Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Pink Plastic

My eyes wide
hair in my face
little hands curled over the edge of the counter
"you want one?"
I nodded my head. hair dancing around my moon face. Tilting my head, yellow hair falling to the side and running of my shoulder.
"yes."
She picked up the right one. The one I wanted. The one with the little pale pink plastic jewel. How did she know? Did she just track the direction of my eyes. Or did that mothering part of her just feel it. Like her mind and mind my mind were one, mysterious, jumble up thing. She plopped the little ring in my hand. She then took out 4 twinkling quarters. I would have liked to have the quarters as much as the little ring. Just for the noise of the money. Jingling in the pocket of my sundress. metal cool in my sticky hands.
"go outside and wait"
looking into her eyes. Thinking... 'why do u want to me to go?'. But I understood. I took the ring and put it on my meaty finger. It created two rings of buldging fat along my index.
"I love you"
"I said go outside and wait."
I nodded. Little feet smacking the linoleum.

I ran up to the sliding doors. That deep, breathy sound of those doors as they opened could barely be heard over the sticky, clogging noise of the place. I scanned of the car, careful not to cross the street. The smell of gasoline hung thick, marbling through the air, entreating on me. My small nose scrunched. I never liked that smell of gas. It and always made me feel dirty. It had always made want to run. I wanted the crisp, plastic smell of the department store. I could feel the heat on the blacktop parking lot. I did not like how it sprouted in waves, reaching out for me. I didn't like how the the sticky, humid air constricted my throat. Employees in yellow vests stood along the side of the building taking smoking breaks. They would take an inhale and then fold the cigarette back into their fists and puff out, then release it like a switch knife. They held the cigarette real close to them, so close it looked like a sixth, thin white finger. I used to be terrified of the six fingered people who blew smoke like dragons.

I felt scared. Of the gas and the heat and the dragon people. I ran back inside. I felt the sting of the cool wind of the department store, the change in temperature almost slapping me back. I ran down the isles like a mouse in a maze screaming her name. She was gone.I slumped up against a dressing room. The ring was pinching my finger. I didn't like that either. I didn't like anything. I wanted mommy back. I wanted her to make things pretty and nice again.

You know life sucks when all you have left of your mom is a crummy gumball machine ring. So that is my parting gift... that's what I had to cradle in my hands as I waited for her, but she never came.

I wore that ring to my first day of kindergarten. I wouldn't let the kids touch it. I said it was magic. I said that if I lost it bad things would happen. I said that it wasn't a ring at all. I said that it was a key. I said that it could unlock every door in the world. I said that it made me invisible. Is said that it made me faster. Sometimes I said it was a stupid ring. I said allot of things.

I didn't ever take it of my finger. Everybody knew don't touch Daisy's ring.

Dad got mad at me at dinner.

He said "put that god damn ring away.. she's not gonna come back... you know that daisy right."

I made a lie and said "I know"

He said "wearing that ring isn't gonna make her come back"
His face was turned down
his face was a sad stub of melting wax
he fingered his own ring
his wedding ring
"were we that different?"
The next day at school I sat on the curb
watching kids swing
my ring was broken
crippled by my mother
broken by my father
that pink plastic stone seemed fake
it seemed dirty
it seemed like cigarette smoke and gasoline.
I took it off
I left it on the curb
I balled my hands in silent fists
Dirty Mom
Dirty Dad
Dirty Ring
That's when I realized that my mom had been like Pink Plastic. Shiny, well groomed. Her eyes with a twinkle. But she had been hiding something too. She was only so pretty and so sparkling in order to draw attention away from that tiny, tight, uncomfortable copper band. Maybe I was too busy noticing all the nice things about her. Maybe there were mean parts to Mommy. She has only showed me the good, until that afternoon when she let her gaurd down, and I saw her for what she was.
I was too busy staring at the pink plastic.





Join the Discussion

This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

509_daisy said...
Apr. 21, 2010 at 6:33 pm
really good! You are one of my favorite writers here! so sad and haunting!
 
seven_stones said...
Apr. 11, 2010 at 8:21 am
tell me wut u think!
 
seven_stones said...
Apr. 11, 2010 at 8:05 am
just something I wrote in like 5 minutes for an exercise
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback