The supermarket was blackened with age, and had beenambushed by spray paint's fury. Some say Kennedy stopped there once. Brokenliquor bottles and their spilled poison adorned the ground, creating stains. Awiry man sat in a shiny red Camaro staring at me. Or was he? You don't belonghere, he was probably thinking.
I walked toward the entrance, put ahand on the knob and pulled. The door complained with a loud creak as sunlighttraveled through the crack, my skinny silhouette in the center. I walked on thesticky floors, anxious to see the new issue of Rolling Stone, but felt eyesburning a hole in my back.
"Hurry up and buy," a shrill voicebarked like a drill sergeant. I turned to see a petite woman behind the cashregister, fear painted wildly on her face, her eyes cold, her mouth stern andjagged. I assured her I was just browsing; but her eyes never left me. I placedmy hands on the magazine rack to grab Rolling Stone when another customer, paleof face, entered the store.
Seemingly out of character, the cashierdiverted her attention to him, flashing an ear-to-ear smile. She quickly regainedher composure to make sure I would "hurry up and buy." I walked slowlyto the register and slammed the magazine on the counter. Disgust was withinme.
I paid, took my magazine and glanced over my shoulder to see thepale-faced man at the same magazine rack, a copy of Gun Show in his hands. Heplaced it back on the rack and headed for the door. The cashier shot him anothersmile while I stood there, startled to see a magazine hidden under his shirt. Andall the cashier could say was, "Thanks for stopping, please comeagain." I thought, It must have been my beautiful black skin.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.