Ever after seems so desirable in every story you read. Love sweeps you off your feet as you float through the sky on a cloud that’s just the right size for the two of you. Seven years ago my ever after began when the man with glass slipper in hand. Today I cannot even fake a smile in this cold castle as we sit across the long feast table. The walls were once full of love and conversation, but how quickly that disappears when you realize it’s only lust. Now the only sound you hear is forks scratching across glass plates.
My heart still flutters when I think about the first day I found my prince. I was just a peasant working for my ugly, cruel step mother, but I knew deep down inside my hard work and patience would result in success. He road through our land on his horse and I knelt to the ground as he passed, nearly falling as my knees gave out below me. In the sunlight his hair was Chestnut, brought out his blue eyes and his smile glistened. Though he was royalty he treated everyone as equals as if his riches and born rights meant nothing. His kindness melted my sorrows. From that moment I could not release his image from my brain. I’d scrub the floors and tend the chickens, humming a song of happiness and hope rather than dread and dismay. I wanted to scream from the windows of our manor that I was in love, yet did not in fear of rejection from my family and neighbors.
At the ball the lights hit my white dress making me sparkle. Though he didn’t realize who I was, I feared the truth and ran. How could a prince fall for trash like me? Love brought us back together in the end. For once things seemed to fall into place. As I woke beside my love every morning in his strong, love embrace. Everything was pure bliss as I had all the riches I could ever dream of in life, but most importantly the love I lacked since my father died. Whatever I dreamed of was at my finger tips. Though this is still true, the only thing I want is unavailable. The disapproving look reminded me of my stepmother. The coldness was a time machine that sent me back to a life I thought I’d long left behind.
The servants I was ever so opposed to brought us soup to the royal table we sat at. I thought I made a positive impression on his life, but you cannot change someone, even if he is a gorgeous prince. As I lifted the spoon to my mouth I glanced up to watchful eyes from across the lengthy piece of furniture.
“Must you slurp?” He rolled his eyes and pushed the soup away from him. “You’ve put me off.” His voice was that of a spoiled child only expecting to get his way.
I slowly placed my spoon down and folded my dainty hands calmly in my lap. I took a deep breath. Most nights I bit my tongue, unsure if the war of words was worth the bother. My eyes fell to the table as thoughts drifted through my mind of warm summer days with the birds around us, laying in fields just gazing into each other’s eyes.
“Oh great, what is it now?” He demanded. His voice was stern without a single sense of sympathy or understanding.
I looked up, resisting tears. “Nothing, my love.” It could easily appear that the tears were the glassed-over look my eyes always held was the love I felt never lessened for the one man I though would save me.
“Then why do you look so sad? Do I make you unhappy? You must speak to me.” His voice was nothing more than controlling.
“Why don’t you decide what is making me sad as you do with everything else in life?” My voice was quiet, my heart raced as I could take no more.
“My heavens, what do you mean?” His face showed disgust and shock.
“How did we get here?” I cocked my head to the side and stared into his eyes. “I think you once loved me.”
His mouth fell open slightly as he stumbled over his words, “I.. what.. Where is this coming from?” He acted appalled, but I spoke of what we both felt deep down inside. “You have no right to just.. Throw around such accusations!”
“Remember when we didn’t have to talk about anything at all? When you listen to my dreams and thoughts? When we spent time together doing nothing at all?” My voice shook from fear, sadness, even adrenaline.
He thought for a moment, said not a word and dismissed himself from the table. My chin fell down to my chest and a small weep left my lips as my napkin fell to the ground. My heart felt heavy as every breath took longer to leave my body. The only noise in the large castle was the clapping of the prince’s boots on the stone ground.
As I entered the bedroom we still shared every night it was no surprised he was sound asleep wrapped in half the blankets we shared. I lightly sat on the edge of the bed with my back facing him. I couldn’t bare the thought of the look on his face when he realized it was me. In the mirror across the room I watched as his body gently moved with each breath. He still looked handsome with his hir sweeping his face and the calm, peaceful smile on his face as he slept. I pulled back the duvet and lifted my legs underneath. I turned on my left side and scooted behind the Prince. Our body aligned to one as I moved as close to him as possible. I felt his warm body tight against mine as I reached my arm around him. His hand caressed its way up my arm, sending chills down my spine. It was soft and loving, gently working its way up the entire length. His hand reached up to my arm and caressed mine. It was the first contact we had with each other in months. My body instantly relaxed as he rolled over to face me.
His eyes searched my face and a soft smile formed on his lips. “You’re still as beautiful as the first day I met you.” He said as his fingers ran through my blonde hair. His touch was warm and stirred feelings I had not felt for as long as I could remember. My lips curled into a small smile and I put my forehead against his. “I will never stop loving your, my dear.” He kissed my forehead lightly. “It’s just that sometimes I feel like I’m not in love with you anymore.”