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Prince Charming

I remember the time I made my very first friend. We were both in Kindergarten
at the time and even shared the same classroom together. It was the first day of school
that we met. I was walking across the room with one of those 64-packs of crayons when I tripped and fell down. Every crayon in the box went spilling out; they were everywhere. It was like we had a rainbow right there in the classroom, except none of the colors were aligned together, just scattered randomly.

Feeling embarrassed by the situation, I began walking through the room with my
head turned down, picking up every single crayon and putting them back in the box. It
shouldn’t have been a big deal, right? People drop things all the time, and it only takes a
few seconds to pick them back up. But when you’re in Kindergarten, you see the world
differently. Sixty-four is a big number, and having to pick up that many entities off the
ground at once can seem like such a laborious and time-consuming task. And I had to do
it all alone. Nobody came and helped me. Maybe the teacher would have helped, but she was not in the room at the moment.

As I continued to crawl around on the floor searching for crayons, I saw two feet
approach me. I didn’t look up, though. I just wanted to finish my job. The person who
had walked up to me just stood there in front of me for a minute, and then said, “Here, let
me help you with that.” I could tell by the sound of his voice that it was a boy. He
reached out a hand and gently removed the crayon box from my grasp. “You fell really
hard a minute ago. Are you okay?” he asked. Feeling shy as usual, I just nodded without
saying a word. I reached for another crayon, but he stopped me. “No, it’s okay. I’ll
finish picking these up for you.” That made me smile. That was the first time somebody had ever offered to do something for me, and it felt so good.

I walked back to my table and sat down on my small, purple chair. A few
minutes later, that boy came over and sat down beside me. We exchanged hellos and
introduced ourselves. The next thing I knew, we were engaging in really deep and
friendly conversation. Something between us just clicked. I could feel it. We didn’t even have to ask each other to be friends; it had clearly been made official already.

In this story, I am going to write about the loss of everything I had with
that boy; that wonderful, humorous, selfless boy. Let’s call him Prince Charming.

For the entire year of Kindergarten, Prince Charming and I continued to expand our friendship. We never left each other’s side. It was like we were handcuffed together;
we couldn’t have gotten away from each other even if we wanted to. But I loved having
somebody I was so close to. I didn’t feel like a complete outcast in the world now that I
had a friend. He made me happy and that was all that mattered.

As we got older, it was becoming a little hard to maintain a peaceful friendship.
Kids started to believe in cooties and they thought Prince Charming and I had a bad case
of it because nobody else—and I really mean nobody else—hung out with somebody of
the opposite gender. We stuck out. The cooties phase passed everyone by eventually and
then the thought of boys and girls dating was gross entered everyone’s minds. Prince Charming and I was still the only pair of people who didn’t share the same gender so now that told people that we were dating. Then the rumors started heating up. They
started out mild but soon turned serious. Both of our reputations were at stake just because a few brats opened their mouths. But it never separated me from Prince
Charming. We knew the rumors had to stop eventually. All we could do was wait for that day to come. By the time we reached sixth grade, our patience had been rewarded and the rumors died off.

However, something new was happening to us; we were both going through changes. We were preteens and our more mature, grown-up feelings were kicking in. In a word or two, he and I developed a crush on each other. In one way, it was so nice to have feelings like that for each other, but in another way, it felt dangerous. We were hoping the rumors wouldn’t fire up again. They didn’t. People were finally accepting how we felt. It came as a huge relief to both of us.

Seventh grade seemed to arrive quickly. My feelings for Prince Charming were
still there, but they had grown over the summer. I felt like I couldn’t ever be away from him. I had never felt like this before and I didn’t know if I liked it or not. I visited him at
his locker often during the day and sat with him at lunch. He called me a lot and invited me over to his house almost every single weekend (well, he did that when we were younger too). I savored every single moment I spent with him. I felt like he was a precious treasure that I could not lose. But, then again, how could I? We never fought; there was no instability or misunderstandings between us. Everything was perfect.

When the school dance was just two weeks away, Prince Charming asked me to be his date to the dance. When he asked me that magical question, I felt like my heart skipped a beat. Time seemed to stop as I tried to take in what he had just asked me. I finally caught my breath and said yes. I was smitten.

