By Julija Kelečevič
(2nd place FREEŠN 2020 Writing Contest)
cynic [ sin-ik ]
a person who believes that selfishness drives human behaviour and who disbelieves in honourable or unselfish acts
a disappointed idealist
It’s hard not to be cynical about relationships nowadays. Living in a society, in which the divorce rate has been higher than ever. A society where infidelity fills the tabloids and makes the movies. Forget the movies; it makes it even more real when you know someone that has been cheated on. You have witnessed so many ugly breakups and it feels like nothing can surprise you anymore. Then you see a couple get together and you catch yourself thinking, “I’m giving this one three months, tops.” On the bright side, humour makes cynicism a bit more bearable. At least your friends still tag you in memes all day long. Because there’s just something about @srcozlom posts that makes them so relatable, right? Maybe that’s it; a broken heart makes a cynic.
Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, there was a girl named Rapunzel. When she turned 22, a terrible disease called Coronavirus began to spread around, so the witch decided to protect Rapunzel by locking her up in a high tower. Each day, the witch would come to see Rapunzel, bringing her fresh groceries. She would stand under the tower and call, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your long hair.” Rapunzel would drop her long, braided hair through the window and the witch would climb into the tower. But most of the days, Rapunzel felt lonely and disconnected. To pass time, she binge-watched the entire season of Love is Blind and was now anxiously awaiting the next episode of The Bachelor to pop up on Netflix. Besides, she had already “swiped right” on all the hot guys on Tinder within 160 kilometres and they appeared to be ultimately boring and hollow after the initial,
u look hot”
One day, a prince was driving through the forest, when he heard a beautiful voice chuckling at memes. He parked his car nearby and searched for the source of that beautiful voice. Not long after, the witch returned from the store and the prince observed carefully. When she left, he stood under the tower and called, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your long hair!“ The golden plait came tumbling down and the prince decided to break the rules of self-isolation to see the face of the beautiful laughter. Immediately, he was struck by her beauty. He didn’t even notice her slept-with-mascara eye bags or unshaved ankles that were popping out of old PJ’s. As both hated small talk, they shortly ended up talking about everything. The conversation went from distant universes to contemporary politics and they ended up sharing their dreams and aspirations. It felt like they have known each other for years. And strangely enough, neither of them even remembered to check their phone.
Anyway, it started getting dark, so they had to say goodbye to each other. Before the prince left, he kissed her softly and asked for her Instagram. As soon as he climbed down by her hair, he sent her a cute meme. From that moment on, Rapunzel was looking forward to his everyday texts and visits, because she was longing for love despite the threat of the horrible disease.
The prince and Rapunzel would secretly date for weeks. But one day Rapunzel slipped and she said to the witch, “Geez, you are so much heavier than the prince.” The witch was so offended by her comment that she cut Rapunzel’s hair, took away her phone and threw her out of the tower. That evening, the prince came by and called out as usual, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your long hair.” But this time he was confronted with the angry witch. “Aha,” she cackled, “so you are the one, who has been violating the quarantine rules to see my little Rapunzel. I will make sure you will never see her again,” and she scratched his eyes out. The prince managed to escape somehow and stumbled off blindly into the forest.
Pick an ending:
After several hours of wandering, the prince got to the nearest house. Luckily, the house owner was self-isolating at home, so he offered him a helping hand. That night the prince got home alive, but he remained blind. And sadly, he never saw Rapunzel, the love of his life again.
After several days of wandering, the prince heard a familiar voice. He started calling the name of his beloved and she came and kissed him. As she did so, his eyes were magically healed. He took her back to his home, they posted their first picture together as #couplegoals, deleted their Tinder profiles and quarantined together happily ever after.
Do you still believe in happy ever after?