November 23, 2017

Peplum Diary: Awkward Grace

mirror room

“Get away from me” she hisses under her breath.

“What? You can’t look at me now?”

“I warned you.”

She cups her hand under the jet of water. One more word and she’ll throw it at her smug face. The singer steps back, well, it sounds like she has from the echo resonating around the room. She spreads her fingers and the water that had collected in her hand flows into the sink. She exhales as silently as she can and places the wet palm to her forehead.

Then all hell breaks loose. The singer puts her boney fingers on her shoulder and pushes her away. She looks her in the face and sees the same entitled arrogance that was on Bosco’s face. ‘Who the hell does she think she is?’

The singer stares her up and down. “I’m talking to…”

Without a thought she reaches for the sink and tosses a spray of water at her foe’s face. The singer stops mid-sentence, mouth wide open in disbelief. How dare she fight back? “You bitch!” she yells as she dives forward for the sink in a watered down version of fighting fire with fire.

She sees her move in for the kill and grabs her wrist. In a flash, a slap finds its mark. The singer staggers back, loses her balance and falls to the floor. Dazed, she looks up at the victor, a hand on her offended cheek. Then for some reason unknown to her, her gaze shifts to the door and finds Grace watching in total disbelief at her downfall.

She turns to meet Grace’s smiling face. This awkward little lady wasn’t much good at hiding her true emotions which made her an asset and a handicap depending on the situation. She turns to the singer on the floor and in one breath says, “I warned you”. She walks to the sink, gathers her things and walks to the door. Awkward Grace is still standing there, smiling.

“You hit her?”

“Really Grace?”

“I’m just asking.”

“I need to go. Someone’s waiting for me…”

“I know. Shall we?”

Grace opens the door and ushers her out. She obliges, but just because it’s Grace, awkward Grace.

She had always found Grace to be a peculiar person. She was unusually short, unusually slim and unusually…well, unusual. Don’t get the wrong idea. Nothing’s wrong with being short or slim (or both) it’s just…it’s very hard to explain how unusual Grace really was. That she was strange was beyond debate, why she was strange was under constant debate. To compound a complicated situation, she was very loud and outspoken and yet not prone to emotional outbursts or irrational episodes. She could stew quietly for long periods of time without a word so much so that people would think she had been offended. Her response? She was hungry. Simple. Or she could rant and rave for hours on end with no particular formula or strategy. The culprit? Her unruly hair. Simple.

She was Grace. Take it or leave it.

“He’s still waiting for us,” Grace announces as they walk towards the church gate then out of nowhere bolts towards him. He barely has time to react as she calls to him and flings herself into his arms, nearly toppling him over. He laughs in mock protest as he sets her down.

“You’re getting heavy”

“What’s wrong with you?” Grace asks as she slaps his arm hard, “You never tell a girl she’s getting fat!”

“I didn’t say fat. Who said fat?”

“You! Or what did you say?”

“I said you’re getting heavy…”

Grace hits him again. He indulges her and trots a small jog away. “Let me finish,” he adds between laughter.

“What?”

“You should go on a diet”

“YOU!!!”

He runs to her side as Grace takes off her shoe and brandishes it over her head.

“What’s going on?”

“He called me fat!”

“I’m sure he didn’t mean it…”

“He did! Why is he hiding behind you then? He knows I’ll hit him”

“You can’t hit me in church”

“Do we read the same Bible?”

“Why?”

“After all the violent stuff in there you want to say I can’t hit you here?”

She laughs at the thought. Grace always looked at things differently, only she would remember Biblical violence to sanction a fight at church. The shoe is raised again, this time with deadly intent. She decides to intervene and save him even though he doesn’t seem to need it right now.

“Just forgive him. He doesn’t know these things”

“I’m his sister, he should know!”

“Does he look like he knows?”

They both look at him, a sheepish look of menace on his face, mischief dancing in his eyes, a sly smile across his face. He has them right where he wants them. Grace puts the shoe down, dusts off the sole of her foot and slips right into her tiny shoe. “It’s not worth it,” she scoffs.

“Anyway, you guys ready to go?”

She pauses. ‘You guys?’ She looks at him, confused.

“Yeah, let’s go,” Grace replies and begins to skip ahead.

She can feel the color leave her cheeks and her heart beat slower in her chest. He smiles at her and turns to go. “Let’s go then,” he says as he puts his hand across her frame and over her shoulder.

It would be an awesome moment, heavenly even but her mind is grappling with one terrible question. ‘He wasn’t asking me out?’

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