Chapter nine: Azul Phroto.
So I followed him down alleys and roads, through playgrounds and row houses, until I was quite tired.
Finally we reached a plain brick wall. The man waited until I was right by his side and then took a piece of cardboard and inserted it into a crack in the wall.
The wall didn’t seem to change, except for one thing: a bronze doorknob seemed to appear out of nowhere. The man turned it and the wall opened like a door. He stepped inside and I followed.
I stood there in awe. There were no words for this magical place. Purple and orange flowers adorned a beautiful wooden mansion, with stained glass windows and a rustic door. There were roses of all colors and a hammock. There were trees full of tropical birds like toucans and parrots. Some were cracking nuts. There was a garden filled with more roses and a few fountains. There was a goldfish pond with fishes that were actually gold, not orange or yellow. Even though the sky was grey outside, it was sunny and bright here. There was so much to see that I couldn’t soak it all in.
“Clus ur mooth.” The man said, tapping my shoulder.
“Um, what?” I asked. This was the first time he was speaking to me, even if the words made no sense. The man pointed to my mouth and pinched his fingers together. He wanted me to close my mouth. I didn’t even realize that it was open in the first place.
“Oh,” I said, doing as he asked me, “What is your name?” I asked, speaking slowly as if he had trouble understanding me.
“Azul Phroto.” He said. He seemed to know how to pronounce his name better than anything else he said.
When I was in 6th grade I took Spanish class. I didn’t remember very much but I knew that “azul” meant blue. Hmm, was that a coincidence?
“Well, Mr. Phroto—”
“Nu,” Azul said, “Yu cawl meh Azul”
I understood that well enough, so I said:
“Well, Azul, I have lots of questions—” But Azul held up a hand and told me to wait—or rather, “wat.”
He went indoors and five minutes later returned with a piece of paper. It was just like the other long letter he had sent me. It said:
I am sure you have many questions, but before they are answered we need to get you back in that circus.
Okay, first of all, I did not want to get back into that circus. My boss fired me, and that was it. I knew that he did not want me back in there, and he would never let me back in, no exceptions.
I opened my moth to protest, but Azul put his hand on my shoulder gently and led me to his mansion’s door, pushing me inside.
The floor was green marble, with a white and tan carpet. There were two sets of stairs and one elevator, with a cute little side table with a photo of a large ginger cat. The walls were lined with doors and each one led into a marvelous living room or TV room. There was a large crystal chandelier on the ceiling.
But the best thing was that the whole place was covered in birds.
On the chandelier and tables and also flying around was every kind of bird imaginable. There were canaries and parakeets and flamingos and peacocks. Storks were standing in a small fountain on the side of the room.
I stared at Azul with my mouth open again. He waved his hand as if all the birds were nothing.
Azul led me into the elevator and pressed the top button. A few moments later we were in the attic of his home.
There were clothes and clothes and clothes everywhere, neatly folded into boxes or hung up on poles. There were about three dressers, and boxes and drawers full of fake noses, lipsticks, blushes and makeup. There were fake heads with and endless amount of wigs on them, from strawberry blonde to raven black. There were also cases full of necklaces and wedding rings. The place looked like a giant fashion shop.
Azul gestured to one of the dresser chairs, and began giving me a total makeover.
First, he have me a fake nose, which is rather uncomfortable when you put it on. It was pointier and longer than my usual nose, which was a bummer because I like my regular nose. It also looked weird because it was a dark color, which made me look like a dog, and my skin is peach.
Then he used some sort of paste and made my skin all dark. I looked like an African lady. Now the nose didn’t look so bad. Then he made my cheekbones look as though they were sucked in, and then he made my lips brown.
Then he curled my hair and cut it (which made me kind of mad because I loved my long, waist length hair.) now it was a shoulder-length cut. Then he died it black.
And last but not least, he put some lenses on so that my eyes were a dark chocolate brown instead of my blue. I looked like a completely different person.
Azul took a notebook out of his pocket and began to scribble me a note:
You can use this new look so that your boss will not recognize you when you ask for a new job.
“But I don’t want to go back!” I cried out. “It’s horrible having to get only 6 dollars a month, and surely he won’t give me a different job, right? He doesn’t need any new dancers or acrobats or anything!”
“No,” Azul said firmly, “Yu grow back.” (He meant, “You go back”.)
“Why?” I asked. “Tell me why!” again Azul picked up his notebook and wrote me another note. He seriously needed some speaking lessons.
The only way you can achieve your dream is to go back to the circus and work for it. In the meantime, you can stay here with me. I have plenty of room, as you can see. NO MORE ARGUING!
I sighed and nodded. Lately, I hadn’t been thinking about my dream to be an acrobat at all. I had lost hope completely. But if this man wanted to help me, I say I would let him do it.
Azul led me to some of the rooms in the house. First he showed me the bathroom, which was complete with a bath and a shower and a gigantic mirror. Then there was the library, with books on any subject you could think of. Then there was the TV room.
But best of all was the guest room. It was in all of my favorite colors, as if Azul had known it and had this room designed specially for me.
Or, you know, it could be just a coincidence.
The bed covers were red and yellow striped, and the carpet was a white and red. The closet was made from birch wood, my favorite kind of wood. There was also a window that looked out to the beautiful garden at the back of the mansion. This room was everything I would have ever wanted.
Azul pointed to the bathroom door and then to the closet. Then he acted out eating and pointed to the stairs. I guess he wanted me to wash up (I was quite dirty) get dressed, and go down to eat. I nodded and he left the room.
I wish I had a bathroom like the one in Azul’s house. The bathtub was so big that it could be a pool. There were all different types of soaps, creams and bubble baths. After pouring a little of this and a little of that into the bath, I stepped inside.
There was foam and bubbles everywhere. I splashed around and got soap in my eyes. That was the only downside part of the evening.
When I finally had enough of the bath, I went into my room and opened the closet door. There were dresses and shirts and bathing suits and jeans and shorts all my size. I gasped in delight and dressed up in a dark green skirt and a white shirt. Then I made my way downstairs.