Bold Beautiful Red


I rotated the bottom of the stick and smiled as it emerged out and went back inside its little tunnel. Just like me, I thought.

My sister wasn’t there at home and so weren’t my parents, so I had decided to pay my sister’s room a visit. It is quite rare that such an opportunity comes by and when it does, I savour it slowly so that experience lasts for a long time.

I had on my sister’s skirt and her blouse. A couple of tissues stuffed inside and my chest looked beautiful.

As it should be, I thought.

My sister had a huge bangle collection. Every colour one could imagine. I picked out the red ones this time to match the crimson skirt and the yellow blouse. It looked beautiful on me. Like it was made for me wear it and not her.

Then I picked up the lipstick once again and this time, applied it generously on my lips.

Blood. That is what it reminds me of. The colour painted against my lips, inviting temptations and desire.

I turned to the mirror to look at myself. I never look at the mirror because I hate what I see but not during these moments. No. These moments make me feel beautiful inside and out.

I strike a pose. Hands on my hips like how I have seen in the magazines my sister has.

I go close to the mirror and stare at the person staring back at me. She was gorgeous and for that moment I did not care how others would find me. I found myself to be what defined as the beauty of human creation. I was created so beautifully inside but what God had done was unpardonable.

I am 15 years old, captain of my school football team and every girl in my school has a crush on me. Hot, they say I am. But I do not want to be hot. I want to be me.

I want a life where a boy wanting to be a girl and vice versa is accepted and not frowned upon, a life where other people like me do not have to live on the money thrown at us on the streets at the cost of insults and sly looks.

The car horn is heard long before they arrive.

I take one last look at myself, relief and gratitude seeping through me for this moment. I quietly remove the skirt and the blouse, folding them neatly and placing it inside my sister’ cupboard. I put on my shorts and t-shirt and waited patiently for my parents to walk in.

The door knob twists and my father walks in first. He looks at me and gasps. I feel his hit long before I turn to the mirror.

I had the red lipstick on and with the bruises; it shined bright, bold and beautiful.



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