“Rapunzel! Rapunzel, let down your hair!” her father sang as she hurried from her bed to the window across the room. She unknotted her hair as she ran, her feet tripping over loose strands. She threw her long locks down to her father and felt him tug, letting her know she must start pulling him up. Minutes of labor later, Rapunzel was panting as her father busily walked from one end of the apartment to the other, rearranging, cleaning and scolding the girl.
Rapunzel was your typical teenage girl: blonde, blue-eyed, tall and slender, with 70 feet of hair. Her mother had left her after birth to get away from her lunatic father. Her father, Hank, was once a librarian at the local library soon acquired the wealth of his father’s stock brokerage company when he suddenly died in a biking accident in downtown Portland. He soon became greedy and self obsessed, driving away her mother and stuck with the daughter. Hank, with many girlfriends much younger than he; all undoubtedly in it for his money.
Hank was a very hurried man, from golf to his girlfriend to checking up on his daugher every once in awhile. Ever since she was little, Rapunzel’s father locked her high in an apartment building with a view over Portland because he was too busy to care for her. The door to the apartment was locked from the outside, so Rapunzel had no escape. The only entrance was through window where her father had Rapunzel reel him up to deliver food and water.
After Hank decided the apartment was stocked for the week, he had Rapunzel wheel him back down as he said “Goodbye! I will see you next week.” It was her sixteenth birthday, and her father had forgotten. After he left, she bathed and brushed her hair for the two hours it took daily. She once again grew bored and lonely and sat binge watching her favorite Netflix series, Criminal Minds.
Minutes into the season finale, she saw a shadow cast into the living room. It danced and moved from the television set to the coffee table – it amused Rapunzel for what felt like forever. When she finally glanced around the room to see what was making the movement, she saw a man suspended on the side of the building, harnessed in, spraying and cleaning her window. The one her father left through minutes before. Rapunzel was captivated. How was he standing there, taunting her, as she was trapped inside this room for the sixteenth year today?
At last, she had an idea. She ran to the window and attempted to open it, until she realized that she about knocked the man off his platform and quickly closed the window once again. Rapunzel quickly grabbed a pen and paper while she still had the man’s attention. She scribed, in her best handwriting, “What is your name?” in gold ink, and pressed the paper to the window. She could dimly hear him yell “Flynn Ryder!” back at her. Okay, she had his attention and communication was possible. What to say next? She then pressed another paper to the window saying “Can I join you?” In response, Flynn moved out of the way of her window so she could open it just enough for her to slip out.
On the platform, Rapunzel began to explain to the man her situation. He didn’t believe it one bit, until he noticed her hair tied up in layer after layer, making it short enough for her to walk comfortably without tripping. “My one birthday wish is to escape this place, explore the world I’ve only seen through this window for sixteen years.” And, to Rapunzel’s surprise, Flynn agreed, understanding the dreadful life she’s lived. In that moment, he raised the platform to the roof where he and Rapunzel got off. He then offered to give Rapunzel her first tour of the city, in which she gladly agreed.
Hours later, Hank realized he left his phone on the counter in Rapunzel’s apartment. After calling to her for minutes with no response, he grew concerned. So concerned that he ran up eighty flights of stairs to the door. When he unlocked the door, he quickly noticed that Rapunzel was long gone with the window wide open.