Trophy

For the past several years, Nicole had won the club’s annual tournament, though the competition hadn’t been exactly fierce. Most of the other girls at the club snubbed their noses at athletics. “Oh, I hear you’re playing the games again. Do you actually enjoy it?”

Golf and tennis were the reasons Nicole had consented to join the club in the first place. Greg didn’t care what she did, as long as she made appearances from time to time, so she took long walks on the golf course, and practiced her forehand and backhand against various walls. She wasn’t sure what the other wives did, but they spent all their time at the club at the clubhouse. Playing bridge? Sipping margaritas? They probably sat around talking about what a disgrace she was, to the club, to the aristocracy and womanhood. She hoped that’s what they talked about.

“Hey,” came a voice behind her at the tennis court. “You want to go a round?” Nicole turned. Her first thought was, “I didn’t think they’d let a black girl in here,” but that was an acknowledgement of their racism, not her own. She said, “Sure!” and introduced herself.

Bethany had an amazing serve. Once they got a rally going, they seemed evenly matched, but Nicole could barely get to the ball from a standstill. “Where’d you learn to hit like that?”

“Oh, I sleep with the tennis instructor,” the woman said, but she was joking. She was tall and beautiful and quick-witted. Nicole smiled.

“Looks like I’m going to have some competition this year.”

“Wish I could say the same.”

She was only joking, Nicole told herself. She was only joking, she told the other wives, her cards face-up on the table, her cocktail salty.

#athletics, #big-fish, #classism, #jealousy, #leisure, #microfiction, #racism, #sexism, #small-pond, #sports, #the-best

Racist

Because she’d heard a lot about the outskirts of town and its low low prices, Rebecca found herself in unfamiliar territory. Compared to her home suburbs, traffic was irredeemably congested, and entirely because pedestrians crossed the street whenever and wherever they wanted.

“Use a crosswalk!” she shouted at a mother and three children, though she hadn’t meant to yell. Her window was closed and no one heard her, but she was still embarrassed. Someone behind her honked, and she instinctively lurched forward, almost colliding with a jaywalking athlete who waved as he dodged and flew away.

As her pulse quickened, she began to mutter to herself. “It’s alright. Just get what you need and go.”

The thrift store was just as chaotic, but she kept her head down and concentrated. Her cart couldn’t kill anyone, and that alone made her more comfortable. In just a few minutes, she’d found a beautiful blue silk dress in exactly her size for four dollars, and a five dollar lamp with a full light spectrum.

Those two items alone justified the trip, but as she kept looking, she found a whole new wardrobe, all nicer than her current clothes, and a suit for her husband, too. She even found a ten dollar banjo, which seemed an absurd deal, and she’d always been meaning to learn.

“Did you find everything you were looking for today?” The woman at the cash register, elderly and Indian, seemed to genuinely want to know.

“Yes, and more,” Rebecca replied, “but is it always this crowded in here?”

The woman said nothing, mechanically scanning and folding Rebecca’s new possessions.

“I really like the selection and the prices, but there’s just so many people. It’s like we’re in Calcutta.”

The woman stopped. “No, these are Mexicans,” she said.

Rebecca nodded.

#awkward, #chaos, #classism, #crosswalks, #culture, #microfiction, #racism, #shopping, #white-people