That night, he called me and we talked about the dance. He seemed to be just as excited as I was. When we hung up an hour later, I started getting ready for bed. That night, I slept with the phone cradled to my ear, as if that would keep him close.

Two weeks later, on October 26, 2007, Prince Charming picked me up at my house and his mother drove us to the school for the dance. He said I looked great—I sure hoped I did, considering it took me three hours to get ready. Near the end of the night, when a slow song played, he asked me to dance. That was something I’d dreamed of doing for a long time. So I nodded and he took my hand and led me to the dance floor. That’s where everything fell into place. His arms wrapped around my waist, my hands resting on his shoulders and our eyes met. Then I knew there was something there, a certain sparkle in his eye that I hadn’t noticed before. Then I felt something ripple through me like an electric shock. It made me feel different; a good different, a powerful different.

I fell in love.

This was real. I knew it was. I fell in love with my Prince Charming. It wasn’t
puppy love or mere infatuation. It was pure love. That’s what my heart was telling me.
After that night, I never looked at him the same way again. He was the love of my life. I
was mush. I had a good feeling that he and I would never break apart.

But seventh grade passed and eighth grade came. Over the summer he and I were
still going strong but when the new school year started, we didn’t see each other as much.
I assumed it was because our schedules were hectic. I didn’t suspect anything was wrong.
I waited two weeks and I hadn’t even passed him in the hall yet. But one day he came to
my locker before first period. It was so great to see him again and hear his voice. We talked for about a minute and then he told me goodbye and walked away. I figured I’d see him again. But I didn’t.

After that day, nothing was ever the same. He never talked to me and every time
I’d try waving to him in the hall or saying hello, he would look away from me and start
walking in the opposite direction I was going. I felt confused, but I kept thinking it must
have been a coincidence. But a month went by and he hadn’t talked to me once. I still
felt confused, but now a little bit of pain was starting to kick in. What if he was
purposely ignoring me? What if he doesn’t like me anymore? I had so many questions
that I kept trying to find the answers to. Every now and then I would find a piece of the
puzzle and keep adding those pieces together. I gathered several fragments of the puzzle, but there was one that I could just not seem to find.

I started to become depressed. I remember I would always come home from school every day and cry in my room until I had trouble catching my breath. I felt like I was always falling, but never hitting the ground. I couldn’t take this constant agony; it was murdering me inside. Oh, how I longed for it all to stop.

All I wanted was to find out what was going on between Prince Charming and me. I wanted to know if I said something that made him mad or if he hated me. I needed answers.

When I heard about the school dance that was coming, I got a sudden feeling in
my gut that told me I would find the last piece of the puzzle there. But I actually wasn’t
sure if I wanted to go. It wouldn’t have been the same without Prince Charming. But I
knew I had to go. Something was going to happen there and I had to be there for it.

So my mom helped me get ready on the night of the dance and my dad drove me
to the school. I met up with my friends and just talked with them. I wasn’t really
enjoying myself though. I kept dreading the moment when the DJ would turn on a slow
song. I didn’t think I’d be able to handle it. I tried not to think about it, but it seemed
impossible. When a slow song finally turned on, I saw almost everyone in the gym pair
up with somebody and start dancing. I felt tears welling up, so I sprinted out of the gym.

For about forty-five minutes I sat down at one of the tables in the cafeteria and sobbed until I thought my eyes would run out of tears. By the time I had perked up enough to go back to the gym, my makeup must have been completely ruined. I could imagine what my face probably looked like at that moment: my lipstick staining outside of my lips and my mascara running below my eyes in thick, black streaks. I probably looked like a circus clown. But I honestly didn’t care what I looked like right then. I just wanted this night to end so I could go home.

When I reentered the gym, I made my way toward the bleachers…where Prince Charming was waiting for me. He called me over and I eagerly rushed over to him. Once I was over there, he stood up, took my hand, and asked me to dance.

This gave me a hint of hope. Maybe it wasn’t over between us. Maybe we would
be all right. We wrapped our arms around each other again, and I felt goose bumps form
on my arms. It gave me such peace to feel his touch again. He and I held a casual conversation for awhile, but then he started talking business.

“We need to talk,” he told me in a tone of voice that I’d never heard him use
before. “I want you to tell everybody you can that we are not going out anymore.” My
heart sank. My peace retreated. My smile never left my face, but that was only to hide my pain.

