Author's Note: Months ago I issued a challenge to two of my fellow writers on these website. I said that we had to take a title of one of each other's pieces and create our own with it. I said we had two weeks. That was back in January or February and I'm now just completed mine. Didn't have much motivation or time.

Until now. This story is loosely based on my journey of this past semester, so the main characters resemble the people they are based on a lot. My favorite Disney movie is The Little Mermaid, the liquor in the rape scene, and I do want a Jordan Sparks like nose ring.

Enjoy and please review.

Chasing a Fairytale

I spied the crumpled receipt on the dresser.

45. It had cost me that much to fill up my royal blue Jetta.

Gas prices were ridiculous.

"So what you're telling me is that it's okay not to hurt her, but just fine to hurt me, right?"

That was even more ridiculous.

"No, that's not what I mean, Ariel."

Ariel. Although I was born before Disney's "The Little Mermaid," I was about four years of age when the movie finally did premiere.

I became obsessed.

My room was decorated in Little Mermaid paraphernalia; I owned all the toys. I named my kitty cat "Flounder" since my mom wouldn't buy me a real Flounder fish, and I learned to swim by five. Every Halloween for the next few years I wanted to be Ariel, and at one point I wanted to dye my naturally dark brown hair red like hers.

As soon as I was old enough to realize living under the sea was a fantasy, the land suddenly became cold.

I gazed at my reflection in the mirror as I combed the disarrayed strands of my hair.

Hmmm…, her hair isn't as long, thick, and pretty as mine.

I padded my shoeless feet across the carpet Jesus probably wouldn't dare walk barefoot on and sat on the foot of the bed. I reached down to retrieve my wedge sandal from the floor and noticed the vague remain of a rug burn.

"So tell me exactly what you mean then," I replied.

I had thought the rug burn had completely cleared up, and that's why I decided to wear a miniskirt that particular day.

His name was Isaac, and I've known him since freshman year of college. One of his buddies was dating one of my good friends, so the rest of my clique and I and he and the remainder of his crew used to all hang out together – lounge in each others rooms, apartments, have lunch and dinner in the cafeteria, attend parties as a large group, and so on and so forth. I never liked him as more than a friend, but always felt he was cool people.

At the beginning of the summer when I had returned home from school, my facebook status read "Someone rescue me from my boredom!" Isaac noticed and immediately contacted me because he was home for the summer too.

A lot of the people we had typically gone out with had stayed at school for the summer. I personally couldn't do it because it was too boring there, and besides, I had a summer job at home as a YMCA lifeguard.

The group had become a duet, and he reveled that he's been having a crush on me for some time.

I was completely honest with him in the fact that I informed him I had only thought of him as a friend, but my actions portrayed a different message.

One unusually cool summer night of watching "Why Did I Get Married?" for the umpteen time had somehow turned into me displayed on the area rug in between the loveseat and Plasma television set, ass up in the Harris's living room, and my "friend" plowing into from behind. My hormones and the emotional destruction caused from the man currently lounging behind me in our combined fluids had escaped my sanity.

Isaac Harris had definitely rescued me from my boredom.

My fingernails dug into the red, brown, and burgundy fabric as I scrunched my eyes shut, replaying where I could have prevented this: when he had inquired was I ticklish, I should have just answered yes instead being stubborn and causing him to find out from himself. When I felt his lips gravitating toward mine, I could have turned my head the other way. When his fingers tiptoed across my belly to remove my shirt, I should have slapped his hands away. When his head was buried in between my legs and ate my pussy like a starved man, I could have lied and said I was on my period, and when he pulled out that condom, I should have just told him the truth.

I was using him to rescue me from my dungeon of actuality.

Afterwards, he showed me to the bathroom to clean myself up, and I turned on hot water from the showerhead, kneeled over the ledge, and bawled. My stomach was in knots, my head was pounding, and my heart felt like it was going to explode. As I watched the little droplets of steam run down the mirror, I briefly contemplated about filling the tub with water and drowning myself.

"Well she – " he started, bringing me back into present - "and I were friends before she and I got together, and although I have feelings for you, I wouldn't want to hurt her either. She would be crush if she knew what just took place, and she..."

I rolled my eyes. "Michelle." He could spare me the patronization and just say that bitch's name.

"Okay Michelle," he spat out, "would not want to have anything to do with me if she found out, and I don't want to lose her either."

