"Don't you have any black friends?"
I was nine and not quite sure what that meant. My dad parked our high-top conversion van in the library parking lot and stood in the aisle, just looking at me.
I had been telling him about my fight with my best friend Morgan and how I didn't think we'd be friends anymore, which was bad because I didn't make friends easily. My dad kept staring and so I thought, for the first time, of my friends in color. I went down the list of everyone I knew, looking for a darker one so as not to disappoint my dad.
I came up empty.
"Why does it matter?" I asked him. Did seeing in color really matter?
I don't remember his answer. I do remember looking in the mirror and seeing somebody I didn't know looking back at me. What was this the person everyone saw? This mixed kid in the mirror was not the person I knew, not the person I imagined myself to be.
How could someone know the real me, when all they had to go by was my face?
I hated it.