Songs for Pretty Girls By Nic Nichols

           In each home, each city, and each ending, she had a post. But now that she’d settled in the Deep South, the nights had heart and soul. Though the thick glass windows were to be always shut and locked, the midnight hum carried through. She sometimes wondered if the music was also one-sided. If the bogs and brush could hear her, too.
           All this to say she wasn’t quite ready to leave, but she didn’t have much choice.
           ‘This will be a long stay.’ Father had promised. This was, of course, a lie.
           She held her cord but kept her grip loose, focusing instead on the heavy footsteps inching up the stairs, followed by a lighter tap, and then a steady click.
           Soon, a new family approached her, a picturesque unit frozen in the time. Father’s shoulders hunched forward; he was ill-prepared for this uncomfortable formality. Mother, on the other hand, hadn’t once looked her in the eye, and focusing instead on the glass between her lips.
           Between them, another young girl stood firm, her skin still glazed from birth. The two girls were carbon copies, the tails of their lips forming an identical upward slopes upon recognition. They nodded politely, though neither spoke, not to say there wasn’t a point, but to point out that there was nothing to say. There could only be one, and though they were physically identical, only one was pretty. Only one could be enough.
           Had Father been enough, she wouldn’t have been replaced. Following a brief pause, Father cleared his throat and said, ‘I-’
           She, the first she, interrupted him with a somber smile. She then lifted her hand as a final goodbye to Father and Mother, the home, her home, the chirps and squeals and thumps and cries and all things beautiful. She sighed, then pulled.
           And, just as before, she was nothing.

Nic Nichols is an emerging writer and poet who currently resides in Los Angeles

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