When I was twelve, I convinced my mom to let me dye my hair black, when I was thirteen I secretly added silver streaks and now, the consequence.
The only teacher I have that doesn’t think I’m a hoodlum is the school’s choral director. It’s probably because she’s the drama club director too. She believes in a little individuality and creating yourself into an interesting character. I guess the art teacher doesn’t mind so much, but he’s more into the technique of art than the emotion and expression.
My days go by in an intricate ebb and flow of whispers, snickers, and a blur of mockery. Every comment triggers another comment or event, thoroughly testing my resistance to my cloned classmates.
I go to a small school in the Podunk town of Acacia. Population- who cares? The matter of the fact is that I live in the world’s most conformist temple to Aeropostale. It’s like walking through the pictures of the hallways in an American Eagle Catalogue that shows the “latest fall fashions” that are “a must have for back to school”.
The first day of school my eighth grade year, I dressed a little more subtly, but there was no mistaking the metallic strands of hair that were grouped with the black ones and pulled into a high ponytail for normal. Even my visor-like bangs had a few thin bits of silver. My black knee-length skirt swished a little around long white stockings. I wore an un-tucked white blouse, with a silk keyboard tie resting under its collar. My feet were clad with black converses.
That year was supposed to be the best. I was putting up a Simple Plan poster in my locker, my best friend Jamie was down the hall filling her super-organized locker with notebooks and folders.
“Hey Ruby! Did you finally grow your alien hair? I’m sure your home planet has been waiting so long”
Recognizing the sinister voice I turned around slowly to face the ultimate evil (next to Satan….I suppose) that was the Paris Hilton of the halls of Acacia Middle-Stephanie Davis. Her family was known for being rich. She was known for being blonde and brain-dead (along with the rich part). I had been rehearsing come-backs for an attack from her all summer, ever since I got the streaks. I knew it would be worse than when I died it black. Of course she was surrounded by her posse of heart breaking, self esteem lowering, Hollister shopping, and let’s not forget the classic description, cheerleading companions. But this year, there was someone new. I nearly gasped when I saw her face in the group, the only one with a slight look of worry. She obviously was trying not to look at me. She had been my friend almost my best friend. Oh what Kacy, oh what could have possibly brought you to the dark side?
Calmly, with a sound of fake tolerance in my voice I said, “I believe that I’ve told you, only adults call me Ruby. I answer to Rosemary.” I noticed that Kacy was starting to turn away. She wasn’t getting away that easily. I eyed her purple and gold cheerleading outfit. “By the way Kacy, I love your new uniform.” I turned back around and continued putting books in my locker. Out of the corner of my eye, I watch them walk away, all of them staring at Kacy as she explained that she had only hung out with me the year before out of pity.
By this point, Jamie had noticed the invasion that had just taken place. She closed her locker and hurried over to me. “What happened?”
I shrugged. “The comeback practice paid off. I think.” She looked at me funny. She had gotten her fair share of insults for her bookishness. We were a perfect match, each of us an outcast. We had met eating lunch in the library. I noticed her Harry Potter tapes she was listening to and she noticed my Disc World novel. She was the first to know about the silver streaks and she was totally cool with it. Best friend are always like that. I picked up my binder, collaged in pictures of koi fish, peacocks and pandas and we walked to home room together.
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