Sleeping Beauty was ageing. This, as most of us know from experience, brought its little twists to life's path, little steps and challenges to a life ahead that had once seemed so straight and perfect. Currently she had a tooth absess and this was annoyng, distracting, but manageable if she was careful, didnt smile too broadly etc. A pain, certainly, but not an all consuming one.
She woke to a beautiful sunny morning.
For a brief moment she felt that life had been good to her, that over all, when you took the long term view, life had indeed been quite happy ever after. The instant when you wake, she knew, was the most important one of the day, being steeped in more certainty and clarity than any other time for the rest of the twenty four hours. In that moment, feeling was knowing, and knowing spread from your head to your toes. When old story tellers speak of knowing something with every fibre of their being, they mean the certainty that you can only ever wake with. They tend not to mention that you can wake with the opposite certainty the very next day.
Perfecting the moment, Sleeping Beauty's dreamy, contented eyes focussed of the look of adoration written across the face of her Prince Charming, who was stooped to waken her and was mumbling soft, silky welcomes to the day.
PC: You overslept, love
SB: Ooooh lovely, I havent done that in weeks. I must finally be catching up on my sleep.
PC: I woke two hours ago and I've been all on my own
SB: So you thought you'd wake me up to keep you company?
PC Lay himself on the bed beside her and gently kissed her forehead, taking care, unlike the day before, to avoid touching her absessed cheek. Her unspoken releif was matched by a look of absolute pride, from him.
SB: It feels bigger today. How bad does it look?
PC: You look lovely
SB: Come off it you fibber, how bad is it, I know I look lopsided
PC: Honestly, you look gorgeous
SB: Oh for heaven's sake theres no honesty about it. Why can't you just tell me the truth? Why can't I ever trust you to give me an honest, straight answer?
PC: Oh but darling you always look beautiful to me, I can't help it.
SB: And you always get right up my nose by being untrustworthy and unreliable, I mean if I havent got a partner who will tell me the truth, where will I go? And where do you get off waking me up from my first deep sleep for weeks, for no reason except that you can't function on your own? I can't trust you and that pisses me off and I can't help that, either.
PC looks all crestfallen and confused, like a faithful labrador who wagged his tail at the wrong time. Sleeping Beauty, meanwhile, realises yet again that she is too weak, that she hasnt the heart or the nerve to break the bonds that tie her to this stupid, selfish, cloyingly dependant man. Life with noone at all would be far too scary, far too much like the old days when she explored the castle all alone, so she lives day by day, smiling at the crowds, standing loyally beside her effusively happy, puppy-dog husband who will never, her whole life through, give her one straight answer. The man who will (and has already) let her meet dignitaries with her flies undone, or smile and wave for an hour long motorcade, with a huge piece of spinach stuck to a front tooth, because he believes, no matter how much she rants or weeps or pleads to the contrary, that a lady should always be given a flattering answer.
A devotee, for sure, but no partner.
Happy ever after, in Hell.