All her life, Briar had been told how utterly selfish she was to be afraid of her destiny.
"Every princess undergoes hardship, Briar. You shouldn't be afraid of thorns. Why, it only shows that you're fearful of your responsibilities!" Her father lectured over and over again, oblivious to her discomfort.
In the end, Briar stopped talking about her fate altogether. She was tired of being constantly labeled as cowardly and self absorbed for possessing a mere inkling of self preservation. Other girls would kill for her destiny, and Briar would gladly give it to them, for who in their right mind would want to lose everyone for the sake of a stupid curse and prince?
With that mindset, Briar continually threw herself into pursuing the newest thrill, the next adrenaline rush. She lived for the feeling that made her heart soar. She quested for the merest taste of adventure. In her mind, cramming years of experience into whatever time she had allotted would leave her more fulfilled than waiting patiently for a guy who wasn't even born yet.
It was better that way, she told herself, even as the others babbled on about their wonderful futures, even as her blood boiled with jealousy for the lives she would never get to interact with after her finger kissed the spindle. It was better that way.
"Oh, Briar, have you heard?" Apple exclaimed brightly as she greeted her at the stairwell.
"Heard what?" Briar felt a little perplexed, but not too put out. Apple was closer to Blondie after all, and Briar hardly ever listened to gossip to begin with. It was certainly interesting, but wasn't very important to her in the long run.
"A new prince transferred here for Legacy Year!" Apple gushed.
That's not very surprising... Briar thought, but didn't want to hurt her feelings by vocalizing this. "That's great! Is he cute?" She teased lightly.
"Very." Apple affirmed with the expression of someone smitten. "And rumor has it that he's your prince! Isn't that amazing?"
With only a few words, Briar's carefully constructed world began to fall apart around her. Surely, it had to be a mistake. Her prince was supposed to be born many, many years from now. That's what she had been told since forever. What kind of selfish prank or ignorant error was going on here?!?
"No." She said bluntly, shifting away from Apple pointedly. "It's not."
Apple stared at her oddly, unused to Briar's no-nonsense deadpan. "Why not? Are you feeling alright? I thought you'd be bouncing off the walls with joy! You finally get to know your prince like you always wanted."
"Well, you thought wrong." Briar snapped bitterly. "Why would I be happy about something like that? It's just another fucking reminder that I'll fall into a deep slumber for longer than anyone else in the world!"
"Language, Briar!" Apple gasped. "And don't you want to know his name at least?" She continued desperately.
"Sure, what is it?" Briar's voice took on a chipper quality.
"Connor, I think." Apple searched her memory. It was a little hard to tell because of Blondie's high pitched squeals at that time.
"Well!" Briar began brightly. "You can tell this Connor to go fuck himself. Because I don't want to know anything about him, that asshole!"
Deaf to Apple's indignation, Briar marched off, fighting back tears. She felt like she was going to hurl. You're such an idiot. She thought to herself, struggling to reconcile her past with her awful present. No one can escape destiny. Why did you even try?
"I don't know." She said aloud in reply as she ducked into a thankfully empty bathroom stall and curled up on top of the toilet seat, resolving to cry without making any sound. "I guess I just wanted to be a little hopeful for once. Is that so wrong?"
As much as Briar would have liked one, there was no answer.