Thin whispers of silver moonlight creep through gaps in the satin curtains, not quite reaching my body. Shadows and darkness surround me. Inside and out. The silence is uninterrupted, leaving me with only my thoughts for company. It would be peaceful to many. This whole life would be a dream to most. It was to me once. Having existed within it for so long, it is no longer. I tire of fancy gowns I may only wear once. I yawn during the extravagant meals, wondering what happens to the copious amounts of uneaten food. Military displays are always the same, birthdays and balls have no unique qualities, every day is like the one before. Is there nothing new in life anymore? Is this the curse of growing old? One of many such curses. It is not always easy for me to leave this luxurious bed in the mornings these days. Sometimes it is not possible at all. My joints do not work like they used to. Let alone my eyes, my ears, my hands, the list continues but I care not for it. Those pains make filling my time an ever more challenging task. I have already read through all the books in the library, what else am I to do? What new worlds am I to travel to? There are few hobbies befitting of me that I can manage. Even fewer that I am allowed to do. Would the ordinary folk care? Truly? I find it hard to believe that they would. The staff are the only people I think would. Arguing for freedom now is purposeless, they are far too entrenched in their mindset regarding me. The funny girl. The most peculiar one.
Once upon a time I had ambition. I had energy. I sang my wishes in the street, my desires for a more exciting life. It was not to be. I found the love of my life, yet never the thrills I wanted. No matter where I looked. No matter what I did. Do those moments I longed for exist? I will never know first hand. I know not whether I care. My husband knows I am unhappy though he knows not what to do about me. I know not what he can do for me. He does love me dearly and I do love him with all my heart. I am forever grateful to have him. But he was born into this life. He knows no different, he does not understand. At one point I enjoyed all the pomp and ceremony he loves. Reveled in the flamboyance. Now it is all so tiresome. I am sure he wishes he could help. He does in little ways. He brings me tea and wine, he holds my hands, he reminds me frequently that he loves me. Although now I cannot see why he does. Without him I dread to think quite what state I would be in. Well, I know, do I not?
Am I merely selfish?
My surroundings are far more than comfortable. The foods I eat would be called exquisite by the little people. I never fear the cold, or the sicknesses. Perhaps I am. Others have it worse. My problems pale in comparison to theirs. What problems do I really have? Those little people seem happier than I despite them. They have purpose. They work in some form or another. Every day they have tasks they must fulfil. Be that making bread, selling eggs, caring for books, even my husband deals with all manner of politics. He has a purpose. He talks to me of work often, I know much of his duties. However I could never assist him. No. That would not do. I have knowledge aplenty, I could be valuable. He ends his days exhausted and stressed, forever wanting extra hands. Though not mine. What am I expected to do? Smile and look pretty was what the staff always told me at all the functions when I was young. I cannot imagine being able to look pretty now. Let alone smile. Especially not for some foreign, self righteous nobleman with a lecherous gaze. How did I ever? How did I ever smile?
This night grows long. Sleep eludes me still. Perhaps on some level I do regret my choices. Never finding an art form of my own. Never making time for others in my prime. Having children instead of enjoying my youth. Would it be different if they were not estranged? I wish it were not like this. Their father is no beast, he has been rid of his curse for decades now. If only they would listen. I tried. Oh I tried. My words fell on deaf ears, my letters were viewed by blind eyes. What more could I have done? The young people in the town these days have no idea what happened back then. There is no remnant of the curse within him. How could anyone think otherwise having met him? Having known him? My understanding can only go so far. As can theirs, evidently. Some day they surely will change. They will have to replace him. When they do they will see his work and what good he has done. Could it not be before that? Could it not be within my lifetime? I very much doubt it. How much longer do I have now? Not long at all I would hope. What purpose does hope serve other than to make us suffer? To show us a reality that will never be realized?
Ah, finally the black tides are encroaching on my somber mind. Soon the next dull day will greet me. My knees do not ache. Nor does my crumbling spine. This slumber seems as though it will be deeper than most. So long as it drowns out my thoughts, it is enough. A few merciful hours of mental silence before I have to watch out over the quiet lands and listen to my dreary self again.