“You look good in red,” all the store clerks said as they gathered round admiring their work.
I shook my head and pointed, “I like that one!”
It was the same coat just in a rich royal blue.
“No, that was last season’s coat. It is not for you.”
I pulled the coat up next to my skin. My blue eyes became more vibrant.
“Yes. I like the blue.” My eight- year- old spirit was not going to be railroaded.
“We could not possibly sell this coat to you,” the clerk shook his head firmly at my mama.
“Then I will have none,” I stomped out of the store.
It was that way all over town. It was as if everyone had swallowed the same bitter pill.
“This season’s color is red,” she pointed at a red dress.
“This season’s color is red,” he pointed at a red chapeau.
“I want blue!” I pointed at a blue cap on a mannequin in a dusty corner.
In walked a little girl the same age as myself. She carried herself like a soldier at eight.
“There it is,” she smiled like a snake at the last blue hat in the store.
The store clerk gladly pulled the hat off the mannequin.
“It needs red.”
The girl looked at me from the corner of her eye, as she pulled out an emblem of red to be sewn on her hat.
“Do it quickly,” the girl clapped her hands in a practiced motion.
A clerk rushed to the back to have the emblem sewn on.
I walked out of the store. “So this is how it is.”
The general’s daughter could have whatever she wanted: drives in fancy cars, ice cream at the confectioner’s shop, and a blue coat and hat.
I went back to the first shop.
“I would like three of those red coats, please.”
At the next shop: ” I would like four of those red dresses, please.”
“Yes, five red chapeaux s’il vous plait. No need for an emblem. It will wear one soon enough.”
I will hate the color red. I will dye the underneath of each garment a different color. I will never have the cold heart of a militant marionette. Not even when I turn nine.
“My blood underneath will still run blue,” I smiled.