"Princess?" the king whispered.
There once was a beautiful young princess with golden yellow hair like the sun. She had a shining smile that she loved flashing at everyone she met. However, her eyes are what held her truest beauty. Forever changing color, sometimes green as Everglades, sometimes blue as the ocean. She willed them to never turn brown though. Never brown.
This princess' eyes saw beauty in everything. In the green of nature, in the pouring rain, in the endless blue sky. Even in the whispering wind that blew on a dreary day. Although she usually saw the good in things, she also saw the bad. She knew what temptation looked like and how to avoid it. She was just starting to learn what true sorrow was, and was looking for a way out of it. The young princess saw nothing in brown eyes though. She pitied everyone who had brown eyes, like spoiling bananas, and thanked the heavens every day for the eyes she had been blessed with.
Although this princess was smart, she was also naive. At times she thought she had everything. Hundreds of gowns filled her closet, and jewels hanging from window panes and mirror corners; from everywhere. Servants catered to her every wish. However, there was one thing she knew she was missing and that was her father.
He had left the castle long ago, done with the pressures of being king. He had tried to keep the kingdom from spoiling, but in the end, he failed. No one knew where he had run off to, just that he had never returned. The princess began feeling quite mournful, but her shining smile never left her face as she attempted to follow in her missing father's footsteps of keeping the kingdom happy and bright, willing her people to resist the dark aura of grief the king unknowingly left behind. Still, she couldn't deny the urge to look out her window day after day, hoping her father would return.
* * *
Deep in the forest behind the castle, there was a rotten, moldy hut. The walls were covered in green moss that squished when you touched it. All the windows were cracked and the smell coming from inside was putrid.
Living here was an old man with a bald head and a scruffy beard. He sat in the shadows day after day, wasting away and miserable. He hated his life now and despised the sad lonely man he had become.
You see, this old man used to be a king. He was a great and noble king that many looked to in times of need. However, he had become tired of the duties and responsibilities required of his title. The king could not stand the noisy pressures of trying to keep his kingdom content and glistening. He decided to run to the forest where it was quiet and peaceful.
Quickly though, the stillness became mocking and he found himself so lonely that he was reduced to chatting with the mice. The king couldn't stand this stingy hut and longed for his bed and regal cloaks. But most of all he missed his princess. He missed the tangles that would gather in her hair after horseback riding and the smile that she would give after a joke was made.
Most of all he missed her eyes and the way they lit up when she was happy. Her eyes were so bright and full of life, always able to see the good in things. So different from his own plain, dark, brown eyes. Oh, how he missed her. But he couldn't go back. No, he wouldn't go back. The king was too full of pride.
* * *
One morning many years later while sitting under a drooping tree near his hut, the elderly king saw a young boy and a beautiful little girl that reminded him of his princess. His brown eyes grew even heavier with sadness as he watched the pair run around laughing. His wretched soul could handle no more and he stood with a start, running towards the castle.
As he was edging closer to the garden he saw a radiant young woman picking flowers. She had magnificent golden hair and a shining smile. He emerged from the forest, never taking his eyes off of her. When she saw him, the smile on her face disappeared and she dropped her flowers. Yet she did not run away.
As the old king approached the princess, he stared deep into her eyes. Sure enough, they were green as Everglades and blue as the ocean. However, it looked like the life had been drained out of them.
"Princess?" the king whispered.
The princess jumped into his arms with tears dripping from her eyes. They only broke the embrace to look at one another. The king noticed the life had come back into her eyes, making them bright again. And she saw the king's brown eyes twinkle like they never had before. The princess would never love the color of her father's eyes more, for at that moment she realized without the brown, she would never be able to truly appreciate the blue and green of her own eyes.