At a party, Lena spins the bottle. It points to a boy. He runs—her classmates laugh. "It's not funny," she cries.
Biting her nails, she slumps, not on a velour sofa, but a striped hide-a-bed. Lena's tired of watching American Bandstand. "That's enough," she says, and getting up, flips off the television. “Who wants to Bunny Hop anyway?"
Lena stands in front of the bathroom mirror, pinching pimples. I'm ugly. With glycerin acne soap and cold water, she washes her face, pats it dry with a towel, and splashes on Sea Breeze, “Ouch, that burns.” In case she's allergic to something, Lena stuffs a tissue into her shirt's top pocket. Armored for that unexpected sneeze, she leaves the room.
In her small back yard, on a section of dry ground, a fig tree grows. It’s big and bearing purple fruit.
Dressed in dungarees, Lena reaches up, picks a fig, and squeezes its skin. It bursts. Red jewel-like specks appear. She inhales the grassy scent and tastes honey in its pulp. Even though she’s eaten the fruit before, this time it's different. "This fig is magic!”
One beautiful moment: Without a looking glass, her skin is soft and smooth, her hair long and silky. Without a boyfriend, she's in love. Without music, with the fig in her hand, Lena dances.
"Lena, what are you up to?” her mother calls from the house. “It's time for supper."
"Yes, Mama." She sighs. The magic is lost for today.
Yet, tomorrow, and the day after, Lena will eat another magic fig.