“Remember when you wanted to be a princess?”
I look up— not for long, the eggs need to be turned over. “Uh, yeah? I was like, five or
“Oh, no reason.” They shuffle behind me, flumping back into the sofa we always forget to clean
stuff off of. “Why did you want to be a princess anyways?”
“Probably because I was obsessed with Barbie?”
“No, that’s not it,” they say. I hear them sitting up, can feel their eyes boring into my back as I
reach for the plates. “You can’t lie to me, you know.”
I sigh, shaking my head. “Honestly, I don’t remember myself—”
“Can’t. Lie.” Silence. I wrack my brain for words, before finally stringing them together.
“I think I wanted to be important,” I say, plating the eggs. “Or maybe something great? And
what’s greater or more important than a princess?”
They snort, laughing. “A queen, duh.”
“Mm,” I concede. “But queens don’t get the handsome princes, now do they?”
“Oh? Do you want a prince?”
“I did back then, but I think you already knew that.” I’m missing something— oh! The toast!
“Not what I asked,” they say as I plug in the toaster and throw on some bread. “Do you, as in
currently, want a prince?”
“Nah.” I take out the jam, closing the fridge with my foot. “Again, you already knew that.”
They sigh. “Yeah, I guess I did.”
Silence again. The toaster dings merrily, and I quickly slather our slices with a hearty helping of
strawberry jam. We’re almost out— I should go buy more. Maybe get some Nutella while I’m at
While making this impromptu grocery list, I almost miss their next words. “You don’t want to be
a princess anymore.”
I laugh. “Nope.”
“Do you still want to be great?”
Outside, the sun starts to rise, the rays of light finally spilling over into the kitchen. I pick up the
breakfast I’ve made and head into the living room.
“No,” I answer, putting a plate down in front of them. “No, I just want to be good.”
I look up at them, staring into my own, smiling face. “But then again, you already knew that,
They don’t say anything, wordlessly taking a spoon from me as we both sit down to eat. Then I
suddenly remember that I forgot the juice. “Ah shit—”
“Don’t worry,” they say, jumping off the couch. “I got it.”
As they pad out of the room, I stare out the window. The sun rises higher, golds and pinks traded
out for whites and blues. A lone bird twitters merrily, and just below, a car hisses by in the soft,
I smile and close my eyes, already knowing the day is going to be good.
Nil Digante (he/they) is a writer that likes to write about ghosts, be they literal or metaphorical. As a queer Desi American, he likes to find the places where the different parts of their identity intersect, bringing those connections out to the world. When not writing, he likes to sing, make art, and send long info dumps to their partners. You can find them @nil_digante on Twitter.