Happily Ever Afters
the day I met you
my life changed forever
when we said I do
how were we to know
the places we would go
moving here, moving there
four states and many years later
we are still together
still more memories to make
look forward to retirement with you
our happy ever after
As children we are taught fairy-tales
Princes saving princesses
Princes battling the evil for us
And we live happily ever after
Yet Disney has never shown us what "Happily Ever After" looks like,
just a drive into the sunset
or a few happy montage moments
As children we are asked what we want to be when we grow up
Then we are told a bunch of facts about said desire
Then we continue our schooling
And "grow up" to reach something "more realistic"
Something that will make us money
And support the country
But are we happy?
Some of us, yes
Do we get the partner?
Some of us, yes
Do we enjoy life?
Some of us, yes
As a child, I never thought that
All I would want was to feel safe where I slept
Where I lived
Where I breathed.
That instead of all my dreams coming true,
every day would be a nightmare come to life
sitting at this computer to escape my current reality,
I somehow still want the prince/princess
I want to fight their villains and they fight mine
I want to ride into the sunset with them in a carriage
But I also want to fight with them without feeling scared or unsafe
I want to hurt with them, and we hold one another
I want us to learn from our flaws together
I want us to be healthy, and truly happy
What a happily ever after that would be
when college ends and my books are well paid
and my mother wonders if she'll see me again
i don't talk to any old high school friends
and the one i love now is holding other hands
i don't mind i just hope their smile never ends
when I forget the way my depression sweater feels
and i no longer need fire to heal
and my hands stay manicured and clean
when i'm all alone, all i support is myself
im not sure if that will always be
and wealth is gained
my success is looked up to by little girls
envied by my father pitiful words
the ones like chains i one day will break
my dark brown eyes, now mud and stone, now soft
maybe by someone i will forever call my own
maybe a child, whose name i don't yet know
at least a decade before my parents see me come home
not for their love, nor that i miss their hold
not like i can remember, those memories are old
i tell them i'm better than they are or ever will be
and for them to hear and know i'm speaking honestly
my future i can not fully see
the farther i look, the hazier it will be
like rain-stained glass
you can see, but it's still blurry
Lucas and Bailey
Bailey’s been chained to the fence for hours. She’s all I can think about. Well, other than him of course.
Outside the window, I can’t even see one star twinkling in the cold October sky.
Hot tears fill my eyes and I fight hard to quietly blink them away. Hiding my face behind a curtain of my long blonde hair, I desperately search for a distraction. Him. It’s always him.
Perched on the edge of my chair across the table from Lucas, I blush when he catches me staring into his bottle-green eyes and, when I feel the heat bloom across my cheeks, I lower my gaze to his calloused hands stained with grease and motor oil. Lucas fixes cars for a living, and I’ve been told he makes money hand over fist, even though he’s only nineteen.
My moment’s slashed away when a guttural bellowing makes me flinch.
“Somebody go kick that mongrel in the head and tell it to stop its damn barking.”
When earlier today my Aunt Vera returned on her loud motorcycle madder than a swatted hornet, because the newly inked scorpion on her giant hip didn’t turn out the way she wanted, it was like sticks of dynamite blew up our house. Which is also her house, technically, because she hasn’t any place to live and my mom, her older sister, took mercy on her and invited her to stay with us.
One night I dreamt the Harley she straddles, like a cow on top of a mound of manure, sent her wheeling into the air, high above the moon, and then crashed into her green, brown, and rust‑orange body as it landed back down to earth, onto the pavement.
I sobbed when I woke up.
But at least Lucas is here having Thanksgiving dinner with my family of fourteen parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and second cousins. No kids though. Aside from me, they’re all adults ranging from the ages of thirty-eight to sixty-two. Except Lucas of course, but he doesn’t count because he’s in no way related to any of us.
I watch half-heartedly as he shuffles his deck of playing cards, fanning them out, turning them over in his palms, cutting them in half and waving them in front of people’s faces.
“Please sign your name right across this ten of spades Mrs. Dixit,” Lucas tells my mom.
He slides the card into the middle of a full deck, snugly into the depths of it, packs it in so it’s swallowed up, hidden. Then he immediately pulls a card off the top of the deck, turns it faceup, and shows us that it’s my mom’s card. There are oohs and ahhs all around.
He then folds it in half, putting a bend into that signed ten of spades and shows everyone the slight dip when he places it flat onto his hand. We can all see the card is now signed and bent. He asks my mom to slip it randomly somewhere in the very center of the deck. Again, he uses one finger to pull it off the top of the deck. Same signed and bent card.
Eyes open wide, lips curve upwards, they all want more.
