Science vs. Sisterhood

My biology teacher once told us about autumn leaves. “Leaves are filled with chlorophyll,” she said, watching to make sure we were writing this down. “The chlorophyll colors the leaves green. In the fall, it dies, leaving the leaves to become their natural shades of yellow or orange before they die too.”

I wrote this down in my notebook, sure that someday it would be important. But, I figured we had learned about photosynthesis in third grade. So, whatever. I drew pictures for the rest of class.

My big sister Andrea had a different explanation for me.

“Everyone wants to fit in when they start high school,” she told me, outside one afternoon. “They want to wear the right clothes, everything. They dress up like the leaves do, in green.”

I nod, accepting my sister’s explanation for my safety in the universe.

“But eventually, you’ll want to strip out of that costume. That’s when your real colors will kick in. Be visible. You know?”

“Yeah,” I replied.

That was seven years ago. And I still don’t know…

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