by Nylah Watkins
The Bracelet sits pretty, and lonely on her nightstand. Each bead is brown; a subtle
combination of Mahogany and Russet. But, when the bead is turned over, the brown slides into a shade of wheat, then back to brown again. Gilded gold cylinders engraved with flowery designs rest between each of the beads, trailing down to a rusty elephant charm. The Bracelet never sees outside of the house, it barely leaves the nightstand. When the girl leaves every morning, she turns the beads over to their wheat side. When she comes home, she likes to look at the brown side of the beads, staring with a hint of jealousy, wishing she could switch sides just as easily as her beads do.
When the girl wraps up her daily staring-session, she straightens herself up, and turns the beads of the bracelet to the wheat-colored side, and stares at them before bed, prepping herself before she goes to sleep. When she wakes up, she keeps the beads on their lighter side all morning, before flipping them once more. Sometimes, she thinks about leaving the beads on the brown side. She never does. She allows herself one last glance at the brown beads, then she flips them over to their wheat-colored side and leaves for the day.
This girl is pretty, and she is never alone; but she is always lonely. She gets up at 4 am every morning to build herself, no matter how tired she is. Some days, she cries when her alarm rings at the early hour. She curses herself until she gets out of bed. The girl has the same routine: shower, wash face, moisturize. She combs out her hair. Concealer before foundation, then more concealer on top. Thin black eyeliner with black mascara coating each lash, until they weigh heavy on her eyes. She picks out something cute to wear, usually a mini skirt and a crop top; her boyfriend likes it when she wears these clothes, even if it’s cold outside. She arrives at school early to meet him. They kiss until the bell rings. She does not want to sometimes, even though she never says this. At lunch she sits with her large group of friends, people who she hardly knows even though she’s known them for years. They speak in tongues, that’s what it sounds like to her anyway; she could less about their meaningless words. They invite her to parties, to sleepovers, she says yes. She never says no anymore, she’s learned not to. When she would say no, they would pout or shoot her dirty looks; why not Addie? Do you think you're too good for us? She has never said no again.
Her boyfriend is loud behind her, he wraps his arm around her waist and laughs with his stupid friends. When he remembers her existence, he kisses her, again, in front of everyone to show that she is his. She smiles and giggles when he does this, but she wishes he would stop. She pleads with him in her eyes every day to stop, but he never sees her. He never has. All she can do is hold tight, and wait for the day to pass, for the moment where she can return home to her Bracelet, flip the beads over to their side of Russet and Mahogany brown, and stare at them once more.
Nylah Watkins is a writer and a student at Douglass Anderson High School. She enjoys spreading the messages, and having meaningful conversations to provoke the thoughts of others. She strives to improve herself and the livelihood of those around her.