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In the Wrong Fairytale

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She sees the note taped to her door

her name written in a boyish scrawl

and she freezes in fear.

The first thing she notices is that he spelled her name wrong. But since when was that new? People did it all the time. Only her friends – a few perceptive classmates – know how to spell her name.

This time, though, it seems to be a symbol of his complete ignorance about her – the fact that he included such heavy declarations of the utmost adoration – they make her fingers numb and her breath catch most uncomfortably. They’re in high school – high school – and love is such a serious word. The echoes of the words bounce off her dorm walls, heavy and serious and misplaced among stuffed animals and pigtails. In text, they devour the other words, until there is just a four lettered monster prowling the blank canvas. Too intimidating, the word is supposed to be accompanied by a sheepish smile, a twinkle of the eye. But the monotonous Times New Roman reduces the word into a shadow of what it could be. She mourns for the loss.

Her eyes skim over the letter, “you may not know me, but I know you.” She nods at his description of her, yet she adamantly shakes her head as well. Like an artist, he has sketched the outline of her character. But where was the color? The sketch was in black and white; he didn’t understand that she was a maddening blend of green and blue with streaks of flaming gold. He was more infatuated with her image, her reputation, she decided, preoccupied with the tantalizing sweep of her glittering brown orbs.

He also wrote about her “frozen heart,” and she sighs, because she knows that there’s a semblance of truth to it. She is not a passionate person. The axioms of logic beckon her, and his letter was most definitely not logical. However, seeing that on paper still chokes her heart, which sputters for a beat.

She notices more as she reads on. For one, he uses a lot of exclamation points. She wishes he said this in person; he would not be just another shadow in the earless masses, but rather, someone she actually knows, and can thus acknowledge with a wistful smile and a respectful nod. Instead, the words written on the page seem tacky, like the Barbie doll she had gotten for Christmas years back.

Half of the note alluded to fairytales, and she thinks that he should know better. He should know that her father died – no, passed away is too light of a word – when she was starting her first day of kindergarten. Fairytales do not happen for girls like her, with their skewed glasses and thin lips. In actually, she doesn’t even believe in fairytales.

She wishes he would fall in “love” with another girl, one with gleaming blue eyes and lush blonde waves, a girl who believed with all her heart in Prince Charming – they would truly live happily ever after. He was living in the wrong storybook, she decides. He wouldn’t be able to find his happily after with her.

“Your Secret Admirer.”

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