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Thursday, August 31, 2006Butterfly
I was riding the subway to school this morning when several Boriqua teenaged girls caught my attention. Two of the girls looked like ghettofab video vixens in their gauchos, way too low tops and espadrilles. Totally inappropriate for the Noah’s Ark weather we’ve been having. Their gold jewelry accented their gorgeous tan complexions. Every spiral curl was perfectly formed and in place despite the rainy and windy day. The fact that they took great pains to apply eye shadow and kohl eyeliner around their amber colored eyes showed. Their make up was flawless. They were beautiful and they knew it. They had the look of confidence and pride that went with knowing that as they stood in the middle of the subway car all eyes were on them.
The third girl sitting across from where they were standing hadn’t quite blossomed yet. Her skin was pale, her eyebrows needed to be done but she had nice features. Her pretty long hair was pulled back in a pony tail which made perfect sense considering the weather. In short she was a plain Jane with potential. It was obvious she was still at that self conscious stage of her teens, insecure about her appearance. I could tell what she was thinking just by her expressions and her body language. She stared at the girls in front of her. She seemed in awe of them as if that’s what she wanted to look like, that’s how she wanted to dress.
Then I saw her catch a glance of herself in the subway window. She was not happy with what she saw. She hung her head down almost ashamed to look at the other girls but she did and once again I could see her comparing herself to them. She avoided glancing at her reflection again. My heart ached for her. Once upon a time I was her. I wanted to hug her and tell her it was okay, her time to shine would come. I wanted to tell her that what she was looking at was the result of hours of fussing and primping. I wanted to tell her that true beauty came from within but that’s something she'll learn on her own. Most of all I wanted to stand her up before her reflection in the glass again and point out all that was beautiful about her. I wanted to tell her that once upon a time I too had been a caterpillar. I wanted to promise that soon she’d emerge from her cocoon a beautiful butterfly but I said nothing. Instead I watched her until my stop came up and here I sit the day almost over and I am unable to get that girl out of my head.
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