The Girl In Pink
It's just a week or two before graduation. I am so excited. My dress is almost ready and while it is nothing close to what I want, it passes the modesty and religious values pressed on to me. My favorite part is the color. It is the color of my shirt in this picture, it is a color that makes me want happiness. It is the color of hope. I am almost free. I am in a strange graduation process. There are two. One of the church and one of the school. I skip along outside with my fellow church graduates. Exploring the barren land to find the perfect place for our photo. I am wearing my favorite pair of jeans and I am so happy to have been allowed the freedom of pants this day. No one is giving disapproval looks because the two other girls with me are also wearing jeans, we wanted the group to match as close as possible and this is what we got. In pants I am not told to slow down. I can chase the wind and join the boys in a game of capture the flag. People are lenient during celebrations. There is less tension. And for a moment I can smile genuinely. The day is over far to quickly and reality sets in soon after.
With graduation comes people. Cousins, aunts and grandparents. I am so excited to see my cousins. But one grandparent does not bring kindness with her. She never used to be this bitter and I hope that when I old, I have no harshness left in me. The first thing we fight about is perfume and how I am wearing too much. I am to happy, rejoicing in my soon to be freedom to care about her stupidity. But there is always someone else in this house waiting around the corner to take that happiness away. It comes in the shape of an eyeliner the night of my school graduation. Starts a fight with one person, then another and then another until you have a laughing grandparent, two other's hiding in trailer outside, an angry father who won't say a word, a crying mother who started it all. And an aunt and a cousin throwing curse words around like confetti.
Eventually we had to leave and pile into two vehicles. The fighting continues until we arrived at the graduation ceremony location. From the outside we look put together, on the inside emotions are running high and we will never again have much to do with each other. We are a family of faces. You will never know which face is true, until it stabs you in the back.
NOTE: This happened 12 years ago. I'm writing a few posts as part of my healing process.