30 December

Ogre put aside her very, very worried look and came back with a little box. She is giving me her most treasured antique emerald drop earrings. She looks at me, looking at the earrings with a stunned expression and says: “I’m only giving them to you for the party. I’m not ready to part with them forever, yet.”

Me: “But I’ll be too scared to wear them. What if …?”

Ogre: “Don’t worry. I trust you. Now, I would never give them to Etcetra. But I know you’ll be careful.”

Etcetra glares at her, and tugs at my dress this way and that. She pushes at my shoulders and holds them firmly back.

Etcetra: “Appi, pay attention. Look, this is how you hold your shoulders. I guarantee you that if you hold yourself like this, the dress will never, never fall off. Remember there isn’t much in front to hold it up.”

As if I could forget. Ogre looks a bit more worried.

Ogre: “Are you sure, Appi, you want to wear this? I mean, it looks lovely on you, but you’ve never worn anything like this before.”

Etcetra: “All the more reason that she should start now. Don’t hassle, Ogre. By New Year’s Eve standards, this dress is very demure. And it’s So-On’s party. All his townie friends will be there. Appi can’t look suburban.”

Ogre: “Yes, but what will So-On think? He’ll be shocked.”

Etcetra, sharply: “Good for him. Maybe he needs a shocking shock to shake him up a bit.”

I pretend not to hear Etcetra, concentrating on my shoulders and my back. I know she suspects something of my feelings for So-On, but I have never told her, and she has never asked.

Me: “Anyway, I’ve spent half a month’s salary on this dress. And I’m not handing it over to Etcetra, without ever wearing it myself.”

Etcetra pushes between my shoulder blades even more and says: “Back, Appi, back.”

Ogre chews her fingers a little more.


One Comment on “30 December”

  1. […] Continue reading Appi’s story at 30 December […]

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