A younger Anna woke up in the bed across from Elsa’s, screaming, like she had every night. Elsa never said anything to anyone; she only shushed her sister and returned to bed for fear of being reprimanded. Until, that is, a prince climbed the wall and landed in the room, with an evil smirk on his face. “I will tell your father about this, and he shall punish you by banishing you from the kingdom. Then I shall marry your sister, and Arendelle will be mine, all mine!”
Elsa woke up screaming from that horrible nightmare. She had had it ever since the incident with the song that she had written for Anna’s birthday so many years ago. Then she forced herself to calm down, remembering that she couldn’t wake Anna. She quickly glanced over at her sister’s bed, and upon seeing that she was fast asleep, got up and walked over to the window. The sun was just coming up, and with it came a ship carrying a young prince who wanted to marry her. She couldn’t remember his name, but doubted that he would want to stay after getting a taste of Arendelle’s climate. He was the youngest prince of Spain, and she had heard that the Spanish climate was much more exotic, at least according to the books. Her only hope was that this prince wouldn’t be the one from her nightmares.
Elsa was dressed and ready when she was called to the dining hall, where she was to lunch with the prince. She behaved exactly as she had been since she turned sixteen, and men were legally allowed to court her. In the two years that had passed since then, so many suitors had come that she had lost count, and couldn’t remember if anyone from Spain had come before. As she entered the hall, the young prince bowed to her, and she returned a curtsy. She then sat down to eat with him, which passed in a blur, and all she could really remember was that his name was Prince Carlos and he was the youngest prince of Spain. She had just listened to him rambling on about how great his home country was, and it was a relief that she didn’t have to say anything. When they got up to leave, the Prince asked her, “How would you like to come home with me and see Spain? It is nothing like Arendelle, and I know that you must feel cooped up, spending all of your time in the castle.
Of course, Elsa knew that she should politely refuse his offer, knowing that any such thing should not have been proposed to her, but a small part of her said, “He understands you, and he wants to help you. He wants to set you free, and if you let him, you could become truly happy.”
Giving in to this impulse, she replied, “I would love to.” Unfortunately, her father picked that moment to enter the room.
“I am very sorry for my daughter’s behavior, Prince Carlos. Elsa, please go to my study. We will speak there.”
As Elsa retreated to her father’s study, she knew that she had made a costly mistake.
Elsa returned to her room, feeling helpless after a severe scolding, but put on a brave face for Anna. Surprisingly, her sister didn’t call out to her as she entered the room because she wasn’t there. Sighing, she was happy that she finally got to have some peace, and her eyes glanced over at her reflection in the mirror. Something didn’t look right- she saw only a girl who was trying to be her mother but didn’t see herself anywhere. She slipped off her gloves and set them down on the dresser, finding a set of hands that she barely recognized as her own; they were so pale. Taking her hair down from its tight bun, she wished that people could see the imperfect side to her, especially Anna, and wished that they could just accept her. Yes, Anna may have suffered trauma that long-ago night, but she had too, even more so than Anna, and wasn’t she the heir? Wasn’t she the one that was to be protected, that was so precious? With a sudden burst of anger, she took off her maroon jacket and flung it onto her bed, her favorite ice-blue blouse now in full view, and grabbed her music box out of its drawer as she headed towards the window. She stepped onto the swing that remained there from her brief childhood, and hoisted herself up, spotting Anna riding her horse back to the stables as she did so. When she was high enough to touch the roof, she pulled herself up, and settled down, just her and the world. Sitting there, staring at the golden sunset, she wondered: would she ever be able to reveal her true, broken self?