I don’t remember how I came up with this, but my best guess is my girlfriend showed me how her new nail polish looked and it sparked a story. I originally called this Nail Polish, but these stories always end up turning into something more serious, and I felt the title needed to reflect that. I’m curious to hear what you all think!
In Her Honor
There was a boy in school who painted his nails every day, and every day, he was bullied by his classmates; teachers pulled him aside in the hallway informing him they spoke to the principal who would call the parents on a weekly basis, threatening to suspend the boy if he didn’t stop.
His parents often reminded the school of the boy’s rights, and that they existed whether or not he was aware of them or not. “He’s nine,” they’d say. “Let him be a kid.” Other parents avoided the family, making excuses any time a play date was suggested.
No one ever asked why he painted his nails. The parents knew if the school ever went too far, their lives would change forever; they’d be the biggest story in town, most likely receiving national attention too. “We’ll buy a lake house and retire early,” they half-joked.
Two months ago, when they finally began to pack all of his sister’s things away in the room, they noticed one of her nail polishes were gone. The only reason they noticed was because it was her favorite color: forest green.
The boy wasn’t trying to make a statement. The parents were liberals, but only watched the news at dinner, and the father occasionally ranted on Twitter about Republicans destroying the country by turning the country against itself, but never anything more than that. They wouldn’t thrust the boy into the ever-judging spotlight of the media who’d kill for a story like theirs for their own benefit.
If you’re interested in submitting a story of your own, please see my submission guidelines for more info. Just recently, I posted Country Porch by Ana Daksina, a long, but beautifully written poem originally posted on her blog. She’s the third person to submit to Come and Go.