Leslie Lockett


Past Perfect Essay
by Leslie Lockett

Do you remember Contempo Casuals? When I was an adolescent, that store was about as hip and sophisticated as you could get in St. Charles, Missouri. On one of my many trips to Mid Rivers Mall, I went to Contempo with my best friend and spotted the most fantastic brown corduroy pea coat I’d ever seen. It was hanging up on the wall so high that I had to ask one of the girls who worked there to take it down with a hook…I tried it on; it was absolutely perfect in every way. It was one of those clothing items that looks and feels like it was made just for you. You can’t even pinpoint what makes it so perfect on you, and that is part of the magic. I took it off and examined the price tag–$60. For someone who got an allowance of $15 a week and immediately spent it on cd’s, this was a no go.A week later, I returned with my mom and pined over the coat. Long story short, eventually my grandmother bought it for me for Christmas. It became a daily staple of my wardrobe. Every time I wore it, people would compliment me and the coat. Although my memory is a bit distorted now, I’m pretty¬† sure it even made overalls look cute. I had it on one day at play practice when this really cool semi-goth girl named Christina asked if she could wear the coat. She was a senior and had way cooler hair than I did, so there was no way I could refuse.

After that play, Christina and I became friends. I looked up to her so much. She was incredibly smart and creative, and utterly fearless. She was also kind of mean. After a few months, our friendship began to run its course, and I remember the last time we ever hung out. She was coming to pick me up to go to a coffee shop with some friends and wanted to know if i could bring her a jacket to wear. Of course I brought the pea coat.

Needless to say, I never saw my coat again. I called Christina a million times asking her to bring it back to my house and she claimed this girl Amanda “lost it” while she was cleaning her car.

I’ve never been able to replace this coat, and as ridiculous as it sounds, I’ve never been able to forgive Christina for taking it from me. She has since changed her name and moved away, but I always wonder what she really did with my jacket. I hope maybe she still has it and is treating it well…

Bio Leslie Lockett is a high school teacher in Chicago. She loves watching movies, playing music, and making pie. Her parakeet’s first name is Pickle.

photo by Alix Lambert
drawing by Jamie Hayes

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