Bleached Hair And What It Can Do To You

October 14, 2008
By Hailey Cooper, Squamish, ZZ

She walks down the road again, her bleached white hair blazing in the sunlight. She has forgotten her shoes again. I hope she doesn’t cut her feet.

OK, here’s how it is. My name is Blake Andrew Wright. I have fiery red hair, and bright green eyes. Her name is Marie Beaubien. She has the sort of eyes that look like they’re always dreaming, peaceful and honey-coloured. She bleached her hair one day, left it white instead of dying it blonde, and fell in love with it. So did I.

Yesterday, when Marie was over, I decided to have a love affair.

She’s sitting there, taking a break on her little lilac sweater. She glowed and pulsed and was gentled in the great easy fabric. It lay across the land, covering the grass like a gentle, warm, humming blanket. She was everywhere.

The contents of her Batman backpack, art supplies and notepads and journals, are strewn about my lawn. She gets up, and the wind is blowing through her hair. I’m watching from the upstairs window, while she walks around my house on this hot summer day. Normally, that would sound stalkerish, but I can’t exactly go out there, while she’s working. I hire her to catch my kitten, Rouge, when she escapes, which I find very hard to do. I pay her in cupcake recipes and homegrown vegetables, because she doesn’t like to accept money for something so easy for her. I think back to the day I met her.

“Is anyone sitting here?” I ask.
“Yes but go ahead and sit anyways. You look tired.” She smiled, and I almost fell over. Even now, when I think back to it, I smile. We talked until the bell rang, and exchanged numbers. I just sat there, somewhat stunned. I was late for French class that day

Yesterday, when Marie was over, I made the best decision of my life.

She gets up again, and runs around, chasing my kitten, which is surprisingly fast. I think, “She’s so beautiful.” And I think of how she’s the most childish girl my age. I wonder, “Why don’t I let Rouge out more often?” then I realize, Marie has a life too.

I see her catch the cat. She puts her in my house, then sits down to have a snack. She lies down, and I read her neon turquoise shirt it says, “What Would Buddha Do?” Typical Marie clothing. Besides being a hardcore Buddhist, she only really shops second hand, which that shirt obviously is, I saw while thrifting myself.

Everything reminds me of Marie. Even while I am doing something totally unrelated, I think of her. Like now. I think back to the day the leader of the Them, a sort of gang. The leader, Jared, is a major player, sports and otherwise.

“Hey Marie,” he said. “What’s up?”
“Nothing really, just painting.” She replies.
“Cool.” She rolls her eyes. She hates short answers like that.
“You doing anything Friday?” He asks
“Isn’t that the dance?”
“Oh yeah,” he says, as if he doesn’t already know. Some people. “Would you like to go with me?”
“I don’t do dances,” she replies simply. I could’ve kissed her. Not that that would’ve been hard. Ever.
“Neither do I, really.” Yeah right. As if she doesn’t see him ask every other girl out, even if he already has a date, which he always does.
“Then it’s all good.” She walks away.

She’s laughing to herself again. I love the sound of her voice, with the faint, very faint, French accent. I move a little closer to the open window, just to hear the sound of her voice. I wonder what she’s thinking about. I hope it’s a happy thought about yesterday. Yesterday, oh yesterday. Yesterday I kissed her.

It was completely by accident. Sort of. I’m such a bad liar. I sort of meant to. I ran outside and I ran into her, quite literally. I held on to her, and you can guess the rest. Haa, my first real kiss happened on my lawn. In front of my neighbors.

I wonder if she liked it? Oh no, what if she has a boyfriend, I think for the thousandth time today, even though I know she doesn’t. I realize, she must have liked it, she kissed back. I go outside, finally deciding to ask her to the dance, but then I remember, she doesn’t like dances. In fact, neither do I. I would rather take her to some foreign film, or art show. I look online and find an old avant-garde film playing, The Love of Zero.

I start for the door, getting ready to ask her out. My heart starts beating faster, louder, faster, louder, until I can hardly hear myself think for all the thudding. I realize that I am shaking. It’s now or never, I think to myself. I take a deep breathe and go outside. It’s too late. She took her stuff and left. “Next time,” I think. “Next time.”

She walks down the road again, her bleached white hair blazing in the sunlight. She has forgotten her shoes again. I hope she doesn’t cut her feet.

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