A Fairy-tale Reality
A certain man planted a rose and watered it faithfully.
Before it blossomed, he examined it.
He saw a bud that would soon blossom.
He also saw the thorns, and he thought,
"How can any beautiful flower come from a plant,
burdened with so many sharp thorns?"
Saddened by this thought, he neglected to water the rose,
and before it was ready to bloom, it died.
~Of Roses and Thorns
"Do you like happy endings?"
Once in a blue moon, there will be a girl who, although never asks for too much, will find true love. In the least likeliest of places, a faceless friend half-way across the world. Her eyes the color of spring grass and the summer sky. Her hair occasionally soaked by sunlight, bestowed with the luster of a bronze gem. Hands always kind and empty.
Never asks for too much.
Once in a blue moon, there will be a boy who once had it all and then gave it up. He felt hardly little regret and rarely ever looked back, light haired and light-hearted and honest. He always wanted to build a family.
Never asks for too much.
"Is that... really you?" the girl had said, hoping and eyes wide in disbelief, hands folded over her heart.
"Yes. It is me," the boy said, glad.
The girl had lunged to greet him with an embrace and a long-awaited smile, squeezing skinny arms around his back. Father busy and away, mother deprived and leaving; she finally found someone selfless in this world.
For the first season, the girl nearly lost faith in the boy she called "friend", a friend too good to be true and who deceived her and manipulated her feelings, a two-face, a sociopath, a secret admirer that bought a doll and placed it in her room without saying anything, sadly watching when she mistook the giver for another friend.
And then he would buy another until stuffed animals tiered all her shelves, not once confessing or complaining she thought wrong.
For the first season, the boy hadn't realized how hard it would be, sharing a house with a future wife, feeling love and lacking affection. He had hoped always to marry happily. Definitely children to raise as his own. It stood as the reason responsible for his existence, against why his parents separated. It stood as the reason he had handwrote letters to his pen pal in America even though she couldn't possibly understand Sanskrit and he couldn't possibly understand Japanese in their biweekly exchanges. A girl his age and younger, a daughter of an old friend of his mother's.
He had learned quite early what marriage meant, and what to expect from such a formal arrangement and couldn't wait to meet his fiancé.
He shouldn't have been patient.
"Do you like fairytales?"
In the second season, the girl began her senior year. She arrived home after dinner daily and juggled between friends and studying, but it became too obvious she'd rather be outside doing things that didn't involve bonding with her intimacy-inept fiancé, and the girl masked her disdain whenever he neglected to keep promises. The type of crowd she hung out with and her excessive hours beyond his line of sight worried him. She had made plans without him. Her friend had a game, her friend wanted to see a movie, her friend wanted to go have dinner, my friend wants me to sleepover for the weekend-
The boy soon developed intolerance towards her tardiness and devised a six o'clock curfew. She considered being rebellious and screaming at his face instead.
One morning in the second season, the boy decided to walk her to school for a forty-five minute mile. He debated grabbing her hand to warm his own, wanting to show he cared and losing the nerve by the time they exit the neighborhood to walk amongst public crowds. The girl neglected to notice his internal conflict. "You don't have to bother, I'll be okay," she repeated and pleaded.
"It's not safe," he said, calm.
"I'll be okay, don't worry," she said, irate.
His fingers clenched tightly, cold air numbing his knuckles. "I don't," the boy said, stuffing his fists into his pockets, "trust you."
"May I what?"
"I want to read to you a Christian story."
In the third season, the girl enrolled in dance classes and mentioned it later, not at all, leaving him in the dark of her hopes and dreams. Leaving him unaware of what she wanted to be, and wished to be. She wanted to confide in him, "I really love dancing" and to further cement her passion, "I want to make people happy with my dancing," and afraid to face his reaction and afraid to be closer to him.
He folded the flyer in his hand. "Why didn't you tell me?"
In the third season, the girl joined the Besaid Aurochs Jazz dance team, front center, brown hair trimmed and layered for the sake of convenience. The boy had wanted to see her first performance, since it never ceased to amaze him how aesthetically pleasing the human body can be, and had a desire to learn more about her.
She didn't tell him, and didn't tell with much self-consciousness, that he stood out of plain sight. Either from inadequacy or discomfort or awkwardness of the other.
Her heart fell when she didn't spot him in the audience.
"Ah, I-I can't. I have something I need to do..."
"Won't you spare me a moment?"
"I'm sorry, but I need to go."
In the fourth season, she wore more revealing outfits and exposed an unnecessary amount of skin to impress him with her female sex appeal. She looked up to her cousin and even adopted some of her eccentric mannerisms, but she rarely ever disrespected him when he refused to spoil her, often speaking of good things about him whenever in presence of nosy gossipers, and feeling fondness and frustration towards his many imperfections.
The girl grew up with fruit and lots of fish, and accommodated his vegetarian diet. They took turns preparing food and even cooked together while learning along the way, fingers usually either wet from raw fish or fruit juice or rinsed vegetables, they teased the other- there's no meat on your bones, feed me. The boy shopped hours and hours for her favorite brand of pineapple, face serious.
The girl smiled until it hurt, always.
In the fourth season, the boy strolled in the living room of their entertainment center, where the girl hosted a small family party. "Hey," the girl said, blushing, "our relationship is not like that." The boy felt like his mind had stopped working, not caused by disappointment so despondent, but of beauty tantalizing to his lovelorn eyes. "However, he treats me very well," the girl clarified, "so I don't mind he's my husband-to-be."
The boy realized, again, he shouldn't have been patient, regrettably.
And he conspired to catch her alone as soon as possible to show how badly he wanted her.
"I won't let you."
"I want you to listen. No excuses."
The girl cradled her favorite doll hand-picked from her accumulating pile of gifts. "I," she said, shameful, "shouldn't behave this way."
Yuna felt nervous until he sat down to touch her knee, before hearing him murmur, "Tvayi Snihyaami."
"Ai shiteru," she said, and opened her arms.
They still had a lifetime left to achieve happiness.
Our duty in this world is to help others,
by showing them their roses and not their thorns.
It is then that we achieve the love we should feel for each other.
Only then can we bloom in our own garden.
~Of Roses and Thorns