Finding Happily Ever After

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Written for Marriah Justine's Modern Day Disney Contest.

A girl doesn't believe in love and happily ever afters, can one special boy change her mind?

Rated PG for consumption of alcohol.

Submitted: December 15, 2011

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Submitted: December 15, 2011

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Finding Happily Ever After

“I think that was the hardest test I’ve ever taken,” I say with a hint of disbelief coloring my voice. I’m making my way out of the building with a couple classmates, all of us in a post-exam daze.

“I know. This morning when I was reviewing all of the note cards we made I thought I had everything down, but those questions…” Maggie shakes her head, her scared face I’m sure is a mirror image of my own.

“It’s like Professor Higgins wants us to fail,” Michael groans as he slings his arm around Maggie. “I’ve always wanted to be an anthropologist, but now I’m not sure anymore.”

“Michael, you’ve been amazing all semester, I’m sure you aced that thing,” I roll my eyes at him. We’ve sat next to each other for the past four months and while I’ve had to kill myself taking notes and studying, I’ve watched Michael skate through, only occasionally glancing at his book. “You were meant for this course, even if you did bomb this test like me you’re still going to make one heck of an anthropologist!”

“She’s right, honey, you can’t let this one professor bring you down or keep you from reaching your dream.” Maggie gazes up at her boyfriend, her face radiating adoration.

“Thanks baby,” Michael leans down and starts giving her a bunch of tiny kisses. Maggie reaches her hands up to encase his cheeks. And this is when I stop watching. Normally, the two of them wait for me to make an excuse to leave before they start publicly displaying their affection. I clear my throat, not-so subtly reminding them that they are not alone.

Maggie giggles through her apology, wishes me a great summer and the two of them move away from me. I watch as they walk away, arms around each other and completely in love. As I move in the opposite direction I’m overwhelmed with a sense of pity. Though I’m not sure who I feel pity for, them or me.

I don’t think real love even exists anymore, and anyone who thinks it does is just fooling themselves. Fairy tales are make-believe for a reason. The idea of two people really and truly living happily ever after is ludicrous in the real world. Then again, I’m the one standing here alone while there out there together.

Maybe all I need is someone to prove me wrong, but it’s not likely that some boy to swoop in and knock me off my feet.

“Ungf!” I groan as my body collides with something hard, my balance is skewed and suddenly falling to the hard cement I had previously been walking on.

“Whoa! Sorry about that! Are you okay?” A worried, masculine voice asks as a hand appears in my line of vision. I take a moment to asses myself, nothing feels broken or terribly hurt. So I reach up and take the offered hand.

“Yeah, I’m fine, sorry I wasn’t really paying attention to where I was walking,” I tell him as he pulls me up, and then I dust myself off. Then I finally look up to see who I had crashed into. He was gorgeous. He was perfect. For the second time in minutes my breath is stolen from me. His forehead looks slightly wrinkled as he regards me with concern in his deep chocolate brown eyes.

“It was completely my fault, are you sure you’re okay?” He asks running a hand through his reddish-brown hair.

“Yeah, really I’m good,” I smile at him, hoping to relay that there’s nothing wrong with me.

“All right, if you’re sure,” he starts to nod and then gives me a slight smile back. His eyes squint a bit and his face goes from straight and angular to one with laugh lines on either side of his perfect lips. “I feel like we should exchange licenses and insurance.”

“Nah, that’s only necessary when someone actually gets hurt,” I shake my head with a laugh.

“Well, at least let me buy you a coffee then?” he asks, his brown eyes turning hopeful.

“As much as I would enjoy that, I’m on my way to meet a friend,” I wince as I tell him this. Last night while I was studying my best friend and roommate, Indigo Stevens, made me promise to meet her for lunch to celebrate the end of our third year of college. I’m positive Indi wouldn’t mind meeting me later, but I’m not the kind of person who cancels on a friend just because of some guy--even if that guy is possibly the toastiest man I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking to.

