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Moving, a bright spot of metallic green creeps along the peeling green paint of the bus stop bench.

I stare at it, not really seeing it, but it distracts me from thoughts of the Creep.

Hey, baby,” he’d said, and I could tell he was a creep just from that. But it got worse. “Is that your natural colour or have you been rubbing your face in the potting soil?” He leered at me, like what he’s just said was a pick-up line instead of a racial slur. At least I think it was a racial slur; it was kind of a weird one.

I guess maybe he was trying to find out it I was a white woman with a dark tan and naturally curly hair, or a lighter-skinned black woman. I knew that looking up at him would probably only confuse the issue, because even though my facial features are pretty definitively African, thanks to my Nubian dad (his choice of wording—I think he likes the connection to ancient Egypt the word “Nubian” evokes), my eyes are that odd greenish-greyish-bluish that gets lumped in under the term “hazel.”

My fingers clenched on the plant I was repotting and I felt the stems crush and pulp under my grip. Damn. I took this job to get better at dealing with living things, not to kill them.

I finally looked up at the Creep, wondering what the hell I was supposed to say to that.Yes, I have brown skin, but isn’t this the twenty-first century?

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