Locked Away

The “Rapunzel Manor” was always a rather large, but old home. My father had bought it for my mother before I was born to prove to her that life could be perfect. They would have the fairy tale home, a child was on the way, and as much money as one could dream about. However, when it was time for that child, me, to be brought into this planet, the energy sucked the life out of my mother. One week later my father found her dead in the tower, the highest part of our fairy tale home.



Ever since that dreadful day the tower had been off limits to everyone. Nobody had permission to go inside. The rule didn’t bother me any, the room frightened me as a child. From an outside view you could see shingles dangling off the tower, and how every time the wind blew strong enough it would sway due to it not being properly secured. Not to mention, my mother was taken from me in this room. The woman I never met, but always knew in my heart that I loved.



My father was quick to find a new spouse. It was unheard of at this time for someone as successful as him to not be married. So, just as expected, wedding bells rang and he was promised to a new woman. A disgrace of a lady named Wenda. Ever since I was six years old I had hated that woman with a passion, and I did whatever I could to dispose of the blood-sucking parasite that was Wenda. Her excessive showings of affection towards my father was a display I would rather die than see, and she used how it affected me to her advantage. When my father wasn't around feeding off her lips like a leech, she would unleash her fury on me for she dreaded children - especially me.


My "get rid of Wenda" plan consisted of putting worms I confiscated from my father's fishing kit in the cereal box, flushing every toilet in the house when she was taking a shower, and of course, didn't keep much of a secret of my strong hatred towards the vile scum that was known was "Wenda."


Normally, it would only bring out her screaming my name, "WIIIIINNNSEEEEELLLL!!!" and then chasing after me with a broomstick to beat me with. Yet, I'll never forget the torture I would experience two years from now...


It was Wenda's thirtieth birthday, and my dad, being the proper gentleman, booked reservations for the two of them at a spiffy restaurant for dinner. They were to attend after she opened her presents so they could include me in the "fun." One of these gifts being a box of delectable milk chocolate truffles. My tongue hadn't savored in warm, chocolate goodness since Wenda came into my life. Before they left, she placed it on a table that was within my reach as if she were provoking me to eat them. Just as expected, the devil inside of me emerged, and I reached out to the truffle box knowing that this would anger her further.


When she returned home arm-in-arm with my father to my chocolate-covered, smirking face, her face flashed more emotions than I thought one could contain. She drove her fingernails into my arm and started to tug me up the spiral staircase that lead to the tower. The one room that I could not even stand to look at.


We reached the top in a matter of seconds at the speed she was racing up the staircase, and I had no lip to give to her for I was paralyzed in an emotion that was recognized as fear. I watched her fumble with the doorknob, and her tug ferociously at the door flinging it open with the might only a superhero would possess. "You've left me no choice, but to keep you in here dearest Winsel. You won't behave, do as I, or your father ask. Oh, and don't expect him to find you here. I have ways of occupying his mind. I'll send your daily meals up the shoot, but that is all you will ever expect to receive from me. Goodbye now!"


In a quick flash I was shut away forever in a small, cramped room that my mother was known to have died in. It wasn't exactly the pinnacle of fun I had in mind. I felt a breeze blow through the shutters, and when the room began to shake I fell to the floor sobbing. Just as Wenda promised, my father didn't show or realize I was missing. She informed him that I enlisted in an all girl's summer camp, and would be gone all summer. My father was too preoccupied in his housing business to notice any flaws in the tale. I spent weeks in the tower crying my eyes out until the tear ducts were empty and my pupil's were bloodshot.


Then the day came where I would see my future savior, although I did not know it then. I just simply thought of him as the first person I saw in almost a month. The wind was heavy that day, and blew open one of the shuttered windows that was nailed to a close. It revealed a boy appearing of the age twelve carrying a small toolbox. His head was topped with sandy golden curls and fashioned honest, brown eyes. There was something about him that I felt drawn to, as if maybe he would save me from my prison. What could a twelve year old boy do, though? The answer was nothing - a twelve year old even being an apprentice to my father didn't have the talent to take a door off. The most he could possibly do is hammer a nail in the direction my father pointed him in. There was no hope for little me.


