I let my mother’s hands brush my hair. The pull of the brush yanked my head back and forth as I tried to keep my head still. I learned that if I kept my head still my hair would have the best outcome. But it’s so hard to do it when the painful bristles of the brush finally came into contact with my scalp. Although it doesn’t compare to the tap of the brush hitting my skin as my mother scolds me for moving around too much.
“If you don’t stop moving around I’ll let you go to school with only half of your head done.” My mother would say. After that time I make sure to stay as stiff as a board so that I won’t have to go to school with only one braid. I felt the brush rake the back of my neck and instantly flinch away from the touch.
“Ow mommy that hurt!” I exclaimed. In the moment of bravery I decided to take a look back at my mother to see what exactly she thought she was doing. I knew it was a mistake by the way my mother’s head titled questioning my sanity. I turned my head around but not before getting tap on the arm with the brush. It stung but I wasn’t goanna make the mistake of moving again in one day. After a couple more strokes my mother sat the brush down on the table and parted my hair down the middle. Her fingers went into my hair grabbing three sections and wrapping them tightly around each other. The pull of her fingers feel worse than the brush as the tight binding pull my forehead back. My mother finished off my tight braids with two tiny black rubber bands and two small balls. The pop of the band and the weight of the ballies meant that my mom was finished. I tugged on my two short pig tails pleased with the outcome.
“Thank you mommy,” said as I pick up my book bag and coat. I open the door ready to head to my bus stop but my mom stops me.
“Don’t play or mess up your hair okay, Your hair is going to get frizzy and out of place if you mess with it.”
“Of course I won’t mess up my braids mommy I love them.” I say to her as I give the ends two swift tugs. With that she leads me to the front of our house where the bus comes to pick me up. I ride in a small white van with four other kids to school. I go to a small private Christian school where I am the only black kid in my class. That doesn’t bother me though because I don’t really feel any different from the other kids.
When we get to school I run out the van excited to see all my friends and show them my new ballies my mom got me. The first person I see is my best friend Rebecca. She has nice long blonde pig tails running down her back but I think my looks better because I have the ballies in them and she just has a black tie at the end of hers but it’s okay because she’s my friend.
“Hey Rebecca look at my hair isn’t it cool.” I ask her. “They look weird what are those?” she says in disgust. “They’re ballies my mommy got them so that my hair looks cute.”
“They look like they’re for babies.” Another girl comes up and tells me.
“Are you a baby Dominique?” The girl asks me.
“No I’m not!” I yell at them before snatching the balls out of my hair. My short braids automatically stand up giving me the classic Pippi Longstocking look. All the kids look at me while some of the mean girls laugh. I feel the tears in my eyes. Rebecca comes and takes my ballies out of my hand. My other friend Jess comes and we all walk to the bathroom.