I’m a fantasy writer. My debut novel centers around a prince. Amidst secrets, riddles, and wars filled with magic, I write about love, romance, “soul mates”, and the belief that the gift of one’s heart can be cherished, honored and kept.
But I like to think I write “believable” fantasy as well, filling my stories with characters people can connect with and relate to. Perhaps that’s why “chivalrous” never made the long list of adjectives that describe Prince Connor’s disposition. In my own life, the belief in a man who could sweep a woman off her feet had been lost somewhere.
Now before this post nose dives into a sappy story better suited for a Lifetime movie, let me state I wasn’t jaded. Yes, my last two long term relationships didn’t pan out so well. Rarely do any of us find Mister or Misses Right on the first try.
But I think every girl has this Disney infused dream of falling in love with a “prince” of their own. Not someone perfect. But a man who looks at them and believes she is love, and that life itself just wouldn’t feel right without her by his side. It’s a rare gem. I’ve seen it but not shared it; given it and lost it; yet never have two sides of this love collided in my life.
Not until I met Charming.
We met at a wedding last year. His brother was the groom, one of my close friends the bride. I remember when the bride’s daughter took my hand and dragged me over to this blonde haired groomsman, and in a demanding tone only a nine year old could muster, said, “You two HAVE to dance together!”
I was shy around him. He was tall, handsome, and I hadn’t any inkling as to how to dance. But we managed to talk, and he was kind, and when I left, we said goodbye, and I thought that was it. A pleasant wedding, a funny story… then I’d return home and life would move on.
It didn’t happen that way. The next morning the bride calls me to see if I was working. I was, and Charming had to leave on a flight home that day, but he left something behind for me: a single white rose he’d worn as a boutonniere.
He left it with his brother and my friend to give to me. Charming, I thought, and smiled. But states stood between me and this man and I doubted I’d hear anything more from him.
I was wrong again. The next day a message with a familiar face appeared in my inbox on Facebook. Brief messages turned to texts, then phone calls, and my next road trip took me down to his state a couple of weeks later. He drove four hours both ways to spend one day with me. Charming, I thought again, and I started to wonder what I had done to this boy to make him go through so much effort just to see me.
Months later, he trumped that effort by flying up three states for one day to take me out on one date. Then there were flowers delivered to my work, a sunset boat ride, and Skype dates that lasted until the wee hours of the morning.
But it was more than romance. There were moments between us when I realized this one was different than any other relationship I’d been in. Yes, he made me laugh. Yes, I felt comfortable in my own skin when I was around him. But when I looked at him, I saw the type of man I used to imagine the princes in fables to be. Someone who held a firm moral fortitude when it came to life and how to treat others. Someone who wasn’t afraid to say what he meant and stand up for what he felt was right. He had an optimistic heart that knew love and showed it, and the more I saw of it, the more I wanted to know him and be a part of his life. His presence was magic. His arms felt like home around my shoulders.
I knew in those moments that I was in deep. In my head I couldn’t shake the childish notion that he was Prince Charming, and I’d finally found the one for me.
Time, of course, will confirm whether this is true. But Charming has found his way into my story, and however it unfolds I’ve come to the conclusion my view on love will never be the same.
Perhaps this fantasy writer believes in fairytales after all.