud and long growl. Her face flushed a moment and she even looked around to see if anybody had noticed. Luckily for her, the market was so noisy that even if someone were to scream, it would only blend in with the mass of unorganized sound.
“I might as well get something to eat…” Zelda mumbled to herself, “The castle bells haven’t rung yet.”
Zelda approached a small porch with round tables scattered around with various people seated at each table. She sat alone just on the edge of the porch as a man asked her what she wished to eat. Zelda did not order much—only a single bowl of soup. When it was brought to her, and after she had finished it, Zelda sat for a moment reflecting. Her eye caught a glimpse of a couple holding hands across the table afar off, and then she took her palm and rested her chin on it as her elbow was set on the table. The shadow of the canopy veiled her face as she looked out to the sun-lit cobble stone streets of the square, and her azure eyes wavered from place to place as her golden hair barely caught the wind’s hand. There was only one day left…
Suddenly a low, bellowing, yet clear ring sounded through the air and Zelda suddenly perked up from her daydreams and looked toward the distant spires of the castle. It was time for her to leave—she had promised Impa that she would only be gone during the morning. Zelda rose from her seat and pulled her cloak over her shoulders once again, and made her way through the square and traveled toward the castle. As the view of the castle became clearer and clearer, the noise of the crowds lessened, and eventually diminished into nothing. Zelda soon found herself at the castle gate with the lone guard standing at its side. His stone face brightened when her face became clear in his view.
“Oh, welcome back, Princess!” The guard bowed, then with a tap of his spear, the gate creaked open, continuing the path for Zelda.
“Thank you,” she replied, and walked on.
As Zelda passed, the guards would bow as she walked by. The further she traveled, the more the flowers became abundant not only in numbers, but in colors as well. The hills surrounding the castle were so green and so beautiful, but the scent of the trees and the air was not enough for Zelda. It didn’t change the fact that her errand was left unfinished for today. She would have to try again tomorrow…
Zelda stepped over the lowered drawbridge hanging over the moat surrounding Hyrule Castle and approached the tall doors. She reached for a doorknob of a door that fit in to the design of the larger, but was much smaller, and pulled it open. She ducked her head and walked inside, banishing the sun from falling on her pale, yet fair skin. The sound of the door closing echoed through the air of the grand hall as she gently set her feet on the ground, slowly walking forward.
“Welcome back, Milady…” One of Zelda’s ladies in waiting said, standing before Zelda, “Allow me to lead you to your room, so you may change out of that dull dress.”
Zelda silently followed, climbing up the steps dressed with scarlet carpet and turning toward the west wing. The hallways were decorated with violet curtains hanging gingerly from the brick walls, and portraits of Zelda’s ancestors, memorable events of Hyrule, and paintings of myths hung all around her. They had passed many doors, but eventually they stopped at one. It was a door that was finer than the rest of the wooden ones, and this one stood at the end of the hallway, lonely and silent. The lady in waiting pushed down on the handle and opened it with a moan and motioning for Zelda to enter.
Her room was indeed grand —very fitting for a princess. At the end of the room was a tall window with scarlet, velvet drapes hanging down its sides. There were several sofas surrounding a small table next to an unlit fireplace on one side of the room while on the other, there was a large bed surrounded by crème bed curtains. The truth for Zelda, however, was that she couldn’t care less about what her room looked like. There was only one thing that was truly dear to her and that was…
“Here we are, Milady…” The lady in waiting began approaching her wardrobe, “How does this dress look to you?”
The woman pulled out a dress that was far fancier than the plain blue dress Zelda wore. This had several layers, and it curved just right so it would perfectly fit Zelda’s womanly figure. Before Zelda could open her mouth, however—
“Splendid!” The woman chirped, then took out a boddess from the wardrobe and approached a partially folded screen, “Come here, Milady, let’s get you out of that dress.”
Zelda found herself to be less comfortable in the more majestic dress than her blue one. It was much heavier, and the corset did not help with her easiness either. Zelda flinched each time her lady in waiting tugged hard on a string and once she even let out a gasp.
“Is that too tight, Milady?”
