Amira Sofa / 180410150048
Dinner Date: Between House Chores and Thick Leg Hair
My mom and I did not share any similar body features. She had a pointed nose and a pair of bright big eyes. Now that mom was married and had two children, her body was still the same like the one she had in her wedding party’s pictures. The small waist, wide hips, long legs, healthy looking skin—everything was beyond great in those pictures. One thing that couldn’t be forgotten was the leg hair. Mom had none. Her legs were smooth and looking healthy.
Meanwhile, I had legs covered by thick leg hair which always made me insecure when it came to finding boyfriend. Nowadays, men were more attracted to those women who can please their eyes more than those who please their heart. That’s why having these thick leg hair was actually embarassing since no man would want to date a women with such grossy look like me. My mind was trying to look for more and more reason to tell you about why having thick leg hair was an embarassment to me when the phone rang.
“Laila, can you pick it up for me?” Mom shouted from the kitchen. She was so busy cooking for dinner. I picked up the phone so it didn’t have to ring any longer.
“Hello. This is Laila. Who’s speaking?”
There was a brief silence before a familiar voice spoke. “Hi, Laila. It’s me. I called your phone but you didn’t answer, so I made a call to your house.”
Turned out it was Robi, the guy who had been my crush for months. With a catch in my voice, I answered, “Oh…, hi Robi. I’m so sorry, I wasn’t looking at my phone. Whats up?”
“Are you free tonight for dinner?”
There was surely no other words beside ‘yes’ in my head but my voice was trembling. I couldn’t think of how to answer him since I couldn’t believe whether he was asking me out for a date or just a hangout, even though I wished he was.
“Laila, are you still there?”
“Y…, yeah. Sure.”
“Then, are you free tonight?”
I cleared my voice before I finally said yes. His voice suddenly sounded like the voice of a little boy getting a new hot wheels when he knew my answer.
“I’ll pick you up. At 7. Okay?”
“Sure.” I quickly replied as my heart skipped a beat.
“See you tonight, Laila.”
Even a minute after the call was ended, I was still holding the phone—astonished. I never thought that Robi would asked me on a date—or whatever you named it, because our relationship had never gone this far before.
“Who were you talking to, Sweety?” Mom stood beside me, her forehead was wrinkled.
“Ngg… Just a friend, Mom.”
“No, mom!” My cheeks started to blush, “At least, I haven’t known what he feels about me.” I finally revealed it. Mom smiled. She had always been my human diary, so there was nothing I could hide from her, especially this kind of matter.
“So, you’re going on a date?”
I shyly nodded. Mom looked at me from head to toe. Messy hair bun, unwashed oily face, my favorite black Nirvana sleeveless shirt, and worn out short pants. She did not stop at just that—her eyes still followed me from my toe to my head, until our eyes met each other.
“You should dress up a little bit, Laila.”
And that’s how my mom ended up dragging me to her bedroom. She opened up her wardrobe and was so busy looking for something while I was questioning what she did. “This is it!” She yelled as she brought a black mini dress with her. “This will fit you perfectly, Sweety.”
What is mom doing? Did she just ask me to wear her dress?Wait, it cannot happen just that. I don’t wear dresses. I don’t.
“Mom, what is this for?”
“Sweety, your Dad and I buy all of your clothes. We know your fashion sense as well. You have nothing in your wardrobe but all those band T-shirts, tanktops, and your lovely boyfriend jeans. At times like this, you need proper outfits, Sweetheart. And these won’t help.” Mom pointed the top I wore with her eyes.
“Mom, it’s not comfy enough for me.”
“You don’t want your boyfriend to run away, do you?” She teased me, “Oops, he’s not even your boyfriend yet. How come he wants to date a girl with such this untidy look, Sweety?”
“I can buy a new dress, Mom. No need to wear yours.” I sighed as I watched her dress. It was definitely an old one—the one she wore in her young age. The dress was actually not bad. It was an elbow sleeve dress with the color of black. There were some laces at the tip of the sleeve that made it more elegant. But still, it’s an old dress. I couldn’t wear it to my first date if I don’t want Robi to run away.
“The date is tonight, right? We don’t have enough time to buy another one, Laila. It’s already 3 pm and our car is still broken.” Mom smiled at me, “Just wear this, okay? It’s still better than your T-shirts.”
“We can call Uber anyway.”
“You promised to help me with house chores today, didn’t you?”
Yeah, mom was right. Yesterday, she told me that she would be busy cooking a lot for dinner to welcome dad who would come home from Jakarta to pick up our broken car. I volunteered to help mom doing other chores since I did not know that Robi would asked me on a date and I would be so busy searching for a dress and dolling myself up.
“You may go after finishing the house chores for me, Sweety.” Mom smiled as she stroked my hair briefly. “Anyway, this was the dress that I wore when your dad proposed to me twenty years a go. So, good luck!” said mom as she teasingly smiled at me and went away. I looked at the dress hopelessly. Just now, I wished Cinderella was a true story. If the fairy god mother happened to appear in front of me, I would surely ask for a new fancy-but-still-comfy dress for me. Unluckily, it was only a fairytale.
How if I wear this and Robi will see me as his mother rather than his date? There were so many questions in my head. I took a glance at the dress once again, observing it as if there was something wrong about the dress in my eyes. I tried to think it over for quite a long time before I finally gave up. I was about to put the dress away when I realized it. My leg hair! Of course! How could I forget? The minidress was approximately four inches above my knees. It surely would show off my leg thick hair. Gosh, I should had realized it from the very first time! Not even a second after trying to find solution for the leg hair problem, I suddenly heard mom’s voice, asking from somewhere outside the bedroom, “Laila, can you wash the dishes for me?”
