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Not Blonde or Brown
My hair isn’t blonde, nor is it brown. It’s kind of in-between. Kind of like me. I can’t define who I am—and why is it so hard to define myself? I’m no jock, preppy student, drama clubber, cool and popular kid, or smart geek. I’m friends with these people who do fit obviously and easily into the status quo. But I myself see no niche that perfectly fits my personality.
Honestly I don’t know why I care so incredibly much. But I know when this obsession started: it began when I began to like a varsity football player. He was popular, and easily fit into his jock and cool kid status. All I wanted was for him to talk to me, so I could judge exactly who he was—conceited, or nice; foul or friendly.
I got my wish a week after I made it, and we had a conversation. We talked about sports—this part of me speaks jock because I personally play three—and we then developed a few inside jokes. But we still weren’t on hugging terms. I wanted to, but there was something holding me back.
One of the problems is that he walked into my AP class. It’s my “geek” class—only the smartest, most organized people chose this class. He saw me—I’m sure of it—and I was afraid that he would lump me into that “genius” category. I want my own category, something just for me. But then I’m a loner, so I’ll try to mash myself into a category.
We saw each other again, but this time I was hanging around after school with the drama club. They were waiting for their rehearsal, and I was waiting for my ride. He approached and I duck my head, thinking as loudly as I could: PLEASE DON’T LOOK THIS WAY! Of course, almost like he had heard me, he turned and our eyes met. He quickly raised his eyebrows at me and my company. I almost called out to him to explain this situation, but then he kept walking. Away from me.
We talked again in one our shared class periods, and he was talking about cheerleaders. I’m friends with almost all of them, so I jumped into the conversation. “Wait—do you cheer?” He asked me. I laughed and said no, I wasn’t flexible enough. Later I realized that I was certainly preppy enough, and I could look like one. But I’m not! I’m different.
What is left for me is the cool and popular category. Definitely not! I wished I was so I could show off for him. But that killed all hope for me, I felt. I knew he already knew I was a weird individual, and probably didn’t want to be seen anywhere near me.
But last Friday I was at my locker alone, unloading some of my heavy books into my backpack. He walked by, and grabbed a book out of his locker too. I made myself shout out a “Hey, how’s it going” to him. He turned at me and smiled, saw me struggling with my backpack, and gallantly came over to help me.
I don’t remember what we talked about exactly as we walked out of the school gates, but I do remember how easily our conversation flowed. Abruptly, however, it stopped.
He told me he was walking home right then, and he’d see me tomorrow. Disappointment flooded my exhilarated veins. Then he walked away. I was about to sit down and wait for my ride, when he quickly looked back.
“Hey, Caroline? You know that you’re a really cool person, right?”
I laughed. “You too!” He smiled and turned the corner, leaving me euphoric with my thoughts. I’m cool, I thought to myself. I’m a cool person. Then I received a bout of sadness. And I needed a varsity football player to verify me. I’m so caught up in appearances and the status quo; why couldn’t I just accept myself? He accepted me, and he saw parts of me that I want no one to see. But he still thinks I’m cool. Well, from now on, I’m going to be.