Amelia shared her story:
I calculated what the expense would mean to my budget. Undeterred, I ordered this tee. I felt glamorous and beautiful. I would wear this tee forever.
And wear it I did! I wore it every day from April until September. I wore it to work, I wore it every weekend, I wore it on vacation in Vermont, and I wore it traveling to the West Coast. And so, once on a hot July day, I was on my way to home And so, once on a hot July day, I was on my way home after shopping. I was chewing a large piece of purple bubble gum and realized I’d have to get rid of it. My hands were too busy with huge packages of food and household goods. Perhaps my rush affected my judgment, or perhaps I was lazy, but suddenly I did something I had never, ever done before: I raised my chin, puckered up my lips, and let my gum fly. As it descended onto the sidewalk, I saw that a man walking toward me was about to collide with the arc of its fall. I made eye contact with him as the sticky mass fell at his feet. Mercifully, he sidestepped the gum. But his outrage was palpable. He shook his head in disgust and passed me by. I was too embarrassed and frightened to even say I was sorry.
Two days later I went out with my friend Ellen. She had booked tickets in the new cinema near our house. I, of course, wore my favorite tee. We were waiting for our movie at the bar.
Then I saw him. He went to the checkout. Wildly, I looked around for a place to hide. Ellen asked me if I was okay and I hissed, no. I motioned with my eyes. Ellen squealed in delight, and he looked over at us. Once again, in the span of forty-eight hours, I was face-to-face with this man.
Our eyes locked and I saw him recognize unmistakable bright red lips on my tee and the same frightened face. He grimaced. “You!” he said. I felt myself turn white and then red, as everyone turned to stare.
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