THE PRINCESS: Inside, where no one could see, she was beautiful with blonde hair and lush lips. Her eyes were a sparkling blue or a turbulent green or maybe the color of midnight.
Outside, where everyone turned away in disgust, she worked at the Laundromat and felt the grabbing hands of prejudice against her hunched back, lank hair and purple birthmark across her face.
Her aunt’s rough hands prodded and pulled and pounded and plucked because she was slow, stolid, ugly and dense as unfired clay. Her uncle spit and swore and said she was stupid.
THE PRINCE: Inside, where no one could see, he was strong and handsome and kind and brave. His teeth were straight and his smile was kind and dimples flashed his pleasure.
Outside, his nose was flat and his front teeth were gone. He hobbled instead of walked and one arm was withered and bent at an odd angle. People pointed and laughed.
Then he saw the swearing uncle, angry aunt and the sad woman curled in the corner shoulders tensed for another blow. He heard her cry as a fierce dog snarled and snapped at his ragged coat.
His one good hand stroked her lank hair. She saw his tender smile. The scent of her hair made him catch his breath. Inside – the strong, protective man - stood tall.
The uncle raised a heavy hand to strike another blow but the Prince did not flinch. “Stop,” he said. The aunt snapped her fingers and the dog rushed to bite but the Princess said "No!"
“I have nothing to offer but my love,” the Prince said. “Then you offer me the world,” the Princess replied.
Outside they were two sad, ugly people but inside they were a Princess and a Prince who lived happily ever after.