As written in a book for Fiola Christina on the August the 1st, 2014
Like any other kid, I was raised by stories. Some of them told of wonders, some told about warnings in horrors, and the rest told about the good deeds and the good people who did them. But of course, there is always this particular archetype, about the prince, about the princess, the blazing steed and chivalrous fight to the death with immense monsters.
By then, as if a dogma has came. That me, the prince (Gimme a break, okay, I was a kid, I thought I was handsome and all), will one day find that princess. The moment that I found her will be epic, as she will be the one shouting for my help in the distance, making me do what all the good ol’ prince charming does; valiantly riding my steed to rescue her from the dragon lair.
Then I grow up, and fairy tales grew way too irrelevant in withstanding harsh life-facts and complicated philosophical issues. But surprisingly enough, as the world turned monsters into math, steed into school, and sword into sentence, I still do look for that one particular lady. That Damsel in distress – the one in need of saving – where I can put every bit of my life into the quest of rescuing her from the evil, the witch’s laughter, the loneliness, the hurtful truths, or any sort of troubles that might befall her. And yes, along the way, I did find her. Well, it’s not actually as singular as a “her”, but it’s more like a bunch of “them”. Because as I wandered, I began to understand that every damsel in this god forsaken earth IS in distress. True, that some of them has four headed demons for her guard, or locked in dungeon beneath vast and unexplored ocean, which make them seemed to be more worth saving. But they all have their own enemies, and I, the prince, have tried to rescue them in many different occasions. So there I was, saving the damsel again and again and again, making me sometimes thought that I might be a distress addict. I focused more on the distress rather than the damsel. As if we feed on the drama, not the relationship, and no sort of ending can quenched my thirst for more distress, not even a happy one!
And then, along the way of hardships and rescues, I tried to remember my old stories and realized something has been missing all along. I said to myself, this cannot make sense! There must a part of the story that remain untold. I asked myself as I was fighting; Didn’t the prince ever felt anything? Did he cried? Did he scream for life when the blood sucking bats almost emptied his heart? No. The story always portray his victory, his conquer, and his glory.
So I know, finally, that none of them can never be closed to truth. Stories, are written as stories, because it is meant to create joy, hope, and happiness. Yet in life, you don’t get to feel them while rescuing the damsel. You stop and got stuck, you stay still for long and hurtful years, and you lost hope, and got really angry for the rest of your days.
Until one day, someone show me something that change the course of the whole tale.
She came with trouble, as everybody else does. Yet she does not show any sign of helplesness. You can see in her eyes that she is strong, too strong to be forever in distress. She climbed down her tower on her own, she tamed the dragon and raze the forest, she was angry, very sad and sometimes lonely. But she got passed it. She told me that not every story ends with one person being rescued. She told me that life does not give you that chance. If you want to be rescued, you have to start rescuing, and you’ll see that the best story comes not from the despair of one, but from the striving of both.
Then somehow I remembered, of something that I have long forgotten. About other stories, where companions riding towards the dawn together, where loyal knight bows for their beloved kingdom, where two warriors venture towards unknown jungle; Stories about love that even more grand that one I always remembered. Suddenly, everything started to make sense. All the hardships and malicious journeys, the nasty years and spiteful monsters, are not building up towards one grand rescue. As she came, she won’t be screaming helplessly, she would have hold my hand and tell me that there are other journeys, those that I supposed to enjoy rather than recklessly gone through. In these Journeys to come, she will be there, not the Damsel. She would become the answer of my doubts, of my worries, and she would make me believe in Fairy Tales again.
I know now, that the damsel in distress can never show much to her prince. Her gazillion problems of her are way too much for anyone to fit. A troubled mind, after all, can never give space for anyone to venture with. While for her, she told me her problems as she mending mine, she spoke of great treasures in faraway land while forging my shield, and she asked me to fight dragons while sharpening my blades.
And at the end of every fight I lost, she cries. But not once she had ever let me cry. She is more than a princess to be saved; she is a gallant savior with heart prettier than her gown. I can see the fights we were in, and more and more and more that will come biting in the future. Yet never had I seen any scenario where we perished or fall. I saw her shouted instead, telling me that there will be even more fights, more worries and more uncertainties.
But it’s okay, she said. For you are no longer in a lone quest. You are not your Damsel; you are much more than that. You are your steed, you are your armors and sword, you are your laughter, you are your mind, you are every decision that you have ever made. And you are me, as much as I am you. And then she came for me, told me to raise my sword as she raised hers.
So thank you dear, for this journey we made, for being the companion rather than the quest, for sharing the burden rather than showing it, for being the warrior princess rather than the damsel in distress.
As you are not a princess as much as I am no prince. Because we are warriors, valiantly embracing the joy and hardships we’ll sure be facing, yet won’t ever once regretted.
Happy 2nd Anniversary, love!