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“This is your trial. Just tell us what happened.”
“He was saying terrible things, so I grabbed him by the shirt and threw him against the wall.”
“Is that what happened?”
“Jimmy. This is her trial. Just tell us what happened.”
“I was saying terrible things and she became agitated and threw me against the wall. I was hurt.”
“Verdict: guilty. Sentence: Prison.”
And with that short exchange it was over. I left the gray room. Jimmy and the lady judge didn’t watch me as I was escorted out. The glass in the room seemed to fog over as I was led out.
And my cell. Just what you’d expect from a jail cell. Bars, no window. A bed, a sink, and a toilet. I sit down to go through my things. How strange that all they gave me was makeup. Maybe they want me to hide who I am. Maybe they want me to make my face into something different.
I go over to the sink. I look up into the mirror. There’s a long crack along the top right corner, but my face is still there. And it’s my face.
I pull the makeup out of the bag. It’s been used by someone else. I take out all the brushes to wash them. Cold water seems to be my only option. It releases old, cakey lipstick and powder from the brushes. Someone else’s face is being washed down the drain.
I begin to apply the makeup. I shape my cheekbones to be higher. I make my nose appear longer and more pointed. I paint on new lips. Draw on arched, perfect eyebrows. The eyes can’t change too much. You can’t alter the window more than a little. So I make them appear bigger. No window in this cell, might as well make my windows bigger.
I look up into the mirror. There’s no longer a crack along the top right corner, but my face isn’t there anymore. It’s a new face. A girl I’ve never met.
“Hello,” I greet the girl. She whispers back the greeting. We stare at each other for a moment. It seems she doesn’t know me either.
“It’s time to meet your counselor,” we’re told from across the cell. The bars have been opened. I leave the girl. She gives me a little wave goodbye. I think I see her wish me luck as I walk out.
“I am Jana. I am your counselor. We are going to choose your activities now.” It is the lady judge. I can’t tell if we are in a different padded room or if they just added a desk to the courtroom.
“What are my options?” I ask her. She hands me a pamphlet.
Not pottery. Not fencing. Not shoemaking. Dancing? I can dance. I think I might have tried it before.
“I will dance.” She nods as if my choice was expected, but interesting. She hands me a little case. It is rigid plastic and a dirty blue shade. I am escorted back to my cell.
I sit on the bed again and open this. At first I think it is eyeshadow. Maybe not. Maybe it is lipstick. But how am I supposed to apply this? I open the bottom of the case, there doesn’t appear to be anything at first, but as I put my fingers in, I pull out two more brushes of different sizes. I take them to the sink and wash them. Pink crumples of lipstick fall out. The brushes are so oily. I look up and see the girl in the mirror. She shakes her head no. I look down. I agree. Don’t use the brushes. Don’t do it.
The bars are opened and I drop the brushes. Without saying goodbye, I leave the cell. All the other students are milling around outside their cells. I recognize several and greet them. They are polite, but cold back to me. I look in a cell. There is Jordan.
“Jordan, don’t you dance?” I ask.
“No. I used to. But I hurt my knee. I can’t dance anymore.” She replies and turns around.
I want to dance now, but everyone is around me. I’m somewhat horrified by their lack of personality and individuality.
I’ll never lose my specialness like they have! I think to myself. I will be me forever.
“What is your name?” Someone asks me. I can’t tell the gender. I see icy blue eyes and very nice eyebrows. No other identifying features. I stare at this person. No specialness. How sad. How disappointing. I wonder if this person knows how boring they are.
“What is your name?” Same monotone. And I go to answer.
Except there is no answer.
Wait. What is my name? Who am I? Why am I here, again?
No. It’s happened. I’ve lost it. I close my eyes and let the tears slip between my fake eyelashes.