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    是我——妈妈。妈妈说。我开了门,她站在那里拎着大盒小包,是新衣服,是的,她买了袜子、一件上面有朵玫瑰花的背带裙和一件粉红条间白条的裙子。鞋子呢?我忘了。现在太晚了,我好累哟。唉。

    已经六点半了。我小表弟的洗礼式已经过了。一天都在等待,门锁着。没人来别开门。我没开,直到妈妈回来,什么都买回来了,就忘了鞋子。

    现在拿乔叔叔开着车来了。我们得赶去圣血<span class="" data-note="Precious Blood,指基督被钉在十字架上时流的血,可洗净世人的罪。"></span>教堂,因为洗礼晚会在那里举行。他.们今天租了那里的地下室用来跳舞和吃玉米肉粽。家家户户的孩子满地乱跑。

    妈妈跳呀笑呀又跳。忽然,她不舒服了。我用一个纸碟对着她滚烫的脸扇风。玉米肉粽太多了,可拿乔叔叔这句话也说太多遍了,他用拇指按了按嘴唇。

    每个人都在笑,除了我,因为我穿着粉红条间白条的新裙子、新内衣和新袜子,却套了双旧凉鞋,那是穿去学校的鞋子,棕色间白色的,那种我每年九月就会得到的鞋子,因为它很耐用,实在耐用。鞋面都磨圆了,鞋跟也歪了,配身上的衣服显得好笨。于是我只好坐在那里。

    这时那个男孩来请我跳舞,可我不能。他是我的一个表哥,在第一次圣餐会<span class="" data-note="天主教的一种仪式,是父母为迎接自己的孩子进入教会,进入教徒的家庭而举行的一次亲朋好友的聚会。"></span>还是什么时候认识的。我只是把脚缩在贴有圣血教堂标签的金属折叠椅下面,还从椅子下面摘到一粒黏在上面的褐色香口胶。我摇头说不。我的脚好像越来越大了。

    拿乔叔叔拉呀拉我的胳膊,妈妈买的衣服多新都没用,只是我的脚太难看了,直到我那个撒谎者叔叔说,你是这里最漂亮的姑娘,你能跳支舞吗?不过我相信他的话,是的,我们<samp></samp>跳了起来,我的拿乔叔叔和我,我只是开始不想跳。我的脚肿了,老大老沉,像铅垂一样。可我拖着它们走过油麻毯到了正中央,拿乔叔叔想在那里炫一下我们新学会的舞蹈。叔叔转动着我,我细长的胳膊照他教的那样弯曲着,妈妈在看,小表弟在看,那个我第一次圣餐会认识的表哥也在看,大家都说,这两个人怎么跳得像电影里的一样啊。跳到后来,我忘记了自己穿的只是很平常的鞋子,棕色间白色的,那种妈妈每年买了给我上学的鞋子。

    音乐停下来时,我听到的都是掌声。叔叔和我一起鞠了一躬,然后他护送穿着厚鞋子的我走回到妈妈身边,妈妈为她是我的妈妈而骄傲。整个夜晚,那个是男人的男孩都在看我跳舞。他看我跳舞。

    <h3 class="ter">clas</h3>

    It's me——Mama, Mama said. I open up and she's there with bags and big boxes, the new clothes and, yes, she's got the socks and a new slip with a little rose on it and a pink-and-white striped dress. What about the shoes? I fot. Too late now. I'm tired. Whew!

    Six-thirty already and my little cousin's baptism is over. All day waiting, the door locked, don't open up for nobody, and I don't till Mama gets bad buys everything except the shoes.

    Now Unacho is ing in his car, and we have to hurry to get to Precious Blood Church quick because that's where the baptism party is, in the basemeed for today for dang and tamales and everyone's kids running all over the place.

    Mama dances, laughs, dances. All of a sudden, Mama is sick. I fan her hot face with a paper plate. Too many tamales, but Unacho says too many this and tilts his thumb to his lips.

    Everybody laughing except me, because I'm wearing the new dress, pink and white with stripes, and new underclothes and new socks an<var></var>d the old saddle shoes I wear to school, brown and white, the kind I get every September because they last long and they do. My feet scuffed and round, and the heels all crooked that look dumb with this dress, so I just sit.

    Meanwhile that boy who is my cousin by first union or something asks me to dand I 't. Just stuff my feet uhe metal folding chair stamped Precious Blood and pi a wad of brown gum that's stuck beh the seat. I shake my head no. My feet growing bigger and bigger.

    Then Unacho is pulling and pulling my arm and it doesn't matter how he dress Mama bought is because my feet are ugly until my uncle who is a liar says, You are the prettiest girl here, will you dance, but I believe him, and yes, we are dang, my Unacho and me, only I don't want to at first. My feet swell big and heavy like plungers, but I drag them across the linoleum floor straight ter where Uncle wants to show off the new dance we learned. And Uncle spins me, and my skinny arms bend the way he taught me, and my mother watches, and my little cousins watch, and the boy who is my cousin by first union watches, and everyone says, ho are those two who dance like in the movies, until I fet that I am wearing only ordinary shoes, brown and white, the kind my mother buys each year for school.

    And all I hear is the clapping when the music stops. My uncle and me bow and he walks me ba my thick shoes to my mother who is proud to be my mother. All night the boy who is a man watches me dance. He watched me dance.

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