A girl makes you nervous and it takes you years to gure out why; months and months lled with childish laughter and shaky hands pushing away what scares you. She reminds you of the monster that used to live under your bed, her touch on your skin making you want to hide beneath the covers, her smile making your heart race. There’s a moment when your eyes nally meet and your breathing stops.
No one ever told you that monsters could be beautiful.
You can’t rationalize it. You know her hands on your shoulders shouldn’t make your palms sweat, but they do. And her eyes on your lips shouldn’t make your mouth dry, but they do. It takes time before you learn to live with her; call her out from beneath the bed and invite her into your sheets. She lays beside you and you wonder when you started want- ing to put your hands on her waist.
Monsters aren’t so scary when they’re snoring softly in their sleep.
Growing up is understanding that monsters aren’t real. They are shadows on your bed- room wall or the rustling of leaves outside your window. And sometimes, like now, they are just a girl. It’s easy to mistake girls for monsters, but disguises fade when they can no longer scare you. She leans into your chest and you let her settle her head onto your shoulder; let her relax into your arms, slow and simple.
This is not a fairytale, but you realize it has all the signs of one.
You kissed the monster under your bed, and you made her human.
Pensacola, FL, BFA Dramatic Writing