“No…” Zelda gritted through the pain, “It’s just…fine…”
Zelda felt as if several ropes were attached to her shoulders and on those ropes were two anchors when the full dress was on her. She stared at herself in the full length mirror as her lady in waiting flared out the skirt as if she was finishing the last touches on her finest piece of art. Zelda would rather be wearing her dull blue dress, but surprisingly, she didn’t mind walking around the castle in poofy, crème dresses either.
“Isn’t it lovely?” The woman gasped with excitement, clasping her hands together, “Now we’ll have to take care of your hair—”
“No, it’s all right—I can take care of it myself.” Zelda interrupted, raising her hand, “You may leave now.”
Without another word, the lady in waiting left, but she grinned the whole way out, still boasting to herself of what a wonderful job her “piece of art” was. Zelda sighed when the door closed, and she approached a desk with another mirror, but it was much smaller in size. She gathered up some locks of her hair and pulled them back, accenting the shapes of her facial features. Zelda almost thought the idea of dressing up in such a way just for remaining in the castle was quite ridiculous, but she did not complain one bit. It wasn’t in her nature to complain at all—that would only make things worse. Zelda grasped the tiara sitting at the side of the desk and began to slide it onto her head. After all, the one thing that was truly important to her was…
Several knocks lightly thumped on the door to her room. Zelda turned slightly, her fingers still entwining with her hair, and called, “Come in!”
The door opened with a moan, and this time a young man came under the door frame and walked into the room. He wore a simple green tunic with plain brown boots hugging the white tights around his legs. This time his hands touched by the edge of the white shirt under his tunic were bare, since he was in the castle, but usually they were covered by thick, brown, leather gauntlets with the tips of the fingers cut off. On his head there was a green hat covering some of the golden locks on the back. His eyes turned toward Zelda, the eyes that were like the waves of the sea after a storm. Zelda lowered her hands and stood up, smiling.
“Link!” She chirped coming a little closer to him.
“Oh, here you are.” He began, “I couldn’t find you all morning…”
“I was in the market this morning…”
“Again?” Link replied, “You’ve been going there for the passed two days!”
“Well…” Zelda started, poking her two index fingers together, “There’s something that I need to do there. It’s an annoying errand sticking like a thorn in my side that won’t go away!”
“Maybe I should go with you. I do miss you in the mornings…”
“No, no.” Zelda quickly said, “I’m fine. I can manage on my own.”
“Oh, all right.” Link laughed. He paused a moment, and then smiled again, “Shall we go walk through the castle courtyard? The weather is very crisp today… indeed, it’s a wonderful day in spring.”
Zelda looked into his eyes and smiled as she nodded at him. Link grinned and waited for Zelda so he cold travel side by side with her. Ever since he had grown too old to live in the Kokiri Forest, Link had come to live in Hyrule Castle. He and Zelda had basically grown up together, however as time passed she did not see him as the little forest boy. Whenever she would lay eyes on him, something stirred around in her stomach and her heart would flutter a thousand times. The boy was a man—and as a woman, Zelda found that she had gradually fallen in love with him. However, she was unsure if he had felt the same way. Their friendship was deep, but was it able two grow into bonds of love? Zelda would show how much she cared for him with little things, and smiles. She was hesitant to share her feelings. After all… he was the hero of Hyrule… but nevertheless, the one thing that was truly important to her was him.
And so the night fell and the day passed with time plunging forward, and eventually the sun rose once again and another day came that would eventually go. Zelda arose early like she had been for the passed few days. However, when she opened her eyes a heavy weight pressed down on her aching head and her nose was stuffed and swollen. Disappointment struck her when she could barely sit up in her bed as a cough escaped her lungs. She was sick! Today was the last day! She couldn’t go to the market like this! Zelda groaned and fell back onto her pillow, covered with frustration. That frustration turned to shame, which turned to sadness and regret. She couldn’t possibly complete her errand on time…
A creak sounded throughout the room, and footsteps came closer to her bed, “Princess Zelda, it’s time to wake up.”
