The first time I saw Sarah was in her mother’s car on the first day of school.
Her Mum had been holding up her Brown almost golden brown hair in a long braid. I’d watched as my own mother zoomed out of the school parking lot in her old Mercedes with a promise that daddy would pick me up by 2pm. I’d stood there backpack, ill fitted uniform and all and watched as mother and daughter chatted and exchanged a quick laugh. I heard someone call out her name and saw her turn and wave, flashing a wide smile.
Sarah Person was a girl to be admired or envied if you’d like for a whole lot of reasons.
First she had that name. I grew up watching a lot of cartoons and reading British feel good stories and a name like that sounded like one just out of those stories. It seemed to suit her perfectly too. Second, she had the skin colour. So unusually pale you would wonder if she had some deficiency but you couldn’t quite call that. I mean it would be an offence to use such a word where she was concerned. Then she had those eyes-an unusual shade of brown, widening at the pupils and shaded by long sooty lashes. One look at her and you just knew she was one of the lucky few who would rarely have to use mascara. And of course the brownish-gold mane of hair. She had it braided that morning but I was sure if she let it loose, it’d billow down her waist… or something. Now to avoid sounding love sick, I’ll say in one word, she was beautiful. I would discover later that Sarah didn’t only have her looks going for her, she was also friendly. I mean by the end of the formal assembly, she already had a passel of giggling girls thronging after her. Saint that I was, I kept my distance. Not that I envied her or anything… okay maybe just a little (and can you blame me?) I just wasn’t much for making friends.
My first day at school very much unlike Sarah’s was quite uneventful. I was four ft seven, had dark brown eyes, dark skin and thick Black hair that could never stay straight for long. My mum usually plaited my hair in tight cornrows; that was the only way it every stayed put. I never really paid much attention to how I looked before. I knew what my face looked liked for I had seen my reflection several times in the mirror. But to take note of what exact shade my eyes and skin were, whether or not my lashes were long and sooty (and they were not), such things never occurred to me till I met Sarah. Not that I was completely unappealing or anything, cause Hey, you certainly could do much worse in a ten year old, I was just one of those kids who were hardly ever noticed and I was certain I was going to remain that way till I grew into my school uniform.