You always wrapped yourself up in fairy tales, in stories of extravagant and vibrant love. It was the hope you fell in love with. In your dreamland, you were the girl who went unnoticed, who was transparent. For all the times you felt neglected, you marked you heartbreak with tallies on your arm, hoping that one day, someone would notice you, and when they did, all the times you felt defeated by love, it would magically wash away.
You pranced in the walls of your heartbreak, convincing yourself that one day love will visit you on a breezy anticipated the day your prince will wake you from your eternal slumber and take you away to never-land. That maybe he’ll pass like the wind, and patch up your heartbreaks, claim them as his own.
At first you thought that it could’ve been the boy in eighth grade who would look at you a little more graciously than others. Or maybe the boy you’d catch a bus with and the way you seemed to feel a little more understood in this world of feeling misunderstood. But the boy in the eighth grade looked at you smiling, as he ran the field chasing the new girl, and the boy on the bus, confided in you about love growing in his heart again, protesting that he found something worthwhile, just not in you.
You still remember it now. The tears shed at the corner of your bed, and your sole dependence on these tales thinking that singing to the stars would hopefully find its way to someone, alleviate the heaviness on your heart.
That someone or something would save you.
The dare to believe was ingrained within you. It burned within you. If Prince Charming was real, he has to be out there, he has to save you from this unfairness. When would he come? He needed to come.
But you slowly began to resent love. All of the flowers that grew in your heart, began to shrivel. Your castle began to wither, and you closed your doors; and for every broken piece of your heart that remained unseen, piled on old shelves, you hung it up like a million chandeliers in your castle, hoping that you’ll be able make your pain beautiful, convincing. You slowly started to become one with your home, your justifications, the creeping plants wrapping itself around your feet, softly but unknowingly. It was beautiful there. You could scream and hear the echoes of the words a thousand times, when you would try and justify why you never succeeded at love. You wrote songs, in hopes to soften the pain inflicted by each heartbreak, and like a choir, sung your anthems into the night. You fell in love with your pain, locking yourself away in your perfect utopia, writing a list of everyones wrongdoings besides your own, because you knew that no one could hurt you here, not even you.
And just like that, you locked yourself in a prison.
Every now and then, you’d pull back the moss covering the window panes, you once waited so patiently on, wondering if there was hope beyond the horizon. But, you soon became familiar with the way the branches travelled throughout the castle, pulled you out of the light, coveting you, convincing you that it’s much safer here, in the arms of all that you knew…yourself.
So, right when you thought you were going to disappear, when you decided to close your gates forever, become comfortable in your dreamland, in your convictions, your coping mechanism,
you saw him…
dancing bravely with all that he ever knew, himself.
When you caught sight of him, you thought, could he be this god sent angel here to mend your broken bones, take you away from your despair. Although you vowed to never place yourself in the sight of love ever again, to never feel love, you ran for the gates. Had love finally visited your doorstep? Wait, but what if he’ll hurt you like the others? What if you’ll hurt him? What if I’m alright right here?
Promising to never hurt you the way the ones before did, you succumbed to the comfort of your old friends, anxieties. You convinced yourself that fairy tales are for the reckless, choosing to dance alone in your palace, once again. You choose to let love sit idle, grow stale in an old jar, never allowing yourself to be swept. You let him marvel at your soul as you did to his. After all, you’d rather dance all alone, then ever dance with someone, only to realise that that’s all your cold heart has truly ever wanted.
There he stands outside your walls. Isn’t this what you wanted, didn’t you want to be loved? He’s here, but why can’t you let him in?
As you meet yourself in this castle, one where your pain is covered in shiny trinkets and get quick denial schemes, you realise that this isn’t beautiful but lonely. That the problem was never that you didn’t love, but that when it came to it, you couldn’t rid yourself of your armour and face love. That this is a liars kingdom, and that even though all you have ever wanted has arrived, you can’t face it because these walls are you, and that even the bravest of Prince Charming can never save you from yourself. That you don’t prepare for love, establish an army to save you from the fall.
So as you hear the screams of yourself wallow through the walls of your castle, pleading to remain unchanged, and promising to keep you safe and warm, you decide to tear down the vines and open your windows. You dance, but now with a desolate knowingness, that no longer are you the girl who vowed to never love again. You begin to tear down the chandeliers you’ve worked so hard to display, to make seem more beautiful than they actually were. As they all shatter before you, you are visited with a newfound grace that the only thing that was stopping you from really feeling love, was yourself.
As you blast the doors open, you feel the sun rays visit your face, and for once you’re comforted by its warmth. As you begin to stare into this abyss known as his eyes, you feel the branches that have kept you secluded, begin to untangle, and like a string of lights fluttering, you ignite. It’s not because he has come to save you, promise to never break your heart, but because years of locking your heart, in a corner, didn’t save you from pain, from the treachery of a broken heart. That being fearless is so much braver than being afraid of being hurt. That being vulnerable is so much more forgiving than being cold.
You realise now that love isn’t this thing that saves you, or promises to make everything better.
So for the girl who cried the whole way home, who wished so desperately to be seen, I’m sorry. But, don’t be afraid of love, nor romanticise your heart break, or pledge to lock the last remaining strand of love away, so that no one would do to you what you’ve seen happen to all of those once vibrant souls. Don’t create a prison masquerading as your home, or dance with the voices that encourage you to never open yourself up again.
For if you don’t dare to love despite falling, and falling brutally by this wondrous Prince Charming perhaps; the regret you’ll feel will be torturous more than the pain caused by living love.
So to the boy down the street, thank you for visiting me in a far off daydream, for being this enchanting figure to me, and helping me realise that no amount of wishing will take away the pain caused by the ones in your past. But even more, that no amount of locking yourself away, will save you from pain you’ll possibly face.
It is because of you, I’m slowly beginning to understand that maybe it’s not about being saved after all. Maybe it’s not about wearing the most safest armour in order to prevent being hurt, because in the end, you’ll hurt, trying to lie to yourself. Maybe it’s about meeting the sun, meeting love as naked as ever, and putting everything on the line, even if it consumes you.