An introduction to Ms. Cumbrè

She held her cigarette with her left arm, placing it on her mouth. She then began to cautiously chew it, feeling the specs of old tobacco on her tongue and barely even caring about swallowing them. Tossing her straight black hair outside of her left cheek, she lighted the cigarette in a rather undainty manner, while twisting the upper part of her lips to the left and squinting her large Elizabeth Taylor eyes, as usual. She was then comfortable enough to start her read of Sailor Song, knowing the old café ladies from three years before were staring.

From a far she could listen to the habitual laments of years back; they haven’t changed, “poor Miss Cumbrè, thirty-four years old and still not married.”

“Oh, Mrs. Cumbrè must be so worried for her only daughter!”

At their commentaries, she smirked, and at the looks of older men walking by, she ignored.

Half an hour later she closed her book, and began the walk to her estranged home. The path looked much the same, so did the trees whose branches saluted each other on top of the roads in the twilight of an upcoming mid-July night. The return was always nostalgic. She especially enjoyed contemplating the veteran houses, with their picturesque New Orleans appearance and with the American Flag on top of their rather atypical mahogany doors painted in different colors: yellow, white, and blue. Of course, it was not all pleasant, for her old streets –though beautiful indeed- reminded her of the struggle she went through in order to conform, only to understand that she merely did not, but most importantly, that she did not have to. As a child, she would sit back and observe the other children play, climb trees, and converse insignificances, while she read a book. Occasionally, she would force herself to play, crafting a pretend-smile on her lips, and as much as she would make herself believe that her smile was genuine, deep inside she knew it was not. Now, however, the thought of nonconforming gave her ease, for she understood that the world was rarely black and white, but a complex spectrum of colors and shades.

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