The Speckled Periwinkle Dress | Teen Ink

The Speckled Periwinkle Dress

December 8, 2019
By clairebecca PLATINUM, Baltimore, Maryland
clairebecca PLATINUM, Baltimore, Maryland
37 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Target. That is where I bought the speckled, periwinkle dress. It had to be Target, because that’s the only store around with an entire section dedicated to clearance items. I still remember running my hands along the racks one fateful day in September, feeling the monotonous cotton of unwanted clothes, when my fingertips encountered the touch of what felt like flower petals blooming in the spring. Unhooking the outfit from the hanger, I laid my eyes on a silk, moonlight-colored dress that flowed as if the material were water in a lagoon. As I tried it on, the fabric embraced the arc of my back and the maturing shape of my breasts; flurry-like polka dots flecked the dress, and lace was articulately threaded down the back. I looked in the mirror, my lips curling into a smile.

            I bought it instantly. After my mom was finished with her weekly shopping, we left, and that day, I felt satisfied with the purchase of my new keepsake. In fact, I wore the dress to freshman homecoming, to sophomore homecoming (with a white cardigan, of course, so no one would know that I reused it), to my sixteenth birthday, and on days where it was simply weird not to wear a dress, like when it’s miraculously 65 degrees in February. It was always the first outfit in my closet, the one that would recite poetry to all my other clothes if it could talk because it was simply that captivating.

            Through the fleeting days of high school, between working and dating and studying, I forgot about the speckled, periwinkle dress. My body grew out of the silk’s tightening grasp, and I ended up donating it to Goodwill, packing it up in a box next to my old pair of overalls and a plaid skirt. It was not until one fateful day in May of my senior year when the memory of the dress was recalled.

That Monday morning, I was walking through the breezeway, and I decided to take the long way to history class to avoid a quiz. As I trudged through the hallway, one other person was going the opposite direction. The first thing I noticed about her was not the thick-rimmed glasses that sat on her nose or the pile of books she held or the short hair choppily crafted into a bob; it was the familiar medley of lavender and cornflower blue with white pinpricks on her dress that struck me.

            Speckled periwinkle.

            I squinted. On the rim of the sleeve was a brown stain, apparent only when looking closely. Once I saw the splotch, my heart fell. I didn’t know why it hit me that hard. I didn’t know why I suddenly felt the silk rubbing against my skin like the touch of butterfly wings or the smoothness of Bible pages. I didn’t know why I suddenly froze, standing in the hallway paralyzed. That was my dress; that was my stain of coffee from rushing to go to school one morning. The way the sunlight bounced off the fabric sent me back to homecoming, to my sixteenth birthday, to feeling impeccable while clad in silk. Guilt thrummed against my chest as I recalled tucking the dress away in a box for Goodwill and saying goodbye – two long, distant years ago.

It’s just clothes, I thought. The girl smiled gently at me when she noticed my stare. As the white speckles danced on the periwinkle surface, I returned the grin. “I like your dress.”

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