Well-Groomed Wonder, by Laura Rodriguez

I sat waiting patiently on the cold hard bench while staring at silvery white and cream veins of the marble floors. I examined people passing down the long bland corridor judging them even thought I knew I shouldn’t. I could hear the tapping of their heels across the floor. Gentleman with long dress coats shuffled past in a rush to their hearings. Women burdened with their own weight in paperwork hurried by. It seemed as if everybody had a place to be and should have been there ten minutes ago.

At that moment an African American woman appeared through the long elevator doors. Her flawless ebony skin was surpassed only by her impeccably groomed hair. She moved down the hall with the ease of a ballerina, dangling an oversized bag on her right elbow. She held her forearm outward and upright as if to display the medium tear dropped ring that sat proudly atop her hand. Her French manicure gleamed as her left arm adorned with a beautiful gold and diamond bracelet swayed with each step. As she moved closer I could see she was wearing a fashionable cape jacket and freshly pressed tailored pants. Gliding even nearer I was amazed that her ability to move in five inch stiletto heels despite being heavy set. Her essence must have demanded admiration as I noticed several people walk past her then glance back for a second look. Her appearance was so polished and well put together that I imagined her to be a CEO or possibly even a lawyer. The only noticeable imperfection about her was a crescent shaped heliotrope mark hiding beneath side swept bangs near her left eye. She drew quicker and began to smile and I could see perfectly straight brilliant ivory teeth.

While smiling back, “Good morning” I nodded.

As she paused, “Hi do you know where room 711 is?” she inquired.

“I think it’s that room over there.” I gestured as I corrected my posture.

“Thank You!” she said, “Do you know if that’s where I can file a restraining order?”

Startled by the question I raised my eyebrow “Sorry I’m not sure but I think so.”

She appeared a bit hesitant at first as she glanced down the hall. Making her way to room 711 she took a deep breath and paused before pulling the handle and walking in the room. With a newfound realization that the mark under her eye was probably a bruise, I couldn’t help but wonder why someone of this stature would be abused. Had I ever heard of Queen Elizabeth being hit? Of course not, and this situation seemed equally unfathomable.

I spent most of the day thinking about that woman. Wondering what her situation was and if she was now safe. I contemplated why at first sight I hadn’t assumed she was there for a restraining order. We were right outside the doors of the room where they were filed. Was I so prejudice that I assumed someone so proper couldn’t be touched by violence? Of course I was! I had been groomed since I was a child to believe that violence coexisted with poverty just as respectability did with wealth. At first glance that woman had demanded respect so I categorized her as I had every other person that walked past me. Now every time I find myself classifying a person I remember the well-groomed wonder and how she taught me to never pass judgment so quickly.

Comments RSS Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.