Once upon a time there was a girl. She wasn’t a beautiful princess or fearless warrior or brave heroine. She was just an ordinary girl with freckles on her face and her nose always in a book. That was until her twelfth year when she realized she was cursed.
It was a slow curse, one that crept upon her softly. It was a headache that started at in the back, working its way to the top and then to the front of her brows. It was headache that came once a day, three times a week until it came five times a week. Then it came everyday. All day. Never stopping. The girl almost wished she had been turned into a frog instead. (Frogs, at least, don’t get headaches.)
They searched for a cure. Not in far away lands or haunted castles or ancient spells but in cold hospitals and tucked away medical centers. They poked and prodded her, drawing blood with needles, looking for a reason. They stucked her in machines, in an enclosed space so they might read her brain for answers. They pumped her full of tubes and strange medicines, hoping to help. Nothing works; the curse stays. Despite feeling more like an experiment than a girl, she is declared “normal.” Being labeled “normal” has never hurt so much.
She locks her self up, in books, in stories, and in her mind. It is the only place that seemed safe. The only place where there is no pain. The only place where she didn’t fear storm front headaches like others fear wolves. The only place where she isn’t just surviving, but living. She feels like Rapunzel with the basement as her tower and the headache as her wicked witch, waiting for a prince to save her. Only her hair is brown and there is no prince to be found.
One day, she decides to stop waiting and saves herself. She learns to handle her curse and make her own cure. She gets out of her mind and gets back into school, back into her life. She may not be a princess or a warrior or a heroine but she is a girl. That means she can help herself.
It isn’t a happily ever after because she’s still cursed. There are some days she cries at night because it is impossible to sleep. There are some days she wants to scream in the classroom because of the noise and intensity. There are some days where it would be easier just to give up. Than there are the days where laughter overrides the pain, where teasing dulls it, where friendship and family make everything better. Those days mean that she is finally living again, that she isn‘t just surviving . Those days make it worth it everything.
An assignment is given in English to write about a belief. She wonders about what she believes in and the answer comes to her slowly. So she picks up her pencil and writes a “normal” fairytale.
I believe no one should be cursed with a day-long, year-long, life-long headache.
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