“Nika, did you do highlight your hair?” A co-worker asked.
“No, I just combed it,” I responded.
No sooner had I finished my sentence than a male co-worker, who I rarely see because he’s on the overnight shift said, “how are you?”
“Fine. You know me. Same old, same old.”
“Well, you look good. I like the hair.”
“It does look pretty,” said a second male co-worker.
“Thank you, both,” I replied. “If you want it to look like this all the time, I’ll need volunteer to blow it out. “
I’m the first to admit my beauty regiment is non-existent. I wash my face with bar soap. I use regular lotion on my skin. I rinse my hair and put into a ponytail. I don’t wear makeup or blow dry or flat iron my hair regularly. My outfits are always clean and pressed but I generally don’t wear a dress, skirt or heels, especially with a bad back. I don’t even go to hair or nail salon unless I have a wedding or another special event. But, when I woke today I felt like I looked tired so I decided to do something to brighten up my appearance.
For the rest of the work day no one mentioned my look. It was when I hit the street after work, I noticed the difference in people’s reactions to me.
Normally, people see me coming and stare at my cane then give me an awkward smile. On my way to the fruit stand this time, I got smiles that didn’t drift to or from my cane.
“Good evening, sister,” said the fruit man. “How are you today? You look great.”
“Thank you, I responded.
“You look beautiful. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
As I looked up from picking apples, the fruit man had grapes in his hand. He put those in my bag along with an orange. Then he says, “For you. Have a good Valentine’s Day.”
“Thank you. You too.”
I accepted the fruit and the compliment. I walked away with a smile as my hair blew in the night air, pleased my natural beauty was appreciated.
Read Days 1-42: https://nikabeamon.com
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