She knew exactly where to find him, and yet she didn’t for fear that he would still be lost.
He – the Prince Charming whose head was perpetually fogged by stormy clouds. He didn’t need any evil witch chanting curses over him. He’d managed to gather a lifetime supply of ill-wishes upon himself, and even managed to cast a few over her head in the process.
Of course, he would never see it that way. He never stopped talking about destiny, and how one day, they would have that perfect red brick house with that perfect white picket fence in that perfect place where no one would know them.
But oh, it was terrible when they fought. She still had trouble sleeping at night as she remembered how he’d bring her to her knees everytime they quarrelled. She would never want to prostrate herself before any human being again. She’d been so afraid of him leaving her forever, but in the end, she had walked away first.
“You know where I’ll be,” he’d said on the day she’d put her foot down and told him that she never wanted to see him again. The ground beneath them cracked and she mercifully fell into an abyss devoid of him.
Sure, there wasn’t much meaning to life now, but it was still better than being obliged to be the heroine princess. He’d thought she could undo all his self-inflicted spells. He’d wanted so much to be whole again. But she was only a girl who wanted to be loved by a boy. She was not in the business of transforming beasts into humans.
Sometimes, she thought he could hear him whispering their intimate secrets in the wind. Sometimes, she even felt the wind slyly nudging her towards his place. Everytime, she would will herself to walk against it. She would tell herself she could only grow stronger.
What other things would she tell herself? That she was broken now, but she would be restored one day. That every moment she spent with him was destructive and indulgent. That he had other women in his life to bear his burdens – his mother, his secretary, his maids, his wife.
She would not – she could not – be a lead in his story. Much less his saviour. For now, she needed all her energy to save herself. She zipped up her jacket as the wind howled and raged against her entire being until she shivered uncontrollably. But she never stopped walking.