I awake in a dark and damp cell, light headed and confused. To my right sits Dastan, his head hanging down into his chest. I can tell he's angry by the way he stares at the opposite wall. He doesn't look at me, which is quite alright considering I'm still mad at him for using me.
Why did I rescue him anyway? I could have easily made my escape to Space Mountain and left Dastan to Malificent, but no. I had to jump in the way, taking both of our lives in the process.
I unexpectedly hear a pair of heels trample down the hall. As they approach the iron gate Anastasia nearly trips. "You fooled me," Brizella says. "I never would have imagined you'd pull through with this whole book thing, but-"
"Way to go!" Anastasia shouts in an almost humble way. "Mother says we're free to go to London in the morning."
I look at Dastan as he buries his face deeper into his shirt. "You mean they already killed her?" I whisper.
"That Garden Gnome?" Anastasia says "Please, the raids to-""
"Shh!" Brizella shouts, nudging her sister in the hip. "Anwyays, mother says your cooperation was much obligued and you'll be released soon." she looks to Dastan with her nose pointed in the air. "He, however, might have another fate." With that the sisters grab their skirts and march back down the hall, leaving Dastan and I to the sound of trippling water.
I take a close look at him. His hair is messy because of running his frustrated hands through it so many times. His hands clasp together tightly, resting in his lap; afraid. His eyes stare into mine, glassy with disappointment. I know because I saw the same look reflecting in his just hours earlier, only then, I was filled of anger, not regret.
"You're finally getting what you've always wanted, huh? With Fairy Godmother gone it's only a matter of time before the magics lost. The parks will close and the only thing you'll have to hear about Disney is it's decent. I have to agree with Brizella on that one," he says, "you fooled me." With that he turns his back, leaving me to my own guilty thoughts.
I guess he's right. I really will be free to go back home. Things will finally get back to normal for me. Whatever normal is anyway.
Suddenly, a thousand thoughts come flooding into my mind. Without Disney, my mom won't have anything to obsess over. She'll be like a normal mom who goes out for girls nights and weekend getaways to the Caribbean . And my brother; he won't have that annoying alarm clock to wake me up anymore or those stupid songs he goes around singing all the time. And then there's Michelle and the rest of my friends who won't have any reason to pick on me anymore. As for my house, I guess it'll go back to normal or maybe we'll sell it as one of those antique homes and move into a manshion with the money. And my dad, well, maybe this whole experience will lighten him up a bit and I'll get more freedom.
Now that I think about it, my life is exactly as Austin and I always dreamed it to be. My parents mind their own business and I'm considered cool and popular by my peers. What else could a girl wish for?
Except, of course, I'm not that girl anymore.
Frustrated with my own thoughts, I stare at Dastan and sigh. "It's not like you were perfect either." I say. "You lied to me."
I thought he might ignore me, but instead he tilts his head and rolls his eyes. "How?" he sneers.
I narrow eyes and clear my throat. "'I'm a good guesser', and 'you looked like you could use some hot chocolate'. Please," I say, "it was all in the book and you know it."
"You're using hot chocolate against me?"
"Yeah, to make you feel better," he says, "excuse me for trying."
I cross my arms. "Yeah, right. What about the tree house?"
"You mean the suite I gave you completely against regulations?"
I throw my hands in the air. "Who asked you to?" I shout standing up. "Oh yeah, probably The Fairy so you could get on my good side. 'It's because of the way your eyes light up around animals.'" I quote pathetically. "I can't believe I fell for that one!"
Dastan raises his voice, also standing up. "You don't even know what you're talking about!"
"Yeah? Well what about all that mountain stuff?"
"There was nothing in that book that said anything about your desires to climb a mountain!" He yells defensively. "I made that up completely on my own."
I take a deep breath. "Maybe," I say quietly. "But I know you read about Austin. Chapter three talks all about it."
Dastan looks down. "Yeah, I read about Austin." he says. "And I'll have you know that you deserve someone much better than him.."
I twiddle my thumbs, thinking about something to fire back. Instead, we look at each other in silence, minutes ticking by without a word.
