Polar Opposites

Submitted into Contest #43 in response to: Write a story about transformation.... view prompt

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General

Darkness is just a feeling, but it's also my personality. I've come to the conclusion that I'm superior over everyone. They don't talk to me because they're intimidated. The people that do talk to me, they want to be like me. I walk through the halls with a subtle smirk on my face that turns heads and summons laughs. Laughs of nervousness of course.

Sadly, none of that is true. My reality just barely crosses the line of being forced to sit beside the trashcans in the school cafeteria. My mind and body have adopted the aura of the goth kids at school. Not the ones that intimidate other people, but the ones that are completely ignored unless told to do so. The "told to do so" meaning any reason to make fun of us. That's a once-or-twice everyday thing.

It all started in sixth grade. Gibby Jenkins was new to school, so was her style. I was brought in by the black lipstick, black nails, leather jacket, ripped jeans lined with silver beads on the side, and the infamous combat boots. The hairstyle ranged from any color that Gibby would choose, then it would be side swiped, cleverly hiding one eye. I don't know what summoned the cautiously growing ache in me, the one that longed to be like Gibby. That day after school, I went home and crushed my piggy bank. I was so convinced that I had found myself. My stupid sixth grade brain. I grabbed my life savings and went to every store that I could think of. I remember feeling so accomplished when I found a pair of combat boots, calling my name in the Salvation Army thrift store. A slightly over-sized leather jacket was my second score. I went to the nearest craft store, bought some silver beads to line my black jeans that I already had. Dying my hair--and cutting it was the hardest part. I had to be so very quiet about it, my mom could not come in the way of my hair. I knew she would be disappointed but she would accept it...eventually.

My collection of black clothes has grown ever since the sixth grade. Empty tubes of black lipstick decorate my drawer of black eyeliner and the hair dye that I use whenever my hair starts fading. The sad part is, I never even got close to saying one word to Gibby Jenkins. She was cool, unlike me. I was the wannabe, her own little toy to make fun of, along with the other kids that joined in with the cacophony of her scornful words. The only friend I had was Jen. We were the kind of friends that hoped together. By that, I mean that we were happy with our friendship, but we were only friends because we couldn't get to the level that we wanted to be on the social "ladder." We've been stuck here since the middle of the sixth grade, we're sophomores in high school.

"God Jessie, I liked the black better," Jen said as I walked up to her. She was talking about my hair. I had found a stray box of blue hair dye last week and decided to use it. I've started to care less about my social image. It's already been beaten and mocked to the point where people won't even notice the change I made to my hair. Unless Gibby does.

"Here," I hand the homework from last night to Jen. We help each other out, I give her homework and the common sense that I can't seem to use for myself. She basically just helps me with life.

"Thanks," her eyes scan the paper and then drift to the entrance of the classroom. "He's here," she says, a gloss covering her eyes. Kane Whitman was walking into the room. He was your stereotypical jock. The jacket with the big letters and all. He hadn't quite nailed the hair situation yet, but who am I to talk? He's nice to look at, I won't complain. But the minute he walks in the door and starts fist-bumping his guy friends, bile enters my throat and threatens to exit so I turn my head back to Jen. Then, the new girl walks in.

"Oh. My. Goodness." Jen was staring at the girl who had managed to snag her dream boy in a matter of minutes.

"YO!" Mr. Cole was the cool teacher, the second you hear the word "yo," the class is in their seat and silence takes over the room. "We have a new student that I would like to introduce to you all," his eyes search the room for her, when they find her, I expect for them to grow wide at the sight, but they stay at their usual level. "Miss Glover if you could please stand up and introduce yourself in a respectful manner," Mr. Cole could read people and determine their personalities faster than you could snap your fingers. He could obviously see something in this girl. Whether it was good or bad, I didn't care. She was the next Gibby Jenkins.

"Hi! My name is Cassie Glover, I am from New York, New York and I would just like to say," her eyes shift down to meet Kane's waiting gaze. "This school has been very welcoming," she says before taking a seat, her desk had been moved to be almost on top of Kane's.

My mind was racing, thoughts flowing in and out. Regret was taking over as I scanned my black outfit and torn combat boots with the one eye that wasn't covered by my hair. Then my eyes drifted to Cassie. Her clothes perfectly fit her bubbly personality. The perfectly white slip-on shoes, her peach blonde hair, tight jeans that looked terribly uncomfortable, and her shirt that came barely above her belly button, exposing her tan skin. I wanted to be like her. Forget about Gibby Jenkins, I was going to be the next Cassie Glover wannabe.

My savings from my last summer job at Baskin Robins consisted of a few hundred dollars, enough to get me started with the Cassie look. She probably shopped at Prada and went to nice hair salons, but all I have right now is enough money to get me a cab to the thrift store and enough money to buy a few shirts and some skin tight jeans. That's exactly what I got. A few cropped shirts in some very pretty colors and five pairs of skinny jeans were going to do me well. My hair was a different story so I decided to deal with it later.

I stepped in the shower with a sense of happiness floating off me, along with the steam that the shower provided. Hopefully my mom wouldn't get mad that I took all the hot water for the night. When I looked down at the water, an unnatural blue color was pooling at my feet. My hands reached up to my hair and when I pulled them away my eyes widened in a shock that ran up my spine and plucked a string in my stomach. My blue hair was washing out, how could that even happen? I stepped out of the shower, staining the floor with blue hair dye. My hands scrambled to find the box that had contained the blue hair dye last night.

Temporary. Comes out in one wash! Ages 3+!

The excitement that I had felt last night when I found the box under my bed was temporary, just like the hair dye.

Wait.

This could be a good thing. I looked in the mirror to see my dirty blonde hair that hadn't made an appearance since the sixth grade. It was gritty from all the hair dyes that I had allowed to soak into my hair and destroy all hope that the good nutrients in my hair had to live. I stepped back into the shower and scrubbed my hair until the hot water had turned cold.

The shock on my mothers face was no match to the other people in the hallway at school the next day. I was almost as surprised as they were when I looked in the mirror. I looked...pretty. A word that hadn't been associated with me since I was literally five years old. Jen turned around to face me and a smile locked on her face.

"Whoa, you look--different," her eyes scanned my blue tank top and tight jeans. Then they drifted back up to my natural hair that was pulled back into a ponytail, pinning my bangs back.

"Yeah--uh, I decided to try something new," I said. "Do you like it?"

"Of course, but not as much as he does," she says motioning to the boy behind me. Dylan Kend had his back turned towards his friends, blue eyes scanning my face. We were old friends, never once talking after my "transformation." He had bleach blonde hair and perfectly white teeth, which were now showing through his pink lips.

"Jess? You look different...better," he said. I wasn't sure if it was a compliment. I turned around to look at Jen, she was walking off but turned around to flash a smile and two thumbs up.

"Thanks," I said. We talked for a minute and it was something that I could get used to.

Now this is probably the scene in a movie where the talking would fade off, the happy music would be cued up and the couple would walk off giggling. They would pass the jealous girl who was always a brat and she would scoff, the friend would find someone or something she liked, and everything would be okay. But the credits weren't ready to roll in yet, because Hannah Kendall walked in, sweatpants and a sweatshirt, hair in a messy bun, but pretty as can be. I want to be like her, I thought.

May 26, 2020 17:27

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2 comments

Rowan Goswood
23:22 Jun 04, 2020

At first I thought that this would be a typical underdog story, but the ending was a decent surprise. The title made more sense after reading the story.

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Anna Mosqueda
16:58 Jun 07, 2020

Awesome! Thanks for the feedback;)

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