THE LAND OF BANANA PEOPLE & SUFFOCATION [1]

[1] She had very short hair sometimes. Other months, her hair grew till her limp shoulders until they were cut back to bob. She was 6 and although a child, she could not be called pretty. Out of every possible outfit a child could keep their finger on, she chose an orange frock.

It lifts when I twirl!’

The frock had overalls like straps on them, exposing her tiny hairy arms; frills were filled underneath the frock as if every worker in the factory wanted their share of lace and cotton under the frock. It was a beautiful dress, knee length with abstract work of blue and green on it. It was as ugly as her.

‘I bought you this shirt, do you like it?’
 ‘It is nice.’
 ‘Look at it. Why don’t you wear it?’
 ‘I will, I will.’

That is how a sort of poison ivy grew between money plants. The plants were also ugly, along with the frock and the child with short hair.
 Her only wait every day at noon was to hear the school bell ring so she could run home to the only clothing item in the house that had not seen the washing machine. Every day was just as exciting in spite of knowing as little as how many frills were under the dress and which design followed which.

‘Wear this today.’
‘I will, tomorrow.’
‘Remove that frock! Wear this!’

Anyone else may have a security blanket or a teddy bear whereas the ugly child had her frock, wrapped around her tight. The one thing she never managed to perfect was the button on each strap. You could have asked her which thread’s color differs on which side of the dress but you could never think she would successfully bring the hook to the front.

‘Wear this now, it is new.’
‘I love this dress.’
‘Yes, but-‘
‘It is such a lovely dress!’
‘It is a very inappropriate outfit.’
‘What is that?’

The only thing her mother was grateful of was that bob-cut child’s school had uniform or she would have had to see that frock every morning, as well. The frills bouncing to the rhythm of her bob around the breakfast table. 
 She would constantly clench the hem of its skirt and sway it side by side like in the movies; eyes shut tight because admitting the mistakes of her steps was unnecessary at that moment.

‘Have you noticed how people stare?’
‘No? Who did?’
‘I just think you should stop attracting this sort of attention, it looks desperate and men stare a lot. Your skin is very exposed.
Was it not supposed to be? The dress would have surely come with sleeves.
What if someone touches you? Do you like such things?’
God, no, I would hate it if someone touched my dress. It is mine, I do not want to share it. Should I ask her what the boys meant when they lifted my skirt from behind? I do not think they cared about the frills like I do. Maybe[…]
‘Listen to me! Remove that frock before something bad happens to you. Wear this shirt for once.’

Agreeing to let it be for a day, she left the dress in her cupboard for an entire day and slept like usual, woke up like usual and walked to school slowly, kicking pebbles on the way. 
 On her return she forgot about the pebbles and the kitten that was petted every day. Her tiny cupboard held only a few outfits and that frock was as prominent as her stupid bob. Frantically searching for it in the cupboard was not needed, considering how small the cupboard was but she tossed out every item anyway. She, then, ran towards the washing machine, asking where it was and in that two bedroom apartment the mother suddenly could not hear a thing. She retreated into the kitchen and shut the door slowly while this short child ran around in a vest. 
 An hour must have gone by, she had visited her cupboard several times, hoping that wearable cake would appear magically but only after losing all hope she dragged herself to the only person she did not want to ask about it to. As if her shouting, earlier, was on mute.

‘I cannot find it.’
‘What, sweetie?’
‘The frock. I cannot find it.’
‘Which frock?’
‘The one I always wear. Orange.’
‘Oh, that! You said you did not want it anymore so I threw it in the garbage when you were at school.’

Her only defeat was being too short to reach inside the garbage can.