"Mommy, Mommy, look at me!" Belinda beamed as her tiny hands touched everything on the white vanity. She inhaled the scents of different perfumes and tried on pieces of costume jewelry made of fake pearls and colorful stones. Her blue eyes danced wildly as she scanned the items, zooming in on the ruby red lipstick in a glittery canister. Applying the red cream as she imagined her mother would, she eyed her reflection in the mirror and posed while gathering her bushy mane on top of her head and puckering her lips.


     Taking a pull of a cigarette, the curvaceous vision draped across the fluffy, old queen size bed with mint-colored sheets and a floral spread watched. Exhaling slowly, she blew tiny circles upward; the smoke disappearing into the stained ceiling. The room's ambiance was surrounded by the musical notes of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" and the fragrance of a baby powder incense burned on the nightstand nearby.


     "Put my jewelry down and go watch TV," she ordered her voice raspy and stern.

Belinda's smile turned into a frown as she slowly removed accessory after accessory, shoving them with force back into the jewelry box.

     "Awww man," Belinda whined, stomping out of the room of the small one bedroom apartment.

     "Get your attitude in check, little girl, before that behind of yours be too sore to sit down on," her mother reprimanded.


     Belinda checked herself in an instant and entered the living room. She shoved the pile of clothes on the sofa to the side, clearing her space before walking over to the old floor model color television and turned it on. She flipped through the channels until she came across her favorite show, Good Times and wiggled the crooked rabbit ears sitting on top until the picture became suitable. However, what she wanted was to watch her mother get ready for the company she said was coming soon.  

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