There is a little girl that lives in a crystal castle that changes colour with the beat of her heart. When her heart twinkles it turns into a rose and it makes her castle glow pink and lilac and gold. The air smells of honeysuckle and summer’s first breath. Her eyes shimmer like sequins. Stars tumble out of her mouth and wrap people up in constellations. When her heart twinkles, her soul is like a carousel. Hummingbirds fly out of her hair. She talks in rainbows. She spends her days giving kisses to her guests, friends and strangers and trees. Their loves flows though her like pearls.
But then, inevitably, the darkness creeps in. And time in her world is not like time here; there are no clocks, only the tick-tock of her heart. Sometimes her heart twinkles but then it always rusts. The sun shines when it can but it is no match for the darkness. It has many cunning ways of sneaking in. Sometimes it starts as a stain in the corner, melting in until from just one blink to another, her world becomes white noise. Sometimes it takes the shape of an evil thunderstorm. A breeze snakes itself around her neck and she gets goosebumps and she knows that she should run, run, run even though there is no point.
With the darkness comes the rain, little slips from fortune cookies; paper cuts to remind her that she should not try to escape her destiny. Run, run, run, but by the time she slams the door behind her, the castle has already changed. Instead of sparkling walls, billowing brown curtains tangle her, trip her up. Stupid, graceless girl. Her eyes become flat granite. Her mouth, pale and thin. The ground groans as she walked. She pinches her cheeks and scratches her arms, constantly convinced that they were not hers.
Time rolls, things happen. Maybe she had been blooming but the darkness likes to stunt her flow. Before, she was butterflies and champagne, and now she is an ocean of air, a grey ghost suspended in the middle of her castle, watching holograms of the world to which she felt so connected to a moment ago. Maybe she thought she was blooming but when the world makes her stand still for a moment she sees that she has not moved at all. All that smiling and running and falling and she has not moved at all
The thunderstorm rages but in here it’s very quiet. Her hummingbirds go into hibernation. Her friends, her strangers, fade away. She looks at her kisses laying in scraps on the floor. She is not the party; she is the morning after. What a waste of expensive lipstick, she thinks. And then she feels stupid because this is not the first time. She is always wasting her expensive lips on the world. She is an ocean of air. Endless. But ultimately nothing. Her intangibility unnerves her. She swims through the holograms and she tries to reach them but she can’t. She has a tantrum because she is rootless. She cries because it doesn’t matter how many kisses or cupcakes or smiles she gives. It doesn’t matter how much her skin glows or how many love-letters she gets or drunken bonding moments she has. She will always, always have to come back to this brown room where no one can see her and so no one remembers her.
All that glitters is not gold. When her heart twinkles, she pretends that it will always twinkle. Sometimes, she believes it. But when the darkness comes, and the guests leave, the truths align: they don’t think she twinkles, and neither does the darkness. Maybe sometimes she glitters, but she is not gold.