Either?! You think I'm just going to stand by and watch you date that whale?! I've heard of freeing Willy, but damn, did you have to free it, date it, and fuck it? I thought, but said nothing. Instead I rose from the bed and studied my reflection once more.

I put the "C" in "cutie." Five feet six redbone with luscious c-cup breasts and a cherry bottom. I didn't bare the biggest ass or possess the best body figure that would top VH1's sexist bodies list, but my swagger indicated otherwise. The only fake addition to my body was my green contact lenses, and I only wore those because I hated glasses and the color harmonized by skin complexion just like my Jordan Sparks-like nose piercing complemented my button nose.

I squeezed my breasts and pouted my full lips.

While I wasn't bias against plus-sized women because one of my best friend's was a full-figured female, she was just fat and sloppy to me. When I asked individuals, even those neutral to the situation, they claimed I was better looking than his girlfriend.

What was it about her?

I felt his eyes boring into my back, so I turned to face him and our eyes met.

Lloyd Dye.

I met Lloyd freshman year of college when he came to get his hair braided by the same girl who styled my hair, and throughout freshman and sophomore year Lloyd and I were very causal acquaintances. If we saw one another around campus, we would stop and chitchat briefly. If I saw him at a party, I would dance with him. I did find him attractive and sense the sparks of chemistry that electrified between the two of us. However, I ignored it for numerous reasons, one being simple: I had a boyfriend.

Junior year commenced, and I discovered we lived on the same co-ed floor. The night that he came to my room and we made out, I realized that like the ocean, I wanted to explore every inch of him.

We fell hard for each other, and I was ready to give him my all, however, he had experienced bad relationships in the past and wouldn't to take things slowly. When he felt the time was right, we would be together. I wasn't necessarily thrilled with that, but I accepted it because good things come to those who wait, right?

My upbringing was completely different from his. I was a homebody and academics were my top priority. He ran the streets and motto stated "money over bitches." I probably couldn't fight if my life depended on it, (although I was always threatening to whoop his girlfriend's ass) and he had been in so many he couldn't count them all on his fingers and toes.

All that didn't matter because we had ended up at the same place: college, to obtain our education and indulge in this reality.

The eyes of the stranger that currently gazed into mine were not of prince I had fallen in love with.

I wasn't the girl that wanted a "bad boy" because I typically dated church boys and athletes. Although Lloyd was the epitome of a thug - having been shot before, locked up briefly at seventeen, the constant mean-mug look, and the braids, he shoved and buried that nonsense and instead was growing to mold himself into a successful black man.

The black cotton sheets cocooned Lloyd's lower body and his chest still glistened from perspiration.

He was gorgeous.

Most females would disagree with me, but they have not traveled to his heart and soul, a place few have reached, seeing the beauty there. Even the scar from his bullet wound was sexy to me because it represented the transformation from a person who no longer occupied that body.

I was unsure what or who resided in Lloyd's body now. I was one to talk, however, because I wasn't sure what was living in mine either.

I had enjoyed freshman and sophomore year because it consisted of meeting and befriending new people, earning slightly above average grades, and joining the gospel choir. The first semester of my junior year, however, was a fairy tale. After four long semesters of waiting, I finally received my single room, and after three public-transportation-taking, depend-on-others-for-a- ride years, I'd saved up enough to purchase my own vehicle. I earned straight A's, something I hadn't accomplished since elementary school. My mom and I were getting along, and I was the closest with my friends than I had ever been before. Of course I also had a potential man.

For Halloween, I revisited my childhood and was a mermaid again. With the assistance of a friend, I had sewn a long, form fitting green skirt, with the material to look like scales from a fin. To accompany my fin, I had also created a bra top to resemble Ariel's purple shells. What would a Little Mermaid be without the red hair? I had purchased a fiery red wig to complete my costume.

I sauntered into the party with my green flip-flops flopping against the floor and girls in tow. I spotted my boo immediately – he and his friends had Jason masks on – and we merely nodded our heads, acknowledging that we had noticed each other and resumed our mingling with our respective crews.

When the last song of the night played, Ne-Yo's "Say It," our bodies magnetized to each other's. As I grinded against him sensually slowly, I closed my eyes and reminisced to when I was six years old. My mom had bought me a kiddie pool for the backyard and I would play in it for hours in the summertime. I was lost in fantasy and I was elated.

That was the last time I had been that happy than in that moment.