Aunt Vera is sprawled out in a chair right next to me, her long, massive legs stretched wide underneath the table, her rancid sweat glistening on her upper lip. Fascinated by Lucas’s card tricks, she seems to have forgotten about my little dog.
Bailey is a mini-Eskimo with the softest, most kissable fur I’ve been pressing my lips to since I was ten years old. I’m sixteen now.
I continue watching as my uncle reluctantly tears a big chunk off the corner of a twenty-dollar bill. Lucas takes that corner piece and eats it, he literally chews it up, and swallows it down. He then places that same twenty in his mouth where the tear is.
When he slowly pulls it out, voila, the corner is back. The bill is intact once again.
“How the fuck did you do that, you snot-nosed kid?”
Butterfly wings flap like crazy in my stomach. Aunt Vera is going to be relentless now.
“A magician never reveals his secrets,” Lucas winks, placing her under the hypnosis of those exquisite eyes.
“But don’t worry Ms. Dankworth,” he says, “there’s much more to see, so relax and prepare to be entertained,” he points to our family room with rows of chairs and a makeshift stage we set up earlier today.
Just like magic, Aunt Vera shuts her mouth for once.
Dinner winds down and Donna, our housekeeper, clears away dishes and offers coffee, dessert, or brandy. Everyone agrees they’re full and will wait until after the performance.
I barely touched my food.
Yesterday, I hid outside, watching in horror at the things my aunt did in our kitchen.
She placed a bowl of dogfood on the floor and when Bailey began eating, Vera’s leg shot out and kicked her right in the face. My angel squealed in pain and jumped back.
Before I could react, Aunt Vera offered the food again. This time when Bailey timidly approached the dish, she roared and kicked her in the ribs. That’s when I barged in, begging her to stop like my life depended on it.
“We were just playin’, weren’t we, mutt?” she cooed like she’d done nothing wrong.
“I’m just tryin’ to teach it obedience Jaimie, don’t be such a baby.”
I shudder at the memory and my tears fall again when snowflakes dance down from the moonless sky.
For his next trick, Lucas asks quote the most beautiful girl in the room, Miss Jaimie Dixit to assist him on the mock stage. I walk carefully so as not to trip over my own two feet.
Lucas requests the assistance of six volunteers and has me place them all behind the black curtain.
“My dear guests, tonight for my next magic trick, I feel like I need a mesmerizing and lovely shot of inspiration,” he announces, his voice so deep and smooth, I want to savor it.
It’s my turn to be spellbound when he pulls me in.
Something bubbly shoots through my stomach and a tenderness bounces like sunlight along the surface of my skin. His lips brush mine and his tongue pirouettes in my mouth. I’m dizzy with rivers of champagne fizzing through my bloodstream. It’s my very first kiss, my sweet-sixteen kiss. It’s daring and warm, and I never want it to end.
Sadly though, the show must go on, I can hear the din of various reactions mixed with impatience resonating from the audience.
Amidst all of that, I’m suddenly reminded that the tips of Bailey’s ears and her sweet little paws could be frostbitten by now.
My heart is no longer in the magic though I do my part until Lucas opens the curtain to reveal all six volunteers… gone.
“Where are they?” asks my grandfather, wheezing with concern.
“They’re ok sir. Everyone, please come down now,” Lucas calls out and, one by one, they descend our spiral staircase.
But someone’s missing.
A search of the entire house turns up nothing, she’s nowhere to be found.
“Lucas, can you make her reappear, dear?” asks my mother.
“I’m afraid not Ma’am, I’m pretty sure this might be… permanent. Unless maybe she just went for a bike ride…?”
“Maybe,” says my mom absentmindedly.
There’s a lightness in her voice when she claps her hands and sing-songs “Now, who’d like coffee and dessert? And Donna, could you please go fetch our darling Bailey from the backyard, and feed her the turkey leftovers in the kitchen by the warmth of the fireplace?”
HAPPILY EVER AFTER(S)!
What is it that I look? What is it that people look? A story of how they end up happy and with their true love? Is that what I want?
My happily ever after is lost somewhere among different universes, which means I may or may not have multiple happy endings. So does everyone! I know I want a happy ending in this real life and not only in this other universe, but, the real question here is, what or how my happily ever after will be like? Do I get to choose? Do my actions bring it to me? Do I chase it or do I pretend to be in a fairy tale where my three fairy god mothers will look after me and make me beautiful so I can dance with my prince charming and fall in love and pretend I am like Cinderella?
The truth is that I would love to be Cinderella, or any other princess who got her happily ever after. I wish for my happily ever after would be a fairy tale. A tale where I get to be a girl who never found her path in this world and that she is all alone, while in the other side of that world there is a chance of dreams to come true, a prince charming or a beast, three fairy god mothers to look after me secretly and the mean sisters and mom and a secret life of me being the princess daughter that the king and queen never knew her existence. Or maybe I can be the one who is trapped in a glass house with no escape, except from the one who will be brave enough to save me.