I walked to the kitchen to wash some dishes. Mom was there already—just finished cooking main courses and started to make desserts. She smiled at me, “Thank you, Sweety. Don’t forget the laundry and other chores, okay?” What she meant by the other chores were actually doing the laundry, drying them, and probably some others. I gave in to mom. No matter how busy I was for the date, I still needed to keep my promises to her. On the other hand, I had to find a way to overcome this leg hair problem. Wearing stocking was not definitely a choice since it won’t match the dress. The only solution that came across my mind was only to shave my leg hair. Wait, where did I put my Veet?
Suddenly, I heard someone laughing at me, “It’s spilling over!!!” Azka, my little brother was standing in front of me.
“The foam. It’s spilling all over the sink. Mom asked the wrong person to do this!”
Of course it was not the first time Azka got on my nerves. We had been in such love and hate relationship since the first time he was born because I was jealous that mom cared so much about him. I turned off the tap, dried my hands, and stooped right in front of him so our faces were in front of each other.
“Listen, my lovely little brother,” I took a heavy breath before finally continued, “Thank you for reminding me that the foam spilled over, but…, about mom asking me to wash all these, IT’S NOT EVEN YOUR BUSINESS!!!”
Azka was just laughing and went away. Finished with all the dishes, I started to do the laundry. There were so many clothes to be washed. I turned on the washing machine and put all the clothes together in a bin. That was when I realized that I had not found my Veet yet, so I decided to wear stocking eventhough that did not match the dress at all. Luckily, I found my stocking was in the laundry bin. As fast as I could, I put all the clothes in the machine and now all I had to do was to wait for 18 minutes until the clothes were dried.
“Have you done doing the laundry, Sweety?” Mom yelled from somewhere in the house.
“Then come here. Your brother needs your help.”
Wait, what? Did she just say my brother? Did she meant Azka? Ah, of course. I have no other brothers. I followed mom’s voice reluctantly. It led me to Azka’s bed room and mom was already there when I came. “Get along with your sister, okay? At least until your room is tidy.” Mom stroked Azka’s hair gently before she passed by me. I heard a whisper in my ear, “Please help your brother cleaning up his room. He may needs some help.”
Right after mom disappeared, Azka laughed loudly, “Bye, my lovely sister!” He approached the door to leave. Where is he going?As if he can read my mind, he yelled from the front of his room, “My friends are waiting for football!”
It was not easy to clean up Azka’s room since it was so messy like a warehouse. I spent almost one and a half hour to make it clean like before. Yeah, I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t remember my promise to mom. Right after I finished making up his bed—the clock in his wall rang, telling me it was 5.00 pm. It meant I had two hours before Robi would picked me up and I hadn’t shave my legs and dry the stocking in the laundry. So I went back to the washing machine to put all the clothes off and hang them outside so they would be dried.
The stocking was there. I knew that it was impossible to wear it tonight since it was not dried yet and the sun was not up anymore, but I just went for it. I hoped for any miracles so that this plan B would work. Okay, so let’s get back to plan A. I ran back to the house and looked for my Veet anywhere I could when someone stopped me from running.
“Done cleaning up the room?”
“Your brother?” Her eyes were looking around, “Where is he?”
“Football with his friends.”
“He did not help you?”
I nodded reluctantly and said, “Mom, I need to get ready. I need to find something before leaving.”
“Something? What is that?”
She was so worried but I didn’t answer her. All I did was going away to my bedroom to look for Veet. I could hear mom’s yell from a far, “Laila, what are you looking for, Sweety?” This time, I answered her, “Veet, Mom.” I had been looking for it for a long time before I finally realize that it was already 6.20 pm and there were so many things I hadn’t done. I stopped looking for Veet. Instead, I tried to think clearly about which one should I did first. My stocking!
I walked fast to the backyard, where I hang up the clothes to see if they were dried yet. There, I found all of them were not dried, and…. OH MY LORD, BIRD POOP ON MY STOCKING!!! I almost cried when I touched my stocking and realized how stinky the poop was. The stocking was that disgusting so I threw it away on the grass. This situation really got on my nerves. I ran back home and that was when I realized I couldn’t hold it any longer! I slammed my bedroom’s door and locked myself there.
“Laila, what happened?” Mom knocked on my door several times after hearing the slamming door. I didn’t answer but Mom knew I wasn’t okay just by hearing me crying. “Sweety, let me come in, okay?” There was a brief time before I opened the door and let her come. Mom was confused after looking at my hopeless face, “ What happened, Sweety?”
“M…my leg hair, Mom. I couldn’t find the Veet and a bird pooped on my stocking.”
Mom embraced me and whispered, “You’re ashamed of your leg hair?” I nodded, and she looked at me in the eyes, “Believe me, Sweety. If he really likes you, then he won’t mind about it.”
“How if he minds?”
“Then, he doesn’t really like you. Just let him go.”
Deep in my heart, I was still afraid about Robi being disgusted with my thick leg hair, but there was nothing I could do since I said it was 6.40 pm and I said yes already. “Now, let me help you with the dress, okay?”
So with mom’s help, I got ready for my dinner date at the very last minute. I had already wore the black mini dress, and mom had also styled my hair and gave me necklace to wear. The thick leg hair? It was exposed. Robi arrived at exactly 7 pm. He looked at me from head to toe—yes, and also my thick leg hair. He smiled. He did not mind. “You’re so beautiful, Laila.” He handed me a bouquet of flowers and asked for mom’s permission to take me to dinner. As we started to leave the house, I kissed mom on the cheek and whispered, “Thank you, Mom. I shouldn’t feel insecure from the very first time.”
Mom stroked my hair gently and smiled as Robi said, “C’mon, Laila.”
We waved at her and I never saw her smile was more beautiful than that day. The day when I realized that there were still some people who loved me for who I was.
Word count: 2.496 words