Wow, it feels so wonderful to be blogging again! It's been a really long week of recovery, but I'm finally starting to feel better.
I thought I'd post a picture of myself. I figure it will take a while for all of you to get used to my "new look". :} I hope you guys won't be too weirded out, like I was with Rapunzel. If you are, though, I'll understand.
Speaking of new looks, you might notice that my hair is a little...different. Beast'sbelle decided to do a boiling water treatment in the middle of the surgery. Leave it to a human to give hairstyle the same importance as a life-saving body swap. I'm just glad I was out cold for the whole thing. :}
I'm not sure what I think of my hair. It's really...straight...right now. Beast'sbelle said we can always curl it again later if I want. I think that right now is not the best time for me to try to make decisions. Everything is so topsy-turvy. :(
I know that you all want to hear about my surgery, but I really feel that I should back up and get everyone caught up with everything that has happened over the past month. I'll try to get these posts out as quickly as possible so that you'll be caught up to the present as soon as possible. :}
I suppose we have to go back to the beginning of October, shortly after I sang to Robby for the first time.
I can't even tell you what a relief it has been since I shared my song with Robby. It's as if a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Robby positively glows whenever he looks at me, Emilie acts like I'm some singing superstar...the whole world just seems a little brighter.
I shared my success story with Rapunzel, and she was thrilled for me. She and Eugene, of course, have been singing to each other from the very beginning of their relationship, so she knew what I had been missing.
Even though I'd finally gotten past my fear, I decided to keep up with my secret guitar practice. Robby would love a surprise guitar serenade sometime! I wasn't sure when I would play for him, but now I knew that I didn't have to wait for the "perfect" moment. I wanted to be ready for anything.
As I mentioned briefly in an earlier post, Rapunzel and I were able to spend an afternoon with Raven and her friends in October. We arranged things with Beast'sbelle ahead of time so she could release them from their doll stands and they could come join us in my home.
While Rapunzel and I waited, I shared my guitar secret with her.
"Belle, that's wonderful! I'm sure Robby will love it." She pushed her hair back over her shoulder. "What are you going to play?"
"I haven't decided yet," I admitted. "I'm working on a couple of different songs...but I'd kind of like to keep them a secret, even from you. I hope you understand."
Rapunzel grinned. "Don't worry, Belle. Whatever it is, Robby will be thrilled."
At that moment, we could hear the clatter of our guests as they climbed up the shelves to join us. I hurriedly stuffed my guitar behind one of the chairs. I wasn't ready to share my secret with anyone else just yet.
The girls were thrilled to be there and to be free of their stands. We noticed right away that there was an extra doll with them.
"We hope you don't mind," Apple said apologetically. "Ashlynn arrived after we had already arranged things, and we didn't want to leave her behind."
"I don't know, she probably would have been happy to have some alone time with Hunter," Briar teased.
The new doll with long, strawberry blonde hair blushed.
"She came in a gift set with another doll, Hunter Huntsman," Raven explained. "They're quite smitten with each other."
Ashlynn turned an even brighter shade of pink.
"It's nice to meet you, Ashlynn," I said warmly. "I'm glad you could come."
She gave me a shy smile.
Apple wasted no time. "I've been dying to play with your hair since we first met," she admitted to Rapunzel. "Would you like to sit here? Ashlynn and I will get right to work."
Rapunzel obediently took a seat, hiding her amusement at Apple's enthusiasm. Apple stood to one side, and Ashlynn took a seat on the floor and pulled. Within moments, Rapunzel had braids galore in her hair. I wondered what it would look like when they were done.
Briar and Maddie settled themselves in the chairs and helped themselves to tea. I knew that Maddie probably would have preferred coffee, but there was none in the house. Beast'sbelle and her husband are tea drinkers. ;)
Maddie was talking a mile a minute, and Briar was laughing at her antics.
Meanwhile, I had the chance for a long, heart-to-heart with Raven. I'd rather not go into all of it here, especially since much of what she shared was very personal. Suffice it to say that she and I have a bit in common. For her, it's a little more complicated, though. Everyone expects her to be the daughter of the Evil Queen who doesn't want to be evil. In reality, she doesn't even know who this "Evil Queen" is that everyone keeps talking about. She's just a simple doll who likes to sing and would rather not put up with all the fuss being made about her. Oh, and she hates her outfit, and she's not really a fan of black or purple, either. Her favorite color is forest green. :}
One thing that really struck me as I talked with her and the other dolls was how young they seemed. I mean, age is a rather relative term for dolls. In doll years, I'm only three. ;) But there was a spontaneity, an innocence, and a naivete to these girls that somehow made me want to protect them and nurture them. I guess my mothering instincts have really kicked in. ;)
"Well, what do you think?" Apple suddenly called out.
I turned and saw Rapunzel, playfully holding a pose. Her hair looked amazing!
"Wow, Apple and Ashlynn," I said. "You did a beautiful job on Rapunzel's hair."
Apple and Ashlynn beamed with pleasure.
Rapunzel turned around in her seat and peered through the glass doors of my curio cabinet. She could just catch a glimpse of her reflection in the mirrors of the cabinet.
"It looks wonderful," Rapunzel said warmly. "Much fancier than anything I could come up with. Thanks, Apple and Ashlynn".
We spent most of the afternoon together, but all too soon it was time for them to head back. Apple, Briar, Maddie, and Raven seemed a bit reluctant to leave, but Ashlynn was gazing longingly across the room, no doubt thinking of Hunter and missing him. I hid a smile, remembering how lovey-dovey I was about Robby once we finally admitted our feelings for each other.
The girls said their goodbyes and began climbing over the side of the curio. Rapunzel and I watched them as they made their way across the room, back to their stands.
"Well, that was fun," I said.
"And your hair looks quite elegant," I continued.
My friend patted it and blushed. "It is pretty. I'll have to take it out in an hour or so, though, or I'll have a horrible headache."
"Too bad," I said. "Just make sure you get home in time to let Eugene see it first."
"I don't know," Rapunzel mused. "He likes my hair best when it's simple. He might think I have a bird's nest on my head or something." She winked.
I chuckled. "I doubt that...although I could see him saying that just to tease you."
She put on a shocked expression. "My husband? Never!"
We both laughed.
"Well, I should get going," Rapunzel finally said. "Robby and Eugene are probably ready for a break from the kiddos."
"Hey, have you had a chance to talk to Ben?"
Rapunzel shook her head. "Aside from hearing him call Paige's name, I haven't seen him since the day you fell off of the dresser."
"Thanks for the reminder," I told her dryly. "Rats. I was hoping you'd found out more about her."
"Why don't you talk to him?"
"I don't know...I was tempted to, but the more I thought about it, I just couldn't figure out a way to ask without sounding really weird."
Rapunzel gave a teasing sigh. "I guess you'll just have to wait, then."
I gave her a playful shove. "Get going already, will you?"
She laughed again. "See you later, Belle."
As Rapunzel expertly hopped over the edge of the curio and swung down the shelves, I found my gaze wandering back up to the top of the white shelves, where Ben and Paige still stood. It was driving me crazy wondering about them, but I wasn't quite brave enough to go talk to him. I guess I'd just have to practice patience, my favorite virtue. ;)
More to come, everyone! Another few posts and we should be all caught up. ;)