A/N: Oh dear lord. Here come the vegetables. :D This is my first new story in a while, and I hope you guys like it. It starts off a bit slow, and it might continue a bit slowly, but I'm trying to keep it as natural as it can be when you're writing a story as clichéd as this potentially could be, but what I'm trying to keep it from becoming. Anyway, here we go.
Summary: She wanted the fairy tale. She wanted the chick flick. She wanted the soaring music, the dozen roses, the ball/prom/wedding, the Princess Bride kiss-to-end-all-kisses. She wanted the cliché. It's a pity she was so busy up in the clouds that she didn't recognize it when it came.
My favorite fairy tale is Rapunzel.
I know what you're thinking. It should be Cinderella, because she had the gorgeous dress and the sweet nature and the beauty and the obliging fairy godmother and the utterly charming prince who tried to find her based entirely on her shoe size. Or it should be Beauty and the Beast, or The Frog Prince, because it turns out in the end that the ugly, beastly character is a prince in disguise and it was a pretty good thing that the heroine was nice to him because then the prince doesn't hate her when it's revealed that voila! He's actually kind of cute.
For God's sakes, you're saying to yourself, at least let it be Snow White!
The thing about Cinderella, though, is that she and the prince are so curiously blank. You never get to know them, and to make matters worse, they never get to know each other. He falls in love with her based on her beauty and one dance. She has everything nicely parceled up and handed to her. And what does he have to do? Ride across the country and make girls try on a shoe. There's no drama in that.
I like Rapunzel because…the prince originally falls in love with her for her beauty. But he keeps coming back to her, and I can only guess that during that time they actually got to know each other and fall in love with each other for reasons a bit more substantial than external beauty. He nearly dies for Rapunzel, and wanders through a desert still searching for her and when she finds him and cries, her love for him is so strong that her tears heal his blindness. I like that belief in sacrifice, and the belief in the overwhelming power of love.
That's why I like Rapunzel.
And that's why, I think, that I still haven't really found what I'm looking for. I mean, it's only high school. There's a severely limited gene pool. The fact is that there's a whole big world out there for me to find that true love I know is out there somewhere; I know, I know. But years in high school have so much crammed into them, because high school is where you grow, where you become what you will be. Decisions and choices you make in high school will effect how you live the rest of your life, they really do. The counselors have at least that right.
It's just…They all get their fairy tales and it's not so bad for me to want mine now, is it? I'm not that selfish a person. I'm just asking for this one thing and lord above, but I want it so badly that I've cried over it.
There's a small, cynical part of me, though, that keeps me from going out and, you know, trying out all the frogs in the hopes that one of them is a prince. Because…I shouldn't have to, right? The prince finds me. And yet…and yet…
And I believe—desperately believe—in love.
I'm just not sure it exists.
May in Oregon and the air is so still and sweltering that it's hard to breathe. It's not usually this hot, but global warming and the general approach of summer has taken care of that. But hey, I figure that if starving children in Africa can keep sloughing through in environments even more oppressively scorching than this, so can I.
Outside, girls are occupied with strategically unbuttoning/tying up shirts and rolling up pants and skirts, taking advantage of the sun to both tan and display whatever physical assets they are most proud of. A girl actually manages to exchange her T-shirt for a bikini top and confidently parades around the school for ten minutes before a teacher catches her and sends her to the principal's office to change.
"How…" Jess pants next to me, splayed on the grass in the vain attempt to cool herself off, "…are you still wearing your jeans…down?"
Distractedly, I grunt a reply and return to my music, scrolling through the songs in my ipod and selecting 'I'll Be' by Edwin McCain.
I feel Jess heroically crawl a foot towards me and slowly roll up my pants for me, pausing every so once in a while to recover from exhaustion. "I'm so…gross." She groans, flopping back on the ground once her duty as Best Friend is done. Using the edge of her shirt, she wipes off the sheen of sweat gathering on her collarbones.
A drop of sweat rolls down my cheek and into my mouth. I grimace in repulsion, but the taste quickly fades and the cloudless blue sky is the perfect atmosphere to listen to the song.
"Aah! Stop ditching me for music!" Snatching at a brief burst of energy, Jess jolts up, and then her head sags back down into my lap. Not enough energy, apparently. "Fine, bitch. At least give…me an ear-thingy."
I oblige. She listens for two seconds before taking it out of her ear again and looks at me in disgust. "What?" I ask her, annoyed. She's interrupting the chorus.
"You're listening to this shit again? Dude, I thought…you weaned yourself…off the love songs."
I snatch back the earpiece. "I did. But I don't really have any other music, you know."
She grins cheekily at me. "What about that Metallica CD I got you last Halloween?"
My Look conveys all the disgust and condescension I can muster. It's not much, and not very impressive, because Jess just chuckles and pats my knee. "Aah, I love you, Mimi."
Snorting, I smooth my light blue baby-doll tank top that hides my very slight bit of a tummy, pick a stray bit of fluff off one of the embroidered flowers, and restart the song with a long-suffering sigh. Nobody appreciated good love songs anymore. It was all about the pimps and the angry broken hearts now.
It would kind of cool, I think dreamily, if someone ever sang to me. Even like in 10 Things I Hate About You. Actually, I'd love it if it was like Heath Ledger's performance in 10 Things I Hate About You because it's so…funny and sweet all at once. And I don't need to be swimming in rose petals or anything.
Pat Bolton walks by, clad only in cargo shorts and a thin, tight wife-beater that show off his track-star legs and impressive stomach muscles and lean physique. Jess and I are both a little more alert as our eyes rake him up and down and we collapse into slightly wheezy giggles which only escalate as our eyes make contact.
'He's so hot.' Jess mouths at me, and I eagerly nod back, eyes wide with laughter. 'Oh my God, yeah.' I mouth back.
And, like, oh my gawd! Guess what? We're, like, normal people!
Kind of. I mean, Pat Bolton and a few other people around us kind of give us funny looks when we start with the whole hysterical laughter thing, and that only makes us laugh harder, so five minutes later we're covered in grass stains from rolling around in the grass and have forgotten to do our homework for the next period because we were too occupied with using our God-given lungs to bring joy and stuff into our lives.
I'm the kid in class who never, ever speaks unless she has to or is insanely hyper (and then makes a fool of herself, so never raises her hand again). I mean, there are other people in class who don't speak unless they have to, either, but whenever they are called on they're completely confident so nobody ever really pays attention to them.
And that's a compliment, all right?
Because I hate having the spotlight on me. My heart starts pounding, my cheeks start burning, I start sweating nervously if a teacher just asks me one simple question—especially if it's an 'opinion' question. Because…I kind of don't really have opinions about anything. Not really. It's one of those character faults that keeps me awake at nights.
I mean, I have some opinions. Like…whether people are good-looking. If an article of clothing is cute. Whether something is well-written or not. That love is possibly one of the best things in life. But ask me my opinion on, say, the French Revolution? What I think about the movie Million Dollar Baby? Whether you should break up with that jerk-slash-total-sweetheart? What we should do to help places like Niger or Darfur? I couldn't tell you right away. And I wouldn't be able to articulate it very well.
I could write it, though. Give me a paper and a pencil and five minutes and I could give you the answer. But people don't normally do that, and so…
Anyway. Because of a whole bunch of reasons, I don't talk very much in class. I have acquaintance-friends in most of my classes, with whom I'm comfortable enough around to be able to hold a conversation for over five minutes, and so I talk and laugh and stuff with them, but I'm not exactly an important part of the classroom society. If I was absent, everything would continue without missing a beat. Few would even notice I was gone.
So imagine my surprise when I entered English, flung my backpack under my desk, sat down with a weary sigh, and then happened to casually look at my desk and see a small note taped to the side.
A note that clearly bore my name.
A note that contained one line.
A note that would change my life.
(Hey, I said I was quiet. That doesn't mean that I'm not just slightly overdramatic.)
a/n: And okay. Here's a story for…kind of for me. And kind of for the normal girl out there who really, really wants something to happen to her—something big, something magical, something that will make her life stand out, just a bit, from the average person. Here's a cliché and I hope you enjoy it. At least it's making me happy.
Please, please, please review? Tell me whether this is worth being continued. Please. Because I'm sort of desperate that way, haha.
Thank you for reading.