The Secret In My Heart

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“The secret must remain in your heart,” proclaimed Melikar, closing the story and rendering Quin's adventures moot. Princess Nevermore was not a piece of literary brilliance, but the novel has meant everything to me. The first bitter sweet ending I was ever exposed to resides benignly at the end of Princess Nevermore.

Dian Regan's book was a bargain basement deal that I received at my preferred price, free. The barcode on the ratty, blue cover valued the story at 4.50, but truly, Princess Quinella's adventures are priceless.

The American public has been sold a dream of animated, musical, happy endings and Hollywood has sold that dream to the world. Even as a child, I didn't buy in to the mass delusion.

I dislike happy endings. I find it cheap to drop the Lazzi, have all the leads get married, then roll the credits. A bitter ending makes a story mean something. A difficult choice lends significance to the path that is walked. An ugly death can illustrate a beautiful life.

We've all been touched by the skeletal hand of death. We've felt it brush by our shoulders as it walked on, an Arctic cold voice whispering “see you soon.” Everyone dies the same. One moment alive, the next not. I've lost many people and been to many funerals. When Death stands behind you and wraps around you, it speaks. It says “Humans die like bugs die, like ants die. Their not people, just piles of flesh. There was no reason for them to be here.”

It is easy to accept my life as meaningless. I don't need meaning to be happy or to be kind. But when I have loved someone and they are taken from me, without fanfare or purpose, my heart has hurt and cried out for a happy ending, for the one I love to cross back through the veil. I had to learn though. I had to learn to take death as part of life and that peace was a gift from a dear friend of my family, and a women I would gladly grow up to be.

Ms. Candy was a New Orleans wild child with fiery hair and a fiery soul. Candy was a woman, who made her living throwing parties and looked at life, like one big shindig. Candy cracked dirty jokes, found me rare and dusty books to read, dressed my sister in vintage 1950s dresses, and celebrated every holiday she ever heard of. I graduate this year with the knowledge that, unlike my sister, I will not be receiving a copy of Dr Seuss's Oh, The Places You'll Go, from Ms. Candy. Her body ate her.

Cancer is not a glamorous way to die, especially not for Candy. Candy was meant to go out with dancing, fireworks, and a jazz band playing. Candy was not supposed to die in a hospital. She did though, and her death sent me running back to Princess Nevermore.

There is beauty in the antithesis. I believe this with all my heart. Because of Ms. Candy's death, I no longer only appreciate bitter endings in stories, I appreciate them in life. Because of that appreciation, I am fearless of my own possible unhappy endings. However, if my courage wavers, I have seven words to remind myself that pain in life is greater than cheesy, prefab endings. “The secret must remain in your heart.” Candy will remain in my heart.





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