To this very day, I can recall the particular day mentioned here, in detail.
I opened my eyes, and stretched, kicking the sheets off my suntanned legs with quick, little scissor kicks. It was early in the morning, but already it was hot, and muggy, causing the sheet to feel clingy, and uncomfortable. I just lay there, savoring the smell of bacon and coffee, the aroma hanging thick in the humid air. I could hear Mama in the kitchen, taking the heavy, iron skillet filled with biscuits, out of the oven and setting it down with a dull thud on top of the stove. Outside of the open window, I could hear birds singing. I felt like singing, too. I was fifteen years old, and it was springtime. It felt good, just being alive!
After breakfast, and after dishes, I put on my black Capri pants, and pink turtleneck top. I wished I didn't stick out so far in front. Being so tiny in the waist made me look twice as big at the top--and I didn't like the way the boys stared at me. It seemed to me that they never did get around to looking at me at eye-level--but worse than that were the snide remarks some of the girls at school made. If I heard, "Where'd you get those--Sears Catalogue?" one more time, I thought I'd scream.
Oh well, there could be worse things wrong with me than that--like being too skinny, like my best friend, Jean. She envied me, my bustline, but I sure didn't envy her, her skinny legs. I giggled at the thought of her with my bustline and her skinny legs!
Speak of the devil, I thought, as I heard her calling me from her front porch, across the road and three houses up. I ran outside, slamming the flimsy screen door behind me. I ran down the steps, and up the unpaved road to her house.
She was sitting on the steps, combing her hair which she had just washed. Maybe her legs were too skinny, but she sure did have beautiful hair. It was down to her waist, and looked like fluffy gold.
"Gosh, Jean, your hair looks absolutely beautiful," I said. I felt good. She got into her best movie star pose, and said, "I know--I wish I could say the same about yours."
"Well, why don't you tell a lie--like I just did?" I said, feeling gorgeous as the morning!
Mama was calling me home to go to the store for washing powder. I got the money, and ran across the road to the trail that ran down the hill through the little patch of woods, and was a shortcut between our house and the store. Just at the top of the hill was a large, flat rock from which you could see far away over the tree tops.
I jumped up on the rock, taking deep breaths of fresh, clean air. The sweetness of spring flowers filled my nostrils. The beautiful profusion of color, and the potpourri of fragrance was intoxicating! I wanted to sprout wings, and soar through the air! I felt like crying. It felt so good just to be alive on a day like this!
I took some more deep breaths, and stretched my arms in embrace of the beauty all around me. I looked up at the sky, and said, "When I die, let it be exactly like now, and let it be on a day in the springtime!" Tears slid down my face for some strange reason that I didn't understand. I felt clean, and pure, and gorgeous--yes, gorgeous as the morning!