The tower stands in the center of the forest like an old soldier, tall and proud, yet crooked and hunched over. He wears a long coat of thick ivy that crawls all the way up to a single window that overlooks the dark forest. This is where I have been trapped and forgotten all these years. I am the prisoner of the old soldier. I am safe here. It is for my own good that I stay locked up; at least that is what the old soldier tells me. Somehow I find it hard to believe him.
All I can do is wait, but for what I do not know. To be rescued, I suppose. As I sit here, singing lullabies and brushing through my wild mass of hair again and again, I wait. I imagine a young, handsome prince with dark eyes, like one from the books and stories I have read. He would slay the old soldier and take me away from the forest, back to his kingdom, where we would live happily together forevermore.
I imagine what it would be like to be free. I imagine the feeling of prickly grass between my bare toes. I imagine how blue the sky must look contrasted against a web of tree branches above me. I imagine running as fast as I can. I have never run before. I imagine these things until my heart grows so heavy with longing that I feel as if I could leap from the very top of this tower if it were my only choice of escape, but there is no escape for me.
The old soldier is strong and diligent in keeping his guard. He will not give me up without a fight. But it does not matter anymore. I have realized now that no prince is coming for me. And I am growing tired of waiting.
Because I feel like Rapunzel sometimes.