Monday, August 15, 2011

Black Lace Leggings

I traced her black lace legging with my eyes, up her thick thighs, towards her dress, over the red polyester that hugged her body.  A Pall Mall cigarette dangled between her fingers, red lipstick streaking the filter.  She was leaning back on the gray corvette, the one that her dip-shit boyfriend owned.  One of her arms was placed defensively across her body, as if protecting a non-existent layer of fat from unknowing eyes.  Her eyes were fixed on the ground, a distant, cold stare.  She could shoot bullets through anyone with that.

I gulped and took one step closer.  This year was going to be different.  I was going to make her notice me.  I was going to break out of the nerdy stereotype.  I was going to get the cool, rebellious girl.

And with that one step, my entire life shifted, changed.  Here's the thing.  Her cheap polyester, the way she inhaled her cigarettes through puckered lips, her knee high boots.  They all were a sham, she cared more about what I thought of her than I ever cared.  She was the girl everyone wanted to be, and that distant stare was her way of trying to make herself believe that she was anyone else.

I think I do specialize in coming of age stories - and there's a very particular reason that I believe I do.  I hate to be one of those people that says "I had a tough childhood" because really - I grew up in a rich town, in a decently rich state, with really good schooling.  None of my parents hit me, I was never grounded, but let's be real for a second.  It was external forces, things my parents could not have predicted or stopped that changed me, moved me into being a completely different person.  I have a story, called "She's the Bird" that I'm hoping to get published about one such experience.  There was a girl in my life that shifted everything - and even though it looked meek, it looked like she made everything worse - she really opened my eyes to a life beyond my small town - to all the possibilities in the world.

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