You are fearless.
They remind you of this as they watch you walk pass, the clink clank of your polished armor dutifully hiding the sound of your entire body trembling inside of it. You are brick and mortar. You are the daughter of a king.
Clink. Clank. Clink. Clank.
They lock eyes with you as they grasp your hand, you see fear in theirs. You see admiration.
You see guilt.
As you near the end of the gathered crowd you finally see yourself reflected back in the eyes of the muddled golden brown that have ushered you into this very moment.
“You don’t have to do this.” There are no words spoken, just a gentle tug of your wrist and burnt almond silently urging you to lay down your sword. Set aside your pride. This is a castle with large walls and a live in chef.
Oscar, the gardener, does brilliant work with the indoor plants and you have your very own chamber maid. You are happy here. You are not a hero, you’re a princess.
You are polite and beautiful; you recite French poetry better than your teacher. You are as graceful as all of those fucking swans you grew up watching glide around the large pond surrounding your former home.
You walk away from the eyes, but still feel their gaze burn into the back of your armor and despite the heaviness of the moment it makes you laugh. The entire room collectively inhaling sharply at the sound.
“What’s so funny?” The voice belongs to the burnt almond. The owner has a wild heart, tender hands, and the most honest eyes you’ve ever seen. You stifle your laughter– you know it’ll only make her angrier. Before you speak you manage to catch the sob that almost rips from your throat.
“I’m doing this for you,” is all you can muster.
And suddenly it hits you–
You are the princess.
You are charming and devoted; you curtsy with the stiffest spine. Your voice has a sing-song lilt that woodland creatures flock to. You are bound to the crown by blood and honor.
You shut the visor of your helmet.
You are deadly. You are your father’s daughter. You are your mother’s heart. You are the princess with the sword. You’re the girl who guts the dragon.
You are the hero of your own story.
A note: This is an ongoing piece that I’ve turned into a screenplay. The princess is called Olivia and centuries of tradition have led her to this very moment.
30-something Mississippi queer. Bleeding heart with a soft spot for honesty and oversharing. Conquering corporate America and my own insecurities– one day at a time.