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Percila

By , Santa Maria, CA
Percila.

Her name was Percila.

Pure. Sweet. Inquisitive.

Woman with the eight o’clock bed time.

Tomorrow you will awake, and probably not even remember anything about me,

I have the feeling I will always remember you. For quite some time at least.

You are going to wake up early,

With the high likely hood of having a seemingly average day from the perspective of the rest of the world.

You said you were going to visit you dad in LA.

You showed me the two bandages on your finger tips, and asked me if I had ever cut myself.

I stood taken aback by this question.

I glace down to see if my sleeves had rolled up, or my scars were particularly darkened due to cold as they sometimes do.

They were not.

What did she mean?

I told you sometimes, but only on sharp objects, and in case you didn’t know, accidentally.

Of course, you didn’t know.

You live in a home where people take care of you.

And when you cut your rough, yet delicate fingers, people will come to your aid.

Do you feel loved?

I hope you do.

I hope they treat you right.

When you first approached me I thought you worked there, trying to sell some make-up.

But then I saw your eyes, and noticed the way you talked.

Crisp yet dazed. You seemed to have these questions in your mind down to a tee, and the things you were saying was well put together as if you had been practicing in front of a mirror.

I asked why you were going to LA.

You said you didn’t want to talk about the sad things, but you had written your dad a card saying that he was in your prayers and God is watching over him.

I smiled, “Yes. At least she knows God. She must know love.” That is why you said you were going to go to bed early at eight or nine tonight. You should just be starting to go to bed right now if I’m not mistaken…

I’d love to capture that conversation.

I’d like to play it over and over in my mind,

Remember my thoughts and her sweet innocence.

You said I was very pretty.

You asked where my kids were.

I told you I didn’t have kids, and that my mom was somewhere.

I said thank you and I told you that you were pretty.

You said “You’re welcome.”

When I tried to get you to realize that I was saying you were pretty you simply said that I was “Welcome” again.

I met you at Target,

In the make-up isle.

You stood between me and the colorful lipsticks and glosses.

Best 20 minute conversation I had had in awhile.

I believe that maybe God sent you to talk to me.

I being nervous and uncomfortable when you started talking to me,

I wasn’t sure how you would react to things I said.

You asked what school I went too.

I said, “....”

You asked what time I would be going to bed tonight.

“Um, ten.” I said trying to think what would be a reasonable, yet appropriately late time for a teenager who went to “....” to go to bed at.

I don’t know what I was thinking when I said "...."

I doubt it mattered to you.

By the end of our conversation I had become relaxed and comfortable with her presence. I had narrowed it down to two choices of Revlon lipstick.

One, a light shimmery pink.

The other, darker with no shine.

I turned to you, turned and turned on my perky voice.

My perky voice is the voice I use while talking to my mom’s kindergarteners or

The kids that we taught each summer in the special education summer school classes.

In those classes our goal for the whole summer was to get through alphabet collection of books that you color.

Start with A on the first day,

B the second,

And so on.

We usual don’t make it passed T in a good summer.

My mother would pray that we wouldn’t have a seriously disabled kid or a “runner.”

Runners are kids who will suddenly bolt away out of the classroom and constantly need an aid to stay with them.

I secretly enjoyed the chaos.

Well, our conversation was ending.

I held the two out in front of her and asked,

“Which one do you like?”

You stopped, inquisitively looked at me,

Gazed intently at the two and pointed to the brighter shinier one.

Wouldn’t have been my pick.

But, I trusted you.

Your mom had been ignoring our conversation all together.

She was in the isle with us the whole time and I would glace at her hoping she would take her daughter back.

I thought she was a schizo, taking to her self comparing lip gloss like I had.

She looked at me, shook her head and somberly said, “I don’t know if she knows what she’s doing.”

But I smiled, trusting you. You sounded so earnest. Why would you have reason to guide me astray?

I smiled, turning to walk away and said, “Oh no, I like it. Thanks Percila, bye!”

You wouldn’t have been like other girls,

Other girls would not have had my best intentions in mind.

I think that they would have picked the one that made me look worse,

And bought the other to wear, making themselves appear better.

That is just my personal take on this though.

I know you knew what you were saying.

As I continued through the store,

I ran into you in a different isle.

I looked at you as I passed, but you said nothing.

You were so wrapped up in conversation with someone else while your mom looked at medicines.

I over heard you taking to your next unsuspecting friend about your dad in LA, and how you were going to visit.

I smiled.

And I looked at the lipstick in my hand you had picked yourself.

Revlon.

Number 430.

Pearl.

Softsilver Rose.

I decided right then to rename it.

A much more beautiful name,

Percila.





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