“Only by finding true love, despite his ugliness, could the curse be broken.”
All his life he had hated the story of Beauty and the Beast. A mawkish, cursed lie, he thought. No one would ever fall in love with a beast and he would certainly never be stupid enough to open himself up to the pain of love.
He managed to avoid this worst pain of all for decades, until faith intervened. One day in the Paris Opera this Beast too met his Beauty and his heart bled like a rose.
Knowing there was no prince hiding behind his mask, he tried to become an angel instead.
The beast … the beast had it easy, he sometimes thought. He had no castle of wonders to give her. No matter the lavish building that covered it, his home was beneath the earth.
Slowly love made him become the beast he hated: as he brought his beauty to his domain where he begged her to marry him.
The vision of the handsome prince imprisoned in his castle was one he made reality, as he locked up the one that he thought would take her away from him.
Then she kissed him, told him she would be his wife and he knew that his fairy tale wouldn't have a happy ending, as he did not become a prince.
He was the monster that had to disappear so the beautiful prince and princess could have their happy ever after. Was that not how tales like this were truly supposed to end?
Like the beast he would slowly die of love, but she would not return to save him. Cruelly he had given himself hope that she would. Knowing how much she loved fairy tales he had let her go telling her that he would wait for her by the well. The look in her eyes told him she understood.
True to his word he waited by the well every day, no matter how weak he became. Two weeks passed in pain and loneliness but he kept returning. Then came the day he was too weak to leave.
During the hours he lay there, on the cold ground near the well, he knew that if she not returned soon he would never see her again. This thought forced him to stay awake, to hold out, even though sleep kept enticing him.
“Erik!” a voice in the darkness! Her voice. She had returned! Out of love? Out of kindness? He did not know. She knelt at his side and removed his mask. She washed his face and helped him drink.
“I love you …” she then whispered.
He looked at her but could not comprehend. Was he dreaming or could it be true? “But I will never become a prince.” he whispered brokenly.
“All beauty fades, but the heart that loves remains.” she said.
Then she kissed him and he did not die.
In fact; they lived happily ever after.