1. Once Upon A Time
"Mommy, why can't I be a princess?" my 6-year-old-self asked one Sunday afternoon. The sun was setting on Lake Michigan's horizon as my mom and I watched the last 5 minutes of Cinderella, a movie I'd seen so much I practically had it memorized.
"But you are, dear," my mother answered, fixing the pink plastic crown that lay crooked on top of my long brown hair.
"No I'm not!" I giggled, smoothing out my bright blue Cinderella dress. It was my favorite princess dress since it came with its very own glass slippers (I knew they were plastic but if anyone mentioned it I'd have a huge tantrum).
"You don't have to be royalty to be a princess Lily."
"Well what makes me a princess then?"
My mother smiled at me with the kindest eyes and said those words I would never forget. "Your kind heart and brave soul make you a princess darling. You deserve a happy ending."
11 years later my mom was gone. It was just me and my dad. My 21-year-old brother was away at college so we didn't see him much. My dad and I never had the connection my mom and I had. I had always been the girly girl with the tea parties and taste for fashion while he was into things like football and cars. I loved him more than anything but I knew we would never have the connection my mom and I had.
As for my costumes and dreams of happy endings, well, they've been stored away. I had kept my hopes way too high and let my dreams get the best of me, causing much pain and heart break. I was just trying to make it out of high school at this point.
After an entire childhood of wasted hopes and dreams, I was ready to get out of this town once and for all. Senior year was the only thing I had in my way.