At last, it is over.
No words can express how I feel right now. A great burden has lifted. I even feel lighter.
I recall falling over in the courtyard in great pain. I must have been lying there for a long time, but I suddenly saw Belle come towards me. At that point, I was only happy to see her again. I think I said something along the lines of, "Belle, you've made your Beast so happy. I am content to see you for one last time."
My strength was gone, and I closed my eyes, but I managed to hear Belle say the words that I could not believe she said: "No, please live to be my husband."
At that point, I felt a strange sensation, as though a great ray of light was shining over me. It was strong, but it wasn't painful. In fact, the pain that I was feeling before vanished. I don't remember falling asleep in those quick moments, but I thought that I must have, because I suddenly felt like I had woken up from a long dream.
Belle was standing far away from me, looking terrified. I knew, of course, what she had done, but I looked down at my paws to be sure and almost cried out in surprise when I saw that they were human hands once more.
I quickly got up to my feet, my energy replenished. I walked towards her carefully so not to scare her even more (while getting used to my smaller feet) and asked her, "Do you know who I am?"
She trembled as she spoke, "Yes, but where is he? Where is my Beast?"
"You are looking at him." And then, I went to explain everything that had happened to me in the past and how she had broken the spell.
Belle, having been amazed by all of this, asked me, "Is there something else I can call you—something other than 'Beast'?" I told her my real name— Léo —but that she could still call me Beast if she felt more comfortable with it.
In addition, I said, "Bear in mind that I mainly asked you to marry me because it was the only way to undo the curse. It is your decision whether you truly wish to marry me or not."
"I know that I do," she said, and Belle placed her hand upon my face, the first human touch I felt in a long time. Overjoyed, I was finally able to kiss her.
However, we heard a sound draw closer—it was Wysandra and my mother, in a carriage. Wysandra came to congratulate Belle, and my mother asked for my forgiveness, which I granted as long as she accepted Belle as my equal, which she was more than willing to do.
Belle and I shall marry in a week. In that time, she will introduce me to her family. It will be slightly awkward to face the old man that I had threatened, but I am willing to take whatever he places on me.
Even stranger is that I can no longer read my old entries in this journal. What were once readable words are nothing but scribbles and slashes. I have become separate from my own curse.
But I know that I do not have to write in here any longer. This journal was a way for me to express feelings that I could not express to anyone else. But I no longer have to hide anything.
I am a free man.