Sweet hands lay out the blue dress upon the bed, assuring that all wrinkles are smoothed out. As she walks toward her small mahogany desk to retrieve her small necklace, she catches a glance of herself. Brown knots of hair surround her head. Her aunt, not one to approve of a sloppy appearance, gives her three slaps of the paddle for that type of sin. She grabs for the knots and her small brush and panic sets in. Thoughts are racing through her head.
No, no. She can't see me like this. It is unacceptable. What would Uncle Henry say? I can't disappoint them. Not like I disappointed them.
Her hands grip the brush tight and she grabs for the first knot on the right side of head. Her fingers dance around the knot until she feels a loose opening. Her pointer and index finger shove into the opening and, with power, tug down on the knot. A small cry hiccups out of her voice. Tears form in her blue colored eyes. She holds back from letting the tears run down her face. She can not be weak now, not on this day when her relatives will be over anytime for Thanksgiving dinner. The brush rips through the knotted mess. Strands of hair fall to the floor. Strand after strand, the knots come out and her hair glistens in whatever little sunlight makes it through the cloudy overcast. Minutes pass and, in what seem like hours, she finishes straightening out the knotted mess. She grabs for a small pink cloth, embroidered on the corner is "D.G." The cloth meets her eyes and dries the slight moisture under her eyelids. A delicate wipe around her nose clears any sign that she was crying.
A small tin jewelry box with the image of a lion pressed on the top sits on her vanity. She reaches over to open the small tin box. As she opens it, a small plastic man rises out of the box. He rests on a metal rod and begins to spin. The small man dances to the sweet tin box melody. The tin box was a small gift from her other aunt - Those were the days she wishes she could go back to. She smiles and twiddles her finger on the small plastic man's hand. Inside the box rests her small necklace. Gold in color and shining even in the low light, she gently slips her hand underneath the necklace and slowly brings the golden treasure to her neck. Her hands, gently grasping the small pins on the ends of the necklace, slide across her smooth and pale skin. The golden ends clip together after she fiddles around with them.
"Toto? You silly old dog. Don't you smell the turkey and potatoes? You should be downstairs doing doggy things. Aunt Em probably has some food for you to eat Toto and it would be a shame if anything went to waste"
Toto stares blankly at the girl and gives a small tilt in his head. The girl smiles back to Toto and walks over to rub his head, causing his raggedy fur to fluff up on his little grey head.
The girl walks back to her vanity, a little jump in each step, and reaches over to her right into a small drawer. Royal blue ribbons draped over her hand rise out of the drawer and meet her hair. The girl grabs the finely brushed hair and runs the hair from the right side of her head through her hands. Her hair is soft and she knows it; a minute passes. She grabs one of the two royal blue ribbons and begins to tie it around her hair, a few inches below where her ear is. Her hands dance through her hair and ribbon, as if her hands were doing a ballet. The ballet ends. A blue bow is tied around her hair, no flaws or uneven ties; it is perfect. She looks into the vanity mirror and glances at the bow; one side of the bow looks uneven. She cups her hand and gently pulls and tugs. Her body leans to her right, as not to tangle her hair or let any loose ends out of the tie. She repeats the ballet for the left bundle of hair.
The neatly laid out dress begs for a body to wear it. The girl hears the cries of the dress and grabs it by the straps that should rest over the shoulder. She slips into the dress; it slides perfectly over her nightclothes. She always dresses over her nightclothes so if anything were to happen, she would not have to be concerned with the hassles of wearing a dress. The blue color is not bold or strong, it is sweet and innocent. Wearing the dress, anyone would know that the girl has never done or perhaps does not know any wrongs in life. She is the ever grateful servant of perfection and acceptance. The dress is her life, a gift her aunt says. She remembers those words, she will never forget them.
"Your mother, before her passing, gave me this dress to give to you. She loved with her all her heart. She always talked about your blue eyes, your skin—Oh! How it was perfect. You're blessed and she knew it. I know it. But until you find yourself a good, Christian man, you will stay with us."
A smile stretches on the girl's face every time she hears how her mother was. She pulls out the last of the few wrinkles from the dress. She makes a "tih-tih" to Toto. Toto stretches out his old legs, and does something of a skip and walk towards the girl. It has been well over thirty minutes since the girl woke up and Auntie Em is probably wondering what she is doing. Panic once again sets in, but the feeling is only in the girl's heart. She has the sinking feeling, the feeling where the heart feels baseless and empty. She attempts to rush anytime she does not have left, but it is too late. The shrill voice from Auntie Em resonates through the stairway and halls.
"DOROTHY GALE! You have been up well over a hour! Get yourself down and make something useful out of your wasted time!"