Today’s daily prompt: Let It Be
A restaurant that removed your favorite item from the menu, a bad cover of a great song… Write a post about something that should’ve been left untouched, but wasn’t. Why was the original better?
There used to be a forest behind my neighborhood and elementary school. I still remember the day in third grade when a black bear wandered right next to our classroom window panels. In my memory, this forest was deep, magical, and stretched onto the rolling mountain landscape in the sky.
Now it is all gone and replaced with rows of square houses and white fences. It is a quaint and peaceful neighborhood, great for raising children. But alas, it is not my magical forest.
My short story series, inspired by NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo and the daily prompt.
“You look handsome today, Connor.”
Strawberry blonde-haired Avery bounced past his desk, her red dress bobbing up and down like a jellyfish. Connor grinned and thanked her.
Today was photo day. Mother had spent more time than usual getting Connor ready this morning. His blonde hair was slicked back, his buttoned shirt pressed and neatly tucked into a new pair of dark wash jeans.
Connor thought photo day was a big day. The photo taken today would be used in the yearbook, a gallery of head shots of all the children in the school. If Connor ever went missing or got arrested by the police, today’s photo would probably be the one displayed on TV. And most importantly, today’s photo would be the newest addition to the wall of framed photographs in Father’s office.
Connor wanted to look nice in his photo. Well, he thought he looked good almost every day but today he wanted to look extra nice.
He wasn’t the only person thinking this. Everybody showed up to school this morning looking a little neater than yesterday. Boys were wearing button-ups and belts and pointy shoes; girls were sporting patterned dresses and intricate braids.
It was Samantha’s usual greeting, but something different caught Connor’s eye and he had to take a double look to make sure that it was really Samantha sitting in the desk next to him and not another girl from a different class.
Samantha had green eyes and normal brown hair, usually tied up in a ponytail. She liked to wear white sneakers and jeans and she was always wearing that same gray jacket to school every day. But just like everybody else, today Samantha looked different. Her brown hair fell down from her head like a waterfall, held back with a white headband. She was wearing a blue dress with white princess sleeves and lace socks with shiny black shoes. As if nothing was out of the ordinary, Samantha whipped out a book and stuck her nose in it, ignoring Connor’s stare.
“You don’t look so ugly today.”
Samantha flipped to the next page without even glancing at him. “Thank you.”
Connor tapped his fingers on his empty desk, wishing he had a book that he could pretend to read too.
“Avery is still the prettiest girl in our class though.”
This time Samantha looked up from the pages of her novel to take a look at where Avery sat in the third row. “Yea, I like her dress.”
Connor cocked his head to the side, trying to get a better look at Avery’s dress, but all he could see were Samantha’s fingers holding her big story book of no pictures. Today they were painted pink with nail polish.
“Do I look nice?”
Connor almost instantly regretted letting that question come out of his mouth when Samantha snapped her attention to him. Like a book, Samantha’s eyes scanned him up and down from his sticky hair to his squeaky shoes. “I guess so.”
Connor frowned. Samantha had a way of making him angry by only saying a few words. Why couldn’t she just be like everybody else and tell him he looked nice? He even gave her a compliment already. Rude. Samantha was a very rude girl.
“I think you look better on normal days.”
Connor narrowed his eyes at Samantha in confusion. She was back to reading her book and was too busy to even look at him.
Samantha placed her finger to mark her place in the big paragraph and tilted her head towards Connor’s direction. Her hair slithered behind her shoulder like a river. “Yea.”
“What do you mean?”
“You look better on normal days like yesterday or maybe tomorrow. Without all that gooey stuff in your hair.”
“But Mother said it looks nicer this way. She used Father’s hair gel so it doesn’t get messy from the wind.”
Samantha shrugged; her interest in the conversation was fading already. “Your hair looks nice when the wind blows through it. Like gold feathers.”
A weird feeling started to creep into Connor’s stomach. Maybe he was punched in the gut with shock. Samantha had just told him his hair looked like gold feathers. That was a compliment, was it not? Good gracious, Smart Samantha had given him a compliment after almost half a year of being seat partners.
Connor touched his hair – now as hard as a rock – even though Mother had warned him not to. He never thought his hair looked like gold feathers, but the sentence had painted a delightful picture in his mind.
A smile started to etch onto Connor’s face. If his hair was gold feathers then Samantha’s eyes were emerald forests, unshakable and rooted.
To be continued…