Never have I seen anyone like you, and never will I. I saw you first on the mountain. You were so beautiful. I felt like a troll standing next to you.

You spoke to me with a voice as light and cool as a summer breeze. "Angie," you said. "Go away from here. Go. Go where I can really see you."

So I stepped into the sunlight. You stared at me. "I told you I was ugly."

But you said, "Never have I seen any like you, and never will I. Beside you I feel like a troll, so ugly, so unwanted."

I laughed and ran from you and your lies. I felt so strange without you. It was as though you were gone forever from my life. As though I would never feel the warmth of your smile turned toward me—as though you were dead.

The feeling hurt. I turned to look for you among the trees, though their dark ways made me afraid. You eluded me, and I was sorry I ran from you.

I thought you didn't want me. The thought made me cry hot, salty tears. I wanted to die. You found me, huddled among the trees. You said to me, "Angie, why did you stop looking for me? If you had just turned around, you would have seen me."

I felt you lift me up, carry me until I got my strength, and then you set me down, knowing it would hurt my pride if you had to carry me any further. Then, they attacked. Swords raised high, they came from the sky. They ran you through, while I looked on in horror. You didn't bleed, but merely grinned at me and blew them up, giving a show for me to see. You were great, until I felt the cold steel of a knife at my throat. Your rage knew no bounds. You let them secure you, all the while shooting daggers at them with your eyes. Suddenly, the daggers became real. The ropes binding you released you.

I smiled at you. You smiled back and disappeared. I did not cry, I did not sigh. I merely went on, for I knew that you would always be next to me. I walked toward the sunset with its blazing colors. They engulfed me. I accepted them, for I knew you would see, and marvel.

You said, "Angie, come to me. Live with me, forever."

"No." I said. "You must let me go. You are perfect and I am not. Go to your perfect home and find yourself an elf instead of settling for a troll."

Your eyes burned into me as I turned to go. I hurt from the pain of turning you away, but would do much more if it meant your happiness. You swore, "I will love you whether you admit you love me or not."

I ran to you, you turned and the stone in your face cut me like your love never could. "I love you!"

By Angella Hofer