A PRINCESS IN PINK
Yesterday was Halloween, but today we had the party at school. My
mother always leaves by five, because she’s got a two-hour bus. After she
was gone, Papi got up and woke me, so I could put on my costume, the one my
mother said was too expensive. I heard them talking the night before - I’m
not allowed to speak Spanish, but of course I understand. Papi wanted me to
have it, so yesterday he got it and he left it in the car. Now he brought
it in, a pink princess’ gown, with two glass slippers, a crystal tiara and a
magic wand - a magic wand with a great big star.
He made his coffee and smoked a cigarette while I went into the
bathroom and I put on the gown, and the two glass slippers, and brushed my
hair and put it up in braids beside my ears. Then I went out, and he stood
up and put out his cigarette, and for a moment he looked at me like he’d
never seen me before, like I had come down from Heaven just for him. Then
he said, "We need go. I mus’ be at ree-stor-an." "It’s REST-aurant, Papi,"
I said, and he smiled. He always looks so proud when I correct his English.
He washed out his cup and dried his hands. Then he picked up the
tiara and put it on my head, and handed me the wand. He gave me his hand,
and we walked out into the courtyard, very, very quiet, because everybody
else was still asleep, and the air was starting to turn blue, and I was a
princess, a fairy princess, a princess all in pink, holding my Papi’s hand.
COPYRIGHT 1997, Jim Chevallier