“Ah, okay then. It was nice meeting you, sorry again for bumping into you.”

“Don’t worry about it, maybe I’ll see you around sometime,” I say to him.

“Until sometime then,” I watch as his head drops down in a nod, when he lifts it back up there is a grin on his face.

I nod then walk passed him, the small grin staying on my face all the way to the diner where Indi and I planned to meet up.

“Hey! Where have you been?” Indi asks me loudly as soon as I walk in the door.

“What do you mean?” I look down at my watch, “I said we’d meet after my final and look,” I hold my wrist in her face, “it’s after my final o’clock!”

She rolled her auburn colored eyes at me. “Shut up, Maeslie, you know what I meant. You finished your final like fifteen minutes ago!”

“How do you know that?” I laugh as I slide into the booth.

“Jennifer Yakivits came through here--you told me awhile back that she was in your class--anyway, she said you finished about the same time as she did, so I just wondered why it took you so much longer to get here.” Jennifer Yakivits is this preppy girl who was on our dorm floor freshman year. She was a total brown-noser and ran to the dorm advisor whenever she found out a girl on the floor was “abusing her new found freedom” which basically meant if anyone had a guy over passed curfew or had snuck in a hot plate.

“I was talking to Maggie and Michael,” I pause to order my food as Jonny the waiter comes around. As soon as he walks away I finish my thought. “And then I ran into someone,” I tell her, the grin coming back to my face.

“Oh? Anyone I know?” She raises one of her perfectly sculpted eyebrows at me.

“No, I mean like literally ran into, as in I fell on the ground,” I tell her with a laugh.

She lets out a bark of laughter, and then looks at me apologetically. “Oh Maes, I’m sorry. Are you okay?” I can hear how amused she is with this news in her voice.

“Yeah, I’m fine. He helped me up and offered to buy me coffee,” I grin.

“Maeslie Ann, do you have a crush?”

Now it’s my turn to roll my eyes, “No, Indi. I talked to the guy for like five minutes. I didn’t even get his name. It’s the end of the semester so I’ll probably never see him again anyway.” We’re interrupted again by Jonny as he sets our food down in front of us.

“Will I be seeing you ladies later tonight? My frat is having a toga party to celebrate,” Jonny tells us. We met Jonny in our freshman English class; he’s kind of a pig. If he didn’t have a job at this diner I would probably never talk to him.

“Nope,” Indi shakes her head. “We already have plans, sorry.”

“Oh. Okay, I guess…have fun then…” he says before slinking away from our table.

“So what plans do we have already?” I ask as I squirt some ketchup onto my plate.

“Stephanie Walker’s sorority is having a party,” Indi’s eyes light up as she starts to tell me everything. “It’s a Disney-themed party and it’s going to be magical, Maes! It’ll the perfect way to end the year!” Indi is a die-hard romantic and loves all things Disney. I’m not too surprised that she’s found this bash.

“Who are we going to be?” I ask since I know we wouldn’t be going if it wasn’t a costume party.

“Well, since you’re so beautiful with your long, gorgeous blond hair and big green eyes, I think you should be Rapunzel! We’ll do your hair in a cute braid like that one part in Tangled, except we’ll make it more modern, not as thick. And I am going as a curly-haired Jasmine!”

“Sounds amazing, Indi,” I tell her around the last of my fries that are in my mouth.

“Doesn’t it?” She squeals a bit. “Are you almost done? We have to go get ready!”

“Yes, I’m done,” I chuckle as I get up to pay for my food at the counter.

*

Indi had told me she’d be right back, and that was almost forty minutes ago. I mean, I had wandered a little bit, but not too far out of the vicinity that we had been in. The house was full, and almost everyone inside was dressed up in a ridiculous costume. Mine was actually more of the tame ones--a knee-length lilac strapless dress that has gold buttons. We paired it with a gold belt and pumps. Indi did a wonderful job with my hair, she pulled my bangs into a crown braid and then the rest of my hair was pulled in a loose, side braid.

