The Girl with One Blue Dress

by Zamile Hlongwana

Her dress was more than just a clothing item, it was more than just a piece of fabric that maybe more other girls had. To her, the dress was her best friend. It was the companion that she knew will never abandon her. All she had to do was to keep the dress clean, ironed, properly stored and ready for her to wear.

Every special occasion she attended she wore her dress. She would wear it because it suited her, it made her look pretty. Every time she wore her dress, she felt like she belonged. For a moment she felt the part, she felt accepted. But most importantly, she wore her dress everywhere because it was the only nice dress she had. 

Her peers will always come with new dresses, dresses she had never seen them in before. Her dress to her was her Christmas, Easter, Birthday party and Church Sunday dress. It was her all in one. Her aunt helped in making her dress looking decent all the time. Every time she would put it on it felt like the first time. She never even realised that other girls her age noticed that she would wear the same dress all the times, she never noticed, until one day one girl asked her; “Why are you always wearing the same dress? Why you never change into other dresses that we have never seen you wearing before?” The question shocked her, it shocked her because she expected the other girls to understand, she thought they would know the reason why she wore her dress all the times. She loved it. She loved her dress. Was that not reason enough?

The next time she wore her dress, another girl asked her the same question. She told the next girl the same answer that she had given to the first girl; “I wear my dress all the times because I love it and it is pretty.” The girl looked at her puzzled and said; “I also have a pretty pink dress that I love very much, but my mom will never allow me to wear it all the times. She always says that I can wear the other dresses she buys me.” “Maybe your mom does not understand the love you have for your dress or maybe you just don’t love it the same way that I love my dress”, she replied. Why was everyone all of a sudden asking her about her dress? Why they were noticing that she is always wearing it instead of complimenting her and telling that she looks pretty like they have always done? Was her dress not looking as nice as it did before? Did she not look as pretty as they’ve always told her she did? Why would they now notice her repeating of the dress instead of singing her praises like before? What has changed? What’s different now? She still looked the same in it, does that not count for something?

Tired of hearing the same question and realising that the other girls were not buying her answer to why she wore the same dress all the times, she decided to ask her aunt. Her aunt told her that it was because her dress was getting old and weary. Her favourite dress was starting to lose its colour. It was losing all the beauty that made her feel like the prettiest girl around. She never thought that such a painful thing could ever happen to her, she thought her dress was going to be her companion forever. Her aunt told her that they will find her another dress that will be just as beautiful and well-fitting. She knew that her aunt was just trying to make her feel better, but they both know that no dress will ever come close to her beautiful dress.

She became sad and sadder every day. She was never going to be one of the pretty girls. What made her beautiful and accepted was gone and she was alone like she was before. She remembered how great she felt when she wore it for the first time and every girl wanted to play with her because of her beautiful blue dress. Everyone thought she looked like the blue sky with birds flying and the sun shining above. Now she was just an ugly girl with no one to play with. One day her aunt came back with a plastic bag and inside was a red skirt and yellow shirt. Her aunt told her that those were her new clothes. Seeing her frown, her aunt said; “Now look here, my girl. You are a pretty little girl. You are my beautiful little lady, whom I love with all my heart. The truth about the blue dress is that as beautiful as it was, it had nothing compared to you. You are the one that made that dress look as beautiful as it did. Your bright smile, your chubby cheeks, and your sparkly eyes made that dress beautiful. Without you, it was just a normal dress like any other dress out there. Here is a little secret, but don’t tell the other girls, any dress that you will ever wear will be the prettiest dress because it will be worn by the most beautiful girl ever…”

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