When she walked down the street, holding Salim's hand, it felt strange. Strange because they didn't look strange, not to the world. Just another brown-skinned couple. Before, it had always felt like people were looking at her, at the white boy beside her, at their hands interlaced, dark skin against pale. Tarani knew she was dark for a Sri Lankan -- too dark for anyone from the old country to think she was beautiful. Her mother had a tube of 'Fair and Lovely' bleaching cream, though Tarani had never actually seen her use it. In Sri Lanka, they would have called Tarani a 'blackie' -- but the boys who grew up here didn't seem to feel the same way. Or at least Salim didn't. He didn't mind her skin.
When he walked beside her, no one looked at them -- or if they did, they looked at him, at how tall and handsome he was. She'd taken white boys up to the Indian neighborhood on Devon, and enjoyed the scandalized looks on some of the restaurant workers' faces. She'd held hands with those white boys across the table, leaned over and kissed them, just so the whispers from the back would get a little louder. If she took Salim to Devon, the only whisper would be, "What is such a handsome boy doing with such an ugly girl?"
Writing this morning. Is nice. Excerpt, for your Monday morning pleasure (hopefully pleasure, anyway :-).