Mom insisted on doing my hair even though I was entering 9th grade. It was the yearbook I didn’t buy because I was embarrassed by the photograph. My braids were taut tight with Indian Amla oil binding each hair to another.
No hair out of place.
Inside, I felt like an outsider.
At school, people whispered the things I wanted to ignore—her nose is too big, she is too skinny, she isn’t cool.
“Who wears braids in the 9th grade?”
“Go back to India,” they said.
Mom didn’t realize my braids were uncool.
I didn’t know how to tell her.
It makes the reader visualize the scene. V. nice.
Windy Lynn Harris says
I’m right there in this moment with the girl. I’ve been an outsider. You’ve nailed this. -Windy
Larry J. Maltin says
As a parent, I want to know, but tell me in the same way you would me to tell you.
Michael Brown says
So excellent in the telling
I love the last line. It adds depth to the story.
Radhika Bhatt Trivedi says
Love the contrast of having ‘no hair out of place’ with feeling like an ‘outsider.’ So much substance in so few lines. Beautifully written!
Justin Nagundi says
Funny how you loathe a parent’s sticky love until you don’t have it anymore. Until you long for the awkwardness of their clinginess.