Once There Was a Girl…
I used to know this girl who, at five years old, already knew that she wanted to be a doctor when she grows up. She would line-up her dolls on the bed and attend to each one; pretending they were sick or hurt in some way. She would bandage the arm of one doll, take the temperature of another, and soothe and calm a scared “patient.”
She would spend hours each day playing doctor. Sometimes, her friends would join her. When grown-ups ask her what she wants to be when she gets older, her quick response was always, “Doctor!” That would have the grown-ups oohing and aahhing, admiring her for her “high” ambition.
During her second year in high school, she decided she didn’t want to be a doctor anymore. Not after she realized that she was afraid of the sight of blood, and that she was squirmish about every little thing that seemed gross. It was during this time that she discovered her passion for writing.
She would join writing competitions in school, and often, she would get the top prize. This made her all the more determined that she wanted to pursue writing. But since she was still squirmish about things that involved blood; and since she wasn’t very comfortable in confrontational situations, she didn’t want to pursue Journalism. Instead, she thrived in creative writing.
It was also during this time that she started to discover things that set men and women apart. She learned about crushes and infatuation.. she saw her friends getting into relationships at such a very young age. She would see them laugh and cry at the same time because of boys..
She determined that she wasn’t going to fall in love until she knew for certain that she was ready. She also decided that The One should treat her like a princess.. fairy tale or not.. every girl deserves to be treated like a princess. This was what she would often tell herself.
So she held-off getting into a relationship. Even if she was starting to like a boy already, she didn’t want to fall into the trap of falling in love just so she could be like her friends. She would often write letters to The One.. even if she hasn’t met him, yet; she was sure that he will come at the right time.
She pictured flowers and romantic dinners, walks on the beach, watching sunsets together.. she even imagined make-believe fights and romantic making-ups.. She has a boxful of letters for The One.. letters that were never read except by her; letters that were never given to anyone; letters that now remind her of what she once was.. of what she once pictured love ought to be.
These letters were written over the course of many years.. with every heartbreak that she experienced, she would return to The One.. to tell him that she’s still waiting for him, and that she knows he will sweep her off her feet –that meeting him will happen at the right time.. when they’re both ready.
And then one day, she lost hope. She couldn’t make herself believe in him any longer. Much as she would still like to be that little girl who believed in fairy tales and princesses.. she has grown-up and had to throw away all her wishful thinking.
The letters haunt her like ghosts from her past.. they are a constant reminder of how she has turned into a bitter, cynical woman.. afraid to love and of love, existing but not living, breathing but no longer able to appreciate that with every breath there is hope for the future.
Once there was a girl who had big dreams and high hopes, but life has turned her into someone else.. someone who, when she looks in the mirror, wants to see that girl again but never does. Someone she hopes her daughter will never grow-up to be..