A/N: This was just a little idea I thought up when shopping with my dad and sister. We were in a clothing store looking for Halloween costumes and we passed by the little girls section and there was this adorable little Santa dress. I thought to myself "That looks like something Angel would wear" and this story was born:D Sorry if this idea has been done a million and a half times but I'm experimenting with my writing and this seemed like a good idea. Please review:D And I apologize if some of my Spanish seems broken in this story… I'm still in my first semester of Spanish Class so I tried to at least bring some into the story.
Disclaimer: I don't own RENT or the little Santa outfit.
"Mommy, you know Andy from school? You know… Andy! Well, today he saw me with the clay and…" The kind but weary looking older woman sighed and nodded her head patiently as her little boy continued to prattle on about the day's events. Her dark eyes seem to laugh ever so slightly at the look of utter seriousness written on the child's face and merely wished she was a gifted artist so she could paint the look and store it away for memories.
"And then Ms. Killian… you know Ms. Killian? My pre-school teacher? Well, she wasn't too happy with the mess we made so… you remember Andy? Well we both made her this HUGE clay statue to make up for it and Ms. Killian… you remember Ms. Killian?" Suddenly the little boy was deadly silent as the car pulled up into a slightly rundown clothing store and his eyes lit up marvelously.
"We're buying clothes?" he asked excitedly, bouncing up and down in the seat so vigorously that the rickety old car shook. The older woman with her hair pulled tightly back laughed softly and turned to face her son in the backseat.
"Easy Angel, mi hijo, don't be so excited," his mother teased, poking Angel in the stomach and causing him to giggle happily. "Come on, let's pick out an outfit but only one Angel," she warned, suddenly stern as Angel struggled with the belt buckle.
"I know madre," he responded quietly as the accursed belt refused to come undone. Finally after a moment more of combat the buckle came loose with a loud twang and snapped into place above Angel's head. He smiled triumphantly and then happily bounced out of the rusted blue automobile. "Come on lets go!" Angel insisted and literally dragged his poor patient mother into the store, beaming and laughing the whole way.
"What do you think of this one Angel?" his mother asked in her heavily accented voice. Angel nodded distractedly, not really liking the outfit that was being held out to him. "Go try it on," she insisted anyways and shoved the hangers at Angel. With an exaggerated sigh Angel trudged towards the dressing room with the mounds of uninteresting clothes that his mother had forced upon him. With the stack of clothes wobbling dangerously above him Angel glanced out of the corner of his eye the little girls section and had to squint against the bright sparkles of the Christmas outfits.
Finally, with an uninterested wave from the lady behind the counter who was smacking her gum towards an older man, Angel heaved his clothes into a room and slammed the door shut before everything could fall to the ground.
"Angel, you have to pick an outfit." Angel cast his uncertain and hesitant eyes on a blue striped shirt and jeans and another pair consisting of tan shorts and a dark gray t-shirt.
"Umm…" he muttered to kill time. Nothing seemed to be bright enough… Angel just adored bright clothes so he decided to go with the blue shirt. "The blue one," Angel sighed finally, looking tired. His mother smiled at him however and gently draped the clothes across her arm.
"Think of this as one of your Christmas presents," she told him with a wink and began to walk towards the cash register. Angel followed behind her, happy to have at least gotten another outfit when something distracted him. His brown eyes opened wide as he slowly walked towards the attractive outfit, not sure why he found it so fascinating.
It was a little girls dress… but somehow it seemed to be far better than any little dress he had ever seen. It resembled a Santa outfit… with some kind of soft material that made it all fuzzy and the little white buttons seemed to poof out. Angel gently pet it as if the dress were a rabbit instead of a piece of clothing, completely mesmerized. A curious girl passing by stopped to look at Angel, not sure why this little boy was examining a girl's dress in such a way.
"Hey!" she finally called, causing Angel to snap back into reality and whirl around to face the intruder. "What ya doin' wit that dress?" she asked in a rough accent. It sounded to Angel as if she had seen many more things than he probably would in the next five years.
"Just looking," he said primly and matter-of-factly. The girl nodded slowly, not sure if she should believe him but stuck her hand out in a forward gesture.
"Sophie," she said, still holding her hand out as though expecting a handshake. Angel immediately stretched his own hand over and quickly grabbed Sophie's small slightly gray hand in his own darkly tanned one.
"I'm Angel," he said with a smile, glad to have found a friend. Sophie allowed a small smile to escape over her grim and solemn features. In fact, the smile nearly reached the tip of her slightly overly large nose and even showed in her large mud brown eyes.
"Nice to meet ya Angel! I got HIV," she said nonchalantly and barely paused to take a breath. Angel frowned, not entirely sure what HIV was but it must be a fairly common thing for Sophie to say so offhandedly. "Why don't you try it on?" she asked with a smile, laughing shortly at the slightly disgusted face of Angel.
"No! It's a girls dress," he countered, emphasizing the word girl. Sophie rolled her eyes and squared her jaw.
"Haven't you ever played dress up before?" she demanded in her low and intense tone of voice. Angel's eyes widened and he wasn't sure if he should nod or shake his head. He did remember dressing up like a cowboy once… was that considered dress up?
