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  • Lindsey Garner

Happily Ever After

Once upon a time, there was a princess and a prince; a man and a woman that could not, despite whatever they tried to do, stay away from one another. The world tried, for sure. It handed them all the challenges, distance, and tough times it had to offer. It pushed them apart, brought them back together and forced them to make choices. This is their story.

This young princess dreamed the dreams of little girls with fairy tale love affairs; love so strong that nothing could end it. She was a hopeless romantic, but in her own unique way. She didn't want flowers and diamonds. She never cared about chivalry. She likes hiking boots and watching the sunset over the mountains. She was a little bit of a wild soul, preferring the company of the stars and a book most days over big crowds and fancy dinners. She kissed a lot of frogs on her journey to find this prince she dreamed of. Maybe too many, in fact. Hey...just being honest. :) Shockingly, the frogs never turned to princes, they just didn't call back, or they called back way too many times. Sometimes, they were great frogs; stable frogs that would have made great princes for her if she liked "stable". These frogs opened car doors and had solid 401K investment strategies. She tried to make things with these lovely stable frogs work, but their were other princesses out there for them. Their solid, heartfelt ways never clicked with this wild princess. She liked laughter deep down in her belly, and tears so real they sit in her chest just waiting to be released. She dreamed of that level of passion. She dreamed of an unconventional life. This isn't something that comes along every day, though. It's a rare gem, and maybe something she might never find.

Then one day, she found a different frog. She couldn't understand what was different with this one, but she knew it was deep down in her gut. With her kiss, this frog quickly turned into her prince, with feelings as big as the sky.

This is where the book ends, right? We close the back cover and think "how lovely". Princesses and princes, guess what? I'm about to ruin the real ending to this book....but I want to do you a solid. This isn't the end. This is chapter 1, in fact. I'm rewriting this damn book. Princesses get older, get tired of taking care of everyone else all the time and drink too much wine sometimes. Princes are bad at texting back sometimes, leave their shit everywhere and sometimes don't know the right thing to say. Like I said, this is chapter 1.

In my version, the world does every damn thing it can to keep the prince and princess apart. It isn't kind. Other princesses try to get into the mix, and other frogs make the prince jealous sometimes. But every time, as if by magic, they end up right back in one another's arms, surer than ever of their love. Guess what though? It wasn't magic. It was their ability to get real. It was their desire to be open and honest with one another. The prince and princess ACTUALLY gave a shit about each other. They did the freaking work.

This is the real story, ya'll. For me. Make up your own, will you? For the love of God, create your own fairy tale and decide what the "ever after" looks like for you. Today, at the halfway point in my trial separation from my husband, I am fighting for my own.

I am sad today. I crave a little bit of the "normal". I can't tell you the last time I cooked dinner or did the grocery shopping with my husband. A normal night in seems like another life. Actually, that's a lie. I can remember everything about the last time we did this, because now, looking back it WAS

My prince has tattoos, and tells dad jokes

something remarkable, and I wish I had noticed that then. But I'm editing and rewriting over here. I have my pencil out with its used up eraser that I am using down to the end, changing the details of my fairytale. By the end of this life, that pencil will be chewed up, with a worn down pink eraser that is little more than a stub. I will change and edit as I go, create the kind of love and life that lives on in the bedtime stories of my grandchildren.

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