Perhaps I was caught in the trickery and distraction of a spell undone. The spring that finally came after a hundred cold and barren winters, the gleaming castle with proud flags unfurling in the blue sky where crumbling stones used to be, the armies of servants now at our command, sound and clamor filling up the years of silence, and you, shining in the sun, alive, transformed, so different from the other. Shocked with the noise and bright light of the glamour after, perhaps I did not notice, as I should have, just exactly how different you were.
We live in that gleaming castle on a hill, a handsome prince wedded to his princess, each in perfect symmetry to the other, and we are envied for our life, which will be set in a story told for ages to come. But what will not be told is the price that needs to be paid, the lingering affliction of a broken curse.
Day after day I wonder, “What have I done?”
Countless courtiers and nobles in countless balls, the minstrels and the poets that pay tribute, all say the same, that I am the most beautiful woman they have ever beheld. Each time this declaration is made, your face is the one I seek. I meet only an inscrutable expression. It is there every time I catch your eye, which grows less and less frequent. The last time you have ever truly looked at me was the last time I held you in my arms, the last time any honesty had ever passed between us.
I watch you, do you know that? I search your face in vain for any trace of the other. I watch you and take note of the what moves you, the breathtaking sunset that awed you, the red rose whose rich scent you feasted upon, the books you read avidly, and I note, too, how you turn from me when I approach you by the window, not even a perfunctory comment when I dress my hair in roses, shutting the covers and saying it was nothing of interest when I inquire what you read. Even an absentminded pat on the head that you would give to a faithful dog, you do not bestow upon me.
I remain the rose underneath my father’s glass, perfect and untouched.