Compliments

You’re a very pretty girl, the little old lady at the check-out counter of the grocery store tells the girl as she rings up her meager purchase of oranges, a pack of mints and a water bottle.

Thank you, the girl says, slightly blushing.

The girl walks to her car smiling, an extra spring in her step as the sun shines above her. She slides in behind the driver’s wheel. She pulls out her little mirror from her purse and looks into her brown eyes and wonders what makes the old lady think she’s pretty.

Is it her slightly protruding collarbones?

Her smile?

The fact that she wore make-up?

Maybe it’s her dress?

Her slightly golden sun-kissed skin?

Is this something that all employees have to do?

Make the customers feel special with compliments?

What if I’m not really special at all, she thinks. Her shoulders slump, that lady doesn’t know her. Her smile disappears. She probably doesn’t even think I’m  pretty, she grumbles. She throws the mirror on the passenger seat and pulls out of the parking lot as a cloud crosses the sky, covering the sun.

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