Saturday, March 9, 2013

Life Lessons 22: Fairy Tale

Dani was tired of listening to her friends gush about boys.  She'd never admit that outloud though.  Her quiet and slightly stand-offish nature meant Dani's group of friends was a small one.  She loved her friends, and she didn't think alienating them over something they took so seriously was a good idea.

It wasn't that Dani never wanted to talk about boys.  It was just that the latest boy drama was driving her a little insane.  (Aldine liked Kamadev who had seemed to like her back until he asked Irawa out yesterday.)  Dani had decided that, while boys were nice, she had less stressful ways to fill her time.

This had always been a huge difference between her and her friends.  When they were little Aldine and Jasmeet had always wanted to play princess while Dani would have rather played an adventure-type game.  She remembered spending the night with Jas years ago and having Jas' mom tell them a story about princesses.  Dani's father, on the other hand, had always told her bedtime stories that involved girls going on grand adventures where it didn't matter if her clothes got dirty.  Sometimes he threw a boy in as the girl's best friend or trusty sidekick, but if there was any romance, her dad would just say they got married years later – she thought he was trying to give her a hint.

"Look at them," disgust was clearly recognizeable on Aldine's face and in her voice.  She was glaring at Kamadev and Irawa from across the cafeteria.  Dani imagined they must be acting disgustingly cute, but she couldn't be bothered to look.  For her part, Jas seemed to be getting a little tired of Aldine's ranting as well, and all she offered was a quick, uninterested glance in the couple's direction before turning back to her food.  Aldine didn't seem to notice her friends' lack of interest in her continuing drama as she gave the evil eye to the couple who, now that Dani had bothered looking, where hunched closely together and giggling in a sickly cute fashion.

"So..." Dani searched around for a topic she hoped would distract Aldine.  She failed to attract anyone's attention though, and she couldn't think of anything to say regardless.

"Any plans for the weekend?" Jas asked, saving Dani.

"Not really," Dani replied.  "Just the usual."

"Me too." Jas nodded.  Then, her eyes lit up.  "We should have a slumber party!"

"Great idea!"  Dani thought that was the perfect way to get their friend's mind off of things.  Dani and Jas turned to Aldine expectantly, but she had now turned dejectedly to her food.  "Aldine," Dani snapped her fingers in front of Aldine's face.

Aldine blinked and looked at them blankly.  "A party sounds fine."  Well, at least she had been paying some attention.

"Great," Jas' voice sounded full of fake enthusiasm.  "How about at my house?  Can you guys get there around seven?"

Dani and Aldine both made slight sounds of agreement.  None of them were particularly thrilled about their plans. Aldine was, no doubt, upset that her moping would be disrupted, and Dani imagined Jas was feeling the same as her:  they weren't going to have any fun trying to cheer Aldine up all night.  Still, it was their duty as best friends to at least attempt to make her forget things, and that was what they would do.

Later that night, things were going just as they had expected.  Nothing Dani or Jas did seemed to have any effect on Aldine's greyish mood.  When Jas decided to pull out the worn, bubble-gum pink book that Dani hadn't seen in years, Dani's stomach sank.  That book had been a center or their playing for years.  It was the princess book that Jas had gotten for her sixth birthday, and the three friends had poured over it for years.  It was the inspiration behind all of their princess games in their younger years.

"Look what I found," Jas announced, more to get Aldine's attention than Dani's.  "It's been years since this thing saw the light of day."  She flipped through the pages that were practically free of the binding.  "Remember how we used to love pretending to be princesses?"  Jas let out a sudden gasp as she pulled out three sheets of paper that weren't meant to be a part of the book.  Dani knew what they were instantly.  "Our dream princes," Jas breathed.

Years and years ago, the three friends had written down what their "prince" would be like.  They'd come up with everything from his looks, personality, and name.  Dani even remembered coming up with pets, parents, and siblings for them.  Jas shot a glance at Aldine to see if the reminder of their dream guys would cause her to shed more tears for the guy that was most definitey not her prince.  Instead, a smile was finally making its way across Aldine's face.

"Let me see," she reached for the worn papers and smiled even wider as she read the messy scrawls they'd left on them.  Their young hand writing was almost illegible from where Dani was sitting, but Aldine could apparently make some sense of it.  "Remember how you wanted yours to own a pony, Dani?"

Dani blused.  Her younger self had been a bit too...well, girly for her current self's tastes.  "Yeah," she rolled her eyes at her past self.  "Is there something there about yours being willing to wait on you hand and foot?"  When they were younger, Aldine had always stressed that her prince would happily do anything she asked for.

"Yes," Aldine smirked.  "There is."  Jas and Dani were relieved but a bit confused that this was what it had took to return Aldine to her normal self.  Apparently the cure for boys who were jerks was perfect dream boys.

They poured over the papers for another half an hour and laughed at what their younger selves had found important in boys.  Time and experience had shown them that none of their "princes" really exsisted, but Dani felt as if Aldine and Jas were getting hope that there was at least someone decent for them out there.  Maybe Dani was feeling that too.  In fact, Dani was rethinking her whole outlook on fairy tales.  They didn't exsist, but she'd forgotten how fun they were sometimes.  The three friends found themselves reading the familiar but forgotten stories well into the night, lost in their perfect dream world.

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