“It must be the eyes of you people,” he says matter-of-factly, the words rolling seamlessly off his tongue. Toffee eyebrows frame rings of sea foam blue, perky eyelids, and a peaked, angular nose. He is beautiful.
But his words echo in valleys and my mind swirls, flooded by a tsunami of turbulent thoughts. I’ve been silent and he glances over quizzically. How can he be so oblivious? I return his gaze with a jaded expression.
Perhaps I should be flattered? He’s just enchanted by the chestnut apparitions masked by almond-shaped eyes. My features are just as exotic to him as his are to me. Perhaps that’s the source of the attraction.
Stop overanalyzing it. I guess it was the “you people” that caused my inner turmoil. It’s a compliment. Be thankful and let it go. He’ll never hear the tantalizing monologue that I recite endlessly. And that’s a good thing. The show goes on.
But it’s the last two words that disturb me. “You people.” I recoil at them. Because I know his last girlfriend was Vietnamese. And I can’t help but picture him admiring my ebony hair and pursed mauve lips as he loved hers.
He must be so attuned to the dolly face and milky skin that characterizes the Oriental woman. Skin that resembles porcelain, they say. Fine china. Everyone knows that the pasty ceramic is fragile and so easily shattered by the human hand.
Geisha, silk lady, China doll. They all mean the same thing to some. I prefer dragon lady.
“You people.” They are such ugly words.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.