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Her Fashion This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     We stepped outside into the cold, our coats sitting perfectly on our shoulders. Hers was gorgeous, ostentatious. I watched the rich green, red, and yellow fabric flow around her legs. About a dozen golden buttons gleamed on the folds like electric lights. I thought she belonged in a magazine, or at least on the busy streets of an important city. I stuck my hands into my pockets of my black pea jacket, which I thought was very classy. But I wondered how I would look in hers. It wouldn’t fit. It would droop to my feet and I would become entangled in the colors. Not that it mattered; I wanted her to enjoy it. Because she could wear the coat as if it were no big deal. I bet it wasn’t.

She wore sharp and elegant boots all the time. She had these creamy yellow ones that contrasted perfectly. Not many people can wear that color, but she could make it look stylish. And, of course, she didn’t care what other people thought. Especially when she was younger and would dress herself in crazy designs. At least that interest developed into something useful. I had pink boots like hers; I had a lot of things she did, but I never dressed ostentatiously. It wasn’t my style. I would buy beautiful things and tell myself I would wear them, but then they would pile up in my room. I offered her some and feel guilty that I couldn’t wear the boots. Or carry the bag.

I reached for the car door. I saw myself in the window in my black jacket and Converse sneakers. I turned on the radio as she started the engine. She fussed with her hair. I don’t really know what color it is anymore. It used to be brown like mine but now it has blond highlights and streaks of black. It screams at me. I wasn’t supportive of the change when she proposed it, but now it’s as though she’s always had those scrunched layers of bold colors. It’s not her real color, but it’s definitely her.

One thing that matched was our sunglasses; huge, dark lenses of deformed circles that took up half our faces. I really liked the way I looked in them. I’m sure everyone does, they just don’t talk about it, because you’re just supposed to assume the position of wearing them. So I did.

The interior of the car smelled like her, an interesting mixture of Chanel Chance, hairspray, and the little red cardboard tree that hung from the mirror. It was a mess just like her room. Water bottles on the floor, bags and makeup in the back, textbooks at my feet, and Starbucks cups filling the holders. Even if she cleaned it, it would return to this state of chaos in a day or two. That’s what made it hers.

She began to drive. I changed the radio station to find a good song and she turned the volume up really loud. We like most of the same music. She increased the power of the bass so we could feel it on our backs. I was used to this ritual but each time something made it feel exciting and new. We sang along but the music drowned out all sounds around us. We could save talking for later. We both needed to enjoy the music and the moment. It was freedom.

I looked over at her hands on the wheel and saw her in her true fashion. She was my sister. But to the world, I was sure she was going to be so much more.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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