"Mickey, listen." He says, giving me one of his looks. He gazes down at me, making me feel small and immature. Like an iggnorant child. "I know you think everything I said was a lie, and maybe some of it was, but that's only because of my job."
"Well I was already blaming Disney without you bringing it up," I say.
He ignores me. "I was scheduled to teach you everything Disney as fast as possible,"
I roll my eyes. "That you do well."
"Mickey, I'm trying to tell you something important. Something every Imagineer is sworn to secrecy about, but seeing that my time is well, limited, I don't think it matters much that I tell you why I did things the way I did."
I find myself shiver when he says the word limited, watching him clasp his hands for what may be the last time, i finally get the nerve to shut up.
"You know how Fairy Godmother talks about people losing their magic?" I nod, remembering that first day in the castle. "Not all magic is good magic," he says, "when people like you lose it, villains have a funny way of finding it. It's like blood in an river of paranas. If you don't recapture the magic, the villains are going to take it for themselves." He sighs, "I was sent to stop that from happening."
"And you failed." I say quietly.
He gives me another look. "Yes, I failed," he admits. "But not for the reason you're thinking. I did a lot of things against the rulebook to say the least. Downtown Disney? The suite inside the Animal Kindom? Yeah, I got a lot of flack because of that, but in my mind it was well worth it to see your reaction."
I look at him puzzled. "My reaction?"
"Your smile. The way your eyes light up." He smiles to himself, "And to be honest, the whole acopello group situation wasn't so bad either. I should have been more careful than to fall for a girl who hates Disney and everything it stands for, but hey, I read your book and it never said anything about Disney Imagineers with corky senses of humor being your type."
I look at him curiously, not even comperhending the words he just said. "But I don't hate eveything it stands for," I whisper. "Just what it did to my family."
He raises his eyebrows. "Which is what exactly? Give you parents who care about you? Or a brother who worships the ground you walk on? Yeah, maybe your friends didn't treat you the greatest, but it's not Disney's fault."
I laugh. "Right."
"I am right." He smirks. "Just because something doesn't go your way doesn't mean you can blame it on someone else." He says, "That's part of growing up."
He expects me to yell. In my mind, I almost want to just for the nerve. But deep inside I know it's true. I fold my arms awkwardly into my chest, unconsciously hiding myself from the world.
"You don't have to do that." He says.
"Do what?" I say slowly unraveling myself, looking around the cell. The gates locked with iron bars every half inch. theres not even a window, just a flickering torch in the hallway. There's no way out of this mess., I realize. This mess I made. At this realization I turn to full hysteria. "Look what I've gotten us into!" I cry. "Who knows what's going to happen to you. You could," I look at him, feeling sick just thinking about it. "And it's all because of me. Dastan I'm so sorry."
This obviously isn't the first time Dastan's seen me cry, but I'm sure this is the first time he's seen me break down in such a fashion. The next thing I know, we're sitting back on the floor, his arm around me, my head resting on his shoulder, sobbing. "It's not completely your fault," he whispers, trying to calm me down. "I should have told you about the book sooner."
I listen quietly but the only thought going through my head is:
He's going to die and it's all because of me.
"I should have mentioned the villains were real."
He's going to die.
He gently rubs my shoulder. "I should've told you why I pushed so hard."
All of this is going to die.
And it's my fault.
"I should've told you about the magic,"
I wipe my tears. "You didn't tell me about the magic."" I say softly, remembering every morning when he'd come take me to a park from sun up to sun down, teaching everything there is to know about disney. Somewhere in the midst of all this Mickey and Minnie business, something changed. Those long days of boring lectures turned into fun, playful days of getting to know each other. He never let me settle for anything less than great from myself, and we
whenI look at him I can't picture anyone else who could have done it better. I lean my head onto his shoulder and whisper again, "You didn't tell me about the magic, you showed me magic."
Suddenly, a blue light appears, shimmering, glowing brighter and brighter in the dark cell. It's not fairy godmother from what I can tell, no, I don't think I know this light. it grows brighter until Dastan and i shield our eyes.
When they open, the iron gate have been broken.
The Blue Fairy smiles at the two of us just before she floats away.