***This story involves a sensitive issue that some people may face and does not in any way make light of the situation. The goal is to enjoy the story and think on it. Ultimately I hope you enjoy it, Reader!
Once again her tears were real. She dropped her black purse her mom gave her and slammed herself against the locker before sliding down to the cool floor. Not caring if her legs were splayed open beneath her sun yellow dress and not caring that her new upswept hairdo was now smashed against the locker. Who cares.
The music pumped from the gym out to the hallway. The person handling the tickets behind the foldable table was now folding it up and collecting her things. She did not see Cara.
Who ever sees Cara?
With her nails she drew long marks along obsidian skin. There. White streaks. Now if only she could see the white meat. If only she had something to flay that dark meat open.
Shaking her head and covering her face, she bawled. Right there on the floor.
Music drifted to her. Something by…? Who knows. It sounded like racket now.
But she knew everyone wore a smile and had a date. She could only dream of a date. That was why she read sappy teen novels. The closest she’s ever been to a guy was between the pages and not the sheets.
“To hell with everyone!” She yelled, then picked up her purse. She will leave.
She will leave. Why stay somewhere she can’t even leave a mark?
“Wait,” she heard someone say as she walked along the wall, hung on the wall for support as she slowly, cryptically made her way to the EXIT. Why was she moving so slothful? Didn’t freedom await her?
She kept moving. Whoever it was should leave her alone. She was finally leaving this forsaken place.
School was not for dark girls.
Why’d her mother move anyway? Because of a divorce? Who cares?
The stranger touched her elbow. “You left this.”
Cara slowly let her eyes take in her long, teal jacket. Made for Spring weather or impending rain.
She heard the quick pellets of rain hitting the rooftop.
“Don’t need it,” her eyes followed the tanned arm and she looked into kind green eyes. “I’m leaving.”
His lips smiled. “Of course but you need this. Don’t you?”
For what she was about to do, it did not matter. “No.” She bit her lower lip hard until she tasted blood. She sucked on it and kept moving.
Her hands touched the rusted handle of the door. The handle the janitor kept polishing anyway, so now some parts not flecked off shone brilliantly under the fluorescent lights while the reddish brown part created an ugly contrast.
“I just thought you might not want to catch a cold.”
Cara thought about her purse. No need for this either. Her ID, keys all of that. She whirled around and fled to her locker, quickly twisted the dial and popped it open. A few blank greeting cards flew out and landed by the guy’s feet.
“You have plenty of greeting cards. Planning on writing them all out later?” She stashed her purse into the locker and looked at the stranger closer. He was in her English class. He opened a card and smiled again. A small dimple formed in his right cheek. A deep, dimple.
“No. I found those. You can have ‘em.”
The boy blinked as she took her jacket from him. “Thanks.”
“I just have to know, Cara. Why aren’t you dancing?”
Was he for real?
“The glitter, the lights and the girls…not for me.”
“Yeah,” he stepped closer to her but she took two steps back. “I saw them. So what?”
“That’s my point. This is my senior year!” Her eyes watered. “I can’t even get a partner to dance with me because my skin swallows light. It isn’t fair!”
Understanding seemed to dawn on him. “Patty and Rochelle have no dance partner. They look nice. But not as nice as-”
Cara held up her hand. Ricky smelled the Sweet Pea lotion on her and it was the same scent that wafted into the gym doors earlier. The same bright fragrance from English class in the morning. It reminded him of sweet flowers facing the sun and days of learning to ride his bike. His mother…
“I hate this school anyway. It’s prejudice leaks through the walls. Smell it?”
She huffed and marched away from Ricky and flew open the doors letting in a powerful gust of wind and rain.
Her hair, no longer pinned, cascaded down and flapped about her like black wings.
There is no way this guy was going to be bring her back.
Back from the will to die.
Note from author: I hope you enjoyed this short piece. Stay tuned for the next part sometime this week! If you like the stories, please share and subscribe to my blog! (You may have to scroll down to subscribe)
Copyright 2017 Erica Jean Smith