She walked into church in her high heels and black pantsuit. Her tall, narrow frame with her slightly hunched shoulders and black bra strap showing made its way through the people and right into the mass which had already started. Her long hair was plaited beyond her waist like a thick rope and the end swung like a dancing lasso as she walked down the centre aisle. All eyes followed her through the heads bowed in prayer, the hands clasped in fervor and the eyes closed in faith. Even the priest looked up though he continued his chanted prayer for deliverance from all sin and temptation.
Her dark painted eyes looked out from the edges of her heavily layered mascara lashes. Her ruby lips were in a pout and her hands were clasped in front of her as she walked right to the front of the church and slid into the second pew on the right. Her silver grey haired father followed behind and slid in next to her while her rather buxom mother peering over the top of her glasses glanced around and hustled herself next to her daughter. After a while her brother trudged in and slid in next to his sister.
The priest continued, the choir sang and the family of four in the front pew rose, knelt and stood in succession. She pulled her long plait to the front and let it rest against her arm, close to her bosom. Her slender wrist had a black strapped wrist watch – in the style of what women wore in the 60s and 70s and her high heels were pumps with a back strap and the latest trending box heel. Her prayerful stance was poised, with her head bowed and eyes following the designated look of piety, prayer and solemnity.
Niva observed her rather keenly from about the 7th pew. Dressed in jeans, leather thongs, a black t shirt and hair pulled back in a ponytail, Niva was the antithesis to the black pantsuit clad creature in front. Through the chants of the priest, the rather cacophonic singing of the choir and the whirring of the fans, Niva let her mind wander back in history.
To a time when the black clad creature was a young girl in denim shorts and a t shirt who would come to learn dancing. She was not very good but then she was still young. Some people are naturally talented and some people just take a while to blossom. But the denim shorts girl had a rather impatient mother.
Ambitious for her daughter, she was a woman who had reached the top of her workplace through nefarious means though she diligently went to church each Sunday for mass. Presumably to wash away her sins. I guess it works well thought Niva snorting to herself – sin on one hand, pin on the other. One cut out the effects of the other. Anyhow Madam Ambitious had been a looker in her time. Some of the old bats still spoke of her as a former star. But looking at her now you couldn’t really say that. She had put on weight and her hair was a wisp in a ponytail. Only her face behind those glass spectacles showed any trace of one time beauty.
So she pushed her daughter to be everything she was and more. Little miss denim shorts stopped her dancing and Niva hadn’t seen her in years.
Till now, when she walked down the aisle in this sophisticated black pantsuit. Niva couldn’t help but wonder at her age. She couldn’t have been any more than 19 or 20. Yet she was dressed like a woman well over 30 years. With such sophisticated attire and make up, though her frame and hunched posture did give away that teenage awkwardness.
After mass was over, Niva walked to the centre aisle, said her prayers and walked towards the exit. She saw the family of four standing in the doorway and an old bat & family cooing over the black clad girl. She was smiling in an embarrassed way and turned around and caught a glimpse of Niva. She smiled in recognition and behind that smile Niva saw the little denim shorts girl staring through all that macabre façade. A genuine, child’s smile.
Niva smiled back and moved on while Madam Ambitious continued to bombard the bat & co about her daughter and her achievements. The brother stood awkward at a side, clearly not a focal point in this conversation. He looked a little boy in his early teens. No pretentions and no façade.
The father just stood slightly on a side with an almost pillar-like disposition as Madam Ambitious held forth.
Niva walked away, mentally shaking her head in disbelief. She remembered her own childhood with propped up girls like this one. Where the mothers made them to be 100 times more than what they actually were – so pretty, so intelligent, so talented blah blah. And eventually all these girls amounted to very ordinary, mundane women. There was really nothing about them except their mother’s ambitions plastered all over their childhood. And sadly, the black pantsuit clad teenager would soon follow suit.