This is the tale of Beauty Shay,
she was the girl all the others wanted to be,
She had an afro of thick black hair,
soft acne free skin a light shade of brown,
much lighter than the rest of us,
Long legs and long lashes,
The teenagers tried not to drool whenever she passed by.
She was not my friend,
We never talked all the years we went to school together,
I arrived ten minutes early each day,
to catch her when she came off the bus,
She never looked my way,
I pretended I wasn’t there to see her face,
Year in year out, Grade 1 to grade 12,
I tried not to drool as she passed by.
It has been three weeks,
Beauty Shay hasn’t come to school,
grapevine said her parents died,
I would have gone to pay respects,
but I didn’t know where she was,
No one knew where she lived,
the teacher said she will be back,
I tried not to despair every day she didn’t get off the bus.
It has been ten years,
I saw beauty Shay at a department store,
on her head was a short bob cut,
the body of a girl replaced by that of a woman,
hair still thick and dark as night,
I hang around the aisle,
wondering if I should go say hi,
I saw her walk my way and for once I pulled my wits,
Hi, I said, you might not remember me,
but we went to school together,
Beuty Shay looked at me confused then smiled,
I had never seen her smile, and I was lost for words,
I am sorry about your parents, I blathered
I tried not to shrink as her smile dimmed.
But then Beuty Shay smiled and said,
You are the boy with the brown shoes and the grey scarf,
who was always sitting at the curb,
every day at eight when the school bus arrived?
I nodded unsure, secretly seeking her ring finger,
would you like to get coffee sometime? I asked seeing it bare,
I tried not to dance when she smiled and said, sure.