It was Impa’s voice… Zelda didn’t move—she expected what was to happen. Once Impa would learn that she was sick, she would be told to stay in bed the rest of the day. Zelda’s suspicions were right as the bed curtains were folded back and Impa stared down at her.
“Please, Impa, let me get out of bed and go to the market… today is—” She rose a little.
“You most certainly may not!” Impa said pushing down on Zelda’s shoulders, “What would Hyrule do if their princess were to catch a fever?”
Zelda sighed in dismay and coughed again. Impa lowered her hand and gently rubbed her head.
“I’ll be back with some medicine and water…”
Impa left the room, leaving the bed curtains unveiled. As she had promised she returned with water and medicine for Zelda to consume. Placing a wet cloth on her forehead, she pleaded Zelda to stay in bed and rest, and then she left the room. It was awful quiet except for the soft wind that blew outside the castle. Even though it was silent, Zelda found that she could not drift to sleep and because of that she felt awfully lonely. Zelda stared at the roof above her blankly, clutching her sheets and coughing. Every once in a while she would sneeze and have to rise for a moment, but immediately afterward, she would go back down to her pillow. The only thing that was on her mind was the regret that she could not complete her errand.
Once again her door opened—the moan sounded through the room. Zelda had assumed that it was Impa entering, but when she looked to see who it was, she was mistaken. There was Link passing under the doorframe and stepping into her room. Her eyes widened for a moment, but she had somewhat of a relief, even though the stress of her regret still rested upon her shoulders. Link approached her quietly, as if expecting that she was asleep. He peered a bit closer and realized that she was in full consciousness, then eased the tension in his shoulders.
“Oh, there you are…” He said softly.
“Hello, Link…” Zelda muffled with her voice heavily congested.
Link pulled a chair by the bed and sat close by her side, peering onto her face, “Impa told me that you were sick…”
“Yes… I’m sorry…” Zelda apologized regretfully.
“Oh, don’t apologize!” Link began, “You couldn’t help it… and getting sick is all part of being human after all.”
Zelda smiled and closed her eyes for a moment, a bit more relieved at Link’s forgiving attitude. When she looked at him once again, she found that his eyes were fixed on her—unwavering, and unmoving.
“You must have caught something when we took that walk through the courtyard…” Link sighed, “I do hope you get better quick…”
Zelda blinked for a moment and then pulled the sheets over her face a little more, “Link… would you… hold my hand…?”
“Wha…?” Link replied, turning a little red on the cheeks, his face flushed, “Why?”
“They say… if you hold someone’s hand when they’re sick… they’ll get better faster.” She mumbled, bringing one of her hands out of the sheets.
Link’s face became even more flushed, but he smiled down at Zelda and nodded, “You have to promise me that you will get better quicker, though…”
Link reached for her hand and gingerly set it in his palm. So soft… he had never felt the princess’ hands before. They were so delicate and so small. Even though a cold gripped her, her hands gave off a warmth, and comforted his own. Zelda pulled down the sheets to her neck.
“Go to sleep.” Link softly commanded.
“Will you keep holding my hand?” Zelda inquired.
“So… when I wake up… the first thing I’ll see is you…”
With that, Zelda closed her eyes and finally drifted to sleep, sailing on a ship over the seas of slumber and traveling to the land of dreams. And there was Link, staying by her side and never leaving her for a moment.
The day passed… and a new morning came. Zelda felt considerably better, but her full satisfaction was not met. Today was the day… and her errand was left undone. She sat on the edge of her bed, contemplating how she was to approach him. And she wouldn’t dare avoid him. After she had changed from her nightgown, she traipsed down the hallways slowly. Soon her footsteps her echoed by another, and she looked up to find Link approaching her. She flushed—unsure of what to say or what to do. But she could not avoid him since he had stopped right in front of her.
“Glad to see that you’re doing well!” He cheerfully said.
“Link…” Zelda almost whispered, “I’m sorry I couldn’t get your gift on time but…”
Link cocked his head and carefully listened to her as she lifted her head toward him and smiled softly.
Link returned her soft grin and spread his arms out to embrace her, pulling her in close to him. He then whispered closely to her ear, “You’re enough for me.”
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