How Fairy Tales End – Mileva Anastasiadou

Hypothetically speaking, I’d meet him again the day after tomorrow. He’d offer to buy me coffee and I’d accept the invitation. I’d be comfortable and cozy, sitting gracefully inside the bubble. He’d ask me about the weather and I’d politely reply it’s either too warm or too cold for the season.

Hypothetically speaking, he’d hold my hand, walking me home. He’d then confess his undying love to me. We’d go around exploring that new-found land of bliss, where Icarus never fell, because the sun didn’t burn his wings, Robin Hood didn’t steal, because he didn’t need to, Snow White didn’t get lost, because the Queen wasn’t evil, the wolf didn’t eat Red Riding Hood, because they were friends.

Hypothetically speaking, he’d ask me what sounds I find mostly annoying. ‘Real or imaginary?’ I’d ask. Imaginary he’d say, for imaginary sounds are more disturbing than real ones. You can’t close your ears and avoid them. Ghosts playing guitar, I’d say and he’d understand. He’d laugh, for he also mistook a centipede for a ghost once. Yet bursting bubbles are more annoying, he’d then say and I’d nod.

Hypothetically speaking, we’d never fall from the clouds. It gets tiring, falling from the clouds all the time. He’d never teach me the lesson I don’t want to learn: how fairy tales in real life. I’d be the queen of denial, conveniently sitting still in my fairy tale, high above in the sky, looking down to common sense. It’s not denial after all, if you close your eyes, not being aware of what you deny. He’d caress my hair, my face, my body, until his hand would merge with my skin, his soul inside mine. Until that heavy blow that’d bring awareness. That hit that’d separate us, forcing me to open up my eyes and look ahead. I’d even feign blindness for a while, but not for long.

Hypothetically speaking, reality would never burst my bubble, a shape-shifting enemy invading my pink colored bubble all the time, this time with his words. It’s not you, it’s me, he’d say, the usual combination of words, an arrow straight to the heart. Of the bubble. Or to my heart. Or to the bubble I keep inside my heart. And I’d deflate like a balloon. For breaking up is like falling. Standing up is hard after sitting comfortably in the bubble for too long. Standing up gracefully proves an impossible task.

Practicing reality is a game not easily mastered.


MILEVA ANASTASIADOU is a neurologist. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in many journals, such as the Molotov Cocktail, Jellyfish Review, Sunlight Press (Best Small Fictions 2019 nominee), Ghost Parachute, Gone Lawn, Ellipsis Zine, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Bending Genres and others.

Image via Pixabay

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