_about the character
_Soraya Wright

I am trying to get this to all add up.

Feelings and numbers - like apples and oranges really.

Somehow I think that the 150,000 dollars I am going to get in 25 minutes from the man I only know as phone number 760 555 1279 will release me from the incalculable seconds, minutes, hours of pathetic suffering. Strange math. But there are more numbers I should tell you about. But first a few points.

I am a princess from a country that hasn't existed in the form that I once knew for at least 22 years (another number - you see?)

I used to love to tell people that I was a princess.

I had a good feeling for the right time to tell someone.

You have to pick the moment carefully because in America that sort of information can really turn someone off. This confused me because there are so many fairy tales here about princesses - young girls discovering they are princesses, young princesses running away from their royal station just to have some fun.

But the reality of the princess situation is that people here seem to prefer to see this play out on their screen or in a tabloid being an actually princess, especially someone as strange and broke as myself does not seem to be a winning revelation to all people.

At any rate, there are those great moments - oh and how I love those moments - when I realize that I am faced with a person that will be truly impressed by this information.

I savor the thought, my blood pulses, my heart races, I am positively titillated by the idea of impressing someone with my real royal lineage.

I can't wait to casually tell them that I am a princess and then pretend to not want to talk about the difficulties of growing up with that kind of reality.

The reality that I never mention is that it was a bloody, heartbreaking, and awful story that happened so long ago it seems as if I am recalling another person's story altogether.

There are also the times where I am so desperately insecure and drunk that I just drop this information out of nowhere into the middle of a conversation about something completely unrelated. I don't care how strange it seems - I want them to know that I am special and that hopefully, now, they will like me.

You see, I have a terrible trait - I like to be admired or wanted for something superficial - either looks, money, or title.

In a partial defense of this revolting statement I would like to add that I was not always this way. I've spent spend much of my life contemplating metaphysical questions and doing a lot of reading and writing (approximately 10 years)

But I turned on a dime - I rejected this approach about 395 days ago - and now all I want is to be loved for my genetics - the god given silkiness of my hair, the color of my eyes, or my royal ranking - all things out of my control - having nothing to do with my will.

I want nothing to do with what someone loves about me. I can't bear that sort of responsibility.

I want to be loved by the most beautiful man in the world.

I want this even more now that I am losing everything that I was given and especially now that I have grown to despise what I have created for myself in this world - unpublished novels, desperate poems, lost nights, empty days, poverty, and now the bloom is so far off the rose I want to change everything about my looks so I can't remember who I was or who I wanted to be.

So, the numbers game.

32 - my age

8 - the number of the bus line I met him on.

4 - the age I was when rebels threw my family out of power.

Also the age I was when my father died peacefully in his sleep just 10 days before the violent takeover he would never know a thing about (I don't believe in souls, ghosts, or anything that would lead me to believe he saw what happened to me or us from the afterworld, if he did see this steady decline I would hate him for his weakness and inability to do anything about the life I was left)

5 - how old I was the last time I saw my mother.

16 - the last time I saw my brother.

34 - the original number of stones in my mother's crown.

31 - the number of stones left in the aforementioned crown.

45 - the number of days he let me love him.

2 - the number of days he believed he was in love with me.

7 - the number of days since I saw him last


150,000 - the amount of money I am going to receive for the sale of this crown

what all of this adds up to:

0 - the number of days I have left for me as Princess Soraya on this planet.

2008-03-12 00:51:00

33 Stones. There used to be 34. They told me the value would have been higher if the crown was still intact. I told them it was one of the smaller stones, the one that was missing was the side emerald. It didn’t matter, it was damaged. People are buying something else, this isn’t going to be melted down and sold for parts. This is a piece of history and it is less than perfect. That is what the surveyor had told me. In fact, he didn’t even believe it was real. I had to wait a humiliating 5 hours in a cold foyer in downtown Manhattan before they came out and told me what I had already known – that this was authentic but flawed. The value was way less than I expected, only 100k. I think Jennifer Lopez’ engagement ring was far more expensive than this, my mother’s crown. At any rate, as I said before, this had lost it’s value as it was no longer as it was intended to be. Apart from the missing emerald it was also bent and damaged in places. Most likely this damage occurred since this magically tragic piece came into my possession. I remember the desperate moment that my mother ran into my room late that was a night very similar to tonight...really it was warm, so warm and dry I had kept the windows of my bedroom open so that I could sleep to the smell of the night blooming jasmine. I never fell asleep that night, instead I laid perfectly still, and perfectly terrified, as I sniffed the jasmine to the sounds of approaching gunfire and bombs. I didn’t want to move a muscle. I was four years old and I believed if I could ‘sit still’ as my grandmother had ceaselessly told me, I would be rewarded. I laid very still, this my only option as the rebel forces approached our palace. I had been listening to the arguments for weeks before this moment, between my older brother and my father. My brother said something had to be done. But my father was stubborn, he would not negotiate the demands of these rebels, he didn’t believe they had any real power. He would die thinking that. In many ways he was quite lucky, He died only 10 days ago, in his sleep, peacefully, unexpectedly. He had no idea this threat would become so real only days later. I suppose it all makes sense now, that the insurgents would seize this opportunity of a suddenly dead king and the rise of his young and weak son, to take over. So my mother’s crown gets stuffed into a toy elephant together with some photos. Her brother is overthrown, her mother killed and she is smuggled out with an Aunt. She grows up in America and lives like and average American girl. Her brother takes the thrown again but he never sends for her.

Then he looses the thrown and goes into exile. He fights his way back as some lowly colonel. He finds himself living in an apartment – a room from one of our families government buildings - he came to America when I was 18 and tried to marry me off to the son of the minister of agriculture (in a desert country with very little agriculture this is not an important decision but that is besides the point) My aunt tore into him in a way that I had never seen. She was furious...I would only understand now that this time he came and the last time were not out of love or concern for me but using me as some kind of political pawn to get himself back into favor. I was, in the end, a princess, a concept that is both completely alien yet totally familiar to me.

Must explain the country I am from and the love of my life.