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He was Prince Charming, I was Cinderella, but this fairy tale wasn’t going to end in a happy ending.

His gait was careful, like someone stepping in places he couldn’t stand. Not that I blamed him, after all, this was ‘Freshman Territory,’ which must have been pretty disgusting for a full-grown Junior like himself. It’s only two years difference, but the maturity ranges from peeing on walls to applying to college.

Polite as he was, his face was completely emotionless, but his usual smile was absent. I say usual because I see him smiling every day in the lunchroom, two tables away from mine where he’s always sitting. Not that he’s ever smiled at me or anything.

His name I know from friends of friends, but I’d never heard him say it himself. How would I? He was the most beautiful Junior in the world, and I was a shy, awkward freshman. Sure, my mom and great aunt and grandma called me ‘gorgeous’ and ‘stunning’ but it’d never been uttered by someone else. No friends commented on it, no boys gawked.

I just was.

Which, for a boy like himself, wasn’t enough, and I knew that. So instead of throwing myself at him with hardly any dignity (like I wanted to) I kept my distance, not so content with admiring him from afar, but more than used to dealing with.

He was Prince Charming, I was Cinderella, but this fairy tale wasn’t going to end in a happy ending.

It was moments like these, as I watched him with a crumbling heart, that made me realize that the fantasy, happy-go-lucky Disney stories are just that: stories. There isn’t such a thing in real life. Once in a while, people get lucky and are content with what they get, but more often than not? They’re stuck broken-hearted and empty-handed, standing on the sidelines.

I’d love to say that I was wrong, that I eventually spoke to him, which led to a passionate romance and eventual happy marriage. But that would be a lie. I’m still looking from my seat two lunch-tables away, cursing whatever it is that keeps me on the ground while he’s flying high.


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