Thorns and roses
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For years, I watched her from afar. As she endured the passing of time in perfect beauty, my heart throbbed for her in painful expectation.

Long before, when she was but a little girl running through meadows and bathing in creeks, hiding the splendor of her eyes from strangers, I knew she would become that woman. And I loved her for it, even if I hated—feared—the day it would happen.

Did I ever hate her? Never, but I resented her absence, the black hole in my soul.

I did hate the others, though. Those who took her away, far from me. To keep her safe, they said. Their efforts couldn’t foil me, but in their stupid quest, they had torn out the shiniest jewel in a crown to dump it into a dull existence of loneliness and obedience.

I knew enough about dull...

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