The next morning I woke up to find I was sixteen. At first I had forgotten about the fight I had had with Gothel. It wasn't until I saw her at the table that I remembered.
"Mother?" I asked as I noticed her red eyes. I suddenly felt guilty about yelling at her. "Are you okay?" She hadn't realized I had walked into the room and jumped as I spoke. Her graying hair was a mess which was very unusual for her. Gothel was all about neatness.
She took a deep breath and at first it looked as if she was going to say she was just fine but then she exhaled and looked at me in the eye. I had to tear my gaze away. I had never seen her this way before.
"Mother? What is it? What's wrong?" I asked kneeling next to her chair and grabbing her hand. "Was it something I said yesterday?" I stared at her hand, unable to face her eyes.
"No, you haven't done anything Asha. It's something I've done." She took another deep breath "I've decided you're old enough to know the truth."
"What is it mother?" I asked, surprised. I looked at her face. What had Gothel been keeping from me?
"Okay let me just ask you to please don't get mad at me for keeping this from you." I nodded my agreement.
"I can handle what ever it is you have to tell me mother." I said with a confident voice. She place a hand on my face and smiled.
"Alright then. Let's see if I can say it." she paused "I'm not your mother." There was a silent pause. My mind began to race. What was she saying?
"This is a joke right?" I asked a little awkwardly "A little birthday humor?" Gothel shook her head.
"It's the truth."
"Then who am I?" I asked, trying to control my breathing.
"You are Rapunzel, daughter of King Radius and Queen Isabel." After she said those words I thought I was going to faint. How could I be the princess when I had seen the real Rapunzel parading through town just last week? "I was the royal nursemaid when you were born." Gothel began her story. "I wanted a change in the kingdom but if you grew up in that kind of environment then you were most likely going to turn out like your parents. So I switched you with a girl from the orphanage.”
I was speechless. I didn’t know whether or not to believe this story. I was a princess? Not likely. But maybe……
“You’re not lying to me are you?” I asked looking at Gothel in the eye. She shook her head and I knew then that she wasn’t lying to me.