By JL Martindale
Jared dreamed in black and white. When everyone else carved "Brown Pride" on their binders, he wrote "Sepia pride" and told me I should do the same to mine because my eyes were brown even if my skin was leche sin cafe.
Jared offered me his elbow like a gentleman when we strolled home from school. He tipped his bowler and bowed slightly when strangers would stare. In public, he embraced me and clung with conviction, quoting lines from Casablanca and Rebecca.
But I wasn't his girl. He never would have me as his girl.
Jared was in love with Arika Vasquez. She was paler than me and had thick, wavy, black hair that cascaded down the side of her cinema star face, framing her full red femme fatale lips in such a way that made Jared and me both giddy with delight and envy.
Jared believed Arika was the Ava Gardner to his Burt Lancaster. He called her his only desire, his one weakness. Jared boasted that I was his best friend, his girl Friday.
Arika served us Brown Cows in frosty metal tumblers at the diner where she worked after school. When it was time to pay, she winked and said only Jared had to pay for his, that mine was free because I had prettier gams than Marlene Dietrich and the irresistible cuteness of Joan Fontaine. Later, Arika said I could be the Gretta Garbo to her Lilyan Tashman if only I'd leave Mr. Olivier at home.
Arika dreamed in black and white tinged sepia too, but she kissed in technicolor and Jared never knew.
Copyright ©2010 JLM StrangerUpstairs.com All rights reserved.
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JL Martindale is a thirty-something geeky girl writing, blogging and existing somewhere in Southern California. She is the Stranger behind StrangerUpstairs and the Jaelyn who was anthologized in Cream: The Best of Erotica Readers and Writers Association.