Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wearing Black (or: I'm Not Bad, I'm Just Danced That Way)

She’s the one they think of. She’s the real one. Her suffering is always remembered, whereas mine is ignored at best.
It doesn’t occur to anyone that I simply did what I was told to by my father.
He came home one day and announced we were going to the ball at the castle. My heart was in my throat: there had been no balls in my life thus far. He took me to the court and paraded me around, proud, while everyone else admired me.
And suddenly, the crowd gave way to the most handsome young man I'd ever seen. And he looked at me with ardor and passion in his eyes. 
We danced all night, and I saw nothing but  his smile. All around us, I could hear the whispered comments: look how well she dances, how bewitching, how gracious. Never had I been that happy. At the end of the ball, he announced to all the guests we were to be married. Married!
But then, just then, he glanced at the window, and what he saw there made him freeze; I looked: a gorgeous white swan was there, visibly in agony. He let go of my hand and hurried outside, leaving all of us at a loss as to what to do. And as the crowd dispersed, I caught a glimpse of my reflexion in the mirror.
But the girl staring back at me was not myself - but her.
I realized he had mistaken me for her - the one he truly loved. The white swan. All along, he'd smiled at her, promised her eternal love.
My father wasn't around anymore either, so I went home all by myself. And from my window, I saw them meeting once again. I also saw them throw themselves in the lake.
And up to this day I remain by the window, looking. Looking, in the hope my eyes have misled me, that perhaps he's not in the botom of that lake. In the hope that he may knock on my door, promising to love me.
They cry for her, and no tears are shed for the girl in black that remained behind.
The girl in black is but an impostor. Who cares whether she, too, loved?