“Vat is dat shana?” “Oh, I’m studying fashion design.” The woman stared at her blankly, so Mira referred to her outfit, sweeping her delicate fingers along the buttons, then gesturing to her own trim waistline. Still no response, so Mira unzipped her portfolio and the woman shimmied in closer. Their heads touched slightly as they looked through the several sketches in Mira’s book. The woman reached out and ran her pinky over one of the drawings. Most were of attractive young women all wearing Mira’s designs. Some actually resembled Mira, especially those wearing beauty marks placed precisely on the left check. The fashions themselves were upscale and elegant, not what anyone would expect emanating from an eighteen-year-old’s imagination. Mira had used her palette of paints to simulate fabrics like shiny satins and textured velvets. Her brush strokes were so fine that she managed to create the illusion of fur trim along a sweeping dolman sleeve. She used sparkles of silver and gold glitter to indicate beading.
Her teachers had constantly showered her with praise, and some of their notes were written in the far corners of the sketches: “Spectacular, Mira!” or “Mira, no doubt you have a future in couture.”
Excerpt from The Sweetness
Copyright granted by Sande Boritz Berger
Rosha finds some solace in her doll with blonde braids, and tries to mark the passage of time by writing the number of each day with a fork on the wall behind her cot.
“I felt my heart beating so fast as I wrote it and he ran with the girl through the ghetto.”