Princess Charming

Maia Benson has loved, and has lost. People at her school, in her town, know her story. Their story. It hurts to remember, so she remembers one last time in an English Assignment Essay on the topic of 'Love.'

-This is a short story written for the Pixar competition here on movellas-

(Italics is the English Assignment, and regular text is present-day, FYI)
(I may one day turn this into a longer story)

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2. Love - Chapter Two

I can't fall asleep tonight. The picture on my bedside table calls for me, and I cannot bring myself to tip it down and over. I can't bring myself to hide her face. Instead, I pull the paper I had been writing my English assignment on out, grabbing a pencil from the drawer on my desk.

I sit on my bed, crossing my legs and grabbing a science textbook so I can write on a harder surface than my lap or the pastel rainbows that are my bed sheets. I set the paper carefully down, skimming through what I had wrote, heart wrenching as I remember the times I cherish most.

The date went awkward, and it ended with our first kiss. We had gone and walked around a park, getting to know each other. She looked stunning, and my heart sped up when she grabbed my hand and intertwined her fingers with mine.

The tears now fall, and I know it's stupid, crying over someone barely in my life for two years, but it felt as if she had been with me for much longer. I hope she felt the same about me.

 

The next couple weeks, word got out around the school that we were together. As expected, there were some hateful comments. I didn't care, whatever they said. Every day she'd find me in the hallway on the way to our math class, and at the same time, I'd find her intertwining her soft fingers with mine. 

Considering it wasn't like I had gotten any prettier as I aged, I cherished her affection for me. I would be lying if I said I didn't and don't wonder why she liked me so much. She was perfect, and I was the most awkward mix of red-head and latina as possible. My curly orange hair had turned redder and frizzy. Not to mention that my chubby arms turned into the rest of me being chubby. I wasn't over weight or anything, but it was enough to make stomach poke out, and stretch marks to appear. My face was always blotchy and red, and you couldn't glance many where on my skin without seeing a freckle or two. 

I had the high school dream, in a way. At least, my high school dream.

We had only kissed once since then, after our first date. It was hard not to remember it, and I hope it wasn't too horrible. I was always in wait when I could find out more about her personality, about her life, about her. It was a puzzle that I wanted to piece together, drinking up the facts she trusted me enough to tell.

I remember the first time I told her I loved her. It was slightly rushed, earlier in the relationship than most people find acceptable, but it was an accident, and it was just so nice to get my overwhelming feelings off my chest. We had kissed barely three times since then, and it was only a couple months into our relationship. I was in her room. We were watching Romeo and Juliet, a play that we had been reading about in English. She was always the brave, flirtatious one in our relationship. In the midst of the movie, her arm found its way around my shoulders, and my head ended up on her shoulder. We were cracking jokes, commentating on the movie, just enjoying each other's company. A while ago I found out that she once had a boyfriend who used her to get this other, more popular girl. I don't know how I could've forgotten in that moment. She had told me how they used to say I Love You to each other. I guess I was just feeling too selfish in that moment, because the same words they used to say slipped past my lips.

"I love you," I mentioned, suddenly aware how stupid I sounded, how selfish I sounded. She pushed me away, and I felt idiotic. She told me I probably didn't mean it. That it was too early, and she didn't want me to lie. I told her it again. And again. Our relationship was not broken, but it took two weeks of saying it for her to finally believe that I loved her as much as, I later found out, she loved me.

I adored her.

 

Tear drops dot the paper in various spots, smile gracing my lips. I still love her, for sure. It's difficult not to continue loving someone after so long. She still holds my heart, and she left me holding hers. I will never let go, I swear.

After the fifteenth day of having to tell her I love her, she finally said it back. Looking back, it might've seemed as if I was forcing her into it, but it seemed the best thing to do. Show her someone cared.

When I told my mom we were in love, she didn't freak out like most parents. She congratulated me, and teasingly asked when the wedding was. I couldn't wait for the day where my mom could actually meet Hazel. They'd exchanged greetings, but never actually gotten to know each other. I wanted to plan a day where Hazel could come over to my place for dinner.

 

The day where Hazel came over to my house was amazing. My mother made one of her favorites- macaroni and cheese. It's simple, yes, but Hazel adored it. We sat around the small dining table, chatting the night away, eating the simple meal. I think that day was when my mom truly accepted Hazel as a part of our now three-people family. Two awkward teenagers and a strong young woman. We were our very own Island of misfit toys.

"So, Hazel, what's your family like?" My mom liked to ask random questions like that, ready to be supportive at a moment's notice. Hazel was nonchalant, offhandedly mentioning she lived with both her parents, who had managed a relationship as healthy as my mom and dad's had been. It took a couple days before my mom decided to invite both Hazel and her parents to dinner. After finding out Hazel had twin siblings, a brother and sister both in college, my mom invited them as well. She wanted to know more about the girl I had fallen in love with. I wish she hadn't. That made it hurt worse for her in the long run.

We didn't go to my house often. It wasn't that we did not love my mom. Her house was a shorter distance from school, and we spent so much time together, that it became our own little hang out spot. We'd go there most days after school and hang out, just enjoying each others company. I'll always cherish her, and those days. She pulled me from a dark time in my life.

I remember one day, when someone made fun of the way I dress. It was my fashion sense, but for some people it was weird. I like to tie scarves and ribbons around my arms. I wear an even mix of obscure and popular band-shirts. Not everyone thought it looked nice. Not everyone thought I was pretty enough. Hazel did.

That was the first time Hazel ended up in the principal's office. She wasn't suspended or anything, but I was ecstatic that she would go through such lengths just for me. I wanted to make it my goal to be there for her through everything. At the time, I didn't realise how hard that might get.

I remember fretting over the black eye she got for days, until it healed, telling her she shouldn't have done that for someone like me, that she shouldn't have put herself in danger. She laughed it off, telling me that she'd take a bullet for me if she had to. I rolled my eyes, not because it was a stupid thing for her to say, but because I would do the same for her.

 

There were small moments to our relationship.

I cross my legs and smile at her picture - my good luck charm. Her warm smile welcomes me, and I find myself writing down one of our small, fleeting moments together.

 

"Maia Benson, what would I do without you?" Hazel's grey eyes peered at me from her upside down posture on the sofa, eyebrows pulled into shaping her face in the most quizzical manner possible. I wondered if she was serious, for without me, she would most definitely be the same. She hadn't changed since I first met her.

"Is that rhetorical?" I raised an eyebrow, glancing over at her. She grinned contagiously, causing the corners of my lips to twitch, my serious demeanor slowly fading. She shrugged in the best of her ability, which was slightly dampened from her questionable position.

"Probably." She sat up and hopped off the sofa, taking a seat beside me on the floor. Her short brown hair was messed from sitting upside down for so long, falling across her forehead in straight, awkward bangs. She had probably noticed my staring, fixing her hair with the flip of her head. She smiled, and kissed me.

 

I stare at my door, deciding that I really need to sleep. My eyes flick back down to the paper. All this sleep-deprived remembering is not good for my health. Safely, I tuck the papers holding my assignment into the front cover of the textbook, setting both that and my pencil on my nightstand, smiling at the picture of Hazel right next to them.

"Goodnight. I love you," I close my eyes, letting myself fall asleep.

 

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