(c) 2015, Santino Prinzi
I see them all on hangers and straight away I’m overwhelmed and need help; which one will suit me best? I walk around the boutique, naked, unhappy with what outfits are on offer. Bright and colourful – bit cliché. Leather? No, not for me. The assistants eye me up, but the boutique has strict policies against helping browsers; they can’t tell me what works for me, I have to decide for myself.
My parents tell me to follow my heart, but what do you do when your heart loves more than one person sometimes, and other times no-one at all? Occasionally I feel desire. I can feel attraction based purely on intelligence, or personality, or their favourite TV show, especially if we both sympathise with the same character. Tanned, tattooed, with dark hair is always a plus. I love everyone and no-one.
I take one ensemble off a display and before I hold it up in front of the freestanding mirror I know it isn’t for me. I put it back. There’s nothing in this boutique that will fit me. Everything in the mirror is fuzzy as if I’d forgotten my contact lenses. I hold my face in my hands.
I can feel someone’s hand placed on my shoulder. I stop crying and look in the mirror. There’s another figure standing next to me, and in the mirror’s reflection they’re fully defined. It’s like they’re a complete person.
“It’s okay to mix things up,” they tell me. “You don’t need to choose a pre-made label; why not design your own look?”
They’re right. I don’t have to be anything; as long as I’m comfortable in my skin that’s all I need to wear. I can see my smile spread across my slowly sharpening reflection.
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Santino Prinzi is a flash fiction and prose poetry enthusiast, and currently studies English Literature with Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.
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