It's almost a year now since they've met, and months since she admits her feelings to him. Herbie sat on her bed thinking that she'd known that Pumpkin Prince for so long that she wonders if she really wanted him. Sure he was one of the two school friends that took her to the prom, and again, greeted her back when the Demon Queen decided to try and make peace with the other kingdoms. She had felt that rush, that beat in her heart, the tears she cried for him and the lips she kissed.
But if there's anything that Herbie can see, after all those times she'd spent time with him, is that she knows when he's the happiest.
Herbie knew Carmel the moment Gordie introduced the apple girl to her; the way Herbie saw her, is that she's the mixture of both herself and the man she's eyeing: strong, brave, and courageous; yet sweet, sensitive and loyal. Carmel had that closeness that had her easy to approach the prince; the only thing Herbie cannot do. If Carmel sees him as a friend, Herbie kept seeing Gordie some other way. She loves him, she wanted him, but Gordie made it clear once that he doesn't return those feelings, at least not now. This was a spark of hope for her, but Herbie knew the moment she saw Carmel that she might take Gordie away. Though she tries to befriend her, there's no denying that spark of jealousy that once enraged her. Another kiss touched the prince's lips, though unintentional, and it led to the first time she and Gordie ever fought. A fight that led to tears and sharp tongues fueled with hate.
But when she saw Gordie turned his back at her, it came to her and realized it. She's hurting them. For the first time, she's hurting the ones she loved. All those time, all those joy, gone if she let it end that way. From that on, she began to think.
Lately she's spending time with Gordie again, and so did she to Carmel. She began to enjoy their company now. She sees it. She sees the joy again. And the thinking continues. She loves Gordie, but she also loves Carmel as a friend. She loves them both so much; thus she think. To Reason with herself. Is she willing to continue playing this game and end up hurting them? Or
It was late afternoon when the Pumpkin Prince was called to met up at Herbie's Greenhouse, an aging tree stump that was once a proud, giant tree, a colossal stump that shells an entire kingdom. Herbie kept her land alive for years, and the deepest part of that land, just so happens to be the darkest. Gordie was called up again, there's a look of confusion on his face.
He held out a small note with herbie's sign written at the bottom. It reads:
"Meet me at my green house and follow my note. Yer friend, Herbie."
Indeed there was a note pinned in front of the front gate and it said "Get inside and follow the arrows". There was silence. Herbie's always known for her random moments, but there's something rather off in this. Either ways, he did what the note instructed him and found an arrow greeting him the moment he stepped inside.
The moonlight sky shines through the small cracks the greenhouse had that was lined with mirrors; Herbie once explained that the mirrors was to reflect the sunlight to other mirrors and, in its complicated system, strengthens the sunlight for an early morning ray. Now its night, and the moon took the sun's place, but nevertheless, it's still a wonder as the moon-glow seeps all over her kingdom.
The arrows continue to lead him to the deeper parts of her greenhouse, and the more he go further, the weirder the plants become. What was before plain fruits and vegetables, later became trees that sways on their own, then vines that let folks pass, then, now, flowers, oddity in nature. Glowing flowers, mawed-flowers, flowers that rings bell-like sounds, disturbing yet magnificent. The last arrow pointed to a patch of squash couches, enormous gourds forming the shapes of a couch. It's something Herbie's working on lately, and there indeed sitting on one of them, was the Herbal Princess herself.
Herbie: Hey! You made it!
Gordie: Hey Herbie!
Herbie: Hello, Gordie. Please sit down
test mah Couch!
Gordie: if yeh're jus' excited abou' all these, ah have t' say, Ahm quite impre- (the moment he sat down, he felt a slight discomfort on these couches. They're unbelievably hard) uh
are they supposed t' be like this?
Herbie: oh, it's not ripe yet! It gets softer when they go ripe
or those it get harder when it gets riper?
actually, I uh
I just want to ask something. Are
are you seeing Carmel, now?
(The pumpkin glances at her with shock, he stutter and flush. He didn't give out an answer, but Herbie knows it)
Gordie: Ah uh
well, ahm takin' Carmel ou', b-bu' ah don'-
Herbie: it's okay , guy
please tell me
Gordie:..Herbie, ah jus' don' wan' yeh t'-
you know how much I love you
I'm practically making a darn fool out of myself when I kept sayin that
but, is she what you really want?
(Gordie couldn't look at the plant girl. He known her since royalty school and practically befriended her since. But He knows much of how the girl harbors her feeling to him. He couldn't say it. He can't. But Herbie can tell. She can see it in his face. The uncertainty. Or was it guilt? Fear? She can't tell. The scenario is getting to them.)
Herbie: You're happy right? I'm right
(Still, no answer, but in a second or two, Gordie finally let up)
Gordie: Ah like yeh both, bu' ah
ah think ah..ah like Carmel.
Herbie, please don' be mad a' meh. Ah really like yeh, bu'-
Herbie: *sigh* relax, guy
I'm not gonna cry or scream, or flip this couch. It'll be a perfectly good couch in due time for me to just waste. I just want to know. I want to end this right now
this little game I've kept playing with you two. I called you here because I wanted to tell you that
I'd seen enough
I'm letting go.
