Conceived – America: The Pink Shirt (Vigil 3)

by Talia Stotts 

The next morning, my door bangs open as the girls rush in, leaping into my bed and pummeling me with stuffed animals.

“Wake up, sleepyhead! It’s pancake time!”

I am too tired but getting out of bed now will keep me from dwelling on the previous night’s discussion. I trundle to the kitchen, sisters in tow, to get the pancakes going. The Saturday morning tradition has been more to allow Mom and Dad some time to sleep in than anything else. But when they come out of their rooms, it is clear that my news the night before hasn’t been forgotten.

“Good morning girls. Alex, can I talk to you outside for a sec?” Mom pours a cup of coffee as she speaks, her floral robe loose around her silk pajamas. I follow her out the back door, Molly pushing past us to find her favorite toy.

Mom doesn’t waste any time. “Alex, you lied to me. You said you didn’t like boys.” She is distraught.

“Mom…I was twelve. I didn’t like anyone. I –”

“But you said!” She turns on me, eyes full of tears, and I can see her hand is gripping the coffee mug too tightly. I gently take it from her; she allows it.

“I didn’t lie. I just…hadn’t had any crushes at that point. I didn’t know what a crush was. It seemed stupid. I just wanted to play kickball and watch TV and wear nice things. I –”

She is unrelenting and cuts me off again. “So you’ve had a crush now? On a boy?” She looks away, disgusted. “I defended you. I defended you against your father. He knew what you were. What you are.”

So she does hate me.

She stands straight all of a sudden, regaining composure. She takes the coffee from me and clears her throat.

“You are not to tell the girls. You are not to tell anyone. You will attend church as usual with the family and we will fix this.” She reaches over, stroking my face with all the tenderness I remember of her. “We’re going to fix this.”

I don’t know how to tell her that I’ve been trying to fix this already. That as soon as I had my first crush – on a boy – I have been saying extra prayers and reading more scripture than any of the other kids my age at church. I don’t know how to tell her that I waited until I was sure it was real before I was able to tell them. I don’t know how to tell her it’s a thing that can’t be fixed. Because I tried.

She turns on her heels and goes inside to sit down with the girls, exclaiming over the lovely sliced strawberries and fresh blueberries. I follow her in and greet Dad as if nothing has happened and he returns the favor.

(…to be continued…)

2021: Conceived – Volume 2 of a Contemporary Transadaptation 

January: The Pack – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)

February: The Pink Shirt – Talia Stotts (America)

March: Dragging the Past out into the Light – Kate Korneeva (Russia)

April: Looking Forward to Spring – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)

May: Every Little Thing – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)

June: The Girl Who Chased the Rainbow – Toni Wallis (Sarah-Leah Pimentel) (South Africa)

July: Another World – Jonay Quintero Hernandez (Spain)

August: Life after Nare – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)

September: Meeting My Homeland – Rayan Harake (Lebanon)

October: Catching Water (Part Two) – Javier Gomez (Argentina)

November: Remember – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)

December: I Can’t Breathe – Veronica Cordido (Venezuela)

Background – Context

In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Cover photo: Austin, Texas – Downtown – Alex George (Unsplash)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

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