Indigo Yarn

November 19, 2007
By Lila Elias, Oakland, CA

The sun was cold that day. She sighed. She didn't want to get up that morning. She didn't want to listen to her mother Laura and Christine scream at her about religion. She was hungry though. She glanced over to her sister's bed, where Christine slept every night. Christine always got up early to help her mother with breakfast. It was just like her to do that every single day. She looked out the window at the oak tree in the neighbor's yard. There was a line of little white houses down the street with identical gardens and not a single piece of trash. For some reason Evangeline wanted to start crying. Her throat burned and her head started throbbing. She was holding it back with strain just because it was so silly. Oh well, it was okay. She breathed deeply and started thinking about breakfast. It would be delicious but it wouldn't taste right to her, she could already tell. The little square of sun warmed up a tiny area of her chest with uncomfortable contrast to the rest of her body, shivering in the shadows. She quickly covered the area with her hands. She wasn't welcoming the sun, it couldn't deceive her by giving her that spot of heat. She didn't feel well and that ball of double-crossing fire didn't do anything to cheer her up. Suddenly there was a tickle of anger deep in chest that made her cringe and jump up without any more delays. She had already learned that she wouldn't be going back to her favorite Daughter's of Love Community School ever again. She was ready for Christine's school.

Twenty minutes later the school doors opened with a creak. “Ooh, I am SO ready for cheerleading tryouts! Haha!” exclaimed Christine as she skipped into the shiny hall. Evangeline closed her eyes and muttered “Slippery.” At lunch, she got out early so she could go sit by the tree she had spotted on her way in. She couldn't help but over hear a few girls. “OMG, Christine's sister is so retarded. She's like mental or something. Christine and that little brat are so frickin' different!” said a particularly reptilian brunette. Evangeline's backpack bobbed up and down as she stumbled towards the tree. The day had barely begun and she was feeling so depressed, she couldn't think straight. She waited, trying to see if maybe somebody would come and try to be her friend, she was preparing herself for how this would happen and what she would say? She would try to be kind and smile though she rarely felt socially able to do so on most occasions. She played the conversation over in her head but no one came. She took out Christine's old CD player that her mother had given her for Christmas and put in her favorite CD: World Music, Latin Origins. She closed her eyes and gently pressed the play button. Almost instantly she was taken down to Mexico and she imagined herself as a beautiful girl with bronze skin, long black braids, and a airy blouse in the hot sun. She would be singing and dancing in the streets while everyone clapped and drank agua fresca. It was a delightful thought...

Something cold brought her out of her dreams, maybe sleep? She started thinking of other things. Her mind was racing, zooming through her life taking her through events that no one could possibly remember. The doctor: “Ma'am, I'm afraid there's a problem.” Her mother: “Angeline, say more than a single word! Please... Please! Fine, go to your room for God's sake!” her sister: “Angie, Angie, Angie, Angie, Angie, Angie! Liiisten to meee! Stop ignoring! I HATE you!” her father staring out the window at the snow, with a small baby awake behind him, not saying anything, just watching. Evangeline got up from the smelly cot she had found herself in. She looked up to read a sign: Happy Valley Springs High Medical Care: Roxy Chenowitz. She was met with a strong New York accent. “Hey, Doll, go back tah bed dahlin' you don't look so good! Go ahead, sweethaht, BED! Now!” A bony young lady with straight black hair pulled tight in to a chignon in the back of her head and a coating of bright red lipstick on her heart shaped lips was smiling at Evangeline brightly. “You silly goyl, you were muttering somethin' or othah about glasses of Tequila and sand. If you were talkin' about Mexico, I want your dreams!” Evangeline blinked and got up abruptly and was about to leave when, the lady said: “Boi the way, moi name's Roxy, and your name's Adriana Ramirez, correct? That's what it says in the book!” Evangeline froze, “I wish. Evangeline. I'm Evangeline.” She walked out and closed the door with a slam.

When she got home, she lay down, exhausted on the bed, thoughts were cramming her brain, but she tried to push them away. One thought though, slipped in to her conscience. She couldn't remember what she looked like. Sure she had seen herself before but not for more than a few seconds. It was so strange... She didn't know why she had thought of this. She had always shrank away from her reflection worrying about what she would look like, she had never needed a mirror and didn't want one either. Her mother had persuaded the Daughter's of Love Community School to not have any mirrors in their bathrooms or anywhere at all to reduce self consciousness in the girls. She had made an inspirational speech, Evangeline could remember it perfectly. “You're all so beautiful girls, don't make yourself believe that you aren't! Hmhm!” her mother had crooned. It was incredibly strange but true, though now, for the first time, it seemed forced, like her mother had tried so hard to utterly eliminate seeing one's reflection. She didn't understand, but she had a strong urge to find a mirror immediately! She had assumed, she would look a lot like Christine, but the next day, when she ran in to the girl's bathroom, she was amazed. Brown eyes, golden skin, shock of dark chocolate brown hair tightly pulled back away from her face and plump cerise colored lips. She saw what she wanted to see. The teacher had noted how nice her blonde hair was but she couldn't remember that. It took her another moment to realize that she wasn't actually looking at herself. She turned around to see a girl that looked exactly like the reflection. It wasn't her after all. Disappointed she said goodbye to the confused student behind her and headed for the door but all of the sudden, everything went black.

The concussion had been almost fatal. It had taken her brain back ten years and she was going to have to start learning everything all over again. Her mother was trying to press charges to no one in particular until the security camera that had been in the bathroom revealed everything. It looked as though, at least to the court, that the girl in the bathroom had pushed Evangeline into the door. If only Evangeline was reacting correctly she could have told them she had fainted but she had as much credibility as a seven year old. In court the girl was sitting there, her skin white enough to fool anyone that she was really Caucasian and not Latino. Her eyes pleaded and burned with intense trepidation and her stare punctured Evangeline's “personal bubble”. Laura pushed and pushed for the most serious punishment. “MY daughter might as well be DEAD! Murder!” The girl's father was glaring at his daughter with a mixture of fear and disgust. The case was not over but it didn't last another time because the girl's body was found hanging from the oak tree in her backyard. The cord of yarn that had been so fatefully placed around her neck was of the same indigo material she had used for her handmade night sky print sweater.

Later that day, Laura walked into the kitchen exhausted and depressed. She sat on the floor and was about to start crying but she quickly looked up with horror because she had felt something sticky on her pants. She looked at the floor. There were eggs spewed across it and yolk all over the place. She swore under her breath and for the first time, didn't apologize to God. In the corner of her eye, some scribbly writing caught her attention. She looked at the kitchen whiteboard. In barely legible handwriting was a message:

Dear Mother

I don't know when my brain started fizzing up like Coca Cola but it wasn't her fault. It's too late now and you can't do anything about it. She just needed a hug and so did I.

Laura tried to understand what she meant by it and why there were eggs all over the floor? There was a small bird on the window-sill. It stared at Laura with beady eyes. “You're right, I know. Don't rub it in.” muttered Laura weakly trying to have authority over the little animal. The bird gave a quick flinch resembling a nod and flew off in to the real world.

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