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Abergine

“Where is the name Abergine from?”  The woman asked as they entered the end of their introductions.  She told the woman, anticipating the true motivation of the question, that her mother was Indian and her father was Croatian.  The name wasn’t necessarily from either heritage.  They simply liked the way it sounded.

“Do `you have a nickname.” She asked further creeping her way under Abergine’s skin.

Stubbornly Abergine answered, “no.  I love my name.  Why would I change it?”

The woman sitting in front of Abergine had a face that mimicked that of a pug.  Her features were very close together and even when she smiled, she looked as though she was frowning.  She was an unattractive woman, and while Abergine hated to admit it, she had very little patience for people who were  unattractive in more ways than one.  She had to remind herself to be pleasant, because her instinct was to simply stand up and walk away.  Many people would argue that she was unattractive for thinking this way, but she would argue she was honest.

Her knee length cotton dress hugged her body, revealing her perfect imperfections.  She knew she was beautiful, however she found it irritating when other people did not see their own beauty.  Self doubt and pity were two things she detested in human nature.

The slightly overweight woman sitting in front of her asked some more questions that were expected of her in this first interaction.  “Where are you from? What do you do?  Are you single?  Do you have kids?  What brings you to London?”  Abergine forced a smile and answered all of them as well as she could. Pug woman did not change her facial expression once, exposing her disinterest in the conversation. Abergine scanned the room looking for a way to escape.  She feels her face flush and thanks God for her dark complexion.  She told Pug woman that she had to use the ladies room.  As she stood her dress let go of the ripples in her skin revealing her curves and allowed people to see her grow from a crumpled, unhappy young woman into an upright, freed goddess.

The front door was just a couple feet beyond the bathroom, making her escape simple and flawless.

She loved riding the tube.  When she was on it she observed and these observations gave her the power to create the stories of the lives surrounding her.  The tube was where magic still existed.    She could meet anyone.  She could be anyone.

During childhood Abergine tried hard to find her place amongst the groupings of children.  She wanted desperately to feel understood.  She was angry that the children wouldn’t simply agree with her way of thinking.  But it was not the standard way and so she learned to fight young.  She was stubborn and strong and not ashamed of either trait.

This tube ride was no different from the rest.  She created exciting stories about artists and lovers and all out war and protest and peace and romance and sex and family.  Her eyes relayed the images of these people dressed in their conservative work attire, suits and ties and heels and panty hose and transformed them into who she thought they would be without societal norms and conventions.  They became alive and vibrant in front of her eyes.

Abergine maintained her place outside of all social circles.  This allowed her to do what she loved.  Observe. Create. Love those who matter. Ignore the rest and construct her own reality.  She had a temper inside her that flared when she interacted with those who she despised most.  The apathetic. The untrue.

There were many moments she became frustrated with herself.  “Society gets the best of everyone” she would tell herself.  “It turns you into a person you can’t stand, eventually constructing a conflicted soul who doesn’t know how to live.  Those who give in to criticism and norms are considered boring, unoriginal.  Those who protest and fight are considered abnormal, crazy, weird, confused.”  And so she picked carefully how to act in every situation.  She felt that this was easier than exposing her peculiar insides to the world.

She watched the man sitting across from her doze off to the constant rattling the tube created as it sped towards its destination.  She couldn’t blame him.  He did not see the color she saw.  His reality was black and white.

Abergine was a stunning, curvaceous, loving, angry, frustrated, passionate, genuine contradiction.

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