Maroons, reds and pink twist within the fold of each other on the old, blank face of the wall in Rapunzel’s room, a yellow circle of a sun sends pale slants of sunshine over greens that lay a base for the other mauves and purples. The picture that Rapunzel is trying to paint does not make much sense. The only thing that makes sense is a lonely, little girl sitting by the walls, staring at the colored shades of it as though some reality is hidden within its folds.
Rapunzel’s fingers seem to be pushing into the paints that are dripping in painful streaks. Blood races through my body as I watch her caress the paints with the side of her cheek as though she is trying to hug the wall. My heart beats in a wild frenzy as I watch her falling victim to yet another episode.
Without a second thought, I rush to her side, hold her arm and separate her from the wall. Her eyes look taken aback, changing from various colors of fantasy to tones of reality. First dazzled, followed by a stir of surprise and recognition until anger mixed with pain permanently settles in her eyes, and she tries to resist my grip.
Her cheeks are stained with red paint, and she screams her, “no mother” but my features pull into a firm mask, and I push her to the bed, slapping her body on the plush mattress. There is no other way except this. I gather the paints quickly as she gasps in her mattress, frustrated that I am an unfeeling monster in the name of a mother. Or a captivator like I have heard her whisper to the night.
The door shuts with a loud thud, cringing with what it just witnessed. The food sits rejected outside Rapunzel’s prison; I give it a half-hearted look with a broken heart that chokes with the pain of failure. I take a deep breath, and before going down, I push the food into Rapunzel’s room, sure that she would be exhausted by the time the sky changes from light hues to dark tones.
Ultimately, she will give in and have her food, the food that will place her in the lap of sleep. She can slumber the hours away without ever again disobeying me or dreaming about leaving the place that is destined to hold her far from the Kingdom of Sun, away from the eyes of her parents. For her parents do not deserve their daughter.