Of course, the story could only uphold itself for that summer, so Wenda came up with an even juicier one. "Oh, yes!" She would clap her hands with delight, and a false smile would pry amongst her lips as if celebrating her evil deed. "Winsel has decided that the tower should be her new bedroom." Just like that, I was held prisoner to the wooden walls of where my mother took her last breath. I couldn't think about my mother in here. It would be just too much, and I know it would be worse to think about how someone died on the floor that I go to slumber on.


Five years later, and it was to be my thirteenth birthday. As a reward, my father decided to hire one of his apprentice carpenters to fix up my tower prison. It comforted me somewhat, at least I wouldn't have to worry about my bedroom toppling to the Earth below on a windy night. When the man arrived, I discovered that it was not a man at all, but in fact a teenaged boy. The liquid chocolate that was his eyes was the first thing I noticed, and remembrance of that day so long ago filled my soul with a new feeling of hope. "So, you are Winsel. I never could fathom why you chose this room to sleep in, it is a large house. I'd often see you peering out of here when I was just learning how to do the job as a young boy. A very curious girl, you were." He smiled warmly at me as he scoped the room for the imperfections that needed to be fixed immediately.


"I remember you, too." I said in a hushed tone. "Wenda would not approve of you being here, especially at a young age. You mustn't be more than seventeen years old."


"Would you prefer someone of an older age to take on this job?" He said with a teasing tone.


"I think I will pass." That was the start of many days with the seventeen year old, more commonly known as Henry. I often found myself sharing personal details that would not be appropriate to mention with someone that I hardly knew, yet I felt so strongly towards Henry I couldn't help myself. We would spend hours talking each day, and although it was against our better judgement, we were falling in love.


He tried his hardest to slow down the remodel of my tower, but we both knew that after three beautiful months, it would only be one short day's worth of work until my room would be considered "complete." When the day came, he lead me into the room and said, "Winsel, you are in 'Rapunzel's Tower,' the room that so many young girls would spend daydreaming about. Yet, you insist that more needs to be done to it, for your actions obviously show that you are not satisfied with my craftsmanship. What more do you need?" His tone wasn't an angry one, although many would assume that it was, but a curious tone. He truly just didn't understand me.


"You aren't part of it, Henry. It will never be complete without you." On that note, he picked up his toolbox, and without looking at me or even saying goodbye, left. I heard him thank my father for the opportunity, and kiss my step-mother's hand. He was gone, or so I thought.


The chapter of my life of Henry wasn't over yet. When it became around the time my parents would normally go to sleep, I heard movement on the shingles outside of my window. I peered out to see Henry climbing the side of my home. "I am in love with you Winsel." He stated in a matter-of-fact tone as if he was in a business meeting. "If it means I have to climb this house every night to make you feel complete, I will." And so he came, every night, right after my parents went to sleep. He was always there for me, and never once asked for anything in return. People might say we were too young of an age to feel the emotion we knew in our hearts to only be love, but we didn't care. We knew how we felt.


Happiness wasn't a promise Wenda had made though, when she locked me away at the innocent age of eight. Henry was bound to be caught, and my happiness would be snatched away from me and replaced with the heartbreak I could only feel when I thought about my mother dying due to the birth of me. Henry was climbing the shingles on our house, as usual, but discovered something unexpected halfway up. My step-mother had awoken to visit the bathroom, only to find a boy above her window. She screamed at him to get down with such an intensity, that Henry lost his grip and plummeted down the house. I watched as the only boy I felt emotion towards fell to the ground, and shut the window. I couldn't handle knowing that the person I loved more than anyone, was taken away from me. It was better not knowing or seeing, and just pretending he was alive and well. My father didn't ask me to attend his funeral, so I didn't go.

I have learned that you can't fully depend your happiness on another soul for then when you lose them, everything goes with it. Things don't always go your way, and even though it might anger you, resorting to the same level as them, even doing worse, isn't the way to go. You might find yourself locked away in your own tower, never to see the light of day again. My father, before Wenda, used to tell me how much I was like my mother and I now see why. Rapunzel gave birth to me with only love in her heart for me, and knew that one day her time would come whether it be soon in her life or later. She found the light in the darkness of her prison, and I plan on finding the light in mine. I know one day it will find me again. As for when, only time will tell.





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gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 23, 2010 at 8:02 pm

This is fabulous, love how you made the fairytales your own--great job!  Keep writing!

Btw, will you check out and comment on my work?

 
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