Room D6

As she stepped out of the elevator, Jacinta heard the snickers. Brittle shards of derision shimmer down from the ceiling. She resisted the urge to pat down her edges. A trio of petite nearly identical blondes chatting in a triangle looked at her and laughed directly. Round and brown, Jacinta maneuvered around the other dancers down the narrow hallway. The once white walls were hand smudged gray and the floors tired yellow pine parquet. The Grecian columned facade on the dance studio was a grand painted face on a faded body. Jacinta thought about seeing old timey movie stars in retro tv shows and smiled to herself. Unaware she adjusted her mocha tights under her long jacket.
In her hand, a used shopping list with the ingredients for oxtail stew on one side and a date, time, and room number on the other. The scrap of paper in her abuela’s hand and her own was a talisman. It had been carried from the kitchen to her bedroom mirror to her backpack inner pocket. The words had been written across her chest with each heartbeat from the time of the call until she walked up the main staircase, A tall boy in a leotard pretended to cough the phrase “fat ass.” Another storm cloud of laughter thundered down the hall. A slender olive complexion girl turned her face to the corner. Reading down the room numbers, Jacinta looked at her note and stopped in front of a studio door.
“Yo, you looking for something?” A young dancer asked leaning in a graceful pose against the door jamb.
Her sharp eyed friend add under her breath, “The KFC is that away,.”
“Thank you but I know the way,” Jacinta said simply. She turned the knob and stepped in.

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