“Gemma! Opal!” my mother cries out, “One of you come here and hold the chair for me, I’m going to slip!”
I walk out into the hallway to see a lazy eyed sister snoozing on the couch and a mother who appears to be practicing the balance beam on a three-legged stool. I hunch over to hold it in place.
My mother is a tall woman, close to six feet. She wears her auburn hair short and neat, like most women in our community. I watch her scavenge through old cardboard boxes on the top shelf of our closet. She groans as a loose hook in the doorframe catches a strand. Her hair is the most stunning shade of copper; it curls at the tips and right beneath the bangs. I wish she would grow out that silly bob cut. It never did her justice.
“Found it!” My mother lowers what appears to be a small, silver container. “Let’s see how well these gems survived.”
Inside the case are two square-cut emerald earrings with gold posts. The only piece of real jewelry we own, and the most beautiful things I’ve ever held. “You want me to go out in public with these?”
“Why not?” she huffs, “It’s your big day.”
There really is no good explanation why I shouldn’t wear them. It is graduation day. We may not be able to afford food, but why should anyone question how we’re able to afford jewelry? I pause to think. “People will talk.”
“So let them talk.”
Mom puts the first gem through my left ear before screwing on the back.
“I heard there’s going to be an assortment of desserts at the ceremony,” I shrug, “Is any of that for us?”
She turns my head and begins twisting in the second. “Probably not,” she scoffs, “Food is a vanity, why would they allow us the pleasure?”
I walk towards the mirror and peer into the fingerprint stained glass. My auburn hair is much longer than my mothers, but dull in comparison. It curls at awkward places and appears more of a light brown than a red. I stare at my fine features and wish they were stronger, a bit more defined. My father has a chiseled face with deep-set eyes and a full set of lips. I inherited none of that.
Today I was hoping to see a capable, sophisticated eighteen-year-old woman staring back, but even I realize that two small rocks aren’t going to make the difference.
“They bring out the green in your eyes,” she smiles.
Fair warning, this is the last snippet I’m going to be posting for a while. While I absolutely love all the feed back I have been getting, I am now reaching a place where I don’t want to share anything before it’s set in stone. I may go back and change these snippets too, If I decide that I need to add or take away. Remember, everything that I post on here is a first draft and it’s mostly done for moral support and critique. I will be morphing Gemma’s story further in my head and on paper, adding detail and creating new characters. I can’t wait to introduce you guys to Opal, Mimi and Gage, But they will have to wait.
Once again, feedback appreciated. On a side note, thank you all for allowing me reach 500 followers!!! WOW. You guys are the best. Love you all!