The Princess returned to the place of “same old, same old”, stuffing her feelings down to a place where they could not be heard or felt. Returning to the hated town was not the awful wrench it was the last time, thanks to Princess Deborah and other good people who welcomed her back, but she felt numb as she unpacked.
White Flower and Prince Honest had stayed at her place with their children on a trip back to New Zealand during her absence. Her home had been lovingly tended by White Flower, who had made it welcoming and clean for her return, leaving little gifts for her to find.
The only thing that had gone wrong was in Princess Nicole’s room. “Mum!” she heard her daughter Nicole scream at the discovery her new Ken doll had been decapitated by one of White Flower’s children. The Princess stifled a grin as she tried to stick Ken’s head back on, while a ghoulish version of “Toy Story” played in her head.
As the days passed the Princess found she was having trouble fitting back in to her old life. She felt disoriented and lost. The old routine wasn’t working. On Sundays she kept going to church once a week to teach the children, but her feet were dragging. They were often late, running along the street to make it through the door just before the Minister. It was a far cry from the vibrant atmosphere of the King’s gathering at Canberra. “I don’t fit there” she complained to Princess Deborah. “You need to find a different church. What do they ever do for you?” Princess Deborah replied, exasperated at her lack of action.
“Stopped in to a church I passed along the way.
Well I got down on my knees and I pretend to pray.
You know the preacher liked the cold;
He knows I’m gonna stay.” (The Mamas and the Papas, “California Dreamin'”)
Her disappointment at being back in Wanganui coloured everything. Listless and depressed, she was going through a dry place with the King. Her sword was dull, her life lacked direction, her heart felt dead. When she tried to consult the map, her Bible, she could not find the next step she had to take.
While the Princess mulled over where to worship the King, she got the internet. It ended her isolation, at least virtually as the world opened up to her. The connection with the wider world awoke an idea which had long been denied and hidden. For years she felt that she would marry an American. Dismissing it as fanciful thinking, she had not taken much notice. Her parents often said “she had a big imagination.” The years buried the idea. After she ended the relationship with Liang the idea came to life again, like a tender shoot breaking through the frozen ground.
What if it was not just a fanciful idea, what if the man the King had chosen really was from the States? She asked the King, IF the chosen man was American, to find her friends on the internet from his part of the States. The King granted her request, as a sign called ‘Florida’ appeared. The friends, all met by chance, were from Florida, coming from far off places named Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, and Kissimmee – nicknamed ‘Kismet’, the word her friend’s spell checker wanted it changed to. It meant fate or destiny. The first computer she ever fixed, using the training she received from the Canberra Institute of Technology, was in Kissimmee, Florida.
Florida was an interesting sign, a sign which her logical mind dismissed. Florida was over 7,000 miles away. That idea was better kept in the realms of fantasy, and the Princess dismissed it. She did not use the internet to try and find the American, but she did use it for study and to feed her hungry mind. The King was mostly ignored while she explored the web, escaping the constriction of her small town world.
“You need to pay attention to me and change direction” the King warned, as He showed her a picture of a wind-surfer, who kept falling over in the water because she wasn’t catching the wind. He said;
“Your rigging hangs loose:
The Mast is not held secure,
The sail is not spread” Isaiah 33:23