As you see I have a multiple of choices for how my happily ever after want to be, but no one of those would be real. Because I am a person who never had that, maybe tried to have it but never made it there and never will. You wonder why would I say that! Well, the truth is that I don't believe in happy endings but I always wanted to have one! One that would be so amazing and beautiful to watch. So yes I have a happy ever after but never dared to dream or think of it cause it scares me so much.
I did said that I may or may not have multiple endings. See we only know this planet, Earth where human beings can talk, walk, think etc., but what if there is other planets we do know the existence? Would I(we) have a happily ever after there? Would I (we) end up with the same people or have the same life? I like to believe that in those other another lives we have the happy endings we want, I want.
So my happily ever after is that I dream of being a girl who loves books, poems and writing a tons of stories that never came out.I get to travel a lot and that I meet my prince charming by accident or that he saves me from something, or in a library looking at me and falling in love so we get to be together. But before all that, the first that happens is that I dream of being a girl who lost the person she loved in this world and she was suddenly alone and broken and found somehow herself having help by writing down fiction stories of alternative ways her loved ones are alive and happy while she dies. I picture a girl fighting with her own demons because sadness is the only thing she knows in her life and she finds her happily ever after up in the clouds, being an angel, a guardian angel so she can protect the ones she love. I see a lonely girl, always a sad girl trying her very best for anyone else with asking nothing or need or take not a thing.
~ THE END ~
There can be no fool for me. Only a heartless wit will do.
By the dubious age of fifteen I’d already decided that “Ever Afters” were infantile pipe-dreams, “Happily” ones especially so.
After all, only a blind idiot could entertain the thought that a living soul might be happy in one paradise forever. And though I was quite clearly a sentimental idiot, I wasn’t blind.
The following quotes capture my applicable feelings of the time. The first sums up the more sober part of my own attitude, the second grasps the essence of the only passion I could have seriously respected in a man:
“If I could love a man who would love me enough to take me for a mere 50 pounds a year, I should be very well pleased. But such a man could hardly be sensible, and you know I could never love a man who was out of his wits.” ~Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen.
“Get thee to a nunnery, go. Farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them.” ~Hamlet, William Shakespeare.
So, when I did meet a man who fluttered my precariously prudent heart, and who my pugnacious mind confirmed worthy of such vivacious esteem, it was a lost cause from the start, obviously.
I, feeble rationality fettered with excessive romance, but only towards the kind of man who could not (by the very nature I love in him) love me back in the same way.
He, requisite freedom placated by my importunate adoration, chained (against his better judgement) into a hapless monogamy.
Both of us have endured our predictable agonies with (barely) adequate dignity over the years.
Nevertheless, I’m still living my ever after. In happiness and despair, in boredom and desperation, in persiflage and diligence, in love and hatred, in sickness and health, and in everything between them: In every mundane pause for affection and in every faulty contrivance which dares to prowl restlessly in the bowels of a marriage.
...It is a multifaceted and whimsically sorrowful delight, to see my fickle and apocryphal fantasies drop into an ocean of lachrymal yearning which breaks, in pathetically apologetic waves, upon his more logical solidarity.
But oh, what the boundlessly foolish youth in me wouldn’t give, for an occasional clash of tides...
I melt at his touch whenever he slips the shoes from my feet...among other clothing items.
He makes my skin green with greed for every inch of him.
He's a tall glass of water, and all I want to do is submerge myself. But when I pour myself into him, I never sink. He always floats me.
Guess I've failed the witch trials.
The Sun, Fat and Yellow, Sets Slowly
We are sitting on rocks overlooking the Mediterranean, and the waves lap and spray at us, slightly out of reach. If we get wet, we get wet-the water is glorious, fresh and clean and cool. The afternoon sun shines in our faces as we sit and recite three things we are grateful for, other than the sunset. I hear her voice for the 12 millionth time and it may as well be the first–I never tire of it, it never wastes a breath. The sunlight carves a bowl in the mountains behind the Spanish coast.
We only list off our three things, but our lists could go on forever. Most of all we feel blessed to watch this masterpiece, knowing we need no wealth, no cars or jewelry or any other object, no home, no influential friends, no correct religious or secular doctrines, no fake boobs or even makeup for that matter to enjoy it.
We have everything we need right where we are, and we are in the right place at the right time.
And when the sun rises tomorrow, we'll be facing in the opposite direction, watching the sun paint the day new. It's wonderful to be with someone who gets it.
Wait, is this supposed to be fiction?