I have never been (treated) a princess all my life. I don't think I'll ever fit the role. However, I'm also unsure about calling myself a warrior, although you've always believed that I am Ms.Independent - ever since we met. I know it's kind of annoying that I need to be reminded that I DO have the power to carry on. You know how the world is with me here. You have seen how I was and helped me to become how I am now. We both know there are still more miles to go and I am not about to give up and quit just yet. Unlike those in the past, you didn't run off. You didn't even turn away. I thought I had formed a cold exterior around me. How did you get to see what was underneath all along? Have we both been slightly 'empaths' silently reading each other from the start? Either way, I am glad. Like I once told you: if I were The Hobbit, then you'd be my Gandalf. I know there's still a lot in the world out there. There are still many beautiful places that I am dying to visit. For way too damn long, I thought it was just my silly, childlike dreams and ambitions. I thought I'd completely let the harsh reality wash them all away - like the waves to footprints in the sand. I don't know why I started calling that place 'The Sanctuary'. It's weird, I know. All I know is that I felt so safe back then. You may say it's me and my vivid imaginations. Man, that tower has always been huge to my eyes. I was surprised the first time you invited me over and simply let me in. Surprised and honoured, that is. Maybe it was because I knew that I'd always feel safe, welcomed, and accepted there. Like a tired wanderer, I could just knock on your door - patiently waiting to be invited in. (Like a vampire, I often joked with you.) Then you'd open the door with that big, brilliant smile on your face - and the warm radiance in your beautiful hazel eyes. When you spread your arms, you simply showed me one of the rare, safe places on earth I could run into. With you, I could be who I really am for the very first time in years. A clumsy little girl. A bubbly little sister. A friend who doesn't always have advice to give or solutions to all your problems, and in fact bringing her own over (which made me feel guilty sometimes). An ordinary woman with not much to impress, yet you often tell me there's more to me than meet their eyes. I didn't have to pretend. I never had to play any part. I just had to be me with you, all in one. All that you've seen. We've revealed our past scars and none of us ran off. I guess that's why you've understood me so well, in fact more than other people who should. Sometimes DNA doesn't count that much. You've seen how I am and know what I really need these days. You've shown me that I could do a lot more than some people would ever really give me a credit for. You've reminded me that I could be anything I want to be, despite what reality often throws at my face. All I have to do is make the best effort in the best way possible; beat the odds, fight back, and prove the skeptics just how deadly wrong they are about me. (And how not supportive they've been, even when I needed them the most.) In time, they will all see. It is just a matter of 'when'. When you left, I'd felt shaky at first. I didn't want to let you know that, because I didn't want to worry or even scare you. I didn't have the heart. It didn't feel right and it wasn't fair. I remember checking out the sanctuary you left behind. I opened the door to an empty room. There was only dead quietness, and a vivid realization that nothing lasts forever - no matter how beautiful. Transitions. Life is full of them, like it or not. Like a child growing up, one has to say goodbye to the (sense of) magic that once filled the air. We leave the past behind as we make our way to the future. Whatever lies ahead, we shall see and deal with it. Still, I could hear your voice echo in the empty room - and in my head: "Be strong. Stay focused. You know what you want. I know you can do it." So long, sanctuary. Soon I'll have to find my own. They may still have second thoughts and doubts about my decisions - or even laugh at me, thinking I am not being realistic and that I'll never make it. Well, guess what? I no longer care. You've always believed in me, and that's what matters. Hopefully you still do. Pray for me. I love you. love, R.
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