*Stars don't shine forever*
I came back from New York that summer with stars and glitter in my eyes. I was happy. I was full of hope. I felt like I was beautiful and I was convinced it was true. I spent the last of those hot summer days parading around my grandmother's house trying on the new clothes that I had recieved. With each new outfit I put I was a princess, a queen, or a model.
I'd skip throughout my grandmother's four bedroom two-story house visitng ever mirror I could find. I'd stand there admiring my reflexion and perfecting my smile. Oh how I hated my smile! But I figured that with enough practice I could make my smile perfect. So whenever I was alone in front of a mirror I would smile. I also loved the way my long black hair shaped my face. Sure, it wasn't exactly my hair but it really didn't matter to me anyway. It looked great with the bronzed complexion I gained over the summer from spending most of my days outdoors.
I was so proud of myself. I was convinced that my life had changed for the better. I was no longer the little shy girl of the past. I was now a women. I even had pretty fancy panties. Ooo and I had thongs!
I remember when I got my first one. I was progressing through my begining teenage years like a "young lady" and my stepmother Sonya, wanted to show me how proud of me she was. As a special birthday present she offered to take me to her job, Macy's, to shop for some new school clothes. Of course I agreed, and we left her brownstone house in brookyn early that morning and headed for the subway. We were going to the Macy's all the way in Manhattan!
I really never liked the subway station. It was always too dark and murky down there underground for me. As a matter of fact I was terrified of the subway station. Everyone seemed creepy under the glow of the strange lighting. I always stayed as far a possible from the platform edge because my biggest fear was that some careless person would come by and purposely or accidently knock me off the platform. And no doubt no one would notice the poor girl stuck out on the tracks. Then eventually a train would come by and run me over and I'd be the next story on the late night news. So to advoid all that I stayed as close to the wall as possible, without touching it. Who knows what foriegn substances were on those walls. That was all the more reason I didn't like the subway station.
The subway train, itself, I loved; the air conditioned cars; the various people; and their interesting conversations. It was all so wonderful! In the train I felt safe and secure. I had no fears of being pushed off a platform, mugged, or kidnapped. I enjoyed sitting in the train's cars watching the train follow the tracks as I followed other people's conversations.
I listened to mother's complain of "ungrateful" children and how they didn't know what to do with them. I overheard the talk of many husbands and wives complaining about their "unfaithful" spouses and where their relationships went wrong. I spent the whole train ride watching the other people on the train. I watched the tears flow from the sad ones; the angry cries of the upset ones; and the joyous outbursts of the happy ones. I watched children being chastised for not acting their age or just acting up period.
However I felt the most compassion for the men on the train, dressed in rags. The ones that went from car to car begging change, speaking of hungry children they had to feed, and promising the money would go to needy cause. And I watched as the others on the train shook there heads and clenched their purses. I listened to them say, "I sorry" and "I have no change" with little indiference for the man before them. I watched closely as the other men looked right through the man as if he didn't exist. Then I'd dig in my tiny purse(fashionably accessorize to match my outfit) and I'd give the man all the change that I had. But then all eyes would be on me as if I had done something wrong. And I'd be left with a insecure feeling as I wondered if the choice I made was the right one.
But that was in the deep dark tunnels of the New York transit system. Above ground all images of the train and the subway were forgotten. And with each ride a thicker skin would form over a person and things such as the "man in rags" ceased to matter. And on that day after a while of walking the crowed streets of Manhattan, my finale destination being Macy's, I'd begin to forget the man in rags on the subway. His pain would seem a little less sharp, his clothes a little less torn, and buy the time I reached Macy's I would be questioning myself whether the man really existed at all. Because the realization of heartache and poverty couldn't withstand the lure of new shiny things.
My stepmother Sonya was shiny. As a matter of fact she was one of the most beautiful people I had the privilege of knowing. She was young, tall and thin with a light complexion. Somehow or another everything, and I do mean everything, managed to look great on her. She was classy, full of grace, and she had style. No matter how she was feeling she would always have a smile for me. She meant everything to me. She was my all. She represented everything that I wanted to be. I figured that if I hung around her enough, or if she touched my hand in a certain way, a little bit of her beauty would rub off on me and eventually I'd be beautiful like her. So that day I was more than happy she was taking me to Macy's with her. But not just any Macy's, she was taking me to the one she worked at!