Gordie: Yeh're no' thinkin' straigh', Herbie. I' mus' be these Moon-glow! It's-
Herbie: Gordie, you and I knew this day would come! And it did! I saw you two
I saw you
and the way you smiled at her
it was the most beautiful smile ever
I loved you for all this time and I never saw such smile before
It was warmer than anything you've ever gave me and I tried so hard to get you to smile like that, but
I just can't
I won't force myself to you anymore. I had my run and I loved every moment of it even if you didn't felt the same way-
Gordie: BUT AH DID-
Herbie: as a friend. Nothing more as a friend. For once
I'm glad. I'm actually glad. I'm glad we're just friends, because it would have been more painful for me to do all this is we're not.
When I met Carmel, she took me in even if I was a threat to her. She trusted me even if I had the potential to steal you away from her
She's a wonderful friend and..and I love her
I love you and Carmel too much to continue hindering between you two.
Even if it hurts, You and Carmel are very dear to me, and I want to see you two be happy. I want to see you smile, Gordie, and I want to see Carmel be happy. I want to be a part of it, and if it if that meant giving up, so be it!
Gordie: Bu' wha' abou' yeh?! Had yeh even-
Herbie: Those times we shared, those laughter, that crazy stuff we've been through
I don't want to give up that. I want to continue having those adventures with you. That's why I'm letting you choose. It's no longer about me, it's about you Gordie. I'm being honest here, I want you to be happy, and I want to feel happy about your joy.
I just want you to know all this, because I care for you two. I'm your friend, and I don't want to do anything hurtful. If you wanted to be with each other, I'm accepting it. I just wished you two would at least be honest about it.
you kissed my hands once
now it's time to do the same for her.
are yeh still
thinking o' meh?
Herbie: you once told me I deserve better, and I told you I don't need to, cuz I found the one. Well, it's time for me to prove to her why I had such a hard time letting you go until today.
(The Pumpkin Prince looked away, scratching his cheek with a finger. His face is red again, both from the situation he had now, and the guilt of what might happen to Herbie. But He knew Herbie; she's strong and sweet, she's one of the friendliest people all over Ooo. Weird, eccentric but reliable Herbie, if she's saying all this on her own, then
she must be
Gordie held Herbie's hands once more, and perhaps for the last time, he kissed them. He looked at her eyes, and they're calm; tearful, yet sincere.)
Gordie: yeh know ah liked yeh so much.
Herbie: Then prove it by telling her. All I ask from you is to be honest, and that's it.
Gordie: are yeh sure.
Herbie: yes. Say it.
Gordie: ..ah like her.
Herbie: You like who? (There's a mischievous grin in her face. Gordie couldn't understand why, but it's a little unnerving. Either ways, he did, again, and say-)
Gordie: ah like Carmel! AH LIKE HER!
Herbie: (there's a trickle of tear on the side of her face, but she's smiling. She turns her back and say) Okay, Carmel, you heard the man! He made up his mind!
Gordie: (in a state of shock and disbelief, and better yet, he's blushing) wha-WHAT?! YEH YEH-SHE'S HERE?!
GOTCHA! (herbie broke into laughter. And soon, so does Gordie.)
Nah, I'm kidding! I couldn't get hold of her for a while, thinking she's looking for you~ (sly grin) Really, you guys could at least kiss and get it over with! (another devilish grin.)
Gordie: Yeh're really crazy, yeh know tha' Herbie? (chuckles)
Herbie: well, I learn how to be crazy from a special guy. (for the last time, Herbie kisses him on the cheek. The very. Last. Time.) Please don't do anything that'll make me regret all this! (Herbie winks)
(That night ended with some laughter, some tears. Some apologies, for any feelings hurt, and a hug, to farewell those lost feelings. Herbie watched from her gate her best friend walk home alone, but she knew what's in his mind, because she saw it again. She saw Gordie smile once more, that smile she wanted to see for so long, it was there. It hit Herbie, she actually did it. She, herself, made that smile come true, and it was not all a lost.
The moonlight sky had shined her kingdom with both pain and satisfaction. It was for the best. For them three, one of them had to step down, and Herbie took that step and she's happy for it.
Behind her, her sister Bloomette trips and fell, and soon, Zombie Man did, and so does Chives the onion monster and lastly, Ben the tomato Butler.)
Herbie: You guys were listening, weren't you?
are you okay?
(Herbie began to cry. She began to remember all those joyous times she had with Gordie. It pains her, but she can't help it. Bloomette ran to her older sister to hug her, she can't help but cry, too. Zombie man lumbers and gave the two a hug himself, and Chives follows, squeezing between them three while carrying Ben with him. Herbie began to look around her and smiles in disbelief. It's not all a lost indeed, she's still loved.)
Herbie: don't worry guys, I'm too cool for him!
(Bloomette heard this and chuckles a bit, Zombie Man too, while Chives remain quiet)
Ben: (telepathically) so what now, my mistress?
Herbie: well, I guess it's back to the drawing board for me. Don't worry guys, I'll be fine
I'll meet my Prince Charming some day
(Morning came; the Band Village is setting their radios and began to beat it to the sounds of Prince Four's music. But little do they know, behind the prerecorded tunes, the real band members had just woken up, save their youngest. But in that morning, he will wake up early, as his older brother shook him away)
hey! Bit! Wake up!
(The boy's banana brown hair was a mess, but Bit paid no attention to how bad he looked in the morning, he looks up to his brother with nuisance and yawned)
Bit: Jackie, it's a weekend, we don't have a schedule today-
Jackie: I know, but listen, I got news.
Bit: what kind of news?
Jackie: it's about your Princess.
Bit: my what?