Once upon a time there was a little girl who was the
complete opposite of everyone she knew.
She didn’t like loud music
She didn’t like driving with the windows open
She loved the winter
She loved the moon
Sunny days made her tired
No one knew what to do with her.
Her parents said no.
Her grandparents said no.
Her teachers said no.
The father of the boy up the street, who was so nice to everyone, when asked if he would be her father instead of the one she had, said no.
The only time she heard yes was when she asked if she was a princess. She thought she might be because in all the books she read, the princess was the one who was denied, imprisoned, cast out, or put to sleep – things the little girl felt she knew something about. She checked in with her mother who said, “Yes, you are my princess!”
The little girl walked down the stairs, through the kitchen, out the back door, over the wall, across the busy two-lane road, up the hill and into the tall grass, where she lay down to think princess thoughts.
“Hey you! Little girl!” Her thoughts were interrupted. “You, little girl in the grass! You can’t lie there! Get up and go home!”
She looked up at the big blue sky and said, “I am a princess in the House of No.”
She was the opposite of everyone she knew.
Her hair was curly
Her skin was white and didn’t take a tan
She couldn’t play tennis
She liked the library
She liked to be home
She looked in her mother’s mirror. She opened a drawer even though she knew she shouldn’t and took out the light blue plastic box that held 34 one-inch lipsticks and found her favorite, In A Panic. A dark, dark red her mother told her she couldn’t wear because of her skin. She looked at herself and wrote the word NO on her forehead, in big, bright, In A Panic letters.
Later she sat with her family and ate fried chicken. She looked at them and they looked at her but nobody said anything. No one said anything about her word. No one asked what it meant. No one even told her to go to her room and take it off.