At church last night, we were sharing a meal, celebrating the girl in nice, white clothes, not quite as little as you'd expect. Her family looks like they stepped out of the early eighties and she rushed getting dunked because her brother was home from the Marines just yesterday (he seemed more modern), so it was just her, the pastor, and her throughly soaked black hair up there. She wore three outfits. She only wore white.
So at church last night, after my family was the first complete family to go through the food line, and my mom grabbed the worst cookie she possibly could, I ended up sitting with only adults. Typically I end up surrounded by little kids because I am a teenager and I am in limbo. Adults talk like it is the only way to open their mouths. I think they forget you must open your mouth to both eat and breathe.
But at church last night, we were ready to leave, so I left the table to go grab my sister from her innocently sexist herd of young women (aged two to twelve). Most of them adore me; the rest I haven't babysat yet. One night, some meaningless months ago, I stood in front of the church and talked in a few ridiculous accents, so these are the same little curled heads and little curled lips that have begged me for "the voices" since. I occasionally oblige. I occasionally hide.
At church last night, it was much the same. I reached out a hand for Hope, loads of little hands grabbed back, and somehow I ended up sitting down on the steps. The oldest commanded and demanded I tell a story. With the voices. The youngest pled for unicorns and sharks. So I waxed eloquent for a while about this one sparkly-horned unicorn who was completely, profoundly done with being touched (and these little girls still had five hands on me), so she decided she wanted to be a three-finned, purple sparkly shark instead. She lived in an imaginary place. Thank God.
But at church last night, my dad came to fetch me fetching my sister. Time was limited, my accent was tiring, so I took the sparkly-horned unicorn and played to the fairytale archetype. I gave her what she wanted. Of course, she forgot she lived in the woods, so the now three-finned, purple sparkly shark died. I am, primarily, a realist. None of the sweet little girls particularly liked my tale, but I left happily anyway, grabbing my sisters hand and laughing at the unforgiving reality of sparkly sharks and unicorns.