Isn't it funny how every story ends with a Happily-Ever-After? Have you ever wondered what happened after you close the book? Or after the end credits roll? Did they continue in their fairy-story or did reality come crashing down? Did Ariel ever wish to go back to the sea? Did Snow White ever miss the dwarves?
It's been said that a Happily-Ever-After is just a story that hasn't finished yet. Despressing huh? But how far is that true? Am I just being cynical? Or am I one of few who can truly see reality? Personally, I'm still waiting on my Happily-Ever-After, trust me, it's long over-due. Fairy stories are rarely analysed. Dismissed as children's books, they are largely unnoticed by critics. But I discovered something when I actually sat back and read between the lines.
The main characters were happy, even before they reached the ever-after. Didn't Ariel have fun with Flounder? Wasn't Snow White happy with the dwarves? They had shining moments, maybe of only a few milliseconds, where they were truly happy. They didn't need a Prince to come and sweep them off their feet. They had their friends, and that was enough.
So then it got me thinking about my life. My dream for my Happily-Ever-After. Maybe me and Snow White have a bit in common. Alone, no parents, lost in the world. And then you meet the most amazing people, who remind you that the world isn't so bad. Yeah, I still have no parents, I still miss my brother, but I'm not alone anymore. Sometimes, before the guilt kicks in, I'm truly happy. And for those 5 seconds, when I forget that my brother has died, when I forget that no one else in this world shares my blood, I'm the happiest girl alive. I live for those 5 seconds. I've slowly learned to let go of my past. To treasure it and cherish it, but to not allow it to rule my life. To look back and remember the good times. The way my brother would call me 'Kissa mom' the way his hair smelled after a bath, the way he would ask, just before bed, to 'Kiss me Kissa'. Snapshots of a past life that shouldn't make me cry, but should make me smile; for the girl I used to be, the life I used to live. If I do cry, they will be happy tears, shed in the arms of my best friend, who doesn't need to ask why I am crying, who doesn't need to speak to comfort me.
So maybe a Happily-Ever-After doesn't need to include a prince. The bad guy may not always have to be destroyed. The fair damsel may not want to be carried away on a white horse by a man in shining armour. Maybe the fairy tales have got it wrong. Maybe a Happily-Ever-After is about having friends who can tell you what's wrong, before you even know yourself. Perhaps it's being able to look back at the past, not with regret, but with a sad fondness for days gone by. Maybe it's about looking at how far you have come, the obstacles you have beaten. Maybe it's the fact that even after you have suffered through hell, you are still able to be nothing but happy, for a whole five seconds.
Maybe I already have my Happily-Ever-After.
Maybe it's not about the Happily-Ever-After at all.
Maybe it's about the story.