Aurora sat on the patio behind her palace and soaked in the morning sunshine. She closed her eyes for a moment, and then quickly opened them again. She didn’t want to fall asleep. How many years had she spent sleeping before Philip had awakened her with that kiss? What a waste of time!
Still, she hadn’t aged while she’d been under Maleficent’s evil spell, which had been a plus. She sure had aged since then. Years of keeping up with children, dogs, and the princess job had started to wear her out. Her knees creaked and groaned when she walked, and she had carpel tunnel syndrome in her right wrist. Laugh lines added character to her face; her lovely blue eyes had faded just a bit. Sometimes she suspected that the whole aging process was a Maleficent evil spell, part 2.
Philip was definitely the best thing that had ever come her way. Her handsome prince was kind and loving, and he didn’t seem to notice that they’d grown older. To him, she was still the sleeping beauty he’d first kissed so many years ago. Now that was true love.
It wasn’t always easy, though, this “happily ever after”. Sometimes the kingdom owed more money than it brought in. They had to work hard just to make ends meet. The castle needed a new roof and the garden needed weeding. Again. The youngest prince was forever outgrowing his shoes and wearing holes in his tunics. Soon he’d be needing tuition money to attend the university.
But Aurora didn’t spend much time worrying about the gold coins she didn’t have. Maleficent had taught her not to take a single day of “happily ever after” for granted. She got up and walked down the steps to the lawn. Her little white poodle trotted ahead, now and then jumping up to touch the butterflies that fluttered about the wildflowers. She laughed; he looked like an adorable character in a Disney cartoon.
A string of moments spent with family, friends, and her precious dogs was what “happily ever after” meant to Aurora. She felt sad for those princesses who believed that “happily ever after” meant “perfect in every way”. That must be so boring, she thought. No challenges, no surprises, no…life. “Perfect in every way” was fine for fairytales, but not for real life.
Aurora had outgrown her fairytale.