Walking to my car an impression of someone I’d minutes before transacted with stuck to my skin. The way she greeted me immediately upon walking in her establishment screamed something my children didn’t recognize. I wanted to leave but I’d driven an hour away from home to this location for a specific purpose.

Ignoring how I felt I took her direction and did as told. At one point I asked for copies of what we’d completed and she told me “No, these are mine.” The hair on my skin stood up and something inside of me reverted to a child in elementary school when I’d sit down in the back of the classroom so as not to say a word to upset the teacher when I disagreed with something, afraid if she saw my face that my expression alone would get me kicked out of school.

I couldn’t look her in the eye after her answer. For a second I’d lost control of the daggers contained within them so knew not to look up or say a word in response. I stared at the papers wondering what she’d do if I took out my phone and started snapping photos but I talked myself out of it mainly because my kids were with me and watching.

Under my breath I called her a bitch when we left and a kid heard and asked why I said that. “I don’t like her,” I answered. “Why? She seemed really nice,” he said. I looked at him and smiled without arguing. He didn’t know how prejudice sounded but I did. It has a distinctive accent and is almost a language of its own, a language I wish I didn’t understand, because for a second I saw how in his eyes an innocence remained, and an unquestionable gentleness toward all,. I admired it, and was happy there were parts of him still untarnished by the world.

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