Hassya versus Heather

Hassya wears glasses, sometimes brow plastic ones and other times silver metal ones. Her brown hair is often twisted into small braids or gathered into a bun but it’s rarely visible because she always wears a headscarf out in public. On her right arm, she bears eight green, yellow, red and white beaded bracelets. On her left, a $10 Timex watch, a fabric band with “let it be” inscribed in a cursive purple and multi-colored beaded bracelet with seven letter beads: DLTBGYD. Her legs are covered in long skirts, which are wearing from the dust and sun, and mismatched with a solid, cotton t-shirt.

Once a month, she washes her hair and her growing locks are free to dangle and curl however they wish. She wisps a portion off to the side with a bobby pin. Small pieces of clear, with a hint of blue, plastic form to her eyeballs, bringing her world to focus and keeping those frames in their protective cases. Those skirts also stay in the luggage as she readjusts to wearing pants or something that reveals a calf, or even a knee. Her favorite shirt for these few days is a soft, dark gray one with the name of a band no one else knows printed backwards.

She looks in the mirror, and suddenly, she isn’t Hassya anymore. She is Heather. She is blessed for this new life and knows it will make her better for the next, but the girl with curly hair who laughs more than she should is still there. No matter the setting or transformation, that girl will always be at the foundation of the person on the outside.

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