It’s been 20 years since Belle left Prince Adam (the Beast) in his tower. She hopped a ship to travel the world after one of their many marital fights ended with the same conclusion; he became more infatuated with his own beauty after the curse than before it was even cast.
He was a diva, if you could believe it, and took on many of the qualities Belle hated in Gaston. The only difference was, she was married to him. Surprisingly she had no trouble with him being unfaithful, but he always managed to ridicule and critique every outfit and hairstyle she chose to wear that day. On one particular occasion their conversation revolved around his distaste for the gold color she chose for her ball gown the first night they danced together.
Prince Adam, “Out of all the dresses I had for you, you managed to pick the ugliest.”
Belle, “I thought you liked that dress. You danced with me all night in it.”
Prince Adam, “You were the only other person there. Who else was I going to dance with? Lumiere?”
Belle, “If that’s the way you feel about me I can just leave.”
Prince Adam, “You’re not going to leave me. Have you seen the library I gave you? Anyway we’re going to have dinner at the Rochester’s tonight so how do you think I should wear my hair? In a loose curl or tied in a low bun?”
Belle walked away and sighed, realizing that her husband was a nit wit. He goes out every day pontificating about his new found beauty and the glory of his magnificent hair. Sometimes she dreams of cutting it off in his sleep. She could never actually leave him though. It was a weird sense of debt she felt she owed him.
She walked into the library to find Mrs. Potts dusting the shelves with the handle of a feather duster. In her old age, she had slightly lost touch of reality but still preserved her helpful and encouraging spirit.
Belle, “I don’t know what to do Mrs. Potts. He’s a complete imbecile.”
Mrs. Potts, “He’s quite the looker now with that fine head of hair. Just give it time, he’ll get old eventually and go bald.”
Belle, “I’m not going to wait until he goes bald for him to stop talking about himself.”
Mrs. Potts put down her duster and sat down next to Belle.
Mrs. Potts, “Alright then, just go.”
Mrs. Potts, “Yeah, off with you. Get on with your life. I’ll tell the master you went on a business trip.”
Belle, “But I don’t work.”
Mrs. Potts, “He won’t even notice. I’ll take the heat, don’t you worry. Just go now, the last ship sails off at midnight.”
Belle, “I think your head isn’t so clear Mrs. Potts.”
Mrs. Potts, “Listen here, young lady. I only pretend to be senile so I can get away with stealing a couple of silverware here and there. No hard feelings but it’s hard being a 60 year old woman with a ten year old boy to feed.”
Belle had contemplated leaving for the past couple of years but it always seemed more complicated than it was and nobody could put it as simply as Mrs. Potts just did. The next morning Prince Adam awoke to an empty bed and his hair chopped off in an uneven bob. He yelled out a blood curdling scream as Belle handed off his tresses to a greedy Mrs. Potts, anxious to sell her new fortune to some wig makers in the city. With her newfound courage, Belle traveled the globe teaching French to impoverished children in Malaysia, discovering new wildlife in the Amazon, and eventually becoming the first woman to rule her own country.