DISCLAIMER: I do not own ‘Beauty and the Beast’ or its characters, they belong to Disney.
Wrote this partly because Belle will always be my Disney Princess and because if I hear the word library my brain defaults to this one.
There’s an entire wing of this castle I am not allowed in. That doesn’t mean I don’t sneak in there of course. Or I used to anyway, but he caught me lurking in the West Wing and now I’m scared to go back. Scared that he might react worse if he sees me in there again.
I found the most curious thing in this wing though. Amongst the gloomy grey light and the heavy deep red fabric draped over anything that suggests a former life for him I saw a glowing light. I followed the glow and was surprised to see a rose suspended underneath glass. It looked something out of a book, with it’s soft pink tint and feel of magic hovering gently around it. I wanted to reach out and touch it, find out if my suspicions were right, but I as frozen looking at drooping there delicately, like it was mere moments away from crumbling completely. ‘This must be why I’m banned from here’ was the only thought that circled through my mind as my hand hovered to pull the glass up and expose the rose to the dust and gloom of the room. I was so focused on the flower that I didn’t notice him coming up behind me. Anger was radiating off him like magic and light was radiating off the rose we both had our paralysed gaze on. He swirled his cape across the glass in such a manner that I couldn’t help but be scared. It was protective and he kept his teeth bared and emitted a low growl as he stared me down. I fled in a fear that I hadn’t felt in a long time since being here. In fact I haven’t been scared of being here with him since the first time I encountered him. He made me feel largely safe in this big castle and he was obviously kind-hearted enough to let me take my father’s place in being trapped. Clearly a part of him acknowledges that it is the best for both of us, this new arrangement, even if I do miss my father more and more each day. I miss him now even more acutely than before.
In my fear of his anger I tried to flee. I say tried because I didn’t know the forest that keeps the castle isolated from the rest of the town. I didn’t know that there were wolves waiting for something new to try and catch. And catch me they did. But he saved me, even though I had intruded on something he wants hidden he saved me. He risked his own life for me, in the end he sustained more damage than I did. So I let him know that I appreciate all that he is doing for me. I took care of his wounds because it was the right thing to do.
I still felt like I had to let him know that he aggression wasn’t warranted or the right thing to do, so I took to my room a lot more. I thought some distance between us would be best. He could learn to keep his anger in check and I could try and erase the flower from my every thought. I thought that if I was locked in my room, then I was less likely to go back to the West Wing. He started trying as well more than he had before anyway. He knocked on my door daily to check on me, I didn’t open the door usually, but I let him know I was okay. He made sure I was fed, and even during his demands that I join him for dinner, I didn’t start doing so until I felt safe with him, not that I think he would ever actually hurt me, unlike the people of the village, but I didn’t want to provoke him so close to the West Wing incident.
I found myself enjoying his company more, now that he is less hostile and I am less fearful. We spent more time together as the golden leaves that decorated the outskirts of his castle fell to the ground and got hidden under a blanket of fluffy white. One day we even went outside and ended up having an unexpected snowball fight. It was the most fun I had since arriving and maybe even the most fun I have had in years. When I got back to my room damp and giddy and most importantly happy.
That brings me to now. I have just got back to my room after spending all day in his library. Its huge. The bookstore in the village has run out of books that I haven’t read, and as kind as the librarian was to gift me my favourite book, being gifted a library is even more spectacular. The first thing I took notice of was the smell. It smelled like old books that still hold within their pages potential to cause marvel and wonder. It is one of my favourite smells in the world. There are shelves that go higher than I could ever imagine and twirling staircases that lead to new gems every time I look at them and they still don’t allow access to all of the books. I guess he thought about the limitations of the staircases though because there are also two large wooden ladders, that touch the ceiling, tucked away in the corners and I imagine I will spend hours swooping across the room, like I did in the village, looking at all the books that reside high up. I wonder if there is a reason those ones are up that high. There must be something spectacular up there though, I’m sure of it.
There are new books with crisp white pages nestled along one that have broken and battered spines from use. Those are the ones I can’t wait to read, the ones that I might have to read with great care. I think we could have many great discussions about those ones. Its been so long since I discussed a good book. There are large wall length windows that let in natural light that highlights the gold edged book corners and cascades rainbows onto the floor.
There’s a fire place and a comfy green chair that I can imagine wasting (although it would never be a waste) time in over these snowy months just reading. The sheer grandness of it all has me giddy and excited. Of all the things I’ve ever received this is the most thoughtful, most wonderful thing ever. Gaston would never have been so considerate, he doesn’t understand why I spend my time burrowed in someone else’s beautifully crafted world. I can’t understand how someone who is viewed as a ‘Beast’ by the villagers can do something so considerate for someone else.
I could live in that library my entire life and still never finish all the books. It’s a daunting, yet freeing, feeling to think of all the literary possibilities. All the genres. All the untold stories that I can’t wait to discover. I cannot wait to go back to my (I can’t believe its mine) library tomorrow and explore it all over again. For the first time in a while I feel hopeful about being in this castle.
I must go to dinner now, I think it might be a bit fancier than our usual dinners as there is a yellow, almost golden, ball gown laid out for me on the bed.
Find me here: