Shadows of My Life
“Shu, I think you are going to be a great king” he muttered,
his silky voice stroked the air like an angel petting a
kitten. He turned the lights off, and headed down the dual
staircase, that he and I would spend all day playing on,
much to my mother’s discontent. I never saw my father
I remember the court’s hysteria. “King Hare is dead!” I
heard the maids cry. I was only seven, but these images
of desperation will always be painted in chrome colours at
the back of my head. I remember standing there, clutching
Tsuki-chan (my blue toy monkey), before running to Mum’s
chambers. I stood in the king’s corridor, disbelieving my
obedient ears. I would have pinched myself, but that feeling
of horror that bellowed deep within my core was far too
real to be a dream. I knocked on mum’s chambers, but
her bitter response was, “Go away!” I felt tears build up at
the corners of my eyes. “Mummy, it’s me, Shu!” I eagerly
responded, my voice cracking up with sadness.
“Is it true Mummy, is Daddy dead?”
“Shu!” My mum cried. “Shu, leave IMMEDIATELY!”
“MUM!” I cried. My eyes were water-pools of sorrow.
“SHU FUDJIOKA!” She took a deep breath, and as the
breeze changed direction, it became a gale.
“Prince Shu Fudjioka, I am the Queen of Tamaroon.
Do as I say!” She inhaled deeply.
“Shu, please leave!”
“YES, SHU, YOUR FATHER HAS DIED.”
I will never forget that day; those scenes are part of my
DNA, my bloodstream. After a week or so, Mum unlocked
her room, but the youthful flower that I knew as my mother
never regrew well, scarred for life. A damaged soul, a
That month, mum took me to the beach, which held strong
memories of my dad and I having fun filled outings together.
There were enough crabs in the rock pools to satisfy a
young boy’s mind, and the sea was pleasantly mild, even in
the coldest months of the year. I remembered hours passing
by quicker than minutes, and my dad and I going on great
adventures up the Ouran Coast. However today, minutes
felt like hours. I sat in the shallows, letting the serene waves
stroke my bare feet. I had my usual clothes on, a blue and
white striped jumper (one size too big) and chinos. I felt
the breeze play with my naturally white hair, and I looked
out into the horizon, which was reflected onto the grey,
crumpled surface of the vast seas.
“Mum, can I swim over to Puffin Rock?”
“Manners, Shu! I have the courtesy to bring you here, please
listen to me!”
“But it’s boring!”
“Shu, I have found time in the royal schedule to bring you
here, please respect that.”
“Well, how did Dad find time to have fun with me, do his
schedule and be happy about it?”
“You only hate it because you know it’s true!”
“THAT’S IT!” She took a deep breath.
“That is ENOUGH!” She took a deep breath, clenched her
fists, and looked down at the pebbly beach.
“GET IN THE CARRIAGE.” She uttered.
I have forever regretted saying that to her. I was immediately
transferred to Kayaba Hall boarding school, and spent
seven years with very little contact with my mum. I spent
many nights on the rock hard mattresses, tossing and
turning in my bed, thinking about my mum and all her bad
luck, and how insensitive I had been to her.
I also thought about my dad, a lot. How we used to use
bamboo sheinais and pretend they were swords. Dad
always let me win, and say “Oh Shu!” then laugh, in his soft
purring voice. “You’ll be the strongest king Tamaroon has
ever seen!” Or how we used to go to royal appearances
together, and I would feel like the most special five-year-old
in the whole world!
About four months ago, I was studying in my chambers at
Kayaba Hall when the postman walked in and handed me
a letter. I thanked him then let him leave. I rather hastily
Dear my beloved Shu,
I realised immediately it was from my mother. I took a huge
I have heard what a stunning young man you have become.
I am so proud!
I want you to come home and let your mother see for
herself. I also would like you and your nine year old brother,
Zen to become better acquainted. Very soon, on your
sixteenth birthday, it will be your coronation. We have
preparations to discuss and I have so much to explain.