I stared at my father, I had no words. For a moment I didn’t think I had thoughts either, or a pulse for that matter. Then finally, somehow, I found my voice.
“Dad, I don’t even know him”
My father let out a deep sigh as if he had expected such a reaction from me. And why shouldn’t he?
“He’s a respectable young man, Katie”
I sucked in a deep breath of air. I didn’t really care about what he was.
My father had a strained look on his face, another sigh escaping him.
“You don’t really have a choice, Katie”
I shook my head, I couldn’t believe that he was willing to go through with this.
“Dad you don’t know what you’re asking of me”
“What else would you have me do?”
“Find another way”
“There is no other way. The clause is clear that you must be married”
My stomach twisted into a tight knot. “I can’t. I just can’t”
“I’m not really asking”
I turned in my chair, not bearing to look at him anymore.
“Can’t you at least wait until I find someone I can love? Can’t they wait until I find someone I at least care about?”, I pleaded.
“There is no allowance for putting it off”, was his answer, “There’s already someone willing to do it. It’s a miracle that they found him so quickly”
“Please don’t do this to me. This isn’t what mom would want for me”
My father was quiet and the silence said it all. A moment later he got to his feet and left the room.
*Flash from the past*
“Rawwwwwwwwr, I’m the most fierce dragon ever and I will come eat you and your kingdom”
“Oh no, please Mr. dragon. Don’t eat me, I’m just a young girl waiting for my prince”
“I will still eat you, princess and no one will stop me!”
“Have no fear, princess! I will rescue you and banish the dragon from this kingdom”
“Oh I love you and want to be with you forever. You just made me the happiest girl in the world, prince Charming”
“Then the prince finally found her and he jumped off his horse and rushed to her side”
“The prince leaned down and kissed her and just then the princess opened up her eyes”
“And did they get married and be together forever?”
“Yes, they did. The two were very happy together and had a big, beautiful family together”
“Mom do you think that somewhere out there is a prince who will think I’m a princess?”
“Katie, somewhere out there someone will be waiting for you and he will find you at the right time. Just like the story”
*Ten years later*
“Mom, I had a dream last night about a man on a white horse. All I needed was one look into his eyes and I knew he was the one just as he knew that I was the one for him”
“It was love at first sight, just like in the movies and everything was so perfect”
“Listen, honey, I know I told you stories when you were little but love isn’t just about romance. Love takes hard work and it is never perfect”
“Aw, mom. I have faith that the right guy is out there and I know it is going to be so romantic when we meet”
“I don’t care what anyone says. One day, on a day like any other, you’ll find me and you’ll sweep me off my feet. It will be just like in all those romantic books that I’ve read. You’re my dream. My only dream and I will wait for you”
Or so I thought until one day it all changed. My dreams were shattered. My world broken.
Well dreams don’t always come true, do they?
So instead of waiting for Prince Charming I found myself getting into the shower where I stood for a long time under the hot water to try to calm my nerves.
Then I cried;
I cried because no one could see me cry
I cried because I knew that no one cared if I did
I cried because I missed my mother
I cried because I was only eighteen and getting married to a person I had never met before
You should not have to look for love; love finds you. You can’t force yourself to fall in love. That’s why it’s called ‘falling in love” because you just fall.
Then there’s other times; times where everything you believe to be true come crashing down and along with it dreams turn into dust and you are left with nothing but a fading hope of being swept off your feet. Of falling. Truly and freely.
My name is Katie Hawks and this is my story.