A heap of broken stories.
Never mind the dreams, hopes, expectations, and all that jazz.
Enter and exit stereotypes.
She believed because she was young. Tender and clear are the young. Willingly vulnerable, the world just a sea of glorious adventures.
She used to be kind. The smile rarely left her lips, she was open and soft and trusting.
She abandoned the well-known but dull, hanging tightly to sizzling comets. She didn’t miss the past, those left behind; the memories were tucked away, deep in the tunnel of things that don’t matter so much anymore. Or so it seemed, when the sky was so much bluer on the other side of regular.
But dreams are meant to explode. Or fade, or shamefully rot away.
Those splendid knights turn out not to be the heroes of a romantic crusade of love and forever joy beyond possibilities.
Sometimes she doesn’t recognize the image in the mirror. She sees her mother, or, frighteningly, a strange woman with no connection to her. She catches the image suddenly, brazen and bold, even mocking. She turns away, stricken, but when she dares peek again, it’s undoubtedly her. But twenty, thirty years in the future, right?
She feels cold and weighed down by a curtain of sorrow.
She glances at the heap of broken stories, touches it gently, silently cries out when they sting her. No tears, no visible anguish, no wavering, no time to feel. She signed that right away when she grew up.
She picks up her cup of coffee and erases the heap.