"Come on Angel, put it on! Look, I'll go try on some really boyish clothes okay, to even the score." Angel glanced at the dress and remembered how soft it had felt and the nodded a reluctant "yes". Sophie giggled and sprinted off to the boys section while Angel reached for the pretty dress hanging an arm's length away. Nervously glancing over to where his mother was still standing in line Angel decided that it couldn't hurt to just try the dress on… for fun.
Sophia giggled madly when Angel finally came out of the dressing room. He made a childish face at her and then looked in the mirrors to see what the dress looked like on him.
"I look ridiculous," he commented flatly, seeing how you could almost see his underwear from under the short dress. Most definitely designed for a girl.
"You look fantastic!" Sophia finally commented once her laughter subsided. Angel made another face that consisted of sticking his tongue out and crossing his eyes. Certainly very flattering.
"Well… no matter what you think I better take this dress off before my mom gets back," Angel decided and was just about to head back into the dressing room and never bring up the incident again when a loud frantic cry threw those notions to the wind.
"Angel! Angel where are you?" It was his mother crying out for him and Angel forgot for a moment that he was in a dress. He just wanted to let his mother know he was all right so he ran out of the dressing room and called out to her, letting her know he was there.
"Madre! Over here!" he cried, waving his arms around. He then barely noticed that all eyes in the store were turned on him and that Sophia was watching nervously from the dressing area. His mother turned and looked at him and after recognizing that he was alive and well she noticed what he was wearing. Her face fell and a certain fear seemed to occupy her normally neutral features.
"Why are you wearing that?" she asked softly, eyes searching Angel's desperately. Angel felt as if there was a can of worms opened in his stomach when she looked at him that way in that moment.
"It was just a little joke… a game," he mumbled into the ground, feeling embarrassed. His mother remained stock still for a moment and you could practically hear the floorboards creak as the rest of the shoppers shifted the weight of their feet nervously. In an instant Angel was being dragged back to the dressing rooms with his mother's fist clenched painfully around his left bicep. Once they were safely sheltered by the enclosed rooms his mother turned and slapped him once soundly on the cheek.
"Take it off…" she insisted through angry tears. "Now!" Angel quickly pulled the dress off but hesitated a moment before throwing it aside. Part of him really liked the dress but he didn't quite understand why he was so attracted to that dress. Maybe it was because his mother didn't want him having anything to do with it. That had to be it. His mother gave him another smack. "That's so you'll always remember Angel, always!" Angel began to cry harder than he had already allowed himself because the full gravity of his loving, but stern, mother striking him across the face.
"Why are you hitting me?" he finally bawled out, feeling the sting on his face and on his heart. His mother's face seemed to contort with mixed feelings of anger and shame.
"I won't have a queer for a son got it?" she finally barked at her sobbing son. "I got you boy clothes and you will ONLY wear boys clothes you hear me?" she demanded, fear growing in her heart. "I said did you hear me?" Angel nodded a reluctant and tearful yes and then pulled on his other clothes. Sophia was still sitting in a far away corner, not sure what to make of the spectacle before her. The older woman sighed and stalked out of the room, allowing her son to change back in silence.
"Don't let her get to you," Sophia said softly from her corner. Angel looked up, surprised to see that she was still sitting there. Two large splotches were forming on his face and a bruise was also beginning to show on his arm where his mother had angrily grabbed him.
"What do you know about it?" Angel muttered darkly, feeling a little bitter towards her for making him wear the dress.
"Look Angel, because I got HIV I got only a little longer to live. I'm real sick and if it teach me anything it's that you can't let people like her get in your way," Sophia firmly insisted, staring directly into Angel's eyes. "You gots a life to live and who knows what mights happens tomorrow," she finished, stuttering over her words slightly. Angel looked at her sadly, not sure what to say.
"If you wants to wear that dress then you should wear that dress." Angel shook his head even though her words startled him.
"It's not that easy…" he said softly before pulling his shoes on and leaving the room. Before leaving for good though he reached over and squeezed her shoulder, suddenly feeling very old.
Nearly three years later Angel was walking down the street on his way back from school. Kids had made fun of him again because he accidentally called another boy "sweetie", causing the other kids to circle them both and call them queers. With a sigh Angel approached a dingy electronics store (it was well known that the owner was very involved in the black market).
Suddenly when passing one of the televisions he heard a news headline that caused him to freeze and then wildly turn to face the T.V.
"A young girl by the name of Sophia Motrez died in the hospital early this morning after a long fight with HIV," the serious blonde woman in red read from her script, looking calm and collected about delivering the news. "Sophia was born with the deadly illness and has struggled with it ever since. The HIV turned into AIDS when her and her family were turned out into the streets after being evicted. She had caught a mild flu and was only admitted into the hospital once her condition was too dire to ignore." Angel only had to see a brief image of the little girl to recognize her before turning sadly away. He had never quite forgotten the forward young girl from the clothing store who had convinced him to wear the Santa dress.
Walking the rest of the way home and trying to hold back the tears of bitter sorrow, Angel promised himself that one day he was going to buy a Santa dress and he was going to wear it all the time. Being so young he wasn't sure why he was filled with such a desire to wear a dress but Angel just knew that he wanted to. He didn't care what his mother thought, all that mattered was what today held. Because who knew what tomorrow would bring?
A/N: Well that turned out a bit darker than I had intended… sorry. Well, thanks for reading and please review letting me know what you think!