The family heirloom. The family heirloom. Grandma will roll over in her grave if she ever hears what happened. “The chiefs are coming to. the realm tomorrow and I have no idea where the ring is”. Marah thought out loud.
Dudu walks into the room and immediately goes pale. The sight before her is dreaded. Everybody working in this realm has worked to avoid what is unfolding before her eyes. Marah didn’t notice Dudu in the room as she was searching for the ring. It would be a disaster if anybody else finds out.
“Marah…” “Marah your hair…”Dudu was already crying. Hearing Dudu’s voice made Marah freeze in position. No matter how she wanted to hide it, it was obvious that she had lost the ring. Marah knew she had just a day left to live. She had two options; to leave the realm and find the antidote or to find the ring before the chiefs arrive. Marah has always thought that she would do everything for the people of the realm, but this time, she thought about herself. About how she wanted to live, and fall in love and lead the realm.
Dudu wiped her eyes and walked to where Marah was standing. “I’m loyal to you Marah. Whatever you decide to do, I’ll give my life to make it happen for you”. Marah squeezes her hands and turned to hold her. Looking back at her was her image in the mirror. Marah lost all the strength she had. She was horrified. Her long flowing red hair now looked white in the mirror. Then it dawned on her. Grandma was not just talking. The ring was what kept her alive.
“I have to leave now Du. I can’t risk it all. If I leave now, there’s a great chance for me to get to the Duniya fountain before my time is up. This realm deserves someone who is strong and healthy. Someone who doesn’t need an old family heirloom to survive. Someone who can live freely without the fear of dying” Marah couldn’t hold back the tears but as Dudu looked at her, she saw a bird whose eyes sang freedom. She saw a woman whose mind was already freed.
“I’ll pack you a bag of food right now. Be discreet as you move out” Dudu watched as Marah changed into her brother’s regalia before she left for the kitchen. Dudu came back with a bag full of food and water. She would have to check that later, Marah thought.
“Thank you, Dudu. Thank you for staying with me. I promise to make this realm better, for you. For your brothers. I promise to be back” Marah hugged her one last time and turned towards the doors.
“ Wait!!” Dudu shouted. “ You left your scarf. Remember that you have to be discreet. Try not to get caught” Dudu said with a smile as Marah ran outside the castle doors.