CN: sexual abuse referenced in this flash fiction
Princesses: Where are they now?
(Part six: Aladdin / Jasmine)
She was 12 the first time Jafar tried to force her father into betrothing her to him, and though she knew well enough it was power he was after, the way he looked at her: mocking, arrogant, acquisitive, made her want to scrub her skin raw. By the time she was 15 she’d felt more than his eyes on her body. She tried not to be alone in the palace, got out when she could. That’s where she met him. A boy almost her own age who saw her as a companion, not a possession. No wonder she’d been smitten.
She wonders now if she didn’t move too fast. An irrational fear that Jafar might somehow come back had made her keen to marry, to be off the market. When the infatuation wore off, she realised all she wanted from Aladdin was friendship.
Their sex life foundered early. It was hard for her to relax, to trust. Flashbacks left her sobbing in his arms. To his credit he was patient, hid his frustration. Tried not to pressure her.
Now he’s Sultan, he’s taken a second wife, Arzoo, a sweet, light-eyed girl with a sex drive that matches his. She’s happy for them both, and enjoys their closeness. Sometimes they snuggle, all three together, and read stories, eat sweetmeats and laugh all night. Other nights she curls up alone in her chamber, happy knowing they’ll keep each other entertained till dawn. She loves them both a lot.
Arzoo is filling out, she’s noticed lately. She hopes the baby will be a little girl. She knows Aladdin always wanted a daughter. And if it is, Jasmine will keep her safe, make sure she always has a refuge in her second mother’s chamber.
She won’t let anyone harm a hair on her head.
Sarah Thomasin is a performance poet living in Sheffield. As well as saying poems out loud at every opportunity, they have had poems published in Now Then magazine, and in two English Pen collections, three Pankhearst Slim Volume anthologies (No Love Lost, Wherever You Roam, and This Body I Live In), The Sheffield Anthology (poems from the city imagined) and Poems For the Queer Revolution. They were also commissioned to create a limerick quiz about gender which appears in Kate Bornstein’s My New Gender Workbook. You can find Sarah online at www.sarahthomasin.com.