A girl fully decked out as Pocahontas bumped into me; and for the twelfth time during the night I wonder why so many people had Disney-themed attire laying around. Then again I shouldn’t be too surprised, Indi had fashioned her Jasmine get-up out of a teal pajama set she got last winter from her aunt. Originally it had been a camisole and pants, now it was a bra, pants and a crown--made out of the midsection material. She looks just like the Arabian princess.

I glance around the room again, thinking it might be time to start searching for my best friend. Or maybe it’s time to find something to drink. I turn and am caught off balance again.

“Whoa!” a familiar voice calls out as a hand grabs onto my arm. “Hey, I caught you this time!” I look up to see familiar brown eyes staring back at me.

“You again,” I smile at him, feeling my head tilt to the side a bit. “Buy me a drink?”

“Sure,” he grins back at me before leading the way to the makeshift bar area. There’s a chalkboard with a list of Disney-themed cocktails listed on it set up on the bar. “Hey Scotty, I’ll just have a beer,” he tells the bartender and then turns to me.

“I think I’ll have a Tinkerbell…” I tell them hesitantly. I’m not much of a drinker, but tonight I want to celebrate, plus the soda from earlier wasn’t quite satisfying. I watch as Scotty drops some ice cubes into a metal shaker, followed by one measure of cherry brandy, two of vodka, an egg white and a dash of grenadine to give the drink the red look. He then covers the shaker and shakes the drink up for me, strains it into a plastic cocktail glass, adds a cherry and hands it over. “Thanks Scotty,” I smile at him widely. “Mm, this is delicious!” I hum as we turn away.

“Yeah, thanks man!” my new friend says to the bartender. As he leads me out of the house and into the backyard where there’s more room and less noise, I realize that I don’t know his name.

Once we’re out here I ask him. “What is your name? And are you even dressed up tonight?” I ask regarding his dark dress shoes, dark dress slacks, brown vest and white shirt. I finish my inspection with his face, which looks a bit offended.

“Yes, I’m dressed up! I’m the guy from 101 Dalmatians,” he tells me with pride. “You know the owner…Roger?”

“Oh yeah, sure, that outfit took real effort,” I laugh.

“It did, I Googled ‘easiest Disney costumes’ and that took twenty whole seconds! Who are you?”

“I’m Rapunzel, can’t you tell?” I twirl around for him, the tulle of my dress poofing up as I spin.

“Ah,” he nods his head with a grin. “Shouldn’t your hair be pooling around our feet then?”

“Nope, I have magical braiding powers, see when my hair is like this it’s hiding like four feet,” I widen my eyes as I nod, and then laugh. “Her dress was much longer than mine too, and I don’t think she had platform stilettos either.” We both look down at my sparkly gold heels as I say this. “You didn’t tell me your name…is it embarrassing?”

“No, it’s Dayton Miller, and yours?”

“Maeslie Brooks, it’s nice to meet you Dayton.”

“It’s nice to meet you too Maeslie,” he smiles at me--a smile that shows off his perfect teeth and wonderful laugh lines.

“Maes! Oh my goodness, where have you been woman?! I’ve been looking all over for you!” Indi screeches as she flies out of the house. “I just saw Jonny in a toga, he was drunk and asking around if anyone had seen you.” She’s reached us by this point and finally notices that I’m not out here by myself. “Oh, hello,” she puts on her flirty-face and bats her eyelashes at Dayton. “I’m Indi and you are?”

“Dayton, nice to meet you,” he smiles politely at her before glancing back at me.

“Sorry, she’s not normal when it comes to interacting in public,” I tell him, giving her a look.

“Maeslie Ann! I am perfectly normal!” She practically stomps her slipper-clad foot at me.

“Sure,” I roll my eyes. “Indi, this is the guy that knocked me down this afternoon.”