After the party Lloyd and I made love for the first time. His dick swam perfectly sync laps inside of my pussy, sending waves and waves of sensation. When I was approaching my climax I felt like the sea was gradually parting, and when I finally reached my orgasm, the water crashed violently back into position.

Lloyd was now standing in front of me; he'd linked his hands with mine. His eyes were filled with vulnerability, sincerity, remorsefulness, and dare I say it…love. This exact image was the one he had given me the night he had apologized for hurting me.

Just how had my fairy tale turned into a nightmare?

While the first semester of my junior year was as fun as life under the sea, the second semester contradicted the previous one by being as gloomy as the darkest part of the ocean.

My best friend's sister was having a New Years Eve party at a hotel, and usually for New Years Eve I either attended church, stayed at home and watched the countdown on MTV, or went to a family gathering. I was twenty-one now, and wanted to experience my adultness.

The attire was black and white, so my best friend and I went shopping and brought us a new fit. Mine was a spaghetti strapped dress with a meticulous design pattern, and I dressed it up with black and white jewelry and black pumps, I thought I was doing the damn thing. Hair pinned into a bun and makeup neatly applied, I was the shit!

I danced, I flirted, and I exceeded my drinking limited. One particular older man had expressed interest in me. One moment he was whispering how beautiful I was, and the next I was trailing him upstairs to a hotel room.

We were conversing on the bed, and he moved to kiss him. I allowed our tongues to momentarily play, when I lifted from the bed and made an effort to leave the room. He grabbed my arm, pleading and begging not for me to go, and although I was intoxicated, I knew I had no intentions of having sex with him.

He thought otherwise.

He slight pulling turning into a yank and he flung me onto the bed. He was shitfaced, but was aware of what he was doing. He snatched my dress up and ripped my thong panties with the white bows from my body.

He forcibly penetrated me.

I fought; I cried; I screamed. I believe if I was sober I could have escaped because he wasn't a heavy man at all, but the shots of patron and vodka caused it to be surreal and pasty like watercolors.

He reclined, drifted off to sleep. I stumbled out the door. My dignity cuddled beside him. When I reunited with my best friend, she questioned me on my whereabouts. I created some lie I can't remember to this day before I splurged finger food and clear liquor all over her.

The demise of my character, hmmm, that was a good title for a book. If that was the case, the aforementioned incident was only the first chapter.

One of my girls joined a sorority, and she became acting "brand new." The Greek lifestyle tainted her mind, replacing her friends for letters. The friend that dated Isaac's friend accused me of sleeping with her man, which led to a physical altercation and a friendship that dissolved in time like by black eye. The fourth member of my crew…just how would you take it if you informed your best friend that her uncle had raped you?

I never told her, but I still resented her for what happened although I knew she wasn't at fault. I needed to blame someone besides myself. Unprovoked, I would initiated arguments with her, and for that fact that she loved me and valued our years of friendship, she didn't abandon me like the others had. She was confused, hurt, and desired for me to confide in her.

On the plus side, my relationship with Lloyd was still flourishing, although I was growing agitated that he wouldn't commit to me or divulge the issues of his heart. For Valentine's Day he's surprised me with a single red rose and card. The effervescent color symbolized hope for our romantic future and life for me like the floral on "Beauty and the Beast."

I wept.

"Baby, I know you're happy, but it's just a flower and a card."

I only wept harder.

"Ariel, what's wrong?"

I broke down and confessed that while everyone was celebrating the New Year, I was mourning the end of the yellow brick road.

He held me as I sobbed, asking me if I wanted to press charges. I declined stating I didn't want to my best friend's family to endure consequences of my reckless behavior. Besides, I would be alright.

He'd also snagged a bottle of Hypnotic. "What should we toast to," I asked.

"To the fact that I love you."

I didn't respond. I couldn't. Words would had destroyed the moment.

Since the night of my attack, I vowed never to drink again. Since I was starting fresh, I indulged in that bottle of alcohol, foreshadowing my future.

I commenced to become SLAPPED every weekend, and many expressed concern. I reassured that this semester was very stressful and I was letting off some steam. My grades slipped and my best friend was at her wit's end with me.

Lloyd and I would get into our arguments, become indignant with one another, and in a day or so one of us would call the other and apologize. A week or so following spring break, he and I engaged in one of habitual fights about him committing to me and when I was angry, I could bellow hurtful insults.

This time wasn't an exception…

"You know what, I'm tired of this! Your mother should have aborted you, that way I would have never met you and be going through this bullshit!"

