Sooo, as I said, just as I changed on the inside, I also felt the need to change on the outside. I didn’t want to be called or be treated like a little girl anymore. Cause I wasn’t. Alex was regarded with respect in our new neighborhood because of his confidence, his fearlessness, his easy and friendly ways towards everyone. And Max was genuinely admired for his brains and not unjustly so, if you ask me.
I watched other girls walk up and down the streets, with the colorful hair, their imaginative clothes, most of them self-made or at the Ghetto complimented by confident smiles. Compared to them I looked like a child. But I didn’t feel like a child anymore. Neither did I want to look like one.
We had a neighbor, a middle-aged lady with lilac hair, extravagant clothes and an eccentric personality, who cherished to smoke in her tiny garden, drink cherry and watch the by passers. People called her Crazy-Daisy, but I liked her. She didn’t take the world seriously, always had a kind word to say to everyone and her laugh was for me synonym to carefree happiness.
One morning I let the boys go about their business and went to find her. She was sitting in her garden, smoking, enjoying the sun. She smiled when she saw me coming and beckoned me to sit next to her.
“How is my sweet girl today?”, she asked.
“And your two wonderfully cunning brothers?”
I smiled. I knew her interest was genuine. In her own bizarre way, she cared for us. She offered me a fizzy drink and cookies and we chatted for a while, sharing our news and the latest neighborhood gossip, until at some point I mastered up the courage to reveal the true purpose of my visit.
“Daisy, I have a favor to ask you”, I blurted out.
“Anything for you, my dear”.
I knew I was a tomboy ―I still am, that’s the side effects of spending too much time with two wild boys I suppose― and that I’d never look so bright and feminine like those girls in the streets. And I didn’t want to, either. But, what I did want, was to look more like me; the ‘me’ that was hiding somewhere underneath my baggy clothes and messy hair. And that’s exactly what I told Daisy.
She laughed with all her heart and stubbed out her cigar.
“You’ve come to the right place, sweetheart”.
Alex and Max were talking excitedly about a new model of a thruster that had hit the market that day when I got to the attic we called home those days.
“…could get my hands on one of these beauties! Imagine the speed they…”
Alex caught sight of me and stopped mid-sentence.
“Phoebs?”, he mumbled amazed.
Max turned and looked at me then, his mouth dropping open in shock. “Geez, sis! You look amazing!”
My hair was cut quite short and brightened up by colorful highlights: blue and green and yellow and purple. I had discreet make-up on, just to tone my strong features ―that is my eyes and high cheekbones, according to Daisy. And my clothes, although casual, were stylish and actually fitted me perfectly, bringing out my dynamic personality ―again according to Daisy.
Let me tell you, guys, it felt good, oh so good, to find ‘me’ in a look, exactly how I wanted to, for the first time in my life – thanks to Daisy.
Alex smiled without being able to take his eyes off of me. “What happened to you, Phoeds?’, he asked confused.
“I grew up” I answered.
Simple as that.