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A Fairy Tale

Stephanie Regalado is a University of the Philippines - Los Baños student. This article is used only for academic purposes.

The Meeting

Remember the first feeling that you had when you see the person you thought that you'd spend your life with? Because I do.

It was the year 2015, the whole family had just moved to this new city, a new neighborhood. I had left everything and everyone behind, starting a new life in this soon-to-be wretched house of ours.

We were never a happy family. We were complete, yes, but we were somehow... Broken. There were times that I wondered if my mother and father were rather separated, would we be more serene and happy?

So, in response to this facade of one big happy family, I tried finding someone who would love me and accept me for who I am.

Eighth grade started and I saw him, Reeve, let's call him. He was just sitting on the empty seat, where I was going to be staying for the rest of the year. He was going to be directly beside me, and I was enthralled with him being behind me, that I couldn't focus on my work. He kept to himself, quiet and all. So, I never really minded him, and just looked at him from afar. He had his own circle of friends... and I had mine. Or at least, those that I would later on lose.

It went on for years, as I have mentioned before... I left everything and everything behind in my old home. So, I was still hung up on this long-time crush that I had. Let's call him Damon, for the sake of naming him. So, for years, I didn't notice Reeve, nor did I even talk to him. For me, he was just a guy that was my classmate.

The latter semester of the ninth grade was where things looked bright for the two of us. Reeve was seated beside me, and because of that, we grew closer and closer. We talked for a couple of days on the phone-- I used to text him my load because I was afraid that my parents would punish me for even flirting with a boy. We were a secret, I kept him a secret because I needed to. And surprisingly, he was alright with that.

He was a real charmer, Reeve. We were your typical sunshine-meets-grumpy trope of romance. I was outgoing, and he was rather reserved... In a sense, because he didn't socialize beyond his circle of friends until we got together. He was an awkward boy, which I definitely loved about him. He bought me things, gave me gifts and everything that I could ever ask for.

And around the Christmas party, we finally kissed. It took a couple more days before we made it official, and I was his girlfriend.

Prince Charming

A couple of days after we became boyfriend and girlfriend, I started to see the changes in our lives-- specifically mine.

We went out in secret still, and I would use my best friend, Andrea, as an excuse to go to the movies with Reeve. Bless her heart, Andrea, you're the best.

Surprisingly, Reeve was a great guy, and very much so. He made me feel love, gave me things that I never got from my parents. He was also someone who looked good, and for someone who had the lowest self-esteem, he was a great catch. Tall, handsome, older than me... I do see the weird taste in men that I have. I know.

Reeve started going out with me and we had already spent a couple of months together. He was a great lover and even greater kisser.

Oh, Reeve. What was I supposed to do with you? You were just so perfect, like out of a fanfiction or fairy tale. I didn't want to let you go.

The Knowing

I did say that I came from a bad household, didn't I?

So, because of that, I developed depression and anxiety that usually attacks at a random because why not?

Everyone knew this, my professor knew this. I even broke down in my classroom one time, and Reeve was there to see it. I was miserable. I was unstable. I was mentally ill.

Here comes the time where I had a panic attack and I was home, talking to Reeve. My prince charming, coming into the scene with his white horse. He asked what was happening, why was it happening, or how he could help. I wanted to tell him, of course. He was my lifeline, my pillar to lean on when things get rough.

And yet... when I told him that I couldn't explain why... something so much different happened. He started telling me that I was being dramatic and that no one was going to love me because of my effed-up mind. He told me that I was lucky that he even loved me.

Then after that, he said sorry. He told me that he didn't mean any of it, and he was just taken out of surprise and he was stressed. He promised me that he'd never do it again.

I believed him. He didn't punch me or hurt me physically. And he was right, I thought, I was hard to love and I was lucky to be loved by him.

And I shouldn't have. I should've ended it right there and then, but I didn't. Because I believed him. I loved him, and I hated myself. And I was happy that someone like me could actually be loved.

Fairy Tales are Fake

Fairy tales are always told as: "Once upon a time, the princess was in need of rescuing, and along came a prince with a white horse, hoping to rescue his beloved. And they live happily ever after."

They failed to mention that fairy tales are faux, a lie. There wasn't a happy ending, there wasn't a happily ever after. Prince Charming didn't notice Cinderella when he was all in a ragged maid outfit. Prince Philip kissed Sleeping Beauty without consent. The Beauty and the Beast is one whole Stockholm Syndrome romance.

And my prince charming? He only continued to become a monster.

© 2021 Stephanie R