Something about fairy tales – something about the knight, and something about the princess – the dynamic, the characters, the plot; something in the formula just works. It’s been hundreds, maybe even thousands of years, and the story still hasn’t died out. Something makes us want to keep it alive. Something makes us want to keep believing.
It’s all easy when you’re reading about it. The knight slays a demon, and the princess is saved. You get a problem, and then you get a solution. Quick. Simple. And most of all, one-dimensional. You hide all the details. You ignore the possibility that the one of them doesn’t like the other. You ignore the possibility that the knight fails. You know everything’s going to work out, because that’s how all of these stories work. That’s why you read them. Because that’s the only constant thing you can rely on in your life.
If only everything in real life could be solved by simply living. If only I could live the romance protagonist’s life, where mystery and adventure come on a silver platter. If only everything could be solved by the power of your love. If only the childish beliefs I hold applied to real life. If only beliefs were something more than beliefs, and actually meant something. If only – if only there was a voice of reason against this angst.
How many times have I missed an opportunity? How many times has a gaze been reciprocated? Is it better to not know?
If every chance I had was displayed to me on an electronic screen, maybe I’d pay attention. I think I’d rather someone tell me that it wasn’t needed, though. I’d rather be assured of my future. I’d rather be aware of my imminent demise than have to base my decisions on probabilities and possibilities.
If there was no challenge in love – if you didn’t have to deal with trust issues, jealousy, or any of the little things that make a relationship go sour – would that be good enough?
If they were attractive, yeah.
“If they were attractive.” Fucking asshole. Piece of shit. Hypocrite. Selfish. Vain. Egotistical. Scumbag. Narcissistic. Prick.
That’s what you’re supposed to react with, right? “Look on the inside.”
“I don’t want to look on the inside. I can’t get past the outside.”
“You’re so… insensitive.” Right. That’s the word. Insensitive.
“Hey, man. I’m sorry, but I just don’t find her attractive. That’s it. I won’t be able to love her as well as someone else can. I’m sorry that I cant look past it. Maybe you can. I’m sure you’ve already done so. You’re a good guy, but you know that already.” He clears his throat. “Man, I -”
“Yeah, yeah. I get it.” She waved him off.
He nodded, turning on his heel. “I’m going to go tell her that I’m -”
“No, no. It’s alright. I’ll go do that.”
“Oh, alright.” He took a few steps, then turned back around. “Are you sure?” He raised an eyebrow.
“Yep.” She said, not looking up at him.
As the door closed behind him, she wondered which words she was supposed to pull out in this situation. She pondered her high school vocabulary tests.