Amidala rested her head on the side of the door frame. She let out a deep and sincere sigh as she frowned, thinking about the day ahead of her : another royal reception of Naboo's dimplomats in Theed, followed by her welcome speech, not yet completed, and to finish off a perfect afternoon, a lavish feast. Typical. She peered outside the door to see if anyone was near. She would surely be criticized for not even attempting to dress yet. She hadn't even called in her maidens and she'd already been awake nearly an hour.
As she strolled back into her room and laid back down on her bed, she caught site of herself in the large, oval-shaped mirror that hung above her vanity. Her extremely long hair was a mass of tangles from the night's sleep. Rabe would have her work cut out for her today. Her cheeks looked a little too pink too. It was quite hot in her chambers. But she saw more in the mirror than mussed hair and a flushed complexion: she saw a girl, a young woman, who was scarcely a child. Never a child, never a woman, always a politician. The more she thought about herself, the more she realized how narrow her entire life had been. She'd never owned a doll. Her mother insisted that such childish things were meant for shallow girls. She'd never played a childhood game. Her father said that wasting time on such nonsense only weakened the mind. Politics. Leadership. Diplomacy. These had been her games. At the tender and eligible age of 12, she was whisked away and in a whirl of campaign, and elected governor of Theed. Curse it. Curse it all, she whispered.
Then, clasping a hand to her chest, she realized what she said and in the same moment, realized she didn't mean it. Politics were her passion and she wouldn't trade her governmental status for the world. How could she have cursed her whole life?
Suddenly, Yane scurried in, catching the Queen with her hand still pressed to her heart.
"Queen Amidala, have you troubles?" she asked, her eyes widening.
Amidala's eyes rose to meet Yane's and her whitened knuckles fell to her lap.
"No, Yane." she said quietly. "I am well."
"My Queen," Yane breathed, smiling immensly. "Relieved am I to hear it."
Amidala offered only a weak smile in return.
"Oh, yes, majesty, the reason I'm here" the young Yane said timidly, bowing "is to inform you that your bath is ready. You must be dressed in two hours. Governor Bibble will await you in your throne room for a check of the day's proceedings."
Amidala nodded and dismissed Yane. She could put it off no longer. She must ready herself for another official day. Activating her com-unit, she summoned Rabe and Sabe to her chambers. Within moments, two hooded figures rushed in, bowing.
"Rabe, Sabe," Amidala said, "enter the wardrobe and prepare an official ensemble for the assembly. Please do not consult me. I leave the choices entirely up to you today. I wish to have a few more minutes alone."
The two slight maidens looked a little disturbed, but said nothing. They only bowed graciously and scurried into the wardrobe room.
Amidala let herself fall back down on the bed. Now she was totally consumed in depression. How pitiful, she thought. Wallowing in grief over a lacking social career when you must carry out an official duty as Queen. How could she be so selfish? Yet not even the though of being a good queen, her most powerful motivation, could inspire her to take on the day.
She thought of the banquet. It was a social event, to be sure. Every diplomat, senator, representative, governor, and prestigious individual or family she could think of would be there. Surely there would be plenty of interesting company for her to keep. Yet she knew the tale well. She had seen the young girls who stared at her and pitied her for existing in a glass cage while idolizing her as the model leader. She had seen many young men, stricken by her status and prestige, make a path straight for her, only to find themselves trying to inconspicuously turn back, intimidated by her ornate dress and concealed and seemingly uncaring visage and hampered by her doting maidens and the stone-faced Captain Panaka. No man wanted to attempt to charm such a queen.
Imagine! She thought, a bitter laugh escaping her lips. Twenty-four and she'd never been kissed. And what made her think she ever would be? She wasn't exactly a school girl anymore, but she was even less of a woman.
What was to be gained from this day? Nothing. Should she preside at the summit today as the most graceful and tactful leader Naboo had ever seen, do a careless job, or worse, not show up at all, she would still be queen tomorrow. It almost seemed as though nothing mattered. Like there was nothing else to be won, conquered. She had gone as far as she was ever intended to go and as long as she angered no one and acted with justice, she would die in Naboo's highest position with nothing else worthwhile to be had. It wasn't fair.
Amidala was queen. Despite her despairing thoughts, she knew that she would indeed attend the meeting and pour her heart into Naboo and its people. Still she felt so empty. So, having figured out her complex problem in her mind, what reason could possibly make her have any zest, any anticipation of this event? What aspect could she have forgotten that would make her, even in the slightest way, look forward to this day?
Unexpectedly, Eirtae entered the room.
"Your majesty," she said, bowing, "I am here to inform you that there will be an added representative for you to address at the official summit. Also present in Theed today will be Anikan Skywalker."The End