…And he left my room as usual before things spiraled out of control, and he said something equally as hurtful.

I was the one spiraling out of control, and it wasn't until I was on the verge of losing my student manager position at my job that I reveled my predicament to my supervisor and she referred me to the school therapist.

As I was steadily recovering, mending my friendship with my best friend, and submerging myself in my books so that I would finish out the semester with acceptable grades, I faintly noticed that Lloyd was absent from my life.

Little did I know that someone else would leave an absence in my life as well.

"Excuse me, can you repeat that?" I asked, Cheetos Puff midair.

"Ariel, baby, Sean was carjacked and his attacker shot him. Sweetie, Sean is dead."

"See Mama, I told him stop driving his BMW in those bad neighborhoods," I replied, denial clouding the fact that my big brother was deceased.

"Are you going to be alright, Ariel?"

"Of course, Mama. Why wouldn't I be?"

As soon as we disconnected, I screamed.

The next day I had an exam in one of classes, and my plan was to drive home that night, but I felt so exhausted I decided to postpone it until the next morning and I collapsed in my bed. Staying at school a day longer allowed me not to deal with the realness of it.

People concerned about my well-being believed I shouldn't be cooped up in my room all night, so they drug me out to free bowling, an event my school hosted at least once a month.

I was enjoying myself bowling, when I saw it. Lloyd and his crew were on the other side of the bowling alley, and this girl was reclining on Lloyd's lap. I didn't want jump to any conclusions, but my best friend did: "What the fuck is THAT?"

When he gently tapped her on the butt, I was calm. Even when I witnessed him singing to her along with the Temptations "My Girl," I was somewhat okay with it. But when he kissed her, I lost it. I hurled the ball down the line like it was weightless and stormed out of the facility. I ignored everyone, hopped into my car, drove to my room, and collapsed in an emotional heap on my bed.

Sean was thirteen years older than me, and he was the closet thing I had to a father-figure because quite frankly, my mother had a horrible taste in men. Sean's father had abandoned them when he was three, and my father hadn't even stayed long enough for my birth. So she was a single mother, and Sean took the role of my father. He'd gone up to my school to talk to my teachers, he'd approve my dates, and he'd been the one to discuss sex with me.

For most of high school I was insecure and suffered from bouts of depressed. I was a late bloomer, and my senior year of high school is when I had finally gotten my period and grown breasts. When I lost my virginity, I lost my mind. I would sneak around with boys, disrespect my mother, curse out the teachers, and my grades pummeled. When my mother threatened to kick me out of the house because I was eighteen by then, my brother allowed me to reside with his wife and him. He corrected me, whooping my ass even, and I begin to fly straight and land into high school graduation with honors and college with a scholarship.

Even though I rectified my relationship with my mother, during school breaks, I would still stay with my brother. This summer was the first summer in many I had lived with my mother once again.

Lloyd needed a ride back to school from spring break, so I offered for him to ride with me. His mother brought him to my house, and he'd introduced me to her. In return, I let him met my mother and my brother. Sean was hesitant about the thug aura that radiated from Lloyd but felt more at ease that he was turning his life around. Besides, my brother took note in the way I lit up like Christmas lights on a clean dark night when Lloyd was in my presence.

He just wanted me to be happy like a Disney princess at the end of the movie.

When I had returned to school the next week after my brother's funeral to take my finals, I wrote Lloyd a message on facebook because I couldn't face him in person. In the midst of studying for finals, I told him that he had hurt me beyond belief and I wanted nothing to do with him. He knew my brother had passed because earlier that day before I went bowling, I had seen him in the lobby of our dormitory and he had given his condolences before he rushed off to class. I wished him a life of grief, wish he would undergo what he forced upon me.

Hours later, there was a soft knock on my door. It was him. He'd come to apologize for inflicting pain on me and he wanted us to still be friends. Friends? I wanted to spit on that word. What we had was more than mere friendship. I inquired about the girl sitting on his lap and he answered that was his girlfriend. After our last argument I'd hurt him deeply, so he wanted to extract revenge. He'd known Michelle liked him, so he got with her to make me jealous. He couldn't break up with her now because he was in too deep now and wouldn't want to destroy her like that. I stared at him in disbelief.

I continued to stare at him in disbelief, even now.

"What are we going to now, my Little Mermaid?"

I choked on sentiment. That was his nickname for me. I was proud I kept my composure; I didn't want him to sense how those words pinged my heart. I swallowed that feeling right back down.

