Snow White has short black hair that stays in place with a headband. I have long blonde hair that goes everywhere no matter how tight my ponytail is. Snow White has light skin, a very cute contrast, whereas I have a more tanned skin tone from being out in the sun. Snow White has chocolate brown eyes. I have hazel eyes. It's like my genes got into a giant fight about which color eyes I should have and decided to mix all of the eye colors out there into a big pot and call it good.
Snow White loves apples. (I mean, she ate one from a stranger when she was in a house full of food!) I'm allergic. She wears a dress. I hate dresses. They show off your legs, you can't do anything in them, and you can hardly sit for fear of your underwear making an appearance.
Snow White has rosy cheeks, dark red lips, and smokey eyeshadow. I wouldn't be caught DEAD in makeup. It's just glop you put on your face in an attempt to hide the flaws that nobody cares about. Snow White has a prince come to kiss her. First off, ew, mouth contact? I'll skip and second, I was never really into the whole 'lose a glass slipper' kind of thing. I lose shoes all the time! Do I get to be rich? Nope.
But despite our differences, there's one thing we have in common. We can talk to animals. No, I'm not kidding. But I, unlike Snow White, don't have them do chores. I just like the company. Besides, who needs dwarf friends when you have animals? Not me!
I never really knew how I started talking to animals. It's like how you don't remember how you learned to speak. It just happens over time. There is one memory I have though. One that makes the fog a little easier to see in.
There's me. Well, young me. I'm at my now dead grandmas. Except in the memory, she's not dead and we're having fun. She had this giant backyard full of plants and animals. They were mostly birds and bunnies and the occasional deer or owl but to me, it was the most magical place ever.
My parents never went to my grandma's. They were too busy. So my grandma's garden was like my second home. I loved it. Every morning I would wake up, throw the covers off my body, go down to the kitchen, eat the breakfast my grandma made for me and then run out the back door.
In this memory, I did just that and found my grandma kneeling in the garden, her old hands planting my favorite flower. An Osiria rose. I kneeled next to her, gently pushing her hands away, and finished the planting myself.
My grandma smiled and wiped the sweat off her brow. "Why thank you, Iris." She said and kissed my cheek. Yeah, I'm named after a flower. It's not weird! I mean, look at Snow Whites' name. It's like calling your daughter Pea Green or Midnight Black.
I smiled back. "Your welcome gran." I could see how tired she was. "Do you want to go on a walk?" My grandma loved walks, and she nodded eagerly. I helped her stand up, and we took off, our bare feet hitting the warm stone path.
We walked, hand in hand for a while, and I remember my grandma occasionally stopping, chirping to the birds in the trees, or sniffling back to the bunnies. I stared in awe as she spoke to the animals and begged her to teach me.
"Now June bug, it isn't something you can teach." My gran told me. She leaned down and tapped my nose. "It's something you obtain." The next day I woke up early and ran outside in my space pajamas.
I found a bird and 'chirped' at it. The bird tilted its head, peeking at me with its beady eyes, giving me a look that clearly stated What is the name of birdseed are you doing?
And then the memory ends. Now my grandma is dead and the garden is gone, replaced with apartments. Now my only company is the animals that I can find here in the city. It was fine. A bit lonely, but fine.
And then I met Spencer.
Brown hair, blue eyes, warm smile. He was tall and lean, just like me, and played soccer in the park that I usually slipped away to hide. I was in my favorite river birch tree, hidden by the other trees, cooing and chirping back to the robins and pigeons when I heard a voice.
"Are you talking to the birds?" It asked, almost incredulous. The birds immediately flapped their wings, crying out in alarm, and flew away. I scowled, becoming defensive, and pulled my legs up to my chest, hiding from the stranger at the bottom of the tree.
"Whatsit to you, stalker?" I shot back, my mood becoming dark. I watched the birds fly away to another tree, disappointed. They were telling me how good worms were. Honestly, why don't humans try them?
"Woah there, no need to be feisty," Spencer said. At the time I didn't know his name or anything about him, but that encounter made us friends. At first, I hated him and didn't want anything to do with him. But as we meet more often I would climb down to the lower branches to talk. Even the birds got used to him.
Every day Spencer would come over to my tree after soccer, and ask the birds for permission to join them. He learned pretty quickly their no's, since that's the answer he almost always got, and he learned when they were making fun of him, as I always laughed when they did.
I found it especially funny when the birds called him bird brain. Most of the time Spencer would come over, ask the birds to join them, get rejected and then I'd hop out of the tree, and me and Spencer would go on walks through the park. There was one part of the park that had a grove of trees and me and him would usually end up there, sitting down while I talked to the bunnies I coaxed out of the bushes or the squirrels which only came into eyesight out of curiosity.
The bunnies were a lot friendlier than the birds and normally let Spencer pet them if he had a carrot or two. The squirrels would chitter at me as they scampered up and down tree branches, throwing rude remarks and curses at me and Spencer. However, it was pretty hilarious that the first few animal words Spencer learned were swear words.
As me and Spencer hung out more, he learned how to communicate with the animals almost as well as I did. He'd tease the birds right back, bicker with the squirrels, and sniffle with the bunnies.
If I was ever to be Snow White, he'd be my prince charming. He was kind, brave, sweet, and always made me smile. He didn't know it, but he was the reason I got up in the morning. He made living with parents that didn't know I existed worth it.
And then he was gone.
A car crash took him. He was coming over to the park. To play soccer. To come over to my tree and ask the birds for permission. To walk with me. To, unknowingly, make my life better. When my grandma died, it was like my heart got ripped in two. I liked to pretend, as I watched him walk up the hill towards me, that he was the super glue that put my heart back together.
Talking to animals was always something I kept hidden. I knew it wasn't something most people thought was normal. But now I have two of the most amazing people in my life who shared it with me.
My grandma, and my prince charming.