That’s what the shadows were.
The shadows that lurked on the streets, the shadows that dwelled where she grew up, present wherever she was. The shadows wandered the streets, incapable of feeling any emotion, incapable of expressing any thought.
The elders had told stories, each one more deranged than the last. They had all been of ordinary people who fell in love with one of them. And each one was deceived, and each one had everything withdrawn from them.
She had grown up listening to all these tales, intrigued by each and every story, yet disgusted at the sight of the shadows.
They were so similar, so plain. Even the thought of shadows had made her shudder. Longingness encaptured in their eyes, as they watched, envy of her life, envy of her freedom.
The day she saw him.
The day her eyes landed on him.
She didn’t know of what he was, or what she was to become.
All she knew was that her heart was tugging her in that direction, and so she trailed behind, following where it lead her.
All she knew was it was he she wanted.
And so she fell.
She didn’t know any better.
But what use was that to her now?
So what if she didn’t know? Her fate was determined. Determined by her absurdity.
She should have known.
Whenever she was with him, her heart swelled, her face broke into a grin, one wider than she had ever experienced. When she was with him, she felt her problems melt away, and that he was the only thing in the world that mattered.
When she was with him, her heart sped up, and when he talked, she listened and she loved.
She had thought she had found someone she cared for, someone who she loved.
And she did find him.
Her Prince Charming.
But to her prince, she was not his princess.
Life isn’t a fairy tale, life isn’t some dream.
It’s a cruel, harsh, reality.
Because the boy she fell in love with, he was one of them.
And even after she knew, she convinced herself it was different.
That he was different.
But what good is convincing if it’s not true?
She loved him.
But she didn’t know that--until it was too late.
As she spent her life swooning over him, he dove into the abyss of her figure, of her life, and stole what was inside her.
He clawed at her heart and shattered it into a million pieces.
And then he tore it again.
Until every last bit was gone.
Until there was nothing left.
Until every bit of humanity left in her, until every bit of feeling, until everything was compelled from her.
And she became what she feared the most.
She became one of them.