the short story project


Yellow Girl

I just got my beautiful dress. It’s the best one in the store. I just pointed and my father got it for me. No fuss, no muss, not even a haggle over the price. Papa always haggles over the price with every thing under the sun, it’s part of our heritage. But this time, I haven’t much time left to think about anything and neither does papa.

Today, I will get my hair fixed by a beauty technician and grandma will put makeup on my face to make me a beautiful princess. I hate my color. Papa is a beautiful brown and grandma is brown too but a lighter color cause she is not in the sun as much as papa. He works hard everyday and Grandma takes care of me ever since I was little. I am pretty old now. I will be two years old next month but papa says we can have my birthday party today.

I’m a sleepy head most of the time and a pin cushion. I see many old men in white coats and they are smart and nice to me the nurses are too. Except when they poke my arm with shots.See, I told you a pin cushion…I hate that so much. Sometimes I pretend that maybe one of them nurses is my momma. I never met her. Papa says she is in heaven gossiping with the angels and that one day we will all be with her and Jesus. I hate the whispering and the long looks from all the old ones. Some sad looks, I think it’s my color they are looking at. I hate my color. I feel tired most of the time, I’m a sleepy head, they always tell me.

Everyday is fun, mostly, but I don’t feel good some days and have to take lots of pills. I moved to the hospital last month and have been here ever since. Well, except for today. I miss my old room I miss my bunnies and my cat, Mr. Whiskers Fuzzy Pants. I love my cat but my papa said Mr. Whiskers Fuzzy Pants had to go to the farm to chase barn rats, it’s his new job. I wish I had friends, my cousins don’t count, they are always around, they make fun of me. I hate my color. They always pick on me and my aunts smack them on the hands for pointing and teasing me. “Yellow girl, Yellow girl!” I hate my color. I don’t like it when they visit, they always take my toys, eat my candy and I never have any for left overs.

I like ‘Happy Meals’ and orange soda. Sometimes my papa feeds me the cheeseburger because I eat too slow. I am not a baby anymore, that was years ago. I am nearly a person my grandma says. I like it when she reads to me. I always dream of flying away like the birds I see outside my window. I ask grandma if she dreams of flying and she tells me she did when she was as little as me. But not so much anymore, because of bills.

Grandma sometimes calls me her little canary, not because it’s a yellow bird, but because I am small and cute and I chirp all day. I don’t think I am that noisy. I do like to talk and learn new words. Sometimes I talk, talk, talk to my imaginary friends or my bunnies. I really love them.

I have seen a real one, once, in the front yard eating grass and I talked to it, until, I guess it got tire of me or it ears hurt. I miss that bunny. I think I loved it. That’s why I have many stuffed bunnies. I talk to them about my mother and maybe when they dream, they could talk to momma. I know that my messages gets to momma because in my dreams the bunnies sit me down and we have tea and they go on and on about momma this and momma that and to be a brave little girl. Also they say not to worry so much about my color. When I wake up I feel a little sad. I miss my bunnies.

Today is the day I get my picture taken and my father and grandma want me to look beautiful. I want to look beautiful but I hate my color. I am so tired but I want to look beautiful for my picture so I have to put on a brave face. I don’t really know what that means but I think it has something to do with Indians.

New dress, new shoes, makeup and the beauty technician did her best with my hair. I have curls, I love them, I’m ready. I meet the nice photo man and he picks me up and places me on the box. Tugs at my dress, catches the stray hairs and put them back into place. “Stand still, Sugar plum!” he says walking behind the camera. Papa stands next to him and smiles. My tummy feels funny, I don’t feel like smiling. I remember, I hate my color.

The Photo man thinks a moment scratches his head and then reaches just behind papa. He grabs a bunch of real flowers from a jar and he hands them to me. Naturally, I push my nose into the yellow rose pedals they smell wonderful. I can’t help but take another sniff because that makes me feel much better. I guess I was feeling too good because I sneezed and I have boogers all over my face. I try hard to breath them back in but I can’t and the Photo man gives me a tissue to wipe my face. I guess I was too slow because papa helped me by wiping my face with his kerchief.

Once I was all fixed up the Photo man took many pictures of me, standing, sitting with flowers without flowers. Flash, Flash, Flash, I see spots, I need to sit down. I sit on the box and play with a dolly, She’s missing an eye. I pretend that she was a pirate, I look around for her patch and hook. All the while papa and the Photo man discuss the price of the photo and papa does not haggle. He told me, later, that the picture of me will have a beautiful frame and will hang on the wall next to momma so he can alway remember me when it is my time to go to heaven. Papa loves my color. I do too.

Image Credit by Gary Bendig

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