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Little girls grow up dreaming that they're a princess. That a prince will one day come and show them the greatest journey and joy that life can give. Every day will be filled with love and laughter. There will be pictures of their children's first steps, their first milestones in life. To grow old in love and happiness is everyone's hope.
What they don't tell you is one day your father may leave and never look back. Never give you a moment's chance to show that you are deserving of their love. They don't tell you if you don't love yourself first, that the knight in shining armor never fully takes off his mask until he has taken you from the comforts of your castle and into the unknown. Only then will he fully reveal himself for the evil he was. That is when the little girl inside realizes that it was all for naught. That was all it was: a dream. A dream where you couldn't imagine that your vulnerability was also a liability. You couldn't dream of the day where he would leave the bruises on you, mock you, and put his hands where you did not want them. You cannot dream it; your mind does not see it coming. She escapes in the night, lonely and filled with despair, only to find herself once again facing her home. Only this time, it doesn’t fill her with happiness. Just the long-forgotten memories of what it was like to dream of hope, happiness, and love.
She has taken off her crown. She has abdicated from the throne and locked herself back into her tower. Escaping the life she did not expect. The dust will settle. The bruises may fade. The rose garden of virginity torn to shreds unwillingly. Her heart once pure, now shattered.
Until one day, the sun will rise. It will shine so bright that she will have to rise from the corner she's in and turn to face what has become of her. But instead of the cold, she will feel warmth again.
The color will return to her face and a smile will break from the stone.
Every day, she will rebuild her home. Loving every creak and cranny. Nothing missed. Things removed, things replaced. Things forgotten, now found. Her garden once torn, regrown and beautiful. Her home will turn into a place of warmth and love. Her laughter will reverberate through every room. Song and music will play until every part of her heart is sealed whole again.
One day, a knock sounds from the door. When she opens it, a man stands there. No mask. No evil lurking. Just a man with a smile. He is lost and has seemed to have lost his way. She invites him in by the fire and a warm meal. They will talk and laugh all through the night. Many days will pass before he will finally take his leave. Her heart warm with the joys he has brought with him. A warmth she never thought she would ever feel as genuine and pure as she had felt in that small amount of time since he journeyed there.
On the night of his leave, a heavy heart she must bear. Until she turns from the fire to find him standing there with a smile and an outstretched hand.
She takes it with a curtsy.
The sway of the music, the laughter, the smell of roses in the air. Two hearts beating as one. The moon lit high in the sky with many stars shining. Come morning light, she will leave her home once again to journey out into the world, not behind this man but always beside him. To fulfill that childhood dream and to never look back.
This is how it ends. Not because the princess needs a man, but because she is whole. Her heart of glass may have been shattered, but piece by piece put back together.
They say the purest love is a light. When you hold your heart to the light, it shines a million little colors.
When she held up hers, it shined the brightest of all.