Graphic by Emma Petit
Graphic by Emma Petit

Cherry Wu
18 February, 2024
Let me tell you a little story that ended faster than it began.

You used to wrap yourself in the promises of fairy tales,
comforted by Prince Charming and the true love’s kiss,
the magic of a flying carpet across your constellations.

Bittersweet shivers that ran through your spine as you lay vulnerable next to him, and the invisible string that tethered between the gulf of your worlds.

One of which Rumpelstiltskin spun for you.

You danced to his tale of woe, one that let your heart astray,
but his gentle whispers were what you missed most.

You live life with wide open arms,
and he was the first to hug you back.

You think you lost him long enough
to forget the ephemeral embrace he gave even when he said
I love you
2 days in.

You let yourself believe that he was the sun,
but as the sky falls, and the final flicker of the flame fades away,
his spark is devoured by shame.

You wanted it to be true so bad, strong enough to hold yourself up, but it was all a fiction, a dream, a fruit that never became ripe,
a love that never came to fruition.

There was nothing else you could do but protect your own heart from the needle that he threaded, woven through and through.

So you put on a mask every day and fake that
frowning smile of yours.

You drown yourself in sorrows, collaging your memories with him into the story of your life,
just to collapse on the sidewalk and cry.

You wonder how you ended up here,
On the cold grounds in his stone-frosted tower.

But there you are again in the same room, the same bed,
and now you see glimpses of him in strangers across the street.

The strawberries in yogurt and salt air rushing by the pier
The mini pancakes placed in imperfect symmetry
good nights and good mornings that started your days and ended your nights.

The portraits he shared with you,
him in his Old Navy sweater, cuddled in yellow autumn leaves.

Or maybe it was his fingers combing through your hair at the stroke of midnight,
and the soft touch when his lips met yours.

The comfort in a hug when you needed it most,
and holding hands in the rain to walk for miles.

It was the taste of home food and the smile he beamed when he wrapped his arms around your torso in the kitchen.

Perhaps it was the spark in his eyes when
he still thought he could keep you.
6 days ago.

Deep down you knew it was too good to be true,
but you wore rose-colored glasses to keep yourself afloat.

What if he stayed on that boat?

Maybe part of him did care at one point,
but you let yourself believe Rumpelstiltskin was a man of his word.

So as he spun lies with threads of gold, you tumbled from his soaring tower, only to crash upon the sharp pins of his deeds.

Perhaps you will meet again somewhere,
another world, another lifetime, another universe.

As the thorns of his doing grow into your aching heart,
you lay here helplessly covered in crimson red.
Watching him, you can’t help but smile one last time.

The ending of your fairytale unveiled with your bleeding heart,
laid bare in his hands.

For Prince Charming and Rumpelstiltskin
were one of the same man.