Nadine was the odd child who liked layering clothes; kneesocks, tights and legwarmers sticking out from shirts and sweaters that fell almost to the edge of her skirt.
She liked gloves and sometimes wore them with mittens.
There were tams with tassels and saucer-like wide-brimmed hats, all topped with ribbons and sometimes a flower–even one that looked like a Bird of Paradise plant. Her hair underneath was long, very long, likely down to her hips but wound up in plaits and wrapped around her head like a crown.
Her mother thought she was cold. Her father just thought she was fat. Her brother bounced off of her running to the table, the TV, through the hallways in school. He thought it was fun, that she was quite funny. Unlike most brothers, he liked Nadine a lot.
She didn’t have many friends, most frightened away by the heaviness of a mood that matched her appearance. Dark, mistaken as sullen, she was a genius inside of her cave, mumbling out correct answers her teachers would need to bend forward to hear.
One night as Nadine was undressing for bed, laying out the pajamas and nightgown and socks and bedjacket that she would wear, she glanced in a mirror. The mirror reflected her room and her bed, her clothes in a pile on the floor, but somehow, she wasn’t there.