"Wow, indeed." Flynn commented. "And now that you know about the truth regarding this place, there is one enormously important thing to do."

"Which is?" I asked her.

"A makeover, of course!"

"A makeover?" I echoed. "Really?" I added, somewhat skeptically.

"There is no need for that tone, Rapunzel." Flynn replied, sounding quite offended. "I am just trying to help, is all."

Before I got the opportunity to make a retort, one of the other residents spoke up. "We all are just trying to help. There is no need to be suspicious about our motives and it saddens me that you are, despite the knowledge I possess pertaining to your...background."

"My background?"

"Yes, the tower, of course. Being trapped up there for so long no doubt made you-"

"The tower did nothing of the sort." I shot back, feeling my anger rising. "And I refuse to blame the tower for my...my..."

"Your what?" Someone asked.

"Nothing." I said, as bluntly as I could possibly muster. "Now then, you mentioned a makeover?" I added, trying to swerve the attention away from more...personal...topics.

Flynn sighed but did not attempt to challenge me. "Yes, yes I did. I...no, we...wanted to help you."

"Help me?"

"Yes, aesthetically, that is. As aforementioned, this is a supportive environment and here you are free to express yourself in any way you desire. I already know about your penchant for stealing and wearing the armour of your ridiculous suitors but it is ill fitting because of your...shapeliness."

"Shapeliness?"

"Yes, you are rather...never mind. That's not thepoint. The point is that we can aid you in appearing how you truly want to...like our friend here." She added, pointing once more to the lady. "She is now happier in herself and so can you be. If you are willing to try."

"Of course I am! But...what can you do that I myself haven't already attempted?" I asked.

But there was something lingering in the undercurrents of my tone. Desperation. I wanted...no, I needed...them to help me before my insecurities overwhelmed me completely. And, looking into the eyes of each one of them, noticing the sincerity that sparkled within them, I knew that they could. They really could.

"For one thing, we have something that you did not have access to in that tower of yours. Or, if you did so, you tossed it out of there at the first possible opportunity."

"And what is that?" I asked, curiosity well and truly piqued.

"Makeup, of course."

"No." I answered, flatly.

"Before you completely obliterate our idea, I would like you to hear us out." Flynn said.

"I...ugh, fine." I said, hoping that they weren't just emotionally tormenting me.

"Makeup is a double edged sword, it can enhance beauty – feminine or otherwise – and it can also conceal it. I have no doubt in my mind that your cheeks have been mentioned on more than one occasion, contributing to your despair. But haven't you ever considered using it to your advantage? Paling your cheeks and emphasising...something else entirely?"

"Something else entirely?" I questioned.

"She is referring to facial hair." One of the others spoke up, no doubt growing tired of my endless questions.

"Facial hair? But I don't have any..." I said, puzzled.

"Exactly." Flynn answered. "But with the power of makeup...anything is possible."

"I..." I began, but ended up trailing off. I could feel something blossoming within me, akin to that golden flower that started it all, and that feeling was simply...hope. An emotion that had been alien to me for far too long.

I welcomed it back with open arms, the makings of a smile beginning to tug at my mouth. Flynn noticed and grinned in response.

"Don't worry, Rapunzel." She said. "Once we're finished with you, you'll never view yourself the same way – in that negative way – ever again. Trust me."

And the surprising thing was, was that I did. I did trust her. She had awakened yet another emotion within me that had been slumbering for a decade, at least. Hope and trust. Two tools that were always handy to have in one's arsenal.

"I do." I said, voicing my thoughts aloud. "I really do."

And then something happened that I honestly did not expect. Flynn's face began to redden, almost as though she were...no, surely not. I examined her features once more to make sure I had been correct in my assumptions but she quickly turned her head away, choosing now to address me without making direct eye contact.

"Take a seat and let us begin to work our magic then." She said, in a tone that I could not truly decipher. Had I inadvertently embarrassed her?

But I dismissed those thoughts with a small shrug. As selfish as it sounded, this was my moment. I did not need to tarnish it with worries that may not even be valid. I was probably overthinking things, just like I had been doing during this whole journey. Before I could dwell on that any further, however, one of the other residents gestured towards a chair and I took the hint.

The chair in question appeared to be crafted out of solid oak, with various patterns carved into the arms and back. Truth be told, I was impressed by the sight of it. It looked sturdy but also pleasing to the eye, a feat that not all furniture could successfully pull off. Although, I should not have been surprised. This whole establishment had more to it than what met the eye so why should the furnishings be any different?

"Are you ready?" Flynn asked, dragging me back into the here and now.

"Yes, yes I am." I quickly replied, as I sat down and made myself comfortable, trying to hide the increasing excitement from my voice and failing immensely.

Who knew that I of all people would ever get giddy over the prospect of makeup?