I walked close to her in the store, sometimes tripping up her gliding walk, as I tried to show everyone in the store that she was mine. I wanted everyone in the world to know that I knew this woman that resembled the women from the magizines. I couldn't gaurantee that everyone in the world would notice, but I was sure to make it apparent to the people in Macy's.
When we got to the junior's section of the store I was in awe. There were so many pretty clothes on display. I had a choice of so many various colors and styles. I was captivated. Each article of clothing had some sort of glitter, sparkle, or shiny material on it. Clothes like that were definitly made to make people shine. And Oh how I wanted to shine! I wanted to be a star or a diamond. I wanted to glitter as eyes fell upon me. I wanted to hear the whispers, "my god! She's so beautiful!". I wanted to hear the chatter, "my gosh, look how she shines!". And with clothes like those I was sure I would.
I picked out the most sparkly outfits that I could find and I headed to the dressing room. I removed my simple blue jeans and my grey shirt and I picked up one of the outfits that I wanted to try on. I pulled the stretchy dark blue skin tight material over my head and my bra. Then I picked up the skirt made of the same material and adjusted it on my body. I tried my best not to look in the mirror because I didn't want to spoil my surprise. But I was so tempted as I made sure all the tags were in the back and the skirt was aligned right. Oh how long I waited to shine and now I would.
I turned to the mirror and I stared at myself and I frowned. There was no light around me showing my radiance! There would be no perfecting my smile that day as I daydreamed about being rich and famous. All I could think about was my stomach poking under the skin-tight material. It was unattractive or so I thought. Who or what was I trying to attract? Stares, stares from anybody, whether it be the mailman or a talent scout. I wanted somebody to look at me.
Oh from wearing those clothes I'd definatly get stares alright, but they would be from people saying, "how dare she wear clothes like that? who does she think she is?". And I definitly couldn't have that. So I squeezed my stomach in, said a silent prayer, and I wished that when I opened my eyes my little "pot" would be gone. But of course when I opened my eyes again it was still there.
I had small breasts, a pot belly, and thick thighs. Who would think I was pretty if I looked like that. But worse of all I had panty lines. It was at that point that my eyes opened up and I realized how terrible they looked. I think that a pinnacle in every young girls life is the day she actually notices that her underwear makes lines under her clothes and she actually cares. I had just reached that day. But what was I to do about it? I was swearing myself to a life of baggy clothes when Sonya called me from outside the dressing room.
"Sky what's taken so long? Come show me the clothes" she said as I walked out of the dressing room with my shoulders slouched and a frown on my face.
"Sky stand up straight" She added as I stared at the beige carpet that lined the floor. Sonya then circled me like a vulture. She began to tell me how much she liked the outfit.
"It looks great on you" she said as I tried to figure out whether or not she was blind.
"My underwear lines are showing" I said as if it was the end of the world.
"Is that what's bothering you?" she asked not even sounding half as worried as I did. I just nodded my head, yes, because now I felt kind of foolish.
"Well we can fix that honey. Let's go ahead and get you these pretty clothes that look good on you. Then we will go buy you some new panties, okay?" I wanted to cry, she always managed to say the right things.
I was feeling better by the time we got to the underwear store. It was a circus in there. There were people and underclothes everywhere. I had no choice but to stick next to Sonya becuase I feared I'd definitly get lost in the crowd of people. Once again I was faced with so many color choices and varieties. And Oh there was lace! There were lace panties everywhere. I'd never had lace ones before all of mine came in multicolor five-packs.
"What size do you wear" Sonja asked. I had no idea. I'd never brought my own underwear before.
"umm I think an eight and a half" I said telling her shoe size. Sonya laughed. We ended up buying a size five instead. She brought me two bikini's and one thong. And I was thrilled they were so much better than the plain cotton ones I had on at the time. And there was noway that I could show them to my mom because she would definitly have a fit. But I didn't care cause now I was a women. How could a girl not be a women if she she wore bikini and thong panties under her clothes? It just wasn't possible and if it was I didn't care cause now I was much closer to shining then ever before.
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