“Oh, you’re the jerk who injured my best friend,” she says narrowing her eyes at him. She places her hands on her hips and cocks one eyebrow at him. “What do you want?”

“You told me you weren’t hurt,” Dayton says to me, his eyes full of regret. “Maeslie, I’m so sor--” He’s cut off by Indi’s giggling.

“Awe, she’s fine. Good to know you’re sincere though,” she beams up at us. “Anyway! Jonny’s here and drunk, seeing as you never want to deal with him I figured it was my duty as your best friend to come find you and warn you.”

I’m used to Indi, we’ve known each other for six years, I’m used to the way she changes her mood and the topic with lightning fast efficiency. I love watching other people react to her; it’s one of my hobbies really. That’s why I’ve been staring at Dayton instead of actually listening to Indi, or so I tell myself.

“Who’s Jonny?” Dayton asks, pulling me back into the conversation.

“He’s just a guy that wants in Maeslie’s pants,” Indi shrugs. I shoot her another look. “Sorry, it’s true though. Anyway! If you want to go home I completely understand…”

“Actually, I was having a good time,” I tell her with a smile, glancing over at Dayton who was just watching us converse. “Jonny being here shouldn’t have to ruin my night.”

“I wasn’t saying it had to,” she sighs. “Like I said before, I just wanted to warn you.”

“Thank you, Indi--”

“Maeslie Paisley! Where are you? Someone said you’re out here!” Jonny’s loud, drunk voice echoes around us.

“Maybe we should go, dealing with him might ruin my night,” I groan and close my eyes.

“Indi, think you can convince him that Maeslie was never here?” Dayton asks as he reaches down and grabs my hand.

“Yeah, shouldn’t be too hard, confusing intoxicated people is always fun!” Indi laughs. “I’ll meet you at home tonight,” she tells me, which really means, I’ll be getting every last detail from you tonight.

“Thank you, Indi! I love you!” I tell her, handing her my empty glass as Dayton pulls on my hand. He guides me around the house and through the gate in the side yard; we make it out without Jonny spotting me or coming after us.

“Well that was fun,” I laugh after we’re a couple houses away.

“A run away is always fun!” He laughs with me. We walk a little bit farther in silence, I can’t help but notice neither one of us has let go of the other’s hand. I’m trying not to think too hard about what this might mean.

“Would you like to walk around a little bit before going home?” Dayton asks, breaking the silence.

“Yeah, I’d like that.”

As we walk around campus we ask each other questions about our lives. Things we like and things we don’t. Places we’ve been, others we still want to go to. What our favorite and least favorite things are. After almost an hour we stop and sit down on a bench.

“Have you seen Tangled?” I continue our questions as we let my feet rest.

“Yes I have. I spend most weekends at my sister’s house and her four year old daughter is in love with all things Disney. Want to know a secret?” His eyes twinkle in the glow of the streetlamps as he leans towards me a bit.

“Of course, I love secrets!” I tell him excitedly, leaning in as well.

“I knew you were dressed as Rapunzel the moment I saw you. Another secret is she’s always been my favorite Disney princess. Also,” he whispers, “I wanted to talk to you again, so the second time I ran into you was on purpose.”

“Really?” I whisper back.

“Mmhmm. Want to know the fourth secret I’ve been keeping?”

I nod, not really trusting my voice at this moment.

“I’ve wanted to kiss you since the very second I crashed into you. Can I kiss you, Maeslie Ann Brooks?”

Once again I just nod, definitely unable to rely on my voice. I watch as he leans in even closer to me, I feel my eyelids drift shut just as his lips meet mine. I pull away first, needing to catch my breath.

I look into his deep brown eyes and slowly a smile spreads across my face. I think I may have just found my happily ever after.

Character Photos

Maeslie Brooks

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Dayton Miller

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Indigo Stevens

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Additional Photos

Maeslie's Rapunzel dress & shoes

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And this is what a Tinkerbell Cocktail looks like, for anyone wondering if it's a real drink

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