There comes a time in every girl’s life when she desperately longs to be a princess. Whether fulfilled through family trips to Disneyland or flowing prom dresses, the wanna-be-princess appears in us all at some point of our lives. This is very true in 27’s life. She was bestowed with princess nicknames at a very young age, and the desire to live among shimmering jewels with gold crowns and elaborate kingdoms has never escaped her. Beyond the castles and gowns, 27 has always longed for a prince to appear and sweep her off her feet, just like the fairytales convince us all to wait for. 27 was able to fulfill that wish, including a charming prince, but unfortunately, it did not end with a very happily ever after...
27 and I went for a little hike through Eastern Europe last summer. We ended up on diverging journeys near the end of the trip as we both had different must-sees on our check lists. I verged towards Ukraine, being the only pure tourist without a humanitarian agenda, while 27 went west to Prague. Now, for those who have been there, I’m sure that immediate sentiments of wonder and awe sweep over you at the very thought of Prague. For those of you who have yet to travel to this beauty of a city, I must assure you that it is as every bit as magical as you could possibly imagine. Prague is undeniably mystical and extremely romantic. It’s stunning castle, which is truly from another world, sits atop a hill in the middle of it all, which overlooks the orange tiled roofs of the city below. Prague somehow manages to carry its visitors into a different era and people end up wandering around as though they have it all to themselves. For 27, this was the backdrop that she had always wished for, and although seemingly perfect, the setting was so spellbinding that it could easily transform any frog into a prince.
27 arrived with a bit of hesitation. Prague was her first solo destination and the hostel was busier than anticipated. She pushed through the ambivalence, taking advantage of her independence and the lovely world which she had submersed herself into, embracing the day. Suddenly, without provoking, the clouds separated, a double rainbow formed and a radiant light shone down from the heavens above, right onto the handsome face of Prince Charming Not So Charming. He quickly allured 27, and in that moment she became blindly enchanted by his captivating magnetism. Eyes locked upon one another and 27’s heart determined that this was indeed that phenomenal instant where her story would truly begin. Time somehow stood still and rapidly condensed during the following five days. 27 and Prince Charming Not So Charming set off on idyllic adventures, visiting enthralling castles and sojourning through seductive hide-aways. 27’s mind would occasionally attempt to convince her to press pause, but her heart was leap years ahead of those sentiments. She had fallen, quickly and hard, for a man that belonged in the breathtaking landscape, fitting like a puzzle in the internal fantasy that she had painted years before.
27 met me in Venice after five days of make-believe turned reality. I learned very quickly that Venice is not the best choice for someone who has just left the presence of a prince. She was sad to have left him behind in Prague, yet cherished the moments that they had shared. Although separated by distance, 27 and Prince Charming Not So Charming kept in touch, writing emails, Facebook poking and even Skyping once we returned home to Canada. Prince Charming Not So Charming was also Canadian, so plans were soon formed to meet up during the fall.
He arrived on schedule and the two continued on as though they were back in the land of fairytales. All was going well and not an eyebrow was raised for the extra long weekend that he spent at The Soi. He left with expectations that they would soon see each other again, throwing out dates and opportunities that they could potentially take advantage of. A week after he left, things started to change. Prince Charming Not So Charming started to become awkwardly preoccupied, clumsily forgetting his phone in random cities, accepting new jobs, taking family visits when Skype calls were planned, not responding to texts, ignoring calls and the like. 27 desperately wanted to believe that he had the best of intentions, but her gut, which is instinctively right, knew that something unknown was lingering in the depths. She eventually told him that she was uninterested in staying in touch and asked that he never contact her again... ever.
Prince Charming Not So Charming respected 27’s wishes, as months passed without hearing from him at all. Late one evening, absorbed into the heart of winter, just before the clock struck midnight, everything took a dramatic turn.
To be continued...