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Friday, March 3, 2017

After The Party


The woman sighed. Her eyes were fixed on the vista below her, a sprawling town with the castle yonder, all lit with little lights from the candles. Her mind, though, was entirely elsewhere.

"What's with all the sighing?" her man-servant asked, "And please, you will ruin that dress sitting on the grass like that."

She didn't answer, only sighing some more. 

"I am lonely," she answered.

"And you are ruining your dress," her man servant replied, pointing to her beautiful silvery white dress.

"It's enchanted," she pouted, "you and I know that. It magically repents wear and tear. How else can I use my glass slippers for so many dances without breaking it once? Even with those clumsy buffoon princes."

"Touche," said the man servant.

They sat still for a good while. Her man-servant took out a small case of cigarettes and started to lite one. She looked at him reproachfully. "Smoking will kill you," she said.

The man servant shrugged. "Eh," he said, "once I am back into a mouse I've only got, what, 3 months to live? Might as well enjoy it."

"If we get back," she corrected him.

"Once we get back," he smiled mockingly, "That old fairy godmother of yours is powerful, but the spell can't last forever."

Now it was her turn to shrug. "Why not?"

"Because, dear little housemaid," he answered, "as a house-mouse I know nothing lasts forever."

She looked away. "You are just being negative," she said.

He laughed at her statement. "Really? What do you think would happen, say, two years from now? Will we still be the wandering vagabond that crashes into each party?"

She sighed again. "I am already tired of parties. I want to go home."

The man-servant looked at her kindly, lovingly. "Let's go then."

"I can't," she answered. "I don't know where home is."

They sat there in silent. She took the cigarette from his hand and inhaled it deeply. He didn't mind. She needed it.

"I wish," she said between the puffs, "I wish I had settled."

"With what? Fat lazy princes? Dubious ones?" her man servant snorted.

"I mean, they can't all be that bad," she said with a shrug.

"No, they are not. There's always a good part in somebody, and there's always a bad part," he answered.

She looked at him with a sorry look, "You've seen a lot, haven't you?"

He merely shrugged, "Eh, not important. We don't live long enough to care."

"Back to you, though," he said, "we won't let you just 'settle'."

She looked away. "Neither will I."

He lit another cigarette and handed it over to her, taking the dead one away. 

They sat there smoking in silence. "Maybe I don't need a prince anyway. Maybe I should just be happy with a farmer or a merchant."

Her man-servant laughed. "Dreaming of days chasing ducks and feeding cattle, followed by quiet nights by the fireplace?"

She laughed with him. "You make it sound so abhorrent." The laughter grew stronger until they both roared with laughter.

"No, no, seriously," she said. "That doesn't sound that bad."

He smiled and looked at her, "It is that bad. You know that."

"It's quiet and peaceful, though. You could have children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren by now," she smiled wistfully.

"I like them as 'could have'," he answered. She grinned.

The night was getting older and the chilly breeze came through. She shivered a little. He took off his man-servantjacket and wrapped it around her, sitting closer to her.

"How many Royal parties have we crashed into?" he asked.

"I don't know," she answered, "a dozen? Two dozen?"

"Remember the one with the courtyard so big it took us almost an hour to go to the castle's entrance?" he said.

"Oh yes!" she answered with a giggle, "and also the one with the crystal chandeliers! Fanciest castle!"

"I remember the one where the prince was so handsome I thought that'll be the end of our adventure," he laughed.

"Don't remind me of that vain prince," she cringed, "Or the one who took interest to me but doesn't seem to know what to do with me."

"That one was your loss," he teased. "You could have taught him things."

She scowled, "Like what? Like how not to faint and get a nosebleed when I stand too close to him?"

Her man-servant roared with laughter again, and she soon followed suit. Their laughter rang throughout the night.

"Cindy," the man-servant said softly after they went quiet again, "if big castles and golden cages couldn't keep you in, why do you think a humble house would?"

She looked at him. "I want to go home," and buried her head on his chest.

He hugged her close and caressed her hair. "We will go home," he said lovingly, "to a home that you deserve."

She didn't say anything, so he kept caressing her hair. "The horses, the other man servants, us the bewitched ones, we're happy to be a part of your adventure. We want you to be happy because you deserve it."

"I am sorry I brought you all into the mess," she answered. Her voice muffled. "I didn't know the spell was for me to find a prince, and so when I rejected the first one, the spell continues to work. Had I known…"

"Had we known, we would not change a thing," he answered. She lifted her head up and saw him smiling, "We think living as horses and man-servants are a better deal than as mice and being chased around by that horrid cat."

She giggled. "Really?"

He looked at her and smiled, "Really." 

He pulled her close and let her bury her head in his chest again, tenderly caressing her hair. "We will find your home, and we will take you home."

They hugged quietly for the longest time.

"Promise?" she whispered softly.

"Promise." He gently answered.

The chilly wind gently rustled the leaves on the tree, but the two of them remained there for a while. It's a big, big world out there, but they'll find their home. They know it.

1 comment:

  1. Saya saat ini juga di posisi mba dan baru proses cerai. Bener2 menguatkan ya postingan ini, saya jadi merasa gak sendiri. Waktu tau suami saya selingkuh, saya malah merasa lega, karena Alloh sudah menunjukkan kuasaNya, memberitahu mana yg benar & mana yg salah. Benar2 petunjuk Alloh ini smua, karena saya tdk ada rasa curiga sama skali & ga nyangka klo suami saya doyan main wanita. Apalagi sekelas LC karaokean.


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