"Are you going to break up with her?"


"Then I can't be your friend."

That's not fair. I was still your friend when you had a boyfriend, was his response to the same statement earlier that day before we had sex.

But be kind. Rewind.

One of my friends who had stayed down at school for the summer was the last in our crew to turn twenty-one and was having a big bash. (FYI: she's the one that accused me of sleeping with her boyfriend. After my brother passed, she wanted apologized and wanted to reconnect our friendship. She claimed that life was too short to hold grudge. Yeah, that, and the fact that the motherfucker dumped her) ANYWHO, due to her work schedule, she couldn't hold the bash at home, so she threw the party at her apartment. Friday night when I had clocked out from work, I drove the two hours to my college's town. I was elated because it had been a week since the "mistake" with Isaac, and he was expecting to get together on the week. Thank God he couldn't make it to have party because he had to work Saturday morning.

Lloyd was there.

My friend said if I didn't want him there, she would ask him to leave, but I assured her I was alright with him being there.

Besides he didn't bring that bitch, so I was fine.

He approached me, asking how my summer was so far. I responded and asked him the same. We chitchatted idly for moments long before we disassembled and enjoy the party separately. I mingled; I drank; I danced; and I watched my friend get wasted and make a complete fool of herself.

It was innocent fun.

The next day while my friend was still passed out in her bed, I decided to clean the apartment and came across Lloyd's Sox cap. His favorite one. Simultaneously, my cell phone rang, and it was him.

Coincidence, much?


"What's good, Ariel? Have you found a light blue Sox cap?"

"Yep, just found it actually."

"That's what's up."

If anyone asked me why I suggested this next thing, I would have stated: "because he didn't have a car," when everyone knew I had alternative motives.

"I can bring it over if you want. The post-birthday girl isn't waking anytime soon, and I'm kind of bored."


He gave me his address, and my heart pounded the entire drive there. I rang the doorbell; he buzzed me in. When he opened his front door, I placed the cap on his head. "It fits! You're the real prince after all," I proclaimed more jokingly compared to how I really felt.

He merely smirked and invited me in. He toured me around his first apartment and I complimented it.

A familiar stinging sensation throbbed in my bladder. "I gotta pee."

"Nice to know. Would you like to do it here in my living room or the bathroom?"

After I completed my business and emerged from bathroom, the smell of food assaulted my senses. Oven baked frozen pizza. My stomach growled, and Lloyd looked at me, his eyebrow raised. "Someone's hungry."

"Yeah, I haven't eaten all day. Just been cleaning. Besides, you know she ain't got shit in her refrigerator but liquor."

As we consumed the sausage, cheese, and tomato sauce treat, we recalled events of last night's party and of parties and social events the past school year in general. Pleasant memories.

It began to storm.

I hated driving in the rain, and he was aware of this.

"Well I guess we can watch TV until the rain dies down," he suggested and we plopped on the couch in front of the TV. He found "Friday After Next" on TBS. My eyes were focused on the movie, but I wasn't engrossed in it. I couldn't ignore the elephant in the room any longer.

"So how's Michelle?"

He jaw clenched. "Fine," he muttered.

"Did she stay down here for the summer or go back home?"


"Does she come to visit you at all?" She has a car too.

He balled his fists. "Yeah." I was pissing him off, but I didn't care. I wanted to push the limits.

"So when's the last time she came to visit you?"

"Last weekend." Probably at the same I was fucking Isaac.

"What did you guys do?"

"Ariel, I really don't want to talk about it," he replied, his voice raised a few notches.

He would have boiled more if he had noticed my grin. "Just one more question."


"Do you even like her?"

A beat. "She's growing on me."

Now it was my time to boil. "'She's growing on me.' What the fuck kinda answer is that?" My voice was raised.

"You're yelling."

I sprung from the couch and immediately commenced to pace the floor, hands on my hips. I was silently counting down from one-hundred.

The storm knocked the cable out.

"Why are you with her again?"

He sighed. "I told you it started off as a plot to make you jealous and mad because of that shit you said about how my mother should have aborted me that way you would have never met me. Now I stepped my foot in the mud, and I can't easily pull it out."

"Because she's your friend, and you don't want to hurt her?"


Bullshit. "I think you like her more than you're leading on. I'm going to ask you again, do you like her? Do you care about her?"

Honesty: "Yes, I do."

The thunder mocked my rage.