“Okay, I’ll be sure to let them know,” I said to him as if this were totally painless.

He nodded. “Good.” I couldn’t help but wonder if he knew how he was making
me feel right now. I felt betrayed, embarrassed, but most of all, hurt. When the song
ended, I gave him one last hug because I had a feeling it would be my last opportunity to
do so. Then I walked away, trying to let the cruel reality of what just happened sink in.
The more I thought about it, the more I started to realize that he really didn’t handle the situation very well. You don’t break up with somebody when you are in the middle of a slow dance with them. That’s a very bad way to do it. I felt stupid for ever believing that he still liked me. He just asked me to dance just because he knew it would get my attention so he could dump me. I was humiliated.

Although I felt like Prince Charming had ended our relationship, I couldn’t help
but think that he meant something else by it. He never actually said, “I’m breaking up
with you.” He was very subtle about it, so it left me confused yet again. I actually
badgered him for awhile just to get my facts straight and then he seemed to steer clear of
me even more. All I wanted was to have peace, to have closure.

My mom used to tell me to lay off the needy act. She felt so sure that it was over,
but I wasn’t positive. I was pretty sure it was official but he was too subtle with it so I
didn’t really know. I just needed to know if we were over, and then I promised myself I would leave him alone.

For months, I was in a certain state of depression. I never got any sleep because
all Prince Charming would do was haunt my dreams. So I would just lie awake in bed
until three in the morning, thinking of only him. I found a picture of him and me together
when we were younger, and for a long time I kept it with me at night. I just stared at it
and stared at it until tears would come to my eyes. I wrote several songs about him in
hope that it would help me get over him. But nothing was working. I was completely
torn and my heart was shattered. I felt lost without him in my life. It seemed impossible to lose somebody after you’ve known them for so long.

It took me a very long time, but I finally realized that I couldn’t just live without
somebody at my side forever. I had to get back out there; I had so much love left to give. I was just too selfish to let go of Prince Charming. I always ask myself, “Do people ever get over their first love?” I knew I couldn’t sit around and hope I could find out. So I started dating again. And to my surprise I felt happy with almost all of my boyfriends. I still never got Prince Charming off of my mind, but it felt relieving to try to move on.

Each boy was special (or not so special) in some way. First, there was Easy Love, who is my best friend’s big brother. That’s not what made him special, but it was a little funny because it grossed my friend out to know that her brother was dating her friend. He broke up with me after two months.

Second, there was Romeo, who enchanted me with gifts and affection. He broke up with me just one day before our four-month anniversary, which really hurt for awhile.

Third, there was Lustful Flirt, the school player. He was captivating, funny, romantic, charming, and most of all, a jerk. We hadn’t been dating for even a week when he took it too far. I broke up with him the next day.

I was taken on a life-changing journey when I met the fourth boy. I called him Prince Charming II, because the happiness I felt when I was near him was unlike anything else I’d felt in a long time; he was very attentive, fun, and beguiling. I fell for him almost as hard as I had for Prince Charming. In fact, he even turned out to be my second love, which was an incredible experience that I had stopped expecting to happen long ago. We were together for nearly a year. He broke up with me six days prior to, which tore me to pieces and made me wish I’d never fallen in love a second time.

Finally, there was Boy Toy, as I once referred him to as. When I was with him, for the first time in my life I actually felt special. He was the first guy who ever called me beautiful—especially as frequently as he did—and he wrote me beautiful poetry and little love notes that made me smile broadly. But in the end, he turned out to be different than I thought he was. It was hard for me to give him up, but I broke up with him when I finally got fed up with his crap. We had been together for two-and-a-half months.

It has felt wonderful to date people again, and it gives me lots of peace, but I have
never forgotten Prince Charming. He was special. He may have hurt me and left me waiting in the cold, but I forgive him. I still cry sometimes because the pain is there, but I don’t feel resentment anymore. This was his first screw-up so I feel like he should get off easy.

Maybe one day, this tragic loss I’ve suffered will reverse and he’ll come back to
me. Then again, maybe he won’t. Most likely, our relationship will completely fade into
oblivion. But whether it does or not, I will not let myself lose the memory of my Prince Charming.



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