She is wild with a hard exterior. Dressed in black from head to toe. She takes one look at me and smiles.
“What’s your name?”
“Jack. What are you wearing?”
I stare. “I’m not sure.” I stammer, then smile. I have to admit, I look goofy. Long blonde hair pulled in a pony tail. No makeup. The longest skirt jean skirt in the history of man kind, at least 2 sizes too big for me and a baggy sweatshirt.
“Are you religious or something?”
“Yes. Something like that.”
“Well, you can eat with us at lunch.”
Within a week Jack and I are best friends. Not as close as the one I left behind; the one who is my soul sister, my twin. I quickly discover this one has benefits. NO ONE messes with her. It is pretty clear that messing with me means that Jack will mess with you. I love her and I am terrified of her. I have no idea why she likes me.
After a heated argument between my parents I am granted permission to go home with her after school. When we arrive her parents are gone. I ignore the voice telling me that I’m heading for trouble. She senses I’m nervous and tells me to relax. “We have to give you a makeover.” I smile, nervously. I want a makeover, but I am scared to step outside the rules of a church we no longer attend. Right now, the fear of Jack not liking me weighs heavier than a father I hate and a God who has abandoned me.
We go into the bathroom and I sit on a chair. She looks at me and sighs.
“Can we cut your hair?”
“Ok. So, just makeup?”
I look at her. “Yes. I’d like that.”
She roll her eyes. I can tell she is completely amused at the girl who has no clue what she wants.
She won’t let me watch in the mirror and I am nervous. Finally she hands me the mirror.
“I don’t know why you don’t wear makeup. You are beautiful.”
The girl in the mirror is me…but not me. She is beautiful. I’m not this beautiful. I’m ugly and dirty and worthless and I don’t want anyone to see this…because I feel so guilty…so I simply whisper, “I like it.”
She starts pulling things out of her closet. My heart is racing. She leaves me alone to change. I keep looking in the mirror. Is this really me? Am I really this pretty? Am I really this normal? For the first time I feel like the nightmare of leaving the church will turn out ok. I timidly open the door.
She looks at me. “You look good. I like it.”
I smile. “You know, I can’t wear this home. I’ll be in so much trouble.”
“I know. So, I’ll bring it to school and you’ll change into it there.”
I ignore the nagging voice inside my head. “Sure.”
I change back into my school outfit, wash the makeup off my face and wait for my momma to arrive.