"I can't believe I was replaced by a pig and a monkey mixed together!" I exclaimed, more to myself than him.

"You told me that before, how you feel like you've been replaced, but we were never together for you to be replaced."

The lightning struck.

When the soldiers in Iraq are shot, I wondered did they feel that much pain.

Maybe today I conquer my fear and drive in the aggressive weather.

My phone lit up. It was my friend, probably wondering where I was.

"Aren't you going to answer that?"


More lightning.

I headed to retrieved my purse and car keys. 'You're leaving?"


"It's still raining hard outside. Plus you didn't have an umbrella and I know how you are about your hair. 'I can't get my hair wet because I don't have a relaxer anymore and it will frizz up.'"

No this little bastard was not making fun of me in a serious atmosphere. "Asshole."

"What? I'm just trying to lighten the…"

"How long?" I said softly, cutting him off.

He understood my question because he replied: "April 20th." April 20th was the day that I had the mental meltdown at work. I resumed my retreated to the door when Lloyd added, "I still want us to be friends."


"Because you're a special person I want to keep close."

"Lloyd, I can't be your friend. You hurt me so badly, and I can't be friends with you as long as you're with hurt."

"That's not fair. I was still your friend when you had a boyfriend."

"First off, I didn't know you were even interested in me like that back then, and secondly, you got in a relationship out of spite." My back had been turned to him and I was in reach of my keys. I began to walk the living, staring at anything but him. "Roughly a month ago when we were in my dorm room and you reveled to me your relationship with Michelle, you asked me to be your friend then. The time I've spent been at home thus far, I've been contemplating it. You see Lloyd, I am holding on to three balloons that have me floating in a make-believe existence. To land back in this reality, I have to slowly let go of my balloons. The first balloon is the fact that my relationship with my best friend will continue to thrive if I keep the fact that her uncle raped me from her. I know I will eventually have to tell her, but I'm not ready to open Pandora's Box. The second balloon is the fact that my brother isn't gone. He's dead, Lloyd, and he's never coming back." Salty water drips from my tear ducts. "The third one is you. I feel like if I continue to be your friend, you will realize what you had, break up with her, and be with me. The truth of the matter is that you never wanted to be with me. If you had, I would be at your side instead of her." My voice broke on the word "her."

I finally faced Lloyd and he eyed me carefully. "The first balloon I'm releasing is yours."


"This is difficult for me to do because I want to hate you so much. I want to think of you as the bad guy, but this is no fairy tale. This is real life, and there are no designated good or bad guys. There are simply humans who make mistakes." My feet floated my body to him. "This is goodbye, Lloyd." I squeezed his lean frame as if I had let go, I would drifted away. He hugged me equally as tight and kissed my forehead, causing me to become lightheaded. It also resulted in me being aroused.

I only meant to brush my lips against his to return the gesture, but it evolved into sucking the saliva off of Lloyd's tongue.

During the wintertime, I declared to Lloyd that I always wanted to make love during a thunderstorm. I was waiting for April showers, but misfortunes rained on my parade.

I rode him like a wild seahorse – my hair untamed like seaweed and my eyes rolled in the back of my head like I was in need of oxygen. The lightning was the only electricity to illuminate his bedroom. His fingernails pierced the smooth skin of my thigh as he moaned, panted, and growled as my pussy devoured his dick like a vicious shark.

"Oh, fuck, Ariel!" he shouted before he came, his body jerking upward.

When the lightning ignited the room again, it outlined our shadows on the wall like a perfectly done painting. It was enough to send me over the edge.

The tears from my eyes rushed rapidly down my face like Niagara Falls as I threw my head back, expanded my mouth, and roared louder than the thunder.

Fast forward back to this point.

The rain ended and so was our friendship.

"Me having a girlfriend isn't going to affect our friendship. It will be fine." His statement sounded weak. "Don't do this."

I studied him, and for the first time there was no magic. There wasn't a white horse or quixotic music. He appeared so plain, so ordinary…

So realistic.

My heart engulfed in happiness and it crowned my self-esteem in royalty. I was a princess, and he was beneath me. He was not my Price Charming.

His cell phone rang. We both knew who was calling.

One more glance before he grabbed his phone and I headed to the living room to reclaim my belongings.

"Hello, baby." His baritone voice echoed throughout the apartment as I closed the door of his residence. Outside, the sun shone, evidence of any rain had evaporated.

A new tale was beginning.