Story for APAR

A lady in blue came to me to give me this story for ‘Apar’

Prince Charming

When I was a girl I had a dream. My dream was to marry a prince who would love me forever. That was my dream. Now, I knew there weren’t many princes about, but never the less I thought I might find someone who was ‘prince like’ enough for me to want to marry him. And of course he would want to marry me. Why not? I was beautiful. I had long golden hair and my mother told me I was beautiful. In fact when I became a teenager I think I was too beautiful for my mother. I think she became a little jealous of me, just as I was becoming more beautiful, she was becoming less beautiful. She was always fretting about the next wrinkle that appeared on her face and the weight that was growing on her hips. She didn’t seem to love me as much.

My mother and my father split up when I was about twelve. It happened gradually. He started to go away for his work. He was away more and more. My parents used to argue about it.

My dad said ‘How can I earn the money if I stay at home? There is nothing for me here.’

My mother said ‘I am here for you, you don’t have to drive lorries, you could work in the store.’

My father refused to work in the store.

‘That’s the last thing I want to do, seeing the same old faces day in, day out.’

‘It’s not so bad,’ my mum said, ‘I do it. I wouldn’t have to employ Francis if you would work with me.’

‘You’d get sick of me,’ my dad would say.

‘I’d never get sick of you, Honey,’ she’d say, ‘I love you.’

‘Yeah, I know, I know.’

My father didn’t seem to like to hear that my mother loved him. I never heard him say he loved her.

Gradually, as the months and years went by, my father drifted away.

My mother ran the shop and father disappeared. If I asked about him she would say, ‘He never loved us. We weren’t exciting enough for him. He’s got hot feet. He has to cool them on the road, up in the mountains, in the streams, in the lakes up north. He couldn’t cool his feet here.’

I had told my mother about my ‘Prince’ when I was a little girl. As I grew up sometimes she would refer to him.

‘Trouble is, Honey, you can’t rely on princes to buoy you up. You’ve got to do it for yourself. You gotta learn to look after yourself whoever you spend your time with. You can enjoy his company for a while, maybe for a long time, or forever, but unless you feel good and strong in yourself he won’t be staying anyway. Men don’t like women to be hanging on to them, depending on them too much. That’s the trouble with princes, they want to do everything for you in the beginning, then they get bored and they’re off. And women who have had everything done for them don’t know how to do it for themselves and feel lost.

So don’t spend too much time thinking about how beautiful you are and whether you’ll find your prince. Find out who you are and what you like doing, and what you can learn so you can enjoy your life and earn a good living too. Keep yourself healthy and strong. Be a friend and you will have friends.’

My mother and I got closer after my teenage years when she had settled into her life without my father and I was less self centred and hormonal. We get on fine now. She has become a good friend along with several others that I have. And I do have a man, and he isn’t a prince, and I don’t know if he is going to stay forever. It doesn’t seem to matter too much because I know I can look after myself if I need to, and he can look after himself too, so I don’t have to worry about him. We share the work and the play, and that’s good.