The same sign hung on the door and she squinted her big brown eyes a little,letting the smaller, bright pink print come into focus. "Help Wanted,"it read, "Part or full-time!" It was her third time this month walkinginto this store to ask the same question. Even though the first time was the mostnerve-wracking, her white skin still shivered, and she felt butterflies ofnervousness dance around in her stomach.
She looked around, trying to findthe African-American manger she'd talked to the week before. She spotted her,talking to her co-workers, who were all African-American. Her legs started intheir direction and she felt a little unsettled, noticing how they stared at heras if she didn't belong. Did she?
"Hi," she said. "Iapplied for a job here last month and I never got a call back ..." Onelooked at another, which triggered her to look at the manager, who crossed herarms and stared at the girl for a moment.
"We're still lookin'through 'em, alright?" she told her.
"B-but," shestarted to respond, but the woman quickly walked away, making her way through theracks of t-shirts to fold a pair of jeans. She fixed her dark chocolate eyes onher feet, and collected some courage.
She looked up with a smile, callingout, "Maybe I'll try again next week?"
"Yeah, sure,"she said. And